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Desktop app is stuck 'Starting' when it loads up and doesn't sync

Desktop app is stuck 'Starting' when it loads up and doesn't sync

Bert M.
New member | Level 1

I am a paying customer and very frustrated with Dropbox. I am ready to drop DropBox and look for other alternatives.

Since Friday of last week it has been trying to sync 100Gb in files and it is taking an eternity. Now is stuck in "Starting."
I have rebooted the Mac (10.6.8). I am using Dropbox 3.0.3. I have tried going to Preferences, holding the option key and "Fixing Permission." I also read in the Internet about deleting the hidden cache folder but I have not done it yet since I don't know what to expect.

Any assistance is appreciated.

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

Re: Stuck on "starting"

Jay
Dropboxer
Reading through this thread, everyone seems to be experiencing similar and yet slightly different issues, so I’ll go through the general troubleshooting steps to fix all of them. 
 
Feel free to stop whenever your app begins to sync normally, not all steps are needed.
 
Install the stable version:

The first thing we need is to be sure you’re running the stable version of the Dropbox desktop application, and not the beta.
 
To do so uncheck the box next to "Early releases" here. Then, do an advanced reinstall to ensure that all beta functions are removed fully. 
 
Instead of the download link on that page, I recommend using the offline installers for this purpose:

 

Confirm there are no symlinks

 
Secondly, if your app is fine, but it’s still starting, then it could be stuck in a loop trying to parse your symlinks. 
 
What are these? Long story short for those not in the know, these are files or folder that refer to another file or folder in your Dropbox account, or even outside the Dropbox folder.
 
This can include, but is not limited to, iPhoto/Photos library on Mac, system folders such as Documents/Pictures/Music/Downloads, databases, programming code, and many more.
 
Removing these symlinks is vital since they can cause these issues, high CPU usage, and permissions problems.
 
Follow step 7 on this article in order to detect the symlinks in your computer and remove any from your Dropbox folder. Generally, moving the specific files or folders to another location should remove the links.
 
Check your internet connection

Hilariously, this is more common than you think. You have a stable WiFi/ethernet connection to the web, other sites work, and yet the app isn’t connecting.
 
If multiple users are having this problem on the same network, there is a possibility that a proxy, VPN, firewall, security software, or even ISP/router issues that could be restricting traffic to the Dropbox domains
 
We can’t really narrow things down for you, since you need to check this out yourself as there are so many programs out there.
 
We’ve had cases more often than not about built in security software on routers for home internet users, meant to protect users and children, but in doing so preventing the Dropbox desktop application from loading.
 
Using a remote login

Getting a black or white screen on the Dropbox app when you’re trying to sign in is a different issue.
 
This usually occurs when using a remote login or even a virtual machine to another device. The graphics for remote logins are usually reduced in quality, and since the Dropbox desktop application connects to the Dropbox site to sign you in, it won’t render the login page in the app while on a remote login.
 
Best thing to do would be to access the machine directly to login from there.
 
 
---
 
Overall, there are many reasons for this cause, however hopefully this post should help in resolving most of the issues!
 
 

 

 

[This thread is now closed. If you have a similar or new question, you can ask here.]


Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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View solution in original post

96 Replies 96

Re: Stuck on "starting"

Laureline
Community Manager

Hey Bert, I'm really sorry you're experiencing issues with Dropbox.

Could you try to relink your software? It might help if your app is stuck.

Instructions here: https://help.dropbox.com/mobile/unlink-relink-computer-mobile

If it doesn't work, a complete reinstall might do the trick: https://help.dropbox.com/desktop-web/uninstall-dropbox

(You have advanced instructions at the bottom)

Re: Stuck on "starting"

Sean M.8
New member | Level 1

I have the same problem. This is ridiculous. I have only 30Gb.

Re: Stuck on "starting"

Laureline
Community Manager

Hi Sean!

This issue can have maaany cause: security software on your computer, proxy configuration, firewall, problem when the program was installed, too many files (more than 300k as a soft limit or more than 1 million), operational disk error...

If you have less than 50 000 files, you might try to relink your Dropbox app (cf my previous message).
It might solve your problem.

If it doesn't work, then it might be something more complex, that might require to check your account.
You can contact Dropbox support here:
https://www.dropbox.com/support

Have a great day 🙂

Re: Stuck on "starting"

claire s.10
New member | Level 1

I have the same problem almost daily. Yes it could be one of the issues mentioned but there is no way of knowing and the customer (paying customer) is left with a mess.

Re: Stuck on "starting"

Laureline
Community Manager

Hi everyone!

You can of course contact support here:
https://www.dropbox.com/support

Support will have access to information about your account that can help troubleshoot your issues 🙂

Re: Stuck on "starting"

Kris B.7
New member | Level 1

My screen is also stuck on "starting" and I have tried re linking over and over again.

Anyways I agree with Bert

"I am a paying customer and very frustrated with Dropbox. I am ready to drop DropBox and look for other alternatives. "

Re: Stuck on "starting"

Laureline
Community Manager

Hi guys!

These issues are complex and require access to your personal information to be able to troubleshoot.

I would really recommend you to write in to our support team, who would be more than happy to help you!

Thanks

Re: Stuck on "starting"

Nicolas F.11
New member | Level 1

Did any thing progresses about this issue. I just moved to dropbox pro, and I am not anymore able to use dropbox because it is stuck on "starting..."

I have done everything suggested... 1/unlink, 2/re-install dropbox

Any help?!?

Re: Stuck on "starting"

Scott Ashley K.
New member | Level 1

Been stuck on either "Starting..." or "Downloading file list..." for days now. Sure am glad I'm paying a hundred bucks a year for this.

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