How does Dropbox sync my files?

This article is a basic introduction to how Dropbox syncs your files. It explains how you can store your files in Dropbox and sync them between your devices. 

When you store files in Dropbox, your files are accessible from everywhere you use Dropbox. This includes:

  • Dropbox.com in a web browser, on your computer or phone
  • The Dropbox desktop app, on your computer
  • The Dropbox mobile app, on your phone or tablet

Your files are also kept up to date everywhere you use Dropbox. This means that if you add or make changes to a file in one place, the file is automatically updated everywhere else.

Not using Dropbox yet? See how Dropbox makes syncing files easy.

How do I get started using Dropbox to sync my files?

You can start syncing all your files across all of your devices with a free Dropbox Basic plan. Dropbox Basic users have 2 GBs of storage space. There’s no time limit or trial on a Basic plan, so you can try it as long as you like.

If you want more storage space or access to additional features, you can upgrade to a paid plan. Learn more about the different Dropbox plan options.

Create an account

To get started, go to dropbox.com and create an account. You can create a free Basic account with 2 GBs or a paid account with additional storage space and features. Then, you can start uploading files to your account or creating new files in Dropbox.

Download and sign into the apps

Once you have a Dropbox account, you can download the Dropbox desktop app to your computer or download the Dropbox mobile app to your phone or tablet. After you download the Dropbox apps to your devices, sign into your Dropbox account

Sync your files

You can access all of the files you stored in Dropbox, no matter what device you’re using or where you added the files. Any files you add or changes you make to your files are automatically updated, or “synced”, everywhere you access them in Dropbox.

Can I use Dropbox syncing to move my files to a new computer?

After you follow the steps above to get started, your files are synced to Dropbox, so you don’t need to move or transfer them manually between computers or devices anymore. You can access them from any device through dropbox.com or the Dropbox desktop and mobile apps. 

If you’d like your files saved on a computer’s hard drive (or multiple computers’ hard drives), as well as to your Dropbox account online, you can choose to do so when you download the Dropbox desktop app. When prompted, choose “local” instead of “online-only”. You can also change a computer’s Smart Sync settings to “local” in your desktop app preferences at any time.

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