How to resolve errors installing the new version of Dropbox on a Mac

Updated Jan 02, 2024

This article explains what to do if you’re a standard user and the Dropbox installer is not working on your Mac. If you’re not a standard user, learn how to update to the latest version of Dropbox on your computer.

Under most configurations, the Dropbox desktop app will automatically receive and apply new updates. For Macs, the success of these updates depends on the level of privileges your user has in the system.

Administrators who are running the application and haven't changed their system username shouldn’t have any issues with automatic or manual updates. Standard users need to follow a different set of instructions to proceed with a manual update. Learn how to find out if you’re an administrator or a standard user.

How to update the Dropbox desktop app from a standard account

To manually update your application from a standard account:

  1. Download the latest version of the installer.
  2. Go to your Downloads folder and find the installer.
  3. Open another Finder window and go to ~/Applications (/Users/yourUserName/Applications).
    • Note: If this folder doesn't currently exist, go to your user directory, create a new folder, and name it Applications
  4. Double-click the Dropbox icon.
  5. Click Spotlight.
  6. Click System Settings.
  7. Click General.
  8. Click Login Items. You'll be presented with a list of applications. If there is an existing Dropbox entry press the - (minus) button to remove it.
  9. In the same screen, press the + (plus) button and go to the location where you placed Dropbox, ~/Applications (/Users/yourUserName/Applications).
  10. You should be able to start Dropbox from the Applications folder.
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Note: The application doesn't have permission to automatically update, so you will have to follow these instructions next time you require to update it.

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