Dropbox installs & integrations
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I have the same issue with Google Drive's "backup & sync" and OneNote Finder Integration.
It's not clear to me that these are the process causing me issues. The issue I'm trying to solve is my Mac gets really laggy when trying to change volume/brightness. The increase/decrease animations for both lag far behind the button clicks.
Same here... and it's consistent. Even when I deactivate / pause DropBox. My thoughts, and it may be farfetched, but could the issue possibly be that Dropbox, as well as similar online storage apps, continually peruses our computers? I also, continually receive random messages, asking if I want to save a file to Dropbox... And they are files that Dropbox should have no access to.
Dropbox Finder Extension spawning multiple processes in Activity Monitor is a normal and expected behavior of Finder Sync Extensions in macOS.
Nothing to do with Dropbox, really. All Finder Sync Extensions (Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, Creative Cloud, etc.) will all run multiple copies of the process as directed by Finder and macOS. The app itself can't stop that behavior.
Finder Sync extensions may have a much longer lifespan than most other extensions. Because of this long lifespan, you must take particular care to avoid any possible performance issues. Ideally, Finder Sync extensions should spend most of their time running but idle. Limit the number of resources the extension consumes. Most important, be sure to avoid leaking any resources. Over time, even a small trickle can grow into a serious problem.
The system may also launch additional copies of your extension whenever an Open or Save dialog is displayed. This means that the user may have multiple copies of your extension running at once, and some may be very short lived. Therefore, it’s generally best if the extension focuses on handling the badges, contextual menus, and toolbar buttons. Place in a separate service (a Login Item or Launch Agent) any code that performs the sync, updates state, or communicates with remote data sources. This approach ensures that there is only one syncing service running at a time.
Each Dropbox Finder Extension process should be using minimal resources, and if they are not, that is a performance concern.
But multiple Finder Sync Extension processes, using minimal resources, are normal and something that you will see in every single Finder Sync Extension on your Mac.
The Dropbox Finder Extension process can be disabled entirely by unchecking the extension in System Preferences > Extensions > Finder Extensions.
This will stop the duplicate/multiple Dropbox Finder Extension processes, but of course will also disable the Finder icon sync badges, etc.
DFE eating too many resources may be a problem; not sure what they are doing or if they have some kind of performance issue. That should be explored independently of the "multiple processes" behavior.
Just to reiterate, multiple processes in and of itself isn't a problem. Dropbox can do nothing to prevent those from spawning. That's how macOS extensions are designed to work for security and other reasons.
I posted a long response to this post months ago, basically destroying this argument that it's expected behaviour. (I am an AppKit developer myself, so I speak with some authority). It seems that moderators deleted my post! That speaks volumes.
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