How to set a Dropbox file or folder to be ignored

You can set a file or folder to be “ignored” by Dropbox. This allows you to organize files and folders in the Dropbox folder on your computer without storing them on dropbox.com or on the Dropbox server.  If you ignore a file or folder it won’t count toward your storage space.

Once ignored, the file or folder remains where it is in your Dropbox folder on your computer’s hard drive, but it’s deleted from the Dropbox server and your other devices, can’t be accessed on dropbox.com, and won’t sync to your Dropbox account. You can choose to sync that file or folder back to dropbox.com at any time.

Notes

  • Once a folder is ignored, all files and folders inside it are also ignored.
  • If you move an ignored folder, it remains ignored unless you move it inside a folder that is not ignored.
  • If you ignore a shared file or a folder with a shared file in it, the shared file will be deleted for those it’s been shared with. If you choose to no longer ignore that file or folder, it will be shared again.

Set a file or folder to be ignored using the Dropbox desktop app

To set a file or folder to be ignored using the Dropbox desktop app:

  1. Open the Dropbox desktop app.
  2. Right-click the file or folder you’d like to ignore.
  3. Click Don’t sync to dropbox.com.

The icon beside your file or folder will change to a gray minus sign indicating that it has been ignored.

Note: This functionality is not available to Dropbox Business users. If you are a Dropbox Business user, you’ll need to use the command line instructions below.

Set a file or folder to be ignored using the command line

To ignore a file or folder, follow the instructions for your operating system below.

Mac

  1. Open the Terminal application on your computer.
  2. Type the code below, replacing the file/folder path placeholder with the file/folder path you’d like to ignore.
            xattr -w com.dropbox.ignored 1 /Users/yourname/Dropbox\ \(Personal\)/YourFileName.pdf
        
  1. Press return on your keyboard. 

The icon beside your file or folder will change to a gray minus sign indicating that it has been ignored.

Windows

  1. Open the PowerShell application on your computer.
  2. Type the code below, replacing the file/folder path placeholder with the file/folder path you’d like to ignore.
            Set-Content -Path 'C:\Users\yourname\Dropbox\ (Personal)/YourFileName.pdf'  -Stream com.dropbox.ignored -Value 1
        
  1. Press enter on your keyboard.

The icon beside your file or folder will change to a gray minus sign indicating that it has been ignored.

Linux

  1. Open the Terminal application on your computer.
  2. Type the code below, replacing the file/folder path placeholder with the file/folder path you’d like to ignore.
            attr -s com.dropbox.ignored -V 1 /Users/yourname/Dropbox\ \(Personal\)/YourFileName.pdf
        
  1. Press enter on your keyboard. 

The icon beside your file or folder will change to a gray minus sign indicating that it has been ignored.

Set a file or folder to no longer be ignored using the Dropbox desktop app

To set a file or folder to no longer be ignored using the Dropbox desktop app:

  1. Open the Dropbox desktop app.
  2. Right-click the folder you’d like to ignore.
  3. Click Sync to dropbox.com.

Note: This functionality is not available to Dropbox Business users. If you are a Dropbox Business user, you’ll need to use the command line instructions below.

Set a file or folder to no longer be ignored using the command line

If you no longer want a file or folder to be ignored, follow the instructions for your operating system below.

Mac

  1. Open the Terminal application on your computer.
  2. Type the code below, replacing the file/folder path placeholder with the file/folder path you no longer want to ignore.
            xattr -d com.dropbox.ignored /Users/yourname/Dropbox\ \(Personal\)/YourFileName.pdf
        
  1. Press return on your keyboard. 

The icon beside your file or folder will change to a green check mark indicating that it is no longer ignored. 

Note: If you’re using Smart Sync, the icon may also change to an online-only icon or a mixed state icon depending on your settings. Learn more about sync icons and what they mean.

Windows

  1. Open the PowerShell application on your computer.
  2. Type the code below, replacing the file/folder path placeholder with the file/folder path you no longer want to ignore.
            Clear-Content -Path 'C:\Users\yourname\Dropbox\ (Personal)/YourFileName.pdf' -Stream com.dropbox.ignored
        
  1. Press enter on your keyboard.

The icon beside your file or folder will change to a green check mark indicating that it is no longer ignored. 

Note: If you’re using Smart Sync, the icon may also change to an online-only icon or a mixed state icon depending on your settings. Learn more about sync icons and what they mean.

Linux

  1. Open the Terminal application on your computer.
  2. Type the code below, replacing the file/folder path placeholder with the file/folder path you no longer want to ignore.
            attr -r com.dropbox.ignored /Users/yourname/Dropbox\ \(Personal\)/YourFileName.pdf
        
  1. Press enter on your keyboard. 

The icon beside your file or folder will change to a green check mark indicating that it is no longer ignored. 

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