What extended attributes does Dropbox support?

Updated Sep 07, 2023

Dropbox supports some extended attributes and can sync them everywhere you access your files in Dropbox. Extended attributes are additional types of metadata attached to your files.

What are extended attributes?

Extended attributes are a system for adding additional information, or metadata, to a file—beyond the attributes stored automatically by the system, like the file size or date modified.

Extended attributes can be useful for admins and teams looking to apply additional information to files, beyond what the operating system allows by default.

Common uses for extended attributes in Dropbox

When a file stored in the Dropbox folder on your device uses one of the supported extended attributes, the attribute will be synced to your Dropbox cloud storage, along with the file.

There are a number of uses for this, such as:

  • Tracking synced files
  • Syncing tags, stars, and colors marked in macOS Finder
  • Keeping track of files uploaded via camera uploads (on desktop and mobile)
  • Supporting less-common filesystem features, like executable bits on POSIX and resource forks on macOS

Supported extended attributes

Refer to the list below to see a list of extended attributes that Dropbox supports for your operating system.

  • :com.dropbox.attributes
  • :com.dropbox.internal
  • :com.dropbox.apple.ResourceFork(not synced for directories)
  • :com.dropbox.apple.FinderInfo
  • :com.dropbox.apple.metadata._kMDItemUserTags
  • :com.dropbox.apple.metadata.kMDItemFinderComment
  • :com.dropbox.apple.metadata.kMDItemOMUserTagTime
  • :com.dropbox.apple.metadata.kMDItemOMUserTags
  • :com.dropbox.apple.metadata.kMDItemOMStarRating
  • :com.dropbox.posix.executable
  • com.dropbox.ignored / user.com.dropbox.ignored/ :com.dropbox.ignored
  • com.dropbox.attributes
  • com.dropbox.internal
  • com.apple.ResourceFork (not synced for directories)
  • com.apple.FinderInfo
  • com.apple.metadata:_kMDItemUserTags
  • com.apple.metadata:kMDItemFinderComment
  • com.apple.metadata:kMDItemStarRating
  • com.dropbox.ignored / user.com.dropbox.ignored/ :com.dropbox.ignored
  • user.com.dropbox.attributes
  • user.com.dropbox.internal
  • user.com.apple.ResourceFork(not synced for directories)
  • user.com.apple.FinderInfo
  • user.com.apple.metadata:_kMDItemUserTags
  • user.com.apple.metadata:kMDItemFinderComment
  • user.com.apple.metadata:kMDItemOMUserTagTime
  • user.com.apple.metadata:kMDItemOMUserTags
  • user.com.apple.metadata:kMDItemStarRating
  • user.com.dropbox.foldericon
  • com.dropbox.ignored / user.com.dropbox.ignored/ :com.dropbox.ignored
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Note: These represent filesystem-visible attributes, and do not include attributes which are not considered “extended” attributes.

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