Expected changes with Dropbox for macOS

Dropbox for macOS utilizes Apple’s updated File Provider API for a more seamless experience. Learn more about what to expect with this experience.

Below is additional information on the changes you can expect when using Dropbox for macOS. These will be updated regularly as Dropbox support for macOS continues to develop and improve.

Note: Your device must be running macOS 12.5 or later to use Dropbox for macOS. However, using macOS 13+ is strongly encouraged.

Updates Additional Information
Changing the location of your Dropbox folder is no longer supported by macOS.
  • Your Dropbox folder will be moved to ~/Library/CloudStorage.
  • 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 instead of Favorites.
  • Individual folders can be moved from your Dropbox folder to Favorites for quick access.
A new file format known as a flattened package is supported by Dropbox on macOS.
  • Package files appear as regular files, but are actually bundles that contain other file types within.
    • Examples of package files include .pages, .numbers, and .key.
  • This new format will have the same functionality as previous package files.
  • Existing packages will be updated to the new format the next time they are changed and synced.
  • Flattened packages can only be accessed on devices running Dropbox for macOS.
  • Dropbox Transfer doesn’t currently support flattened packages.
Searching through Finder won’t find all content in your Dropbox folder.
  • Searching through Finder will only find online-only files or folders that have been previously accessed on your device running Dropbox for macOS.
    • Only file names will display in these search results, not the file contents.
    • This will also affect features that depend on searching through Finder. For example, Smart Folders.
  • Search using Spotlight isn’t affected.
Actions involving a large number of files can take longer than usual to complete.
Certain types of files may not sync on macOS 12.
  • Certain files, such as .fcpxml (Final Cut Pro) and .logicx (Logic Pro), may not sync. 
  • Files or folders may not sync if their name contains the byte-order mark (BOM).
  • Files or folders may not sync if their name begins with a space followed by a single digit.
  • These issues are resolved in macOS 13+.
LAN Sync is currently not supported on Dropbox for macOS.
Photos Library isn’t supported on Dropbox for macOS.
Some downloaded files won’t display as occupying disk space.
  • Opening an online-only file from the Dropbox desktop app downloads a file to your computer, but macOS won’t include these files when calculating occupied disk space.
Some newly added files will default to online-only.
  • Files added to your Dropbox account from another device or that are shared by another user will default to online-only.
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