Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
We want to hear from you. What do you use Dropbox for?

Dropbox installs & integrations

Connect your tools and content together with help from the Dropbox Community. Join a discussion or post a question of your own to get started.

Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Copy existing Dropbox folder to new location without resyncing?

Helpful | Level 5

So, the Catalina installer completely bricked my iMac. Took me many hours to get back in and I was able to copy things off my hard drive. I also copied all 600+GB of my Dropbox folder. I will need to do a wipe/clean install to get my machine back up and running. When I get to that point, I'd like to be able to copy my Dropbox folder back over to the machine and not have to go through a re-sync.

I had to do this once before many years ago and Dropbox started putting duplicates of all my files in the Dropbox folder. Really want to avoid that mess, if possible. Are there step-by-step instructions for how to transplant an existing Dropbox folder to a new machine/install without triggering a re-sync and having to re-download all 600GB worth of files again?

1 Reply 1

Re: Copy existing Dropbox folder to new location without resyncing?

Hey @Rick A.5, thanks for the in-depth explanation; I’d happily further advise! 
For starters, I’d like to link Rich’s post here that should help you get going with the re-connect. 
When it comes to the duplicates, it would be worth noting that change made to files in your Dropbox folder while it was offline—on or other connected devices—will result in conflicted copies
Hopefully the info & workarounds included there are useful; I’m always here if you’d like me to explain any of the above in a bit more depth. Thanks!


Community Moderator @ Dropbox


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

Do you know how to organize your files and folders?
<b>We have created a guide on folder best practice, so you can get organized now <a href=""><u>check it out here</u></a>.</b>

Work Smarter with Dropbox

The way we work is changing. Share and discover new ways to work smarter with Dropbox in our community.

Sound good? Let's get started.
Who's talking

Top contributors to this post

What do Dropbox user levels mean?
Need more support?