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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
Helpful | Level 6

@Emma Thanks. About "gap": please read comments before, this gap is already highlighted. Just pass information to dev team. Every developer knows what we talk about. I can write all the requirements we have, but the thing is they are already written in this thread. Please pass idea to dev team lead for discussion and you'll get direct answer what we want.

Lars P.3
Helpful | Level 5

Thanks for backtracking and listening to the users.

1. The current solution is complicated.

2. It is not cross-platform.

3. It's not persistent. Is the folder recreated you have to set up the ignore again.

4. If another, not supported computer creates the folder it is synchronized which leads to unpredictable results.

Explorer | Level 4

I would add to that, that current solution needs folder to exist. But in the case of some folders being created automatically (like `node_modules`) I want to exclude those no matter where they are in my Dropbox tree or if they exist at the moment. I imagine having `.dropboxignore` file like:




as a good solution building atop of .gitignore already working like this 🙂

Explorer | Level 4



Oh my goodness.... You have 100's of comments spanning almost 8 years and you are unclear of the requirements? But, anyway, let me take a stab at it.


As reference, please consult other current implementations for example as implemented in Git:


The requirement that we are asking for, in a nutshell, is to provide us the ability to create an ignore file which include all files/folders/patterns for the dropbox client running on a device to to ignore (not sync). This is much more portable and familiar that the other method that was originally presented as the solution.


From this, I am sure the gap should be fairly obvious. For developers, devops engineers, Infrastructure engineers, SRE's and anyone else in a SDLC, it should be - and I am going to assume it is. If the team at dropbox cannot discern the differences/gap then you have far bigger problems to deal with. Let me know, and I am happy to then give you a detailed analysis and spec - but for a reasonable fee, as I will have to spend some time on such a project.

Helpful | Level 7

Agreed @ptomkiel, we have at least 4x threads just like this, that has been open for years, most advocating for a .dropboxignore option.

Since from a developer point of view this would be relatively easy, and hence the outcry at @Emma sighting the ephemeral command line option of ignoring files are the way to go, and the solution to all our problems. Which it is not.

Currently it makes Dropbox useless for most any developer, and many have resorted to other options. Some of us have given up hope, but are still stalking in the hope of someone from Dropbox championing our cause.  

Explorer | Level 4

And it's not that I want to save a lot of Dropbox space - this is negligible - but Dropbox app indexing new `node_modules` folder eats up 100% CPU for minutes-hours so not User-friendly at the moment.

Helpful | Level 6

MegaSync has this straightforward and simple option in the settings that works perfectly. Not sure why it seems so complicated for Dropbox to implement



CleanShot 2022-10-12 at 15.39.14@2x.png

Lars P.3
Helpful | Level 5 has this exact feature. A .syncignore file that works like a .gitignore. So have a look at how they implemented it and copy it.

New member | Level 2

Dropbox should learn git and provide ignore configuration files, including global ignore and specific directory ignore. I am using Free File Sync software. This software will create temporary files while scanning directories that need to be synchronized. At the same time, many other programs frequently create or delete very small temporary files. I tried the ignore command provided by Dropbox, something like "Set-Content -Path 'C:\Users\xxx\Dropbox\xxx' -Stream com.dropbox.ignored -Value 1". But it seems that the above command only works for long-lived files. Although the file names of temporary files do not change, they are always deleted and recreated frequently. Even if the command can be modified to also work on temporary files, the command is still inconvenient. Creating a plain text ignore file is obviously more user-friendly than operating complex commands.
So I suggest that Dropbox add ignore file support as soon as possible.

Explorer | Level 3

This suggestion has been around for 8 years, is that right?! Do we have it yet?!

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1,323 votes received Status: Investigating