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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
New member | Level 2

I cancelled my dropbox account last month because of this, I've been using btsync which has this exact feature and a much more user friendly selective sync. So far, so good.

Only issue is there is no centralised server but that works for me as I use my NAS as the ultimate source of truth.

Adam P.12
New member | Level 1

I started using pCloud for development. They have a great linux client (and windows and mac) and do pattern matching for ignoring files and folders which seems to work great. It is system wide though but that is OK for my use case.

You just have to remember to sync a local folder on your system, as by default the pCloudDrive folder is just a networked folder, kind of like what Dropbox's project infinity is meant to be and I don't recommend messing with that (remote) folder.

I still use Dropbox, but for other things, as Dropbox is still excellent when it comes to 3rd party integrations and it has them practically everywhere.

edit: Also, pCloud's LAN syncing worked great for me 

edit: Linux to Linux LAN syncing worked well, but Linux to Windows seems problematic. 


@Stefano, that is a great suggestion and it would be pretty funny if the customer feedback forum of Dropbox led to another cloud storage service or even company being created 😛

Elad O.
New member | Level 2

I ditched Dropbox paid account. For development I use Arq, backing up directly to S3/Glacier and it has exclude patterns too.

I use Dropbox only for some documents and such, on the free plan.

Helpful | Level 6

@Elad thanks for the Arq tip off. Arq say they also support dropbox as their cloud store, which sounds like perfect option for me. Has anyone here tried it out with Dropbox?

Jordan T.2
New member | Level 1


I just tried Arq, and the biggest issue I have with it is that it doesn't sync. I use Dropbox for backing up and syncing my data. Arq only does one of those things.

Ettore P.1
New member | Level 2

@Stefano, you could call it DevBox 🙂

I think your proposal is great if a little bit impractical. Realistically speaking you'd need a lot of time and effort. While your suggestions are sound, I'd start small with minimal features if I'd have to do it. But it could become a great project.

@Raphael C, contacting support is the best move. i can't believe they are ignoring this thread, i'm more inclined to think they just don't read this posts.


Elad O.
New member | Level 2


I use Arq more as a versioned backup tool, with a single computer. Retrieval from Glacier is expensive, so this is the downside.


Jordan T.2
New member | Level 1


pCloud looks like it's going to work for me. It has most of the Dropbox features I care about, it's cheaper, plus I can sync more than one folder.

The only issue I see so far is that it doesn't have selective sync, but the way I have my Dropbox organized, I should just be able to treat each top-level folder in my Dropbox as its own pCloud sync folder. This will give me a viable selective-sync-like experience.

Thanks for the tip.

Stefano Valicch1
New member | Level 2

@Ettore P. Great name! Catching!

 I know it would be time consuming, and it's not something a single developer can do in his spare time. I could manage to wrap up something for the server side, and, using Node, for the client time. But it would require at leas some iOS, Swift, .NET and C developer to create native versions of the clients (Node has some memory leaks when watching many folders/files, so I think it can't be the optimal way)

By the way, my heart would be content to have .dropboxignore and nothing else, as it would clean out the major issue I ran into using Dropbox for work.

Actually there were some open source projects for this issue (like this and another one I can't find anymore but aren't working as Dropbox closed a lot of their "local engine api" for security concerns.

It would be great to be able do even a little tool like this.

I'm looking for the @Adam and @Jordan suggestions.

Again: contacting support is not working. If you scroll some pages up this thread you'll read some Dropbox dev response. Those are all the same tone: we are reading this, we are not doing this because you are a little niche of customers but we can't say you it clearly for fear of losing you all now. So hang on another year or two. Bye.

What they maybe are not keeping in mind is that probably our companies were suggested using Dropbox from "nerds" like us that used it before. This is what happened here in my company holding. So now they have a 150+ Business Account active because a nerdy developer took a peak to an obscure startup that simplified his living and talked about it to his boss... and so on.

Simon F.12
Explorer | Level 4



How many +1's does this need before it's considered? I have been looking for a solution to this for months.

Dropbox is a brilliant tool but this is a major drawback for me. Hopefully a competitor will arrive soon with a solution.

I wonder how much wasted space there is on Dropbox servers. Most of my node_modules folders are way over 200MB

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