How to set a Dropbox file 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. 

Once ignored, the file or folder remains where it is in your Dropbox folder and is synced to 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. 

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.

Set a file or folder to be ignored by Dropbox

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 by Dropbox

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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