Storyline Files & Dropbox

We (faculty district-wide) are having issues with saving Storyline files to Dropbox.  This has not been an issue for the last year but within the last month (not this last update but the one before) we're suddenly being told that our files are being used by other processes, forcing us to save copies, and being unable to sync.  Dropbox hasn't changed but Articulate has.  What's going on?  Does anyone have a fix?  We're able to still sync and use Dropbox as usual with every other type of file except Storyline.

40 Replies
Leslie McKerchie

Hi Mary Beth,

Correct. We haven't changed anything with Storyline that would cause this behavior and the workflow I shared above is the same one we've always recommended. If anyone is not following that workflow, then we certainly recommend doing so.

I wanted to share this tidbit where Tom shared the same sentiment in an older blog post from 2012:

I don’t want to run the risk that Dropbox’s active syncing interferes with my multimedia production.
Serge Abellard

This is a very disappointing response. As someone who has used this program from the start and has used Dropbox for many years I can pretty much confirm that Articulate in fact has changed something with Storyline that causes this behavior. After losing hours of work because of this and seeing that most of the responses from the staff seem to not understand the issue, I am not confident this has been properly looked into. I have clients at large corporations who are now steering away from this software because of this, unfortunate. 

Math Notermans

Weird is i never had this before. Using Storyline for years. And only recently i got this issue too. As my Dropbox folder is on my C drive...it should work flawless. And as everyone mentions... not any other programme has issues with it. Also saving some Storyline files to OneDrive. Also a local folder being synced. And with OneDrive it works flawless.

Philip Roy

Look at it from the perspective of Dropbox...I know you say that you're saving locally and then Dropbox syncs, but the reality is that Dropbox is always looking for changes in your designated local folder and attempting to sync...this includes files you have open and are working on. It picks up that a file in your folder has changed and attempts to match with the cloud.

Personally I've never worked on a file within Dropbox because of that....I always copy a version of out Dropbox, work on that, save, quit and copy it back in.

Philip Roy

Well they have similar functionality and don't necessarily work the same way exactly....that's underlying technology that we don't know about. That said, your comment shows that it's not an Articulate issue, it's a Dropbox issue....otherwise it would be failing under OneDrive also. Keep in mind that Dropbox software updates itself regularly, so I'd suggest if Articulate is working fine under OneDrive and isn't working under Dropbox, then an auto-update to the Dropbox software has introduced the issue.

Again, I'd never work with a file in either of these system for precisely the issue on how they operate. I always take files out of synched folders to work on....including network drives.

James Martin

I'm bumping the thread to see if anyone has any updates on these issues. Having lost a day's work via a OneDrive sync issue, I'm now experimenting with Dropbox. Working on smaller projects, in unshared folders, OneDrive worked fine. But the file I inherited is large (2.5 GB) and in a shared OneDrive folder. 

Disabling and re-enabling sync isn't a good option, as I'll surely forget one or the other, defeating the utility by reinserting the possibility of human error. Articulate devs creating a technical solution to how Storyline caches and saves files is what's needed, rather than admonitions to "work locally." But, be that as it may be, I'm curious, as of 2022, which file-sync platforms work (if any) and which ones don't. 

I'll start the list by noting the OneDrive doesn't work--at least for large .story files in shared folders. I'm not sure if it works for large files in unshared folders or not, though I may test it. I'm currently testing Dropbox--even though I've read it also has issues. 

Mary Beth Faccioli

The issue remains with Storyline and Dropbox but I work with it by pausing sync in Dropbox when I'm using Storyline. If I forget, I'm reminded immediately when I save something and am alerted by Storyline. I've gotten used to it as part of my workflow. Dropbox gives you the option of pausing sync for periods of time (30 min, 1 hour, 24 hours) so if you forget to un-pause, it will happen automatically.

James Martin

The OneDrive desktop sync clients (Mac and Windows) now have a pause feature, similar to the one in Dropbox. Leveraging the collective wisdom in this thread, I decided to test it out today. Things are going well. I've been following this protocol. Note that my approach has a few additional steps since I'm running Storyline via Parallels Desktop + Windows 10 on an iMac. But you get the idea:  

  1. Pause OneDrive client (Windows, then Mac)
  2. Open .story file and work for a while. 
  3. Save
  4. Quit Storyline
  5. Unpause OneDrive Client (Windows, then Mac)
  6. Monitor things to make sure OneDrive syncs properly

From there, I rinse and repeat. So far, no problems. Knock wood. If this fails, I'll go with Math's approach. I'll let you know how it goes. 

Math Notermans

Another nice option i just thought of...is the use of a SVN repository... Github especially. When unzipping a .story file you get a bunch of folders and files. Alltogether thats your Storyline file. Add that to Github and cooperate on it with others. Only downside is that you have to zip your Github folder locally to work on it... would be great if that wasnot needed and Storyline could just start from that unzipped folder...then you could really collaborate with people in 1 Storyline file/folder...