Manage how much bandwidth the desktop app uses

You can manage how much bandwidth your internet uses to run the Dropbox desktop app in your desktop app preferences. This can help you prioritize how fast or slow the Dropbox desktop app runs, relative to other applications on your computer.

You can also pause syncing temporarily to decrease how much bandwidth Dropbox is using.

Manage how much internet bandwidth Dropbox is using

To manage how much available bandwidth your internet uses to run the Dropbox desktop app:

  1. Open your Dropbox desktop app preferences
  2. On Windows, click the Bandwidth tab. On Mac, click the Network tab.
  3. On Mac, click Change Settings… next to Bandwidth

You’ll see the option to limit or not limit your bandwidth for both your download and upload rates.

What do the bandwidth limitations mean?

When you add or change files in the Dropbox desktop app, your changes are reflected everywhere you access your files in Dropbox. Your upload rate affects how fast this happens. When you add or change files on dropbox.com or anywhere else you access your files in Dropbox, those changes are reflected in the Dropbox desktop app. Your download rate affects how fast this happens.

Both of these actions use your internet bandwidth. Your internet has a limited amount of bandwidth, and many applications on your computer may be using your internet bandwidth at the same time.

  • If you’d like to allow Dropbox the maximum amount of bandwidth that’s possible, and potentially increase the speed of the Dropbox desktop app, choose Don’t limit
  • If you’d like to speed up your other non-Dropbox applications, but potentially slow down the Dropbox desktop app, choose Limit to and choose how many KB/s (kilobytes per second) of bandwidth you’d like the Dropbox desktop app to use.
  • If you’d like to allow Dropbox to choose for you, choose Limit automatically. (This is only available for upload rate).

Note: The amount of bandwidth the Dropbox desktop app uses isn’t the only thing that affects how fast Dropbox or your other applications are running. It also depends on the internet service you have with your ISP (Internet Service Provider). To check your internet speed, you can use one of the many free internet speed tests available online. Or, check our solving sync issues article.

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