How to download and install the Dropbox desktop app on your computer
This article explains how to download and install the Dropbox desktop application on a Windows, Mac, or Linux computer. If you’re running Windows 10 in S mode, learn how to install Dropbox Lite.
If you‘d like to access Dropbox on your mobile device, learn how to download the Dropbox mobile app.
After you install the Dropbox desktop app on your computer, you can access Dropbox from the icon in your taskbar (Windows) or menu bar (Mac) or the Dropbox folder in File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac).
Any changes you make to your files in the Dropbox desktop app are automatically synced everywhere you access your files in Dropbox, including your account on dropbox.com.
How to download and install the Dropbox desktop app
Once installed, you’ll receive a prompt to either log in or create a new account. After logging in, follow the prompts to sync files between your computer and your Dropbox account.
How to install the desktop app with admin privileges
The Dropbox desktop app requires admin privileges to run with full functionality on your computer. This enables multiple different core features of Dropbox, including:
- Sync icons that show the sync status of files and folders
- Right-click context menus for taking quick actions in Dropbox
For most users, the desktop app is automatically installed with admin privileges. However, if you didn't install with admin privileges you can follow the instructions below to do so.
Note: If you don't have admin rights on your computer (for example if you're using a work computer), you may need to ask your IT department for help.
Install the Dropbox desktop app with admin privileges
- If you already have Dropbox installed, uninstall the application.
- Download the Dropbox desktop app.
- Open the installer.
- Do not right-click or command-click Run as an Administrator
- Follow the instructions in the install wizard.
- If you’re asked for an administrative username and password, enter them or contact your administrator to log in.
- If you’re not asked for an administrative username and password, you’re already an admin on your computer.
- Complete the installation and log in to Dropbox.
FAQs about downloading the Dropbox desktop app
Why does the Dropbox desktop app for Mac require Keychain access?
Keychain is a password management system for Mac. Dropbox requires access to your Keychain to help verify your account and to provide another layer of security over the Dropbox desktop app preferences.
- To grant Keychain access to Dropbox, click Allow or Always Allow when prompted. Always Allow is recommended for seamless access.
- Clicking Deny will result in a "Couldn't start Dropbox" error message. For security reasons, Dropbox will not start without access to your Keychain.
What is the Dropbox Web Helper for macOS?
Dropbox Web Helper supports the Dropbox user interface on Mac computers. It only runs when the desktop app is running.
Dropbox Web Helper is an independent process, so it may start and stop at different times than the desktop app. If you adjust your firewall or antivirus software for Dropbox, we recommend similar adjustments for Dropbox Web Helper.
What is the Dropbox system extension?
The Dropbox system extension is automatically installed when you install the Dropbox desktop app. It allows you to open online-only files from File Explorer (Windows), Finder (Mac), or third-party applications.
- The Dropbox system extension doesn’t apply macOS 11 or later.
- If you’re on a Dropbox team account, an admin on your team can restrict your ability to install or uninstall the system extension.
- Installation of the Dropbox system extension is not applicable to macOS 11 or later.
- If you’re on macOS 10.15 or earlier and experiencing issues installing the Dropbox system extension, you may need to update your system preferences to allow the blocked system extension. Learn how to update your system preferences.
If you’re on Windows, macOS 11 or earlier, or Linux, and you’re having issues opening online-only files in the Dropbox desktop app, you may be missing the Dropbox system extension.
To reinstall the Dropbox system extension:
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