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Re: Completely disable "Dropbox on Startup"

Completely disable "Dropbox on Startup"

Ben T.22
Helpful | Level 5

When starting up my computer and logging in to the user account, I do NOT want Dropbox to be starting, at all.  The files Dropbox needs are not even accessible unless I as the user take a particular step to unlock them.  If I want to, I can unlock the files and THEN manually start Dropbox.  I understand that no syncing will happen until after Dropbox is manually started.

I have taken the following steps: 
In Dropbox Preferences, General:

-"Start Dropbox on system startup" is UNCHECKED.

-"Show Dropbox as a save location in Microsoft Office" is UNCHECKED.

-Dropbox Badge: Never Show

-Open folders in: File Explorer

Under Import, "Share screenshots using Dropbox" is UNCHECKED and the AutoPlay settings all have "Open folder to view files (File Explorer)" instead of Dropbox import.

In msconfig's "services" tab, I have unchecked the three Dropbox services.

In Task Scheduler, the "DropboxUpdateTaskMachineCore" task has had the log on trigger removed, the user changed to the local account and "Run only when the user is logged on" instead of "Run whether user is logged on or not" selected.

There are no tasks, Dropbox or otherwise, in the Startup tab of Task Manager or under Start Menu/Programs/Startup (for All Users nor for the specific user).

Yet every time on login, I get a popup "Dropbox Error: Couldn't start Dropbox. This is usually because of a permissions error. Storing your home folder on a network share can also cause an error."  

Yes, it is clearly a permissions error, but intentionally.  I DON'T WANT DROPBOX TO BE STARTING UP AT ALL unless I manually start it.  How can I disable Dropbox from even trying to start on login? 

This is on a new install of Windows 10.


13 Replies 13

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Thanks for confirming @Ben T.22!
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I'll be awaiting your next email!


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Ben T.22
Helpful | Level 5

In my first post, I wrote,

There are no tasks, Dropbox or otherwise, in the Startup tab of Task Manager

but I did not include a screenshot for that. Here it is:
Task Manager startup tab empty.PNG

Ben T.22
Helpful | Level 5

In the nonpublic ticket, I learned that Dropbox has separate logins for the app, this Community (which is described as "social media"), and the support ticket system.  This makes the process more confusing than necessary.

I sent the log file, but it was of no use; the support ticket agent could not figure out why Dropbox continued to start up and could only suggest that I go back to Microsoft.

This was a new installation of Windows on a brand new machine. Microsoft has already responded by making clear they have no responsibility for how third party apps behave. There is a legitimate use case for apps being able to embed themselves in various places in the startup process, and it is up to each app to provide effective user controls that actually make the desired changes in the app. If the app does not respect the user's choices, that's not Microsoft's fault; it's the app maker's. This really should be an FTC issue for violations of what Dropbox is telling the user!

Helpful | Level 5

Hey ben

I launched a boot trace to find the cause of the problem and I noticed that the corresponding option in the preferences of the application does not disable the startup at all. It has the only role of requesting a "quiet close" of the Dropbox processes during the startup phase. It also explain why you still see Dropbox in msconfig even after unchecking the box...

That said, Dropbox create a key for its own startup, hidden in Windows registry, the only option to fully disable Dropbox at startup is to remove it from there.

Lets find it in one of the following paths:



You should find the line:

Dropbox "C:\Program Files (x86)\Dropbox\Client\Dropbox.exe" /systemstartup

Backup it if necessary and just delete it. Done, no more Dropbox at startup!

Note: You may have to repeat the operation regularly as Dropbox updates could recreate startup reg key anytime 😋

Need more support?