How to fix Dropbox not syncing and other issues

This article covers basic fixes for Dropbox sync issues and startup problems. Try the steps below if:

  • Your files or folders won’t update.
  • Some files don’t appear on a device.
  • Your files take a long time to update or appear to be stuck.
  • You see errors like “Dropbox is damaged” or “access denied”.

Learn more about how Dropbox syncs your files.

Note: If your device has an unreliable internet connection or a file is very large, it may take longer for Dropbox to sync. You can wait a few minutes for Dropbox to catch up. If that doesn’t work, try the steps below. 

Sections in this article:

Locate Dropbox

  • On the web
    • On your phone or computer, visit
  • On your computer:
    • You can find Dropbox in the Dropbox folder in File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac).
    • You can click the Dropbox icon in your taskbar (Windows) or menu bar (Mac).
  • On your phone or tablet:

Check your internet connection

  • Check that your device is connected to the internet. 
    • You can perform a speed test to learn more about your connection.
  • If your device uses data, connect to Wi-Fi instead.

Reopen or refresh Dropbox

  • If you’re on the Dropbox website, refresh or reload
  • If you’re using the Dropbox desktop or mobile app, quit and relaunch the app.

Update Dropbox

Depending on your device settings, your device may not update Dropbox automatically.

Uninstall and reinstall the Dropbox desktop app

Make sure Dropbox supports your device

Check our system requirements article to make sure your device and operating system are supported by Dropbox. If it’s not, you can update your device or use a different one.

On Mac: give Dropbox full disk access

If you’re on MacOS 12 or earlier, follow these steps to set your permissions to allow Dropbox.

Note: Make sure you’re signed in to before you begin.

  1. On your computer, click the Apple menu (Apple icon) in the top left corner of your screen.
  2. Click System Preferences
  3. Click Security & Privacy or Privacy & Security, depending on your operating system.  
  4. Click the Privacy tab. 
  5. In the bottom left corner, click the lock icon next to Click the lock to make changes
  6. Enter your Mac username and password. 
  7. In the menu on the left, scroll down and click Full Disk Access
  8. Check the box next to Dropbox
  9. Click Later.
  10. In the menu on the left, click Accessibility
  11. Check the box next to Dropbox
  12. Click the lock icon again. 
  13. Quit and relaunch the Dropbox desktop app.

If you're on a MacOS 13 or later, follow these steps to set your permissions to allow Dropbox.

Note: Make sure you’re signed in to before you begin.

  1. On your computer, click the Apple menu (Apple icon) in the top left corner of your screen.
  2. Click System Settings
  3. Click Privacy & Security.
  4. In the Privacy menu, scroll down and click Full Disk Access
  5. Toggle on the Dropbox box.
  6. Enter your Mac username and password.
  7. Click Later.
  8. In the menu on the left, click Accessibility
  9. Check the box next to Dropbox
  10. Click the lock icon. 
  11. Quit and relaunch the Dropbox desktop app.

Check the date and time on your device

If your device has the incorrect date and time, Dropbox may have trouble syncing your files.

Check your accounts

You can sign in to multiple accounts on the same device, so if you’re missing a file that should have synced, make sure you’re on the right account.

Learn how to sign into or out of Dropbox.

Check your sync status

If your files and folders are different across your devices, you can check your sync status. You can also make sure selective sync hasn’t removed folders from your device.

Keep the Dropbox desktop app open

  • If you added a file to the Dropbox folder on your computer, you must keep the Dropbox app running to sync it on or the mobile app. 
  • Once your files are synced across your devices, you can close the Dropbox desktop app on your computer.

Close your other applications

If you have one of your Dropbox files open in another application, like Microsoft Word, your file might not sync properly. Close all non-Dropbox applications, then close and re-open the file on Dropbox.

Check your file names

Certain special characters, like “*” (asterisk) or “/” (forward slash), aren’t compatible with all devices. Remove any special characters in your filenames.

Learn more about naming your files and folders

Make sure you’ve saved your file to Dropbox

Search your computer for the file with the search bar in your taskbar (Windows) or Spotlight in your menu bar (Mac). If it’s not in Dropbox or a connected app, it won't sync with Dropbox. 

Learn how to manually add files to Dropbox.

Check whether a folder is added to your account

If you edit a file that’s in a shared folder, but the folder is not in your account, the changes you make to the file won’t appear in the folder.

Learn more about how to add a shared folder to your account.

Make sure others haven’t changed or moved your file

Sign in to and check to make sure no one moved, deleted, or renamed your file or folder.

Learn how to recover missing files

Check the number and size of the files stored in your Dropbox account

The number of files you can store in your Dropbox account is limited by your available storage space. If you run out of space in your account, consider upgrading your plan or delete files or folders.

Files uploaded through the desktop app or mobile apps must be 2 TB or smaller and files uploaded to must be 50 GB or smaller.

All files uploaded to your Dropbox account must be smaller than the amount of storage space you have. For example, if your account has a storage quota of 2 GB, you can upload one 2 GB file or many files that add up to 2 GB. If you’re over your storage quota, Dropbox will stop syncing.

Note: Files uploaded through the API must be 350 GB or smaller.

Get more help

If you’ve tried all the steps above and your files still won’t sync, visit our advanced sync troubleshooting page or contact us.

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