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Change Dropbox folder location on Mac

Change Dropbox folder location on Mac

Tim G.27
New member | Level 1

Hi
I have a Dropbox account with 1TB of space but the problem is I can't use it all as keep getting error message on my Mac saying not enough space? I am only using 1GB at the moment, the problem is my local harddrive is not big enough so I can't use the desktop folder listed under my computer and I originally got a dropbox account so that when I plug a camera into my Mac it would automatically backup all the photos using the desktop app.

How can I fix this problem, can I change the location of the local folder and have this on an external drive?

Many Thanks
Tim

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

Re: Change Dropbox folder location on Mac

Rich
Super User II

JohnnyR wrote:

And even more annoying is that I can't manually copy the dropbox folder in Finder (which is a 1000 times faster) and just point Dropbox to that location. Why is that not allowed?


Because if you move/remove the existing folder while Dropbox is running, Dropbox could see it as a mass deletion which would then be synced to your account online, deleting all of your files. But, with a few extra steps on your part, that's actually very possible to do.

 

Uninstall Dropbox. Once uninstalled, rename the existing Dropbox folder to Dropbox_OLD or similar. Reinstall Dropbox and use the options during installation to select the location for your Dropbox folder. As soon as Dropbox is done being installed, it will start to download the files from your account. Pause syncing or exit Dropbox. Move the content of your Dropbox_OLD folder into the newly created Dropbox folder. Resume syncing or relaunch Dropbox and allow it to index your files. This will take time, especially if you have a lot of files. Be patient and let it work.

View solution in original post

21 Replies 21

Re: Change Dropbox folder location on Mac

Stefanie
Dropboxer

Hi Tim,

Dropbox can be used with an external hard drive as long as you can ensure the drive is always connected to your computer while Dropbox is running. If the drive is ever disconnected from the computer while Dropbox is running there is a small chance that the Dropbox software will start deleting files before realizing that the entire drive has been removed. Also, for Dropbox to work best you should make sure that the drive is formatted as HFS (Mac OS X).

To move your Dropbox folder to an external drive use the following steps:

  • Click the Dropbox icon in your menu bar and then click on the gear in the Notifications panel
  • Select "Preferences" from the resulting Dropbox menu
  • Under the “Account” tab, select a new location for the Dropbox folder by clicking on the drop down next to “Dropbox location:”
  • Let Dropbox move your folder and its contents to its new location

NOTE: The location you select is the folder the Dropbox folder will be moved to, rather than the folder your Dropbox files will be stored in.

A good alternative to moving Dropbox to an external drive is to take a look at our Selective Sync feature. Selective Sync is a feature that allows you to choose which folders to sync to a particular computer. It's a great option if you'd like to free up disk space without moving Dropbox to an external drive.

Please follow these steps to enable Selective Sync:

1) Right-click the Dropbox icon in the menu bar on the top of your screen
2) Click the gear icon
3) Select "Preferences"
4) Go to the "Account" tab
5) Select "Change Settings..."

By default, all folders in Dropbox automatically sync to any computer that's linked to your Dropbox account. If you'd like to prevent a folder from syncing to your computer, un-check the box next to the folder's name. Any folders you deselect will stop syncing to your hard drive, but will still be available through the website and on any other computer linked to your Dropbox account.

If you decide that you need the deselected folders back on your computer, go into your Selective Sync settings and check the box next to the folder's name. Dropbox will then sync the updated folder to your computer again.

To learn more about Selective Sync, please read this Help Center article:

https://www.dropbox.com/help/175

I hope this helps.

Re: Change Dropbox folder location on Mac

Tere P.1
New member | Level 1

Hi!

I have a Dropbox account. I would like to keep synchronized a Dropbox folder on my Mac, but also on my external hard drive at the same time; is it possible?

I have seen a previous comment on how to move the Dropbox folder to an external hard drive, but I do not want this. I do not want to move the folder, I want to have it on my Mac and on my external hard drive at the same time.

Thanks!

Tere

Re: Change Dropbox folder location on Mac

Mark
Super User II

is it possible?

No it isnt. Sorry.


 


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Re: Change Dropbox folder location on Mac

George V.3
New member | Level 1

I moved the dropbox to an external, but now when I go to the web browser or my iPhone to look at my files they are all missing but are still on my external. WTH help anyone

Re: Change Dropbox folder location on Mac

Gary B.20
New member | Level 1

I have purchased my MacBook from my employer. I plan to change the name of the MacBook. How will this impact my use of Dropbox? Will I need to change the name of the device in the security area of Dropbox? Reinstall Dropbox on my computer. I am not sure how to proceed.

Any help would be appreciated.

Re: Change Dropbox folder location on Mac

Ralf H.3
New member | Level 1

Hi I run my Mac with two extra RAID1 disks. I want to put the folders on the RAID1 disks into the Dropbox folder, so I have a backup locally through the RAID1 and remotely through Dropbox. Following the first example (Sofia replying to TIM), this should work correct?

Thx. Ralf

Re: Change Dropbox folder location on Mac

Roxy T.
New member | Level 1

Hi Sofia,

I did exactly what you describe, and it started moving the dropbox, however i got an "unexpected error occurred" and then it stops moving. Please help?

 

Roxy

 

Re: Change Dropbox folder location on Mac

JohnnyR
Helpful | Level 5

I have the exact same problem. I need to move my personal dropbox account on an external drive to my startup drive, but every time I try to change the location it copies 80-100 files out of 4000 and then stops with an error message "An uninspected error occured". Really annoying! And even more annoying is that I can't manually copy the dropbox folder in Finder (which is a 1000 times faster) and just point Dropbox to that location. Why is that not allowed?

Re: Change Dropbox folder location on Mac

Rich
Super User II

JohnnyR wrote:

And even more annoying is that I can't manually copy the dropbox folder in Finder (which is a 1000 times faster) and just point Dropbox to that location. Why is that not allowed?


Because if you move/remove the existing folder while Dropbox is running, Dropbox could see it as a mass deletion which would then be synced to your account online, deleting all of your files. But, with a few extra steps on your part, that's actually very possible to do.

 

Uninstall Dropbox. Once uninstalled, rename the existing Dropbox folder to Dropbox_OLD or similar. Reinstall Dropbox and use the options during installation to select the location for your Dropbox folder. As soon as Dropbox is done being installed, it will start to download the files from your account. Pause syncing or exit Dropbox. Move the content of your Dropbox_OLD folder into the newly created Dropbox folder. Resume syncing or relaunch Dropbox and allow it to index your files. This will take time, especially if you have a lot of files. Be patient and let it work.

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    Roxy T. New member | Level 1
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    Ralf H.3 New member | Level 1
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    Gary B.20 New member | Level 1
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