The Dropbox system extension

This information is specific to users on Windows and macOS 10.15 and below.

Sections in this article:

The Dropbox system extension is automatically installed when you install the Dropbox desktop app. It allows you to open online-only files from File Explorer (Windows), Finder (Mac), or third party applications.


Install the Dropbox system extension manually

The Dropbox system extension is installed automatically when you install the Dropbox desktop app, but it can sometimes be blocked by some system permissions. If this occurs, follow the instructions below to manually install the Dropbox system extension.

Note: If on a computer using an earlier operating system than macOS 11, you can update your system preferences to allow the blocked system extension.

Uninstall the Dropbox system extension

To uninstall the system extension:

  1. Sign in to
  2. Click your avatar (profile picture or initials) in the upper-right corner.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Click the General tab.
  5. Toggle Dropbox system extension to off.

Admins: Uninstall the system extension from your team’s computers

As a team admin, you can uninstall the Dropbox system extension from your team’s computers. To do this, go to the Dropbox system extension page in the admin console, check the boxes, and click Uninstall.

After the system extension is uninstalled, team members will still be able to use the Dropbox folder in File Explorer/Finder. However, all their online-only files will become available offline and the extension will be disabled for both their team account and any linked personal account they may have.

Note: When online-only files become available offline, they'll be downloaded directly to a team member’s computer.

Is the Dropbox system extension secure?

The Dropbox system extension is secure and only used for online-only file management. It’s similar to other drivers and system extensions you may need to install for hardware or software, like printers, hard drives, or desktop applications.

Learn more about how Dropbox keeps your files safe and secure.

How helpful was this article?

We’re sorry to hear that.
Let us know how we can improve:

Thanks for your feedback!
Let us know how this article helped:

Thanks for your feedback!