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Completely disable "Dropbox on Startup"

Completely disable "Dropbox on Startup"

Ben T.22
Helpful | Level 5

When starting up my computer and logging in to the user account, I do NOT want Dropbox to be starting, at all.  The files Dropbox needs are not even accessible unless I as the user take a particular step to unlock them.  If I want to, I can unlock the files and THEN manually start Dropbox.  I understand that no syncing will happen until after Dropbox is manually started.

I have taken the following steps: 
In Dropbox Preferences, General:

-"Start Dropbox on system startup" is UNCHECKED.

-"Show Dropbox as a save location in Microsoft Office" is UNCHECKED.

-Dropbox Badge: Never Show

-Open folders in: File Explorer

Under Import, "Share screenshots using Dropbox" is UNCHECKED and the AutoPlay settings all have "Open folder to view files (File Explorer)" instead of Dropbox import.

In msconfig's "services" tab, I have unchecked the three Dropbox services.

In Task Scheduler, the "DropboxUpdateTaskMachineCore" task has had the log on trigger removed, the user changed to the local account and "Run only when the user is logged on" instead of "Run whether user is logged on or not" selected.

There are no tasks, Dropbox or otherwise, in the Startup tab of Task Manager or under Start Menu/Programs/Startup (for All Users nor for the specific user).

Yet every time on login, I get a popup "Dropbox Error: Couldn't start Dropbox. This is usually because of a permissions error. Storing your home folder on a network share can also cause an error."  

Yes, it is clearly a permissions error, but intentionally.  I DON'T WANT DROPBOX TO BE STARTING UP AT ALL unless I manually start it.  How can I disable Dropbox from even trying to start on login? 

This is on a new install of Windows 10.

Thanks!

13 Replies 13

Re: Completely disable "Dropbox on Startup"

Ben T.22
Helpful | Level 5

I should also add that Dropbox is not in Startup (Start Menu or Task Manager); nothing is.

Re: Completely disable "Dropbox on Startup"

Jane
Dropboxer
Hey @Ben T.22, thanks for the detailed message! 
 
In general, un-checking the box to launch the Dropbox app automatically through Preferences should do. 
 
I hope that’s answer you’ve been seeking; please let me know if you have any follow-up questions.
 
Happy holidays! 

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support

 

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Re: Completely disable "Dropbox on Startup"

Ben T.22
Helpful | Level 5

Hi @Jane,

As noted in the initial post, unchecking the box to start on system startup does NOT stop Dropbox from presenting this "Couldn't start Dropbox" error.  Clearly, Dropbox is doing other things to try to start itself up.  I even see it flash briefly in Background Processes when I have Task Manager up, before the error.  I found some sources where Dropbox appeared to be trying to do something on login, and disabled those also as noted above, but apparently am still missing something.

I agree that this one checkbox SHOULD be enough, and am significantly concerned about Dropbox's security and ethics that it is not, but I would like to find out how to actually and completely disable Dropbox on startup.

Thanks!

 

Re: Completely disable "Dropbox on Startup"

Jane
Dropboxer
I understand @Ben T.22; let's have a closer look! 
 
  • In order to make sure we’re on the same page, could you include a screenshot (omitting personal info) in your next post for me showing me the error message please? 
  • Also, can you re-create the behavior & walk me through the steps resulting to the error message? 
Once I have this info, I'll address your initial inquiry a bit closer. Thanks again! 

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support

 

Heart Did this post help you? If so please give it a Like below. 
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Re: Completely disable "Dropbox on Startup"

Ben T.22
Helpful | Level 5

Hi Jane,

The steps resulting in the error message are quite simple:

1. Press the power button to turn the computer on.

2. Wait for Windows 10 to boot up.

3. Enter user password to log in. 

4. Wait several seconds, not doing anything. 

5. This error appears, when Dropbox should NOT be trying to start up:

Dropbox error pops up on login.png

Here are some views from Dropbox Settings:

Dropbox preferences general.png

Dropbox preferences import.png

These are the AutoPlay settings:

Autoplay settings.png

And in msconfig, I see this:

Msconfig services-Dropbox disabled.png

How do I disable Dropbox from trying to start up?

Re: Completely disable "Dropbox on Startup"

Jane
Dropboxer
Thanks for the in-depth message back @Ben T.22!
 
Given that you’re unchecked the option to launch the desktop app prior to the reboot, it’s indeed odd that the app is trying to launch. Off the top of my head, your description makes me think that you’ve linked more than one Dropbox accounts for each User login
 
It would be very helpful if you could copy & paste the text you’re seeing on the blue hyperlink on the Permissions error box in your next post.  
 
Thanks again for your ongoing cooperation! 

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support

 

Heart Did this post help you? If so please give it a Like below. 
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Questions asked in the community will likely receive an answer within 4 hours!)

Re: Completely disable "Dropbox on Startup"

Ben T.22
Helpful | Level 5

Dear @Jane,

Thank you for your reply.

There has only ever been one Dropbox account connected with that installation on that computer.  There have never been any other installations of Dropbox on that computer and there are no other Dropbox users sharing the machine, nor has Dropbox been installed from any other user accounts on the same machine. 

The log contains private data, so I do not wish to post it here.  It explains what files Dropbox is trying to access when getting a permissions error, and could be helpful in diagnosing the permissions error, but I don't need help on that.  I know why it's getting the permissions error, and that lack of permissions is intentional.  What I don't know is why Dropbox is trying to start up at all.  Inspecting the file, I find no stack trace or other information indicating what is starting Dropbox or why it is trying to start up.

Even with the "Start Dropbox on system startup" setting UNCHECKED, Dropbox still had three services starting.  Even with those services disabled, Dropbox still had tasks in Task Manager triggered by user login and at specific times.  Even disabling the trigger in Task Manager, Dropbox apparently has some third way of automatically overriding user preferences to be starting something, even if what it starts is not meant to be visible to the user.  These overrides are not accidental.  They show what a charade the idea of user control is. 

This behavior is in direct contradiction to the user setting and the application's communication to the user about how it will behave.  In my view, this is as serious as Dropbox violating its published privacy policy and should be treated similarly by the regulatory authorities.  This is also a red flag for cybersecurity and machine control.  Until ALL the automatic user-preference overrides are fixed, I will recommend that security-conscious users avoid using Dropbox.

Finally, if the user login session for this Dropbox Forum website has timed out, attempting to click Reply after investing time in a carefully worded polite response causes that entire time and effort to be discarded without warning, returning to a login page with a temporary error message "Please sign in or register to access this page." That is rather frustrating.  I recommend changing that so that the Reply button is disabled until after login, so less time and effort will be wasted and users might be less frustrated in responding. 

Thanks!

Re: Completely disable "Dropbox on Startup"

Jane
Dropboxer
Thanks for the speedy message back & your detailed explanation @Ben T.22!
 
I’d like to submit this report to a team specialist in form of a question if possible, as it would be more efficient if we continued through our support system from this point on. Would it be okay with you? If you confirm, I’ll create a ticket on our system & continue this discussion from where we left off here. 
 
I’ve also made a note of the feedback you included on the Community diagnostic messages.  
 
Keep me posted on how you'd wish to proceed in your next message. Thanks again! 

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support

 

Heart Did this post help you? If so please give it a Like below. 
:white_check_mark: Did this post fix your issue/answer your question? If so please press the 'Accept as Best Answer' button to help others find it.
:arrows_counterclockwise: Still stuck? Ask me a question! (
Questions asked in the community will likely receive an answer within 4 hours!)

Re: Completely disable "Dropbox on Startup"

Ben T.22
Helpful | Level 5

I don't know what support system you use, but a ticket there might be a good path forward.  I do think there are some changes needed to the Dropbox software here.

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