Dropbox support for macOS FAQs

Mac users will need to be running macOS 12.5 to use Dropbox for macOS. However, using macOS 13+ is strongly encouraged.

What changes can I expect?

You can expect the following changes with updated support for Dropbox on macOS:

  • Your Dropbox folder will be moved to ~/Library/CloudStorage.
    • Changing the location of your Dropbox folder is no longer supported by macOS. 
    • Due to the change of the Dropbox folder location, files that were previously linked in some third-party applications will need to be linked again.
    • Storing your Dropbox folder on an external drive is no longer supported by macOS.
    • Your Dropbox folder in Finder will now be found under Locations and no longer under Favorites.
    • Individual folders can be moved from your Dropbox folder to Favorites for quick access.
  • You can use Make online-only and Make available offline actions when syncing your files and folders.
  • A new package format is supported by Dropbox on macOS. Packages appear as regular files, but are actually bundles that contain other file types within.
    • Existing packages will be updated to the new format the next time they are changed and synced.

If you had removed your Dropbox folder from Locations, it can be restored by following these steps: 

  1. Open Finder.
  2. Click Finder in the menu bar.
  3. Open Preferences.
  4. Click the Sidebar tab.
  5. Under Locations, check Cloud Storage.

During the process of moving files to ~/Library/CloudStorage, you’ll continue to have access to all of your content. However, edits to your files will only sync to other devices when this is complete. After the move is completed, Dropbox will ensure your files are up to date.

Note: Users on the latest Dropbox for macOS update will no longer be able to access Vault through the Dropbox desktop app. You’ll still be able to access Vault on dropbox.com and the Dropbox mobile app.

What is the difference between files that are online-only and available offline?

Files that are available offline take up space on both your computer’s hard drive and in your Dropbox account. These files are available whether you’re connected to the Internet or not.

If you make a file or folder online-only, you’ll still see the file or folder in the Dropbox folder on your computer, but it will not take up space on your hard drive. You can only open it if you’re connected to the Internet.

Anytime you open an online-only file, Dropbox will automatically download the file to your computer. After you are done with the file, if you’d like to free up disk space, you can change the file back to being online-only.

If your computer is low on hard drive space, available offline files can automatically change to online-only to free up space.

Note: If you choose to reinstall the Dropbox desktop app, all of your files will be set to online-only by default.

How do I make a file online-only or available offline?

To make a file or folder online-only:

  1. Open your Dropbox folder in Finder.
  2. Right-click the file or folder you want to have available.
  3. Click Make online-only.
  4. You’ll still be able to see the file or folder in Finder, but it won’t take up space on your computer’s hard drive.

To make a file or folder available offline:

  1. Open your Dropbox folder in Finder.
  2. Right-click the file or folder you want to have available.
  3. Click Make available offline.
  4. The file or folder will be downloaded within your Dropbox folder and will be available even when you’re not connected to the Internet.

Note: Any files added to a folder that has been made available offline will automatically be downloaded to your computer and will be available even when you’re not connected to the Internet.

Learn more about file and folder sync icons on Dropbox for macOS and what they mean.

Will I have to follow any additional steps for this update?

If you see a dialogue box that says “Dropbox.app” would like to start syncing after the update, you’ll need to click OK to ensure Dropbox continues working on macOS.

Can I move my Dropbox folder to another location?

Changing the location of your Dropbox folder is no longer supported by macOS.

How can I get this update?

When you’re eligible, you’ll receive a notification from the Dropbox icon in your menu bar stating Dropbox for macOS is now ready.

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