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Dropbox folder on external drive

Dropbox folder on external drive

Manasterski
Explorer | Level 4

Hi, my disk on my computer is 500 gb, so I have an external ssd which is 2 tb. I would like to sync it with dropbox. Is it possible?

17 Replies 17

Rich
Super User II

@Manasterski wrote:

Hi, my disk on my computer is 500 gb, so I have an external ssd which is 2 tb. I would like to sync it with dropbox. Is it possible?


While you can store your Dropbox folder on an external drive, it's highly NOT recommended. Under the right conditions, data loss can occur. Should the drive fail to connect before Dropbox loads, or become disconnected while Dropbox is running, Dropbox could see that as a mass deletion and start to delete your files from the cloud.

Manasterski
Explorer | Level 4

Thanks for your answer, but this is very bad news for me. Well, I will be looking for some other services than.

Chris Heath
Explorer | Level 3

Just bought a new Mac Studio and a new OWC ministack STX for external storage (SSD and Hard disk). I installed Dropbox on the external SSD because I want all dropbox files stored locally, but not on the Mac Studio’s small internal drive. The external HDD will be used for Time Machine. The problem is, the Dropbox app can forget where the Dropbox folder is located. Relinking is a real pain and incredibly unintuitive and time consuming if it is done correctly.

 

Surely the Dropbox app should know there is an external drive, and just wait a few seconds for it to come back online if it momentarily disconnected, rather than spit the dummy and want to download a second copy of my Dropbox folder onto my smaller internal drive, or wanting to back up the entire Dropbox folder that is stored on the external SSD into the Dropbox cloud, and duplicating everything in the cloud and doubling the size of my Dropbox folder.

 


I like to use the Dropbox cloud as a backup of my local files, with all files available locally; just like it did on my 2012 iMac that had 3 terabytes of storage. Sadly new Macs don’t come with much storage, hence the need for putting Dropbox on an external drive.

 

Does anybody have a solution? Maybe I need to look into iCloud again after many years, or another cloud service? I’ve looked around the forum and it looks like Dropbox isn’t catering for the new Macs and the need to rely on external storage.

Hannah
Dropbox Staff

Hey @Chris Heath, thanks for taking the time to post here.

 

I understand where you're coming from, however, there's no solution really to what you're describing.

 

While still possible, if you're on the older version of the Dropbox app, keeping the Dropbox folder on an external drive is not recommended.

 

You can check this article for more info.

 

I will, however, pass your feedback along to our team, so thanks for letting us know your thoughts.


Hannah
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Chris Heath
Explorer | Level 3

Thank you.

It’s a shame there is no solution for people who are upgrading their Macs and moving their work to external thunderbolt SSDs.

 

I’d be happy to have Dropbox on the internal drive and download files I’m working on as and when I need them, as long as I can also backup the entire Dropbox folder automatically onto an external local hard drive. The important thing for me is to have a up-to-date copy of everything locally and a backup in the cloud. I can’t risk having all my data only in one basket behind a paywall.

 

It’s looking like I need to find another option because Dropbox doesn’t support my use case on new hardware.

Chris Heath
Explorer | Level 3

I think I have a solution...

 

With all my files on dropbox currently sitting on my external SSD, I'll move most of them out of the dropbox folder onto the same SSD. Then I'll unlink the dropbox folder, delete it from the SSD, and set up the updated and smaller dropbox folder onto the internal drive.

 

Then I'll set the SSD to be backed up to dropbox.

 

So for business continuity / disaster recovery purposes, there is a copy of everything backed up to the dropbox cloud. I can work off the external 2 TB SSD. When I'm out of town and need to work using my 2010 MacBook Pro laptop (which needs to be replaced), I can move the relevant files into the Dropbox folder.

 

This may actually be a better solution overall, and I can still back up everything to the 8 TB HDD using Time Machine.

Cinosa
Explorer | Level 3

Hi Dropboxers,

We've been using Dropbox for about 6 months with a team of 6 sharing a folder of our work. We'd like to back this up to an external hard drive and have it keep up to date by syncing. Can I set up a Mac with a large external drive and just let it sync to that? Most of us are using online only for lot of our work, but we'd like to have a downloaded version available. On the Community I see some references that a Dropbox folder on an external drive isn't recommended. Will this work?

 

Thanks!

Hannah
Dropbox Staff

Hey @Cinosa, thanks for joining us on the Dropbox Community.

 

Indeed, moving the Dropbox folder to an external drive is not recommended.

 

When it comes to Mac computers specifically, it might not even be possible.

 

Have you updated your Dropbox app to the new Dropbox for macOS version that moves the Dropbox folder to ~/Library/CloudStorage?


Hannah
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Cinosa
Explorer | Level 3

Thanks Hannah,

We haven't set up a Mac to do this yet, but it would be the most recent update of Dropbox that we would be using. There's no reason this would have to be from a Mac though – if we were to set up a PC instead would this allow us to have a Dropbox folder on an external drive?

 

Thanks for your help.

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