Dropbox Backup: an overview

Updated Jul 16, 2024
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This article describes a feature available to customers on all Dropbox plans.

Dropbox Backup lets you back up any file or folder on your computer’s home folder to the cloud. Once your files are backed up with Dropbox Backup, you can access them from dropbox.com/backup/all. If you’re an admin for a team account, learn how to manage Dropbox Backup for your team.

Dropbox Backup features

Back up a computer

With Dropbox Backup, you can select which computer files and folders from your computer’s home folder you’d like to back up to the cloud. After the initial backup, any changes you make to files and folders on your computer will be reflected in Dropbox Backup.

You can access your backed up files under “Mac” or “PC” from dropbox.com/backup/all.

Some backup syncs will show changes to files and folders instantly and others will see changes integrated every 15 minutes. See how to check which version you’re using below.

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Note: If you’re on a Dropbox team account, your “Mac” or “PC” folder may be in your team member folder.

Back up an external hard drive

Once you plug in your external hard drive and agree to back it up, your files will get backed up to Dropbox Backup.

After your external hard drive files are backed up, you can access them from dropbox.com/backup/all.

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Note: You can’t make changes (like editing, adding, sharing, or moving) to files backed up from an external hard drive in Dropbox. If you’d like to make changes to these files, make them directly to the files on your external hard drive. Your backup will update automatically every hour while your external hard drive is plugged in.

Restore your files and folders from a backup

With Dropbox Backup, you can restore your backed up files and folders to a new computer. You can either download your backup as a .zip file or download all your files and folders to the same locations as your previous computer.

Learn more about restoring files and folders from a backup.

Schedule regular backups for your computer or device

The updated Dropbox Backup provides the option to set up Automatic backups. You can schedule backups to take place on 15-minute (recommended), daily, weekly, or custom intervals.

How to access Dropbox Backup

On dropbox.com:

  1. Log in to dropbox.com.
  2. Click the grid icon in the top-left corner.
  3. Click Backup from the list that appears.

On the Dropbox desktop app:

  1. Click the Dropbox icon in your taskbar (Windows) or menu bar (Mac).
  2. Click your initials in the upper right of the window that appears.
  3. Click Preferences.
  4. Click Backups.
  5. Click Set up or Manage backups.

Watch this video for a quick overview of Dropbox Backup.

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