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Ignore folder (without selective sync)

Ignore folder (without selective sync)

Helpful | Level 6

Please please please can you add a feature that allows folders to be excluded from the Dropbox account (on windows and mac). For sure I'm not the first person to request this, but I'm yet to find a good explanation of why it's not there. A quick google search reveals loads of people also looking for the same feature. I really like the workflow I have with dropbox, but it's getting to the point where I might switch providers in order to allow better selective sync.

I've seen hackish solutions using selective sync, but it would be great if this could be done in one of the following ways:
- global pattern matching eg "node_modules"
- a marker file in the directory like .dropboxignore
- a simple right click context menu "Ignore this folder"

Other than that, keep up the good work. Cheers.

Latest Update
Community Manager

Hi folks, 


Thanks for your feedback on this.
While ignored files delivers for some of the use cases here, I appreciate it does not for all. 
We'll be taking another review of this thread to isolate use cases for a .dropboxignore file feature in particular.

I've updated the status and we'll take this to the product team.
As a side note, it would be helpful for us if you could outline the gap between what ignored files offers, and what a .dropboxignore file feature would add to your workflows.


Thank you.

Status changed to: Investigating
Piotr Dobrogost
New member | Level 2

I'm unsubscribing from this thread as there's really no hope.

Looking for good alternatives to Dropbox.

Will check in a year or two if anything happened.

Guido Walter P.
New member | Level 2

I have been subscribed to this thread for a year, receiving a couple of hundreds of notifications of people interested in the same feature, and no reaction from Dropbox.

Sadly, there is still no decent alternative to Dropbox, so I will stick with it; still, I am quite surprised at Dropbox lack of concern for the dev community in this case.

Quan G.
New member | Level 1

Please add this feature!

Erin D.2
New member | Level 1

@Guido Walter P.

I've been using MEGAsync which has this feature and a fairly generous free plan. Dropbox just gets used for old backups now.

Jasper F.
New member | Level 1

Yeah it seems that DropBox is not following this thread on issues for developers and the need to be able to ignore certain files when working with DropBox. A .dropboxignore like a .gitignore would really be a good thing and will help developers a lot. Not just the ones using Node, but also the ones using Git or SVN or any other version control.

Still, I do think it is good to keep the thread going. Something surely will have to change. Either by DropBox or by another party that comes along and offers what is needed.
Jeff G.7
New member | Level 2

@Jasper - Also .vagrant folders, composer vendor dir, ruby gems, etc.—almost any language has folders with giant dependency trees, and many tools (Docker, Vagrant, etc.) create one or more hidden dirs with either giant files or hundreds of small files.

Every time I set up a new project inside my Dropbox, I have to remember to quickly set up selective sync options—on all my computers—to exclude said folders, otherwise I'll notice that gigabytes of bandwidth or tons of CPU have been consumed later, then I'll have to rebuild the project after fixing up selective sync options.

I'm amazed this isn't higher on Dropbox's internal radar, for the simple fact of dogfooding—surely some of the Dropbox internal devs have run into this issue?

Stefano Valicch1
New member | Level 2

Ok, it seems this thread isn't going anywhere. Dropbox started with an Ideabox (do you remember it?) when it was really interested to their customers' opinion. Now it's not as such anymore.

But... but we are developers, so... why don't we do ourself this service? A "developer oriented" Dropbox with the thing we need (and more).

I can imagine it as such:

  • The server would be Docker (or Chef, Vagrant, etc…) encapsulated so you can push it on AWS, Azure, etc…
  • The storage can be directly attached (a local disk), an ethernet storage or a cloud storage like S3, Google Docs, etc…
  • Possibility to keep timely offsite backups on remote disk, Amazon Glacier or low cost storage options for increased security.
  • The server would have a web interface for configuring and managing the projects.
  • The server can have an “emergency” web editor for coding on the go.
  • You will have a native sync tool on your computer or device (of course).
  • Everything will be encrypted with a key you decide.
  • This tool will read .gitignore files and Git (or SVN) remotes in folders. You can override .gitignore using a .somethingignore file.
  • Can be told to follow symlinks or not (sometimes it’s useful)
  • You will have infinite versions of file, with git pushes visible as milestones between directly from the webinterface/interface (a better reference than “2 days ago” file).
  • You can connect to Github (or your git remote) and push/pull actual synced folders to/from remotes from the web interface (you can push/pull on mobility)
  • Your sync client will give remote ssh access to your computers (if they are on) so you can run your Node (or anything you can run in console) on the go and debug from the web editor.
  • The server will born “API oriented”, so can be consumed by editors (Atom, Sublime, Textmate) that can offer revisions in the interface, and from web services like ITTT.
  • You can download a “patch” file between revisions, so you can apply (and distribute) this instead of the whole file.
  • You can invite remote Github collaborators to your server, or anyone (readonly, write, etc… access) via mail.
  • This would be a “self managed” solution that can be offered as a Cloud solution for a modest fee (for business). Dev folders are normally very light, so it will require less space than other solutions, so cheaper plans.

This could be considered as a “niche Dev Dropbox” you can have along Dropbox if you want (until Dropbox understand that developing the “.dropboxignore” feature would require a day of work and would make a bunch of customers happy) or replace it totally.

We could do it together as an open source project, and, after that, scream "screw Dropbox" for not listening to us.

Raphael C.
New member | Level 2

Are they even seeing this? It's funny they don't reply, either the company is not going so well or they really suck at costumer service. Either way, maybe if we open ticket requests pointing to this, they will be forced to give some feedback.

Maybe Microsoft will see this and start making OneDrive a better tool for developers, they have been good at listening to users (specially devs) requests lately.

Raphael C.
New member | Level 2

Just sent a link to this topic to their support, maybe they'll at least communicate.

Helpful | Level 6

@Rapheal For the record, it seems that onedrive has a very similar group of frustrated users:

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