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How Do I Permanently Disable the External Drive Backup Feature as Default Behavior?

How Do I Permanently Disable the External Drive Backup Feature as Default Behavior?

George A.
Helpful | Level 5

Dropbox just tried to UPLOAD over 400GB of data I had on an external USB drive I attached to my laptop through its External Drives Backups "Feature".

 

This is NOT good. This should NOT be default behavior. HOW do I stop this default behavior once and for all? For the past hour I've looked into different Settings:

 

  • There doesn't appear to be an option for this in the Dropbox app settings. The only option I see on the Backups tab pertaining to this External Drives Backups "Feature" is to "Show setup notifications when new external drives drives are plugged in" which doesn't sound like disabling the "Feature" PERMANENTLY.

01d0e20e-aecf-4c8b-b3f4-02d7d1817439.png

  • "External Drives Backups" doesn't appear to be a folder under the "Sync" tab when configuring "Selective Sync" which I utilize on my various laptop and desktop PC's.
  • On the "Automations" tab on my Dropbox.Com Settings there is nothing pertaining to "External Drives Backups" either.

 

It is ridiculous to think that any software would want to, BY DEFAULT, automatically transfer the entire contents of an external hard drive to the cloud. Thank goodness I didn't attach my 14TB external hard drive to my laptop!

3 Replies 3

George A.
Helpful | Level 5

UPDATE: I deleted this "External Drives Backup" folder from my Dropbox.Com file explorer...that appeared to add a ".dbxignore" file to the root of my external hard drive.

 

Hopefully that did the trick. I am going to copy this file to all my external hard drives...most prominently my aforementioned 14TB drive.

 

In the contents of this file was a URL link: https://help.dropbox.com/installs-integrations/sync-uploads/external-drive

 

...and this text:

 

# Hey there! This file was made by your friends at Dropbox to prevent syncing unneccessary files your computer generates.

 

Rich
Super User II

@George A. wrote:

The only option I see on the Backups tab pertaining to this External Drives Backups "Feature" is to "Show setup notifications when new external drives drives are plugged in" which doesn't sound like disabling the "Feature" PERMANENTLY.


That is exactly how you disable it. By disabling the setup notification, it will never ask you to back up a drive when you connect it.

 


It is ridiculous to think that any software would want to, BY DEFAULT, automatically transfer the entire contents of an external hard drive to the cloud.

It doesn't, by default, back up your external drives when you connect them. It asks first if you want to do it. That's what the setup notification is that you mentioned. If your drive was being backed up, then at some point you answered yes when it prompted you. It can't just do it automatically.

George A.
Helpful | Level 5

@Rich wrote:

It doesn't, by default, back up your external drives when you connect them. It asks first if you want to do it. That's what the setup notification is that you mentioned. If your drive was being backed up, then at some point you answered yes when it prompted you. It can't just do it automatically.

Hi Rich,

 

I have seen this prompt you mentioned and I don't recall ever answering yes on this particular laptop with this particular external drive. Granted, this could have happened by accident: I.E. the prompt appearing in front of me typing in another window and disappearing with an affirmative given the right keystrokes.

 

None-the-less, I don't think the solution is as simple as unchecking the "Show setup notifications when new external drives drives are plugged in" option under the Backups tab of my Dropbox app preferences.  I've searched the Dropbox Forums on this subject and although the individual circumstances of each post differ from mine (and from one another) the question of how to permanently stop this behavior remains the same:

 


Unchecking the "Show setup notifications when new external drives drives are plugged in" option under the Backups tab of my Dropbox app preferences may take care of the prompt but if you already are in the affirmative of this feature you do need to delete the "External Drive.dbx-external-drive" object under the Dropbox folder to prevent this from happening again.

 

That said, the odd thing I discovered about deleting this object is it matters how/where you delete it: if you delete this object from the Dropbox.Com web interface it still leaves the object on computers that already have it under their local Dropbox folder. (Just confirmed this from my laptop that experienced the unwelcomed sync.) I imagine this could still leave your PC in the affirmative of this feature. After deleting this "External Drive.dbx-external-drive" object from the Dropbox.Com web interface I also had to delete it from my laptop's local Dropbox folder.

 

Regards,

George A.

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    George A. Helpful | Level 5
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    Rich Super User II
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