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I'm getting an error message on my desktop app

I'm getting an error message on my desktop app

Explorer | Level 3

bn.BUILD_KEY: Dropbox
bn.VERSION: 27.4.22
bn.is_frozen: True
machine_id: failed
pid: 12728
cwd: u'C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Dropbox\\Update\\'
     real_path=u'C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Dropbox\\Update\\'
            mode=040777 uid=0 gid=0
     parent mode=040777 uid=0 gid=0
HOME: None
appdata: u'C:\\Users\\ychj\\AppData\\Local\\Dropbox\\instance1'
                mode=040777 uid=0 gid=0
         parent mode=040777 uid=0 gid=0
dropbox_path: u'C:\\Users\\ychj\\Dropbox'
                     not found
              parent mode=040777 uid=0 gid=0
sys_executable: 'C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Dropbox\\Client\\Dropbox.exe'
                real_path='C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Dropbox\\Client\\Dropbox.exe'
                       mode=0100777 uid=0 gid=0
                parent mode=040777 uid=0 gid=0
trace.__file__: 'C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Dropbox\\Client\\Dropbox.exe\\dropbox\\client\\ui\\common\\boot_error.pyo'
                real_path='C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Dropbox\\Client\\Dropbox.exe\\dropbox\\client\\ui\\common\\boot_error.pyo'
                       not found
                parent not found
TMP: C:\Users\ychj\AppData\Local\Temp
TEMP: C:\Users\ychj\AppData\Local\Temp
tempdir: u'c:\\users\\ychj\\appdata\\local\\temp'
                mode=040777 uid=0 gid=0
         parent mode=040777 uid=0 gid=0
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "dropbox\client\main.pyo", line 572, in wrapper
  File "dropbox\client\main.pyo", line 4579, in finish_dropbox_boot
  File "dropbox\client\main.pyo", line 4739, in on_fresh_link
  File "dropbox\client\main.pyo", line 4757, in create_dropbox_folder
  File "dropbox\client\main.pyo", line 878, in safe_makedirs
  File "dropbox\overrides.pyo", line 249, in makedirs
WindowsError: [Error 5] : u'C:\\Users\\ychj\\Dropbox'


16 Replies 16

Patrick W.4
New member | Level 1

i get an error message. please help

Couldn’t start Dropbox
This is usually because of a permissions error. Errors can also be caused by your home folder being stored on a network share.

bn.BUILD_KEY: Dropbox
bn.VERSION: 2.10.52
bn.is_frozen: True
pid: 3108
cwd: u'C:\Users\Steve\AppData\Roaming\Dropbox\bin'
mode=040777 uid=0 gid=0
parent mode=040777 uid=0 gid=0
HOME: None
appdata: u'C:\Users\Steve\AppData\Roaming\Dropbox\instance1'
mode=040777 uid=0 gid=0
parent mode=040777 uid=0 gid=0
dropbox_path: u'C:\Users\Steve\Dropbox'
mode=040777 uid=0 gid=0
parent mode=040777 uid=0 gid=0
sys_executable: 'C:\Users\Steve\AppData\Roaming\Dropbox\bin\Dropbox.exe'
mode=0100777 uid=0 gid=0
parent mode=040777 uid=0 gid=0
trace.file: 'C:\Users\Steve\AppData\Roaming\Dropbox\bin\Dropbox.exe\dropbox\boot_error.pyc'
not found
parent not found
TMP: C:\Users\Steve\AppData\Local\Temp
TEMP: C:\Users\Steve\AppData\Local\Temp
tempdir: u'c:\users\steve\appdata\local\temp'
mode=040777 uid=0 gid=0
parent mode=040777 uid=0 gid=0
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "dropbox\client\main.pyc", line 2443, in main_startup
File "dropbox\client\main.pyc", line 1399, in run
File "dropbox\client\main.pyc", line 1568, in load_config
File "dropbox\client\databases.pyc", line 247, in load_dropbox_config
File "contextlib.pyc", line 24, in exit
File "dropbox\client\databases.pyc", line 158, in new_config_file
WindowsError: [Error 5] Access is denied

Aisling G.
Dropbox Staff

Hi Patrick! I'm sorry for the delay in replying to you. In general the message "Access Denied" means the Dropbox desktop client is unable to access the location to sync your files. Can you double check that you don't have any applications open that may be writing to that location?

If the problem persists, you can also temporarily disable any security or antivirus software that you may have running, as they may be preventing Dropbox from syncing correctly. If the issue goes away while you have the antivirus off this means you most likely need to add Dropbox to your list of trusted programs to allow it to work correctly.

To ensure that the software is working correctly, I’d also like you to do a complete reinstall to try to fix the problem. This will not affect or remove the files in your Dropbox folder.

Please save and quit all programs accessing files in the Dropbox folder, and then follow these instructions:

1) Download the newest version of Dropbox by visiting the Dropbox website:

2) Quit Dropbox:

  • Click the Dropbox icon in the system tray at the bottom of your screen.
  • Click on the gear icon in the Notifications panel, and select “Quit Dropbox.”

3) Uninstall Dropbox:

  • Click on the Start button in the bottom left of your screen, and select Control Panel (Vista, 7, XP), or type Control Panel at the Start screen, and click on it (8).
  • Click "Uninstall a Program" (Vista, 7, 😎 or "Add or Remove Programs" (XP).
  • Select Dropbox from the list of programs and click “Uninstall.”

4) When the uninstall finishes, please reboot your computer to ensure that it is complete.

5) Delete the Dropbox metadata folder:

  • Open a Windows File Explorer (not Internet Explorer).
  • Type %APPDATA% into the address bar (include the % percent signs).
  • Delete the folder "Dropbox" from the results.
  • Delete the folder "DropboxMaster" if you can find it in the results.

Please note that deleting the metadata folder will not delete the files in your Dropbox folder.

6) Start the installer downloaded from step # 1 by double-clicking the installer file, located in the "Downloads" folder.

7) When Dropbox has finished installing, please sign in and apply any Selective Sync settings you may have had prior to the reinstall during the sign in process. Your account will take a few moments to reindex the files and sync any pending changes.

If you have any additional questions, please let me know, and I’ll be happy to assist!

isaac s.3
New member | Level 1


i'm having the same problem and cannot resolve it with the information given. Can you help?


Buck C.
New member | Level 1

Dropbox has been working great on my Win 7 32 bit laptop for at least 6 months.  Recently, I've been getting an error trying to start Dropbox stating 'This is usually because of a permissions error.'  I tried the steps at (unlinking the laptop, manually running icacls) but the same error comes up when I try to start Dropbox.

I searched the web for solutions, but it seems that most people having this issue are Mac users.  The same is true for people in the Dropbox forums.

So I used Control Panel to uninstall Dropbox, then File Explorer to delete every Dropbox directory, then Regedit to delete every trace of Dropbox from the registry.  Downloaded the Offline installer and ran that.  It appears to install correctly, but the last step is starting Dropbox, and it throws the same error.

Here is the log it generates:

[get_extra_trace_info failed]
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "dropbox\client\main.pyo", line 614, in boot_error
  File "dropbox\client\main.pyo", line 3759, in get_dropbox_path
AttributeError: 'NoneType' object has no attribute 'config_dict'

Original traceback:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "dropbox\client\main.pyo", line 4065, in main_startup
  File "dropbox\client\main.pyo", line 1788, in run
  File "dropbox\client\main.pyo", line 863, in startup_low
  File "dropbox\client\multiaccount\instance_database.pyo", line 848, in __init__
  File "dropbox\client\mapreduce.pyo", line 64, in __init__
  File "dropbox\client\mapreduce.pyo", line 110, in new_user_key
  File "dropbox\keystore\keystore_win32.pyo", line 65, in store_versioned_key
  File "dropbox\keystore\keystore_win32.pyo", line 72, in _store_versioned_key
  File "dropbox\keystore\keystore_win32.pyo", line 152, in _encrypt_payload
  File "pynt\helpers\crypt.pyo", line 27, in protect_data
FormattedWindowsError: [Error 5] Access is denied.

So I tried icacls again, and they all run except this: 

icacls "%PROGRAMFILES%\Dropbox" /grant "%USERNAME%":F /T

which throws 'C:\Program Files\Dropbox: Access is denied.'  Which isn't a surprise, given Windows 7's restrictions on Program Files.  I had to add my user to \Dropbox and \Dropbox\CrashReports (Full control) but Dropbox continues to throw the 'permissions' error when it tries to start.  My profile has Full control over \Windows\Temp.  I'm out of ideas.

David J.64
New member | Level 1

I have the same issue, but after creating a copying a new default user folder.

Daniel H.8
New member | Level 1

It appears that I now have the same idea, not sure what is going on. Have either of you managed to figure it out?

Buck C.
New member | Level 1

No idea, and no change, either.

Erin T.4
New member | Level 1

Have the exact same issue on Win 7 x64. Tried reinstall, system restore, and advice for fixing permissions error given by Dropbox. Extremely frustrating.

David J.64
New member | Level 1

Do you know when the problem begin ?

For me, it is when i copy the default user by using ProfileTool. Even if i copy the Default user by hand i still have the problem i think.


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    John Y.17 New member | Level 1
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    isaac s.3 New member | Level 1
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