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Where - in my Windows C Drive - are Dropbox Program Files Located?

Where - in my Windows C Drive - are Dropbox Program Files Located?

Matman
Explorer | Level 4
Go to solution

Hi

BACKGROUND:
I've adopted a policy of keeping 'all' my PC Files & Folders 'only' on a 'Portable' Hard Drive. None are kept on my PC's C: Drive. This is to avoid issues if my Laptop is Ransom-Attacked, Lost, Stolen, Corrupted or Damaged (as my Data is safer if held only on my Portable Hard Drive, and on a USB Drive). However, I also use Dropbox to share some of my Files / Folders, but have a Security Concern about this.

QUESTIONS:
I'm looking for answers to three questions, please.

1. Do you know whether (in order for Dropbox to enable 'upload' to it's Cloud Storage) 'copies' of  files / folders are first moved from where a User normally stores them on their PC, to a Dropbox 'Program' Folder that exists somewhere on my PC? If so, I need to know, where on my Windows PC, Dropbox moves 'copies' of my files / folders to, because I want to check if those 'copies' remain in a Dropbox Folder on my PC, 'after' Upload to Dropbox's Cloud Storage. Can you tell me where, on my C: Drive, to locate the Dropbox's 'Program' Files & Folders so I can look to see if 'copies' of my files / folders remain there 'after' Upload to Dropbox?

2. If a Hacker / Attacker gained access to my PC and delved into my C: Drive, could they locate a Dropbox 'Program' Folder into which Dropbox had earlier placed 'copies' of my Files / Folders, to upload to the Cloud (and, thereby, gain access to the Content of those files)? If that's the case, this would defeat my tactic of only keeping my files / folders on a Portable Drive (i.e. 'copies' would still exist on my PC, even when my Portable Drive was disconnected).

3.  Can Dropbox be configured in such a way that it only uploads files / folders from my 'Portable' Hard Drive, and does not attempt to upload anything from my C: / Other Drives?

Thanks in advanced for any comments / assistance.

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

Jane
Dropbox Staff
Go to solution
Hey @Matman, thanks for posting us your security-related concern on our Forum, let me send you some information & we’ll take it from there. 
 
#1. If so, I need to know, where on my Windows PC, Dropbox moves 'copies' of my files / folders to, because I want to check if those 'copies' remain in a Dropbox Folder on my PC, 'after' Upload to Dropbox's Cloud Storage
 
For starters, please note that Dropbox settings are stored in an encrypted database file and cannot be accessed or changed outside of the Dropbox client.
 
Following, it would be worth mentioning that Dropbox keeps a cache of files for efficiency and emergency purposes. It is also used as a staging area for downloading and uploading files.
 
If you need to delete sensitive files immediately, or you need to clear up some space on your hard drive, you can manually clear the cache.
 
#2. If a Hacker / Attacker gained access to my PC and delved into my C: Drive, could they locate a Dropbox 'Program' Folder into which Dropbox had earlier placed 'copies' of my Files / Folders,
 
In the unfortunate event that an attacker gains access to your device, their visibility will merely depend on the security measures you’ve already implemented on your pc/ Mac up until that point in time, therefore in case you’d like to add an extra layer of security, you could apply some common-sense security habits (i.e. changing your password often &c.).
 
#3. Can Dropbox be configured in such a way that it only uploads files / folders from my 'Portable' Hard Drive, and does not attempt to upload anything from my C: / Other Drives?
 
Have you moved the Dropbox folder to your removable drive by any chance? While you can move the Dropbox folder, we recommend proceeding with caution. Whereas it is currently an option, if the external drive is disconnected from the computer while Dropbox is running, there's a small—but real—chance that the app will start deleting files before realizing that the entire drive has been removed.
 
Hopefully my reply addresses your concerns & please do let me know on this discussion in case you’d like me to clarify any of the above. Thanks again for reaching out to us & I'm wishing you a wonderful weekend ahead!

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support

 

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View solution in original post

5 Replies 5

Jane
Dropbox Staff
Go to solution
Hey @Matman, thanks for posting us your security-related concern on our Forum, let me send you some information & we’ll take it from there. 
 
#1. If so, I need to know, where on my Windows PC, Dropbox moves 'copies' of my files / folders to, because I want to check if those 'copies' remain in a Dropbox Folder on my PC, 'after' Upload to Dropbox's Cloud Storage
 
For starters, please note that Dropbox settings are stored in an encrypted database file and cannot be accessed or changed outside of the Dropbox client.
 
Following, it would be worth mentioning that Dropbox keeps a cache of files for efficiency and emergency purposes. It is also used as a staging area for downloading and uploading files.
 
If you need to delete sensitive files immediately, or you need to clear up some space on your hard drive, you can manually clear the cache.
 
#2. If a Hacker / Attacker gained access to my PC and delved into my C: Drive, could they locate a Dropbox 'Program' Folder into which Dropbox had earlier placed 'copies' of my Files / Folders,
 
In the unfortunate event that an attacker gains access to your device, their visibility will merely depend on the security measures you’ve already implemented on your pc/ Mac up until that point in time, therefore in case you’d like to add an extra layer of security, you could apply some common-sense security habits (i.e. changing your password often &c.).
 
#3. Can Dropbox be configured in such a way that it only uploads files / folders from my 'Portable' Hard Drive, and does not attempt to upload anything from my C: / Other Drives?
 
Have you moved the Dropbox folder to your removable drive by any chance? While you can move the Dropbox folder, we recommend proceeding with caution. Whereas it is currently an option, if the external drive is disconnected from the computer while Dropbox is running, there's a small—but real—chance that the app will start deleting files before realizing that the entire drive has been removed.
 
Hopefully my reply addresses your concerns & please do let me know on this discussion in case you’d like me to clarify any of the above. Thanks again for reaching out to us & I'm wishing you a wonderful weekend ahead!

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support

 

Heart Did this post help you? If so please give it a Like below. 
:white_check_mark: Did this post fix your issue/answer your question? If so please press the 'Accept as Best Answer' button to help others find it.
:arrows_counterclockwise: Still stuck? Ask me a question! (
Questions asked in the community will likely receive an answer within 4 hours!)

Rich
Super User II
Go to solution

1) The Dropbox program is stored in the Program Files (x86) folder on your computer. Its configuration data is stored in your user profile. That being said, it doesn't really matter as Dropbox does not store copies of your files, even temporarily, in with the files that run the program. All of your data is stored only in your Dropbox data folder. Even cached files, stored while syncing, are located in your data folder. By default, this folder is located in your user profile (C:\Users\[your username\Dropbox) though this can be changed by the user to another location.

2) Since Dropbox doesn't save files in the program folder, this is irrelevant.

3) You can move the Dropbox folder to a different location, but external drives are not supported. It can be done but it's highly not recommended as it can, under the right circumstances, cause data loss. You have to be absolutely certain that the drive is not disconnected while Dropbox is running, and that Dropbox is not started before the the drive is connected and available.

Matman
Explorer | Level 4
Go to solution

Thank you. Much appreciated. Have a great weekend.

Matman
Explorer | Level 4
Go to solution

Thank you. Appreciate your time in explaining. Do you happen to know if the Dropbox Data Folder on my C:Drive that  you reference, retains ‘copies’ of files uploaded to Dropbox Cloud ‘after’ the Upload to Dropbox has occurred? I’m just wondering whether, in addition to the ‘primary’ location where I store my files (Portable Hard Drive) the Dropbox Data Folder on C: represents a ‘second’ location where my files reside after upload them to Dropbox - and if it’s possible to remove files from that ‘second’ location after they’ve been uploaded to Dropbox, without impact on the uploaded Dropbox copies?

Jane
Dropbox Staff
Go to solution
Hey @Matman, thanks for circling back to us here & happy Monday! 
 
To add a bit more detail to my reply above, your cache folder is automatically cleared every three days, though if you need to delete sensitive files immediately (or you need to clear up some space on your hard drive) you can manually clear the cache following these steps (as this depends on the OS you're using)
 
I hope that this brings a bit more clarity to your inquiry & please do let me know here if you have any additional questions. Cheers! 

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support

 

Heart Did this post help you? If so please give it a Like below. 
:white_check_mark: Did this post fix your issue/answer your question? If so please press the 'Accept as Best Answer' button to help others find it.
:arrows_counterclockwise: Still stuck? Ask me a question! (
Questions asked in the community will likely receive an answer within 4 hours!)

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