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Cloud backup makes secure, up-to-date copies of files on your computer that you can access from anywhere you use Dropbox. The files in your backup reflect the files on your computer, so if you delete a file in a backed up folder on your computer, it will also be deleted from your cloud backup.
Cloud backup doesn’t free up space on your computer, or provide you with additional storage space. The Dropbox Backup plan offers unlimited storage to automatically back up one computer to the cloud.
Cloud storage provides additional space you can use to save files and folders online, in the cloud. With cloud storage, your files are available wherever you use Dropbox, plus you can organize your content, sync across devices you’re signed into, and collaborate with others. You can use cloud storage to free up space on your computers and other devices, by making content online-only. Plans like Dropbox Basic, Plus, Family, Professional, Standard, Advanced, and Enterprise provide cloud storage for your personal and business needs.
You can select which folders are backed up from your computer or external hard drive during setup. To see a complete list of files that are backed up in your Dropbox account:
If you choose to back up your computer, you can only back up files and folders from the hard drive with the Dropbox desktop app on it (usually the drive where your operating system is installed). If you have other drives installed, they won’t be included in the backup.
You can also choose to exclude certain files and folders from your backup by right-clicking them in the Dropbox folder in File Explorer/Finder and selecting Don’t sync to dropbox.com.
No. The backup process creates a copy of your files in Dropbox Backup but leaves them on your computer or external hard drive as well. If you delete the files from your computer or Dropbox account, they will also be deleted from the other location. Files backed up from your external hard drive can only be deleted directly from the external hard drive.
You can restore deleted files and folders from your backup for up to 30 or 180 days, depending on your plan. When you restore files and folders on dropbox.com, they will be restored on your computer as well.
You can back up the following types of external hard drives to Dropbox Backup:
Note: Encrypted APFS drives aren't supported.
Other cloud backup services like iCloud and Google Drive must be disabled before backing up your computer files to Dropbox. If you use OneDrive, it’s recommended, but not required, for you to disable that account before using Dropbox Backup.
Learn how to disable other cloud backup providers:
Make sure the Dropbox desktop app is installed on your computer, and learn how to:
Some external hard drives need to create log files to function. Dropbox ignores these to save space in your backup. To do so, it creates placeholder .dbxignore files that take up less space.
No, you can't have the Dropbox folder on the external hard drive you'd like to back up. If it is, move it back to your computer's hard drive before backing up your external hard drive.
If you receive this error message, your files are safe, but there was a technical issue that stopped your original backup and created a new backup. The new backup will have "(new)" or a number (e.g. "MyDrive(1)") at the end of the name and will work the same as the original. Any changes made to your computer or hard drive will only be reflected in the new backup.
The new backup starts with a fresh version history. To keep the original version history, you can keep the old backup.
You can free up space by deleting the old backup. Deleting the old backup in Dropbox will not delete any files on your computer or external hard drive.
Note: Before you delete the old backup, check to make sure the new backup has all the files you need. If there are files you want to keep in the old backup that don’t appear in the new one, download those files before you delete the old backup.
If you see an error message that says that Dropbox Backup has stopped working, sign out and sign back in to the Dropbox desktop app. You’ll need to set up your backups again to continue backing up your content. If you’re setting up an external hard drive backup, unplug your external hard drive and plug it back in to begin setup.
Note: If you choose not to take any action, your backups will still be accessible from dropbox.com/backup/all, but they’ll no longer update.
By default, these folders aren’t backed up, as the folder names can create a technical issue.
If you want to back up these folders, you’ll need to rename them.
If you get an error while setting up your backup, try the following troubleshooting steps before attempting setup again:
Any files that failed to back up to Dropbox will be in a folder called Files on my computer instead.
Note: If you’re on a Mac and don’t see your files in Finder after backup, force quit Finder and relaunch it.
Backups aren’t downloaded to your computer, so you won’t see them in the Dropbox folder in File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac). You can view your backups by doing the following:
Restart the application. In particular, we recommend restarting:
After you back up your computer, you can’t move, delete, or rename the top-level folders you’ve backed up (like “Desktop”, “Documents”, and “Downloads”, or “Mac” and “PC”). However, you can move, delete, and rename the files within them.
Dropbox Backup is designed to back up your content in one direction, from your device to the cloud. If you want to edit your content after backing it up to Dropbox Backup, you’ll need to do so in the files or folders on the original device.
Dropbox Backup is designed to back up and protect the content of your device, not to share and collaborate. We prevent sharing so you don’t accidentally give access to your sensitive content. To share files and folders, use one of our cloud storage plans, such as Dropbox Basic, Plus, Family, Professional, Standard, Advanced, or Enterprise.
You can restore deleted files in your Dropbox account up to 30 days after the deletion date. Read more about how to restore deleted files.
You can restore a deleted backup within your plan’s data retention period by following these steps: