Fixing conflicting files is a real problem in Dropbox. These files can become a major hurdle for users who are trying to edit files but discover their files to be in a big mess because of multiple edits by their colleagues.
Before we go any further, why not inform our readers about duplciates on Dropbox. Yes they do exist, and occupy storage and increase your cloud subscription costs. The solution lies in using Cloud Duplicate Finder. It is secure, fast, and does not require any data to be downladed!
Cloud Duplicate Finder uses the official Dropbox API
View the Cloud Duplicate Finder Terms of Service
The good news here is that Dropbox does offer a few ways to tackle the issue of the conflicted files. Let’s see what they are and how you can use them to fix and merge the conflicted files.
Solution 1: Use the Compare Revisions Option in Microsoft Word
By default, Dropbox doesn’t contain an option to merge conflicted files because it doesn’t have its own file editor. However, it diverts users to the Compare Documents feature of Microsoft Word when they are facing the conflicted copies issue.
So you should open Microsoft Word on your system and then click on Review | Track Changes | Compare.
Select Compare two files and then put the original file in the Original document column and the revised version or the one that was edited by someone else in the Revised document column. Now you can easily compare both the documents manually.
You will have to manually select any changes you want to undo from the file. Once done, you can save the same file on Dropbox.
Solution 2: Use the Compare documents Feature in Google Docs
You can also use Google Docs for merging conflicting files. Simply open up Google Docs and then click on Tools | Compare documents.
Now select the file that you want to change then click the Compare button. Google Docs will now launch the file comparison, which will be over pretty soon. Select Open in the Comparison is ready prompt message.
Google Docs will create a new file in Google Drive and highlight all changes across both the documents in this new document. Now you can accept and reject changes by manually checking the file versions.
Microsoft Word and Google Docs both prove very helpful to merge and fix conflicted files easily.
Solution 3: Setting Rules to Disable Multi-Edits
Another option to merge and fix conflicting Dropbox files is to disallow users from editing your file when another person is doing it. With a free Dropbox account, you can’t set rules in Dropbox. But here is how you can disallow a member from accessing the file.
Open up your Dropbox account and then click on the file that you don’t want others to edit. Click on Share and select the member that you want to restrict. Change the permissions from Can edit to Can view.
Solution 4: Use Dropbox Paper for Instant Edit
Dropbox offers another great feature for those who want to multi-edit files instantly without creating any conflicting copies. This feature is called Dropbox Paper, or simply Paper.
The feature is a complete replica of Medium’s WYSIWYG panel.
Dropbox Paper allows users to add files, images, videos, audios, and even checklists to the file.
These are three manual methods to avoid conflicting files in Dropbox or to merge them without any technical assistance.
Raza Ali Kazmi works as an editor and technology content writer at Sorcim Technologies (Pvt) Ltd. He loves to pen down articles on a wide array of technology related topics and has also been diligently testing software solutions on Windows & Mac platforms.