cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Announcements
Learn all about how Alex on the Community team used Dropbox in college here!

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.

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

Format computer hard drive without having to re-sync my whole Dropbox

Format computer hard drive without having to re-sync my whole Dropbox

alexanderr20
New member | Level 2

I would like to format my machine but do not want to delete file on my drop box

I would also like to be able to back my files up locally so that I do not have to dowload them all again once i have formatted the computer

2 Accepted Solutions

Accepted Solutions

Re: Formatting computer

Elixir
Super User

Hi @alexanderr20, In order to do that follow these steps: 

 

  1. Make sure that Dropbox has completed any sync process, and all files are up to date. 
  2. Then copy the contents of your Dropbox folder to your portable drive (such as a USB drive or external hard drive). 
  3. Format your computer/reinstall operating system.
  4. Install the latest version of the Dropbox desktop application and sign in to your account when prompted. 
  5. The application will create a Dropbox folder and begin downloading files from your account. Stop the download immediately by clicking the Dropbox icon in your system tray (Windows) or menu bar (Mac), and selecting Pause Syncing from the menu.
  6. Copy the files from your portable drive into the Dropbox folder.
  7. Resume syncing by clicking the Dropbox icon in the system tray or menu bar, and selecting Resume Syncing from the menu. 

That should work for you. 

View solution in original post

Re: Formatting computer

Lusil
Dropboxer
Hi @alexanderr20, thanks for posting your question on the Forum, & welcome aboard! :sailboat:
 
I just wanted to add to what @Elixir suggests above & clarify that when you Resume Syncing, your files will reindex, which also means that it should be faster in relation to them being downloaded from the start. 
 
Please do keep us updated on the matter & let us know if you have any more questions you’d like to forward. In the mean time, have a wonderful day ahead! :upside_down:

Lusil
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


Heart Did this post help you? If so, please give it a Like below.
:arrows_counterclockwise: Still stuck? Ask me a question!
:pushpin: Tips & Tricks Find new ways to stay in flow or share your tips on how you work smarter with Dropbox.

View solution in original post

4 Replies 4

Re: Formatting computer

Elixir
Super User

Hi @alexanderr20, In order to do that follow these steps: 

 

  1. Make sure that Dropbox has completed any sync process, and all files are up to date. 
  2. Then copy the contents of your Dropbox folder to your portable drive (such as a USB drive or external hard drive). 
  3. Format your computer/reinstall operating system.
  4. Install the latest version of the Dropbox desktop application and sign in to your account when prompted. 
  5. The application will create a Dropbox folder and begin downloading files from your account. Stop the download immediately by clicking the Dropbox icon in your system tray (Windows) or menu bar (Mac), and selecting Pause Syncing from the menu.
  6. Copy the files from your portable drive into the Dropbox folder.
  7. Resume syncing by clicking the Dropbox icon in the system tray or menu bar, and selecting Resume Syncing from the menu. 

That should work for you. 

View solution in original post

Re: Formatting computer

Lusil
Dropboxer
Hi @alexanderr20, thanks for posting your question on the Forum, & welcome aboard! :sailboat:
 
I just wanted to add to what @Elixir suggests above & clarify that when you Resume Syncing, your files will reindex, which also means that it should be faster in relation to them being downloaded from the start. 
 
Please do keep us updated on the matter & let us know if you have any more questions you’d like to forward. In the mean time, have a wonderful day ahead! :upside_down:

Lusil
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


Heart Did this post help you? If so, please give it a Like below.
:arrows_counterclockwise: Still stuck? Ask me a question!
:pushpin: Tips & Tricks Find new ways to stay in flow or share your tips on how you work smarter with Dropbox.

View solution in original post

Re: Formatting computer

starproductions
New member | Level 2

Would this work if I reformatted only my system drive (dropbox is synced to another drive) Reinstall Dropbox (latest) and point the sync directory to the old one?

I did this before on another PC and it never stops "indexing" the icon remains on sync with thousands of files but never really changes so I can't see if any new downloading files are actually being downloaded or not.

We are talking terrabytes of data. Wanting to know if I have to redownload all or will indexing work with latest version?

Thanks

Re: Formatting computer

Lusil
Dropboxer

Hey @starproductions, thanks for nudging us on this thread. 

If you format your internal/main drive on your computer and you have the Dropbox folder located in another drive, it shouldn't be affected. 

However, to be on the safe side and to have some peace of mind, I'd recommend making sure that the desktop app isn't running before formatting. 

Once you complete the format, reinstall the desktop app. Before completing it, apply your selective sync settings and point the location to the parent folder of your Dropbox folder. 

If anything comes up, give us a shout here or submit a ticket to our Support team - we're more than happy to help!


Lusil
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


Heart Did this post help you? If so, please give it a Like below.
:arrows_counterclockwise: Still stuck? Ask me a question!
:pushpin: Tips & Tricks Find new ways to stay in flow or share your tips on how you work smarter with Dropbox.

Who's talking

Top contributors to this post

What do Dropbox user levels mean?
Need more support?