On a new M1 iMac running macOS Big Sur 11.5.2, the home folder has what look like aliases (symlinks?) in place of the Desktop and Downloads folders. These link to corresponding folders inside the Dropbox folder (inside the My Mac folder). This seems to be the way the Computer Backup feature is supposed to work. We want to turn off this feature. I know we're supposed to be able to turn it off using the steps in this article:
However, the option to "Manage backup" isn't available in Dropbox preferences. Instead, we see "Set up" – indicating that the feature is not turned on (from the perspective of the Dropbox app).
I believe I should be able to simply replace the aliases in the home folder for Desktop and Downloads with the actual Desktop and Downloads folders from inside Dropbox, but the aliases in the home folder are locked.
What is the correct way to turn off this feature when Dropbox doesn't have the "Manage backup" button available?
Well, that's partially correct – the feature isn't enabled from the perspective of Dropbox. But the feature is configured in the Finder. In the home folder, the Desktop and Downloads folders are not there. Instead, there are aliases or symlinks pointing to the corresponding folders in Dropbox as mentioned.
This appears to be a bug in Dropbox – the state of Dropbox preferences is out of sync with the reality of the configuration. I don't know how it got into that state. So how can I fix it? I can't drag the Desktop and Downloads folders back into the home folder as the existing aliases are conflicting.