Sync icons on Dropbox for macOS

This article is a glossary of the sync icons for Dropbox for macOS and their meanings. There are two locations where sync icons appear: within the Dropbox folder on your computer and in the menu bar. Sync icons will differ based on their location.

Mac users will need to be on macOS 12.5 or higher to use the latest version of Dropbox for macOS. However, using macOS 13+ is strongly encouraged.

If you’re looking for an icon that isn’t listed here, check this article on file and folder icons, symbols, and colors.

 

Green icon with check mark

Available offline

A solid green circle with a white checkmark means your file or folder is synced and available offline. You will see this icon after right-clicking a file or folder and selecting Make available offline.

“Synced” means that any changes you made to this file or folder are reflected everywhere you access your files in Dropbox. “Available offline” means that your file or folder is available when you’re not connected to internet.

For folders, this icon means all files in the folder are available offline.

While this file or folder is stored on your device, it can be made online-only by right-clicking and selecting Make online-only.

Note: Files and folders that are available offline won’t automatically change to online-only regardless of available hard drive space.

Online-only content icon

Online-only

A cloud icon with a down arrow means your file or folder is synced and online-only until it is opened. “Synced” means that any changes you made to this file or folder are reflected everywhere you access your files in Dropbox. “Online-only” means that you’ll need to be connected to the internet to initially open this file or folder. Once opened, this file or folder will become available in the desktop app to be opened at any time.

For folders, this icon means there is at least one online-only file in the folder. There can also be files that are “available” and/or “available offline” in the folder.

Folders with both an “Online-only” and “Available offline” icon will contain at least one online-only file, but any newly added files will become available offline by default.

An online-only file or folder can be made available by clicking on the “Online-only” icon.

Blue icon with rotating arrows

Sync in progress

A circular progress indicator means that your file or folder is in the process of updating. This icon will appear when files or folders are changed or are switched between online-only and available offline. It will also appear when a download is initiated. 

The length of time this icon appears will depend on the amount of data that is being synced.

Red icon with an x

Sync error

A cloud with an exclamation point inside means that your file or folder can’t update or sync. If you just attempted to add this file or folder to your Dropbox account, it may mean that it can’t be added. 

Learn about the different types of sync errors and how to solve them.

Gray icon with a minus sign

Ignored file

A cloud with a diagonal line through it means that your file is ignored. That means it’s stored in the Dropbox folder on your Mac, but not on dropbox.com or on the Dropbox server. 

Learn more about ignored files.

Available

A file or folder with no icon means that it has been opened either by double-clicking or through a third-party application and synced. “Synced” means that any changes you made to this file or folder are reflected everywhere you access your files in Dropbox. While this file or folder is stored on your device, it can be made online-only by right clicking and selecting Make online-only

For folders, no icon means there is at least one available file in the folder, but no online-only files. There can also be files that are available offline in the folder.

Note: If your computer is low on hard drive space, these files can automatically change to online-only to free up space.

Note: Hovering over an icon will give you a description of its current state.

Learn more about the sync icons you’ll see in your menu bar.

The sync icons in the menu bar

Below are the different Dropbox icons that will appear in your menu bar.

The icon color may vary.

 

 

 

 

Fully synced

A solid black Dropbox icon with no other icon means the Dropbox files and folders on your computer are fully up to date. Any changes you made are reflected everywhere you use Dropbox. 

 

 

 

 

Sync in progress

A solid black circle with two white arrows going in a circle means that the Dropbox files and folders on your computer are in the process of updating. Any changes you made are updating everywhere you access your files in Dropbox. 

 

 

 

 

Syncing paused

A solid black circle with a white pause icon means that you paused syncing. Learn how to pause and resume file syncing in the Dropbox desktop app. Any changes you make to your Dropbox files and folders won’t update everywhere you access your files in Dropbox until you resume syncing.

 

 

 

 

Not connected to internet

A gray Dropbox icon means that the Dropbox desktop app isn’t connected to the internet. This means that changes you make to the Dropbox files and folders on your computer won’t update everywhere you access your files in Dropbox until you’re connected to internet again. Learn why Dropbox might not be connecting and how to solve it.

 

 

 

 

Unread notifications

A red circle with a white number on it has nothing to do with syncing. It means that you have unread Dropbox notifications. Learn about how to manage Dropbox notifications.

 

 

 

 

Camera uploads in progress

A camera icon means that you have connected a camera or mobile device with a camera to your computer and your camera roll is being uploaded to Dropbox. Learn more about the camera uploads feature.

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