When you attempt to sync files using the Creative Cloud file sync feature, do you receive an "Unable to sync files" error? Use the solutions provided in the table below to help resolve the error and avoid potential conflicts in future. 

First, ensure that your computer is connected to the Internet, and that you are signed in to your Creative Cloud account.

Note that there are differences between operating systems regarding acceptable filenames that can cause sync issues between them. The Creative Cloud desktop app can resolve many incompatibilities, but when it cannot, a failure can occur. When a failure does occur, a notification appears about the failure, and any remaining files continue to sync.


As a good first troubleshooting measure, pause file sync and then resume it again. This step alone can help resolve many syncing issues. Do one of the following depending on your version of Creative Cloud desktop app:

  • Click the gear icon  at the top-right. Click Syncing and then click Pause/Resume syncing
  • Click the gear icon  at the top-right, and then click Preferences. In the Files tab, click Sync On/Off

S.  No. Error message Solution
1 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.
2 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.
3 A virus was detected in <fileName>. This file will not be uploaded.  
4 The file <fileName> is too large and will not be uploaded. See Note that syncing large files can take time.  
5 The number of assets and collections in your Creative Cloud account is too large. Please empty your archive folder and remove other assets that you no longer require.  
6 Too many files are in the folder <folderName>. Sync performance may suffer until you reduce the number of files in this folder.  
7 Unable to sync <fileName> because the owner of <folderName> has exceeded their storage quota. Contact the owner of the <folderName>
8 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.
9 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.
10 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.
11 Unable to sync <fileName>. You do not have permissions to write to the destination folder. Please check folder permissions if issue persists. Check permissions and then try again.
12 Your content is no longer available as the encryption key for your account has been disabled. Contact your IT Administrator. Contact your IT Admin.
13 <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.
14 Unable to sync files. Your hard drive is full. Insufficient disk space. Free some space. Sync will automatically resume.
15 You are out of storage.

You have used your Creative Cloud storage quota. To continue to sync files, do one of the following:

16 Unable to sync <filename> due to server error. Retry after sometime.
17 Unable to sync <fileName> because of file permissions. Check permissions and then try 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.

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.


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.

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 Mac OS 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 an "Unable to sync files" 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.

Keyboard combinations to troubleshoot 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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