Fix file syncing issues in the Creative Cloud desktop app

Getting "Unable to sync files" or "File syncing error" when trying to sync your Creative Cloud files? Learn how to fix some common sync errors.

Try this first

Pausing file sync and then resuming it can help fix many syncing issues. 

  1. Open the Creative Cloud desktop app. (Select the  icon in the Windows taskbar or the macOS menu bar.)

  2. Select the Cloud activity icon in the upper right.

    Cloud activity icon

  3. Select the pause/resume button to pause and resume syncing respectively.

    Pause and resume file sync

If this doesn't fix the issue, find your error message in the table below and try the corresponding solution.

Find your error message

Find your error message in the following table, and follow the given solution to fix it.

Error message Solution
Unable to sync <fileName> because the file is locked. Please close this file in any open applications and ensure you have write access privileges. See Close files in use.
Unable to sync <fileName> because the file name is invalid. The characters |, “, ?, <, >, /, \, *, and : cannot be used in file names. See Avoid Windows-reserved characters and filenames.
A virus was detected in <fileName>. This file will not be uploaded.  
The file <fileName> is too large and will not be uploaded. See Note that syncing large files can take time.  
Some files failed to sync.

This error can occur due to several reasons. It usually occurs when you are about to exceed the maximum limit of files and folders you can store in your Creative Cloud account. To fix this error, empty the Deleted folder in the Creative Cloud website and permanently remove deleted files or folders that you no longer need.

If you still see the error, identify files and folders you don't need in the cloud and then move them to a local storage device.

Some files failed to sync.

(Retry attempts keep failing.)

This error can occur after a service outage logs you out from your Creative Cloud apps unexpectedly.
To fix this issue, try the following solutions one by one. Go to the next solution only if a previous one doesn't work.

  1. Sign out and sign back to the Creative Cloud desktop app.
  2. Close Adobe background process CoreSync from Task Manager or Activity Monitor

Too many files are in the folder <folderName>. Sync performance may suffer until you reduce the number of files in this folder. Delete files from the folder that is mentioned in the error message.
Unable to sync <fileName> because the owner of <folderName> has exceeded their storage quota. This issue occurs when the owner of the collaborative folder ends up with less cloud storage than they had originally when the folder was created. It is likely that the cloud storage assigned to the owner has reduced, and the collaborators are unable to sync files with reduced storage. For collaborated folders, the storage information of each collaborator, including the owner of that folder, is counted. Learn how to fix this issue.
Unable to sync files because your system time is not correctly set. To continue to sync files, accurately set the time for your device. Set the system time accurately and retry.
Unable to sync <folderName> because some files in the folder are open. Please close any open files within this folder. See Close files in use.
Unable to sync <fileName> because the file path is too long. Please rename this file or change its folder so that the path is shorter. See Use short file and folder names.
Unable to sync <fileName>. You do not have permission to write to the destination folder. Please check folder permissions if the issue persists. Check permissions and then try again.
Your content is no longer available as the encryption key for your account has been disabled. Contact your IT Administrator. Contact your IT Admin.
<fileName> cannot be synced because it is in a view-only collaboration. You cannot modify, rename, or create files in a view-only collaboration. To sync this file, move it to a read-write location within your Creative Cloud files folder." For more information, see Collaborate on Creative Cloud Libraries and folders.
Unable to sync files. Your hard drive is full. Insufficient disk space. Free some space. Sync will automatically resume.

File syncing error. Out of storage

 

This error occurs when you no longer have cloud storage available in your Creative Cloud account. To continue to sync files, do one of the following:

Unable to sync <filename> due to server error. Retry after some time.
Unable to sync <fileName> because of file permissions. Check permissions and then try again.  
File syncing error. Could not enable sync Close the background process "Adobe Desktop Service" and "CoreSync" in the Task Manager (Windows) or Activity Monitor (macOS). Then restart your computer and try to sync your files again.

Avoid Windows-reserved characters and filenames

  • < (less than)
  • > (greater than)
  • : (colon)
  • " (double quote)
  • / (forward slash)
  • \ (backslash)
  • | (vertical bar or pipe)
  • ? (question mark)
  • * (asterisk)

Also avoid the following filenames that the Windows operating systems reserve: CON, PRN, AUX, NUL, COM1, COM2, COM3, COM4, COM5, COM6, COM7, COM8, COM9, LPT1, LPT2, LPT3, LPT4, LPT5, LPT6, LPT7, LPT8, and LPT9. For more information about incompatible characters and filenames, see Naming Files, Paths, and Namespaces.

If you received this error on macOS, also ensure that there's no extra space at end of the file or folder name.

Use short file and folder names

Windows allows files and folder names of only 260 characters or fewer. Shorten file and folder names of greater length to sync them to Windows devices.

Note:

The Creative Cloud desktop app is unable to sync files if the default folder location is changed to a folder name that contains any High ASCII or Cyrillic characters, such as ä, è, й, Ç, or ӯ. To resolve this error, either quit and relaunch the Creative Cloud desktop app or turn file sync off and then back on again.

Fix storage issues for collaborative folders

Follow these steps to fix the error "Unable to sync <fileName> because the owner of <folderName> has exceeded their storage quota":

  1. Make a local copy or backup of your files, photos, videos, and other projects that are stored in the collaborative folder.
  2. Consider the following scenarios and follow the solution that is applicable to you. Note that you cannot change the owner of the folder.
  • If the owner's storage is full: Check if the owner's cloud storage is already full. If the storage is full, then the owner needs to free up some space by deleting the unwanted files.
  • If the owner's license was unassigned: Request the Admin to reassign the owner's license with increased storage. If their license cannot be reassigned, request the Admin to upgrade their storage. 
  • If the owner of the folder is no longer available in the organization: Make a local copy of the files in the collaborative folder. Leave the folder as a collaborator. Then create a new folder, place your files in it, and sync your files again. This would make you the owner of the folder. Do this for each folder where the owner of the folder is no longer part of the organization and had reduced cloud storage.

Remove trailing characters

Files and folders that end with periods (.) or spaces don't sync properly between operating systems.

Files with trailing spaces or periods in the filename don't sync properly to Windows, though they can be synced to the cloud from a Mac. When syncing, if there a file that fails, all additional files continue to sync. However, the error message remains until the conflicted file is either amended or deleted.

If Windows encounters an error that a file or directory does not exist, view the file in the Creative Cloud web application. Then rename it to remove the offending character.

Avoid using resource forks (aliases or shortcuts)

Avoid syncing files that use metadata (or resource forks), including macOS aliases or Windows shortcuts. Typically these types of files work only on the operating systems on which they were created.

Close files in use

The Creative Cloud desktop app shows "Could not enable sync" error when attempting to sync a file that is in use or locked from another application.

Some applications have lock mechanisms to prevent conflicts from occurring when the file is opened from one or more locations. For example, Adobe InDesign creates a *.idlk file beside an open *.indd file.

To resolve the sync error, save and close the file when you're done editing it.

Understand conflicted copies

If you change or sync the same file on multiple devices at the same time, the device to finish uploading "wins." The Creative Cloud desktop app doesn't attempt to merge the changes for you. Rather, any changes made after the first upload (the upload that "won") are synced in a "conflicted copy" of the file. The name of the new file is the same as the old one, but appended with "conflicted copy." The filename also includes the name of the device/computer responsible and the date on which the conflict occurred. This way, all of your changes are preserved and your hard work isn't overwritten.

Note that syncing large files can take time

You could see an error if you're trying to sync a large file using the Creative Cloud Files folder.

If you copy a large file to your Creative Cloud Files folder, the file doesn't sync until it is copied completely into folder. As the file is copying, the file is flagged, and your Creative Cloud desktop app notifies you that it is "Unable to sync file(s)". Once the copy completes, it begins syncing to Creative Cloud.

Use keyboard combinations to troubleshoot sync issues

When used in combination with specific keystrokes, the View On Website context menu option provides special functionality. Overriding the original View On Website functionality, this special functionality helps you resolve sync issues.

When used with specific keystrokes, the View On Website option assumes special functionality

Ctrl+[View On Website]

Restarts the sync operation.

Shift+[View On Website]

Restarts the sync operation and clears the local database. This option is useful if you're observing multiple sync failures for assets that don't exist locally on your computer or on the Creative Cloud website.

Ctrl+Shift+[View On Website]

This option performs the following operations:

  • Restarts the sync operation
  • Backs up the contents of the local Creative Cloud Files folder
  • Downloads assets afresh to the local Creative Cloud Files folder from the Creative Cloud website
  • Clears the local database
Use this option if you want to download afresh the exact set of assets that exist on the Creative Cloud website. Unless an asset on the Creative Cloud website is problematic, this option should resolve any sync issues that you've been experiencing.
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