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I'm unable to start the desktop app as I get a permissions related error on my Mac. Any ideas?

I'm unable to start the desktop app as I get a permissions related error on my Mac. Any ideas?

TPX
Explorer | Level 4

A few days ago, Dropbox on my MacBook Pro (macOS 10.15.4) stopped working. It won't load after rebooting and I get an error message "Couldn't start Dropbox." and mentions its usually a permissions error. I've checked these boards and tried uninstalling/reinstalling Dropbox (the only change there was it required me to cut out 2 of the 5 devices I had syncing--new limit is 3 apparently). After the reinstall it still doesn't work on the MacBook, I get same error message. I also tried some of other solutions involving terminal commands, but those didn't help either. Dropbox contines to work fine on the 2 iOS devices still connected to my account. I'll stick the error log below and would appreciate any additional advice on resolving this problem. Thanks

 

bn.BUILD_KEY: Dropbox
bn.VERSION: 94.4.384
bn.constants.WINDOWS_SHELL_EXT_VERSION: 37
bn.is_frozen: True
machine_id: 4d3c0a9c-252d-55f3-ae69-fb064b5fd157
pid: 493
ppid: 1
uid: 501
user_info: pwd.struct_passwd(pw_name='zouk', pw_passwd='********', pw_uid=501, pw_gid=20, pw_gecos='Tom Pitmon', pw_dir='/Users/zouk', pw_shell='/bin/bash')
effective_user_info: pwd.struct_passwd(pw_name='zouk', pw_passwd='********', pw_uid=501, pw_gid=20, pw_gecos='Tom Pitmon', pw_dir='/Users/zouk', pw_shell='/bin/bash')
euid: 501
gid: 20
egid: 20
group_info: grp.struct_group(gr_name='staff', gr_passwd='*', gr_gid=20, gr_mem=['root', '_serialnumberd'])
effective_group_info: grp.struct_group(gr_name='staff', gr_passwd='*', gr_gid=20, gr_mem=['root', '_serialnumberd'])
DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH: None
cwd: '/'
     real_path='/'
            mode=0o40755 uid=0 gid=80
     parent mode=0o40755 uid=0 gid=80
HOME: '/Users/zouk'
appdata: '/Users/zouk/.dropbox/instance1'
         real_path='/Users/zouk/.dropbox/instance1'
                mode=0o40700 uid=501 gid=20
         parent mode=0o40755 uid=501 gid=20
dropbox_path: '/Users/zouk/Dropbox'
              real_path='/Users/zouk/Dropbox'
                    mode=0o40700 uid=501 gid=20
              parent mode=0o40755 uid=501 gid=20
sys_executable: '/Applications/Dropbox.app/Contents/MacOS/Dropbox'
                real_path='/Applications/Dropbox.app/Contents/MacOS/Dropbox'
                      mode=0o100755 uid=501 gid=20
                parent mode=0o40755 uid=501 gid=20
trace.__file__: '/Applications/Dropbox.app/Contents/Resources/python-packages.zip/dropbox/client/ui/common/boot_error.pyc'
                real_path='/Applications/Dropbox.app/Contents/Resources/python-packages.zip/dropbox/client/ui/common/boot_error.pyc'
                      not found
                parent not found
tempdir: '/var/folders/t1/pqpfh89s3sl5cww6b5phsbjc0000gn/T'
         real_path='/private/var/folders/t1/pqpfh89s3sl5cww6b5phsbjc0000gn/T'
                mode=0o40700 uid=501 gid=20
         parent mode=0o40755 uid=501 gid=20
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "dropbox/client/main.pyc", line 830, in wrapper
  File "dropbox/client/main.pyc", line 6958, in finish_dropbox_boot
  File "dropbox/client/main.pyc", line 6425, in _init_components_for_account
  File "dropbox/client/main.pyc", line 6376, in create_sync_engine
  File "dropbox/sync_engine_boundary/factory.pyc", line 348, in make_sync_engine
  File "dropbox/sync_engine/nucleus/classic_client/sync_engine.pyc", line 378, in __init__
  File "dropbox/sync_engine/nucleus/classic_client/thin_adapter/in_proc.pyc", line 251, in __init__
  File "dropbox/sync_engine/nucleus/classic_client/thin_adapter/in_proc.pyc", line 601, in _init_new_engine_locked
  File "dropbox/sync_engine/nucleus/thin_client/client.pyc", line 144, in __init__
  File "extensions/nucleus/nucleus_python.pyx", line 84, in nucleus_python.NucleusSyncEngine.__cinit__
nucleus_python.SyncEngineError: Initializing engine |>> Initializing filesystem |>> Attempting to create .dropbox.cache |>> mkdirat |>> mkdirat syscall |>> Permission denied
10 Replies 10

Re: I'm unable to start the desktop app as I get a permissions related error on my Mac. Any ideas?

Walter
Dropboxer

Hi @TPX; welcome to our Community!

 

To resolve the issue could you try the following steps?

 

  1. Click on the apple icon in the top left hand corner of your screen
  2. Select "System Preferences..."
  3. Then "Security & Privacy"
  4. Select the Privacy tab
  5. Select "Files and Folders"
  6. Under Dropbox ensure all folders are checked

To make changes you will need to click on the lock icon and enter your macOS password. 

 

Now attempt to restart the Dropbox desktop app.

 

Let me know how you get on!


Walter
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: I'm unable to start the desktop app as I get a permissions related error on my Mac. Any ideas?

nchonacky
Explorer | Level 4

I am having the same issues as TPX except that my machine is iMac running OSX 10.13.11. I tried the the remedial steps you recommended above, but when I got to the privacy tab there was no "files and folders" choice in the left hand window. Is this part of the problem, perhaps associated with OSX 10.13.11 (as compared with OSX 10.15.4)?

Re: I'm unable to start the desktop app as I get a permissions related error on my Mac. Any ideas?

TPX
Explorer | Level 4

Walter,

I had already checked this and under files and folders for Dropbox there is only "Desktop Folder" and this has been checked for some time. So, unfortunately this isn't a solution for my issue, Dropbox still doesn't work for me.

Re: I'm unable to start the desktop app as I get a permissions related error on my Mac. Any ideas?

Walter
Dropboxer

Hi @TPX & @nchonacky; happy Monday!


In order to resolve the issue at hand, could you please turn on the Dropbox accessibility on your mac, according to the instructions in this page?

From there, could you please try a clean, advanced re-install?

 

Note that if you're on the free, Basic plan, you're limited to 3 devices so this will only work if this is going to be within your account's limit

 

Let me know how you get on!


Walter
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.

Re: I'm unable to start the desktop app as I get a permissions related error on my Mac. Any ideas?

nchonacky
Explorer | Level 4

Hello Walter Dropboxer -

     I have succeeded in finally installing the latest version of the DropBox application on my iMac. I want to thank you for your help.

     What I am not sure of is how, but I am convinced that, my difficulty was associated with two precursor operations. These were:

  1. I had just remedied an error in the iMac's main disk directory using a disk tool - TechTool - process that directed me to clone that main disk partion to an external disk, and then restore that partition by replacing it with a cleaned copy of the clone written back to overwrite the original corrupted version.
  2. The cleaned re-install, one booted, presented me with a need to reinstall my DropBox client. In doing so, I elected to change my account login to a different username and password because I had been renaming most all my client-server applications to make all their usernames consistent.

     I am providing these details (above) to indicate that mine is a highly usual situation, hence my remedy will not be generally useful to others. However what may be useful to you for formulating your help to others in the future are the following:

  1. I followed your suggestions through the step of doing download a new version of the DropBox installer in preparation fo a clean, advanced reinstall.
  2. At some point I was asked to log into my DropBox account. I used my newly modified DropBox username and password, which was not successful.
  3. I tried to replace the password by using the "forgot your password?" facility and could not get a validation email from DropBox in response.

It was then that I realized that the problem might be the change in my username, and tried my old one - voila! The downloaded DropBox client opened successfully and my local DropBox was regenerated from the DropBox server.

    So my thanks to you for your procedure that eventually led me to discover how to recover a operational client and get back my access to your server-based version of the correct contemporary version of my account contents. I anticipate that the synchronization will now take place, and will check it once I get a chance.

Cheers and thank you again - Norman

 

    

Re: I'm unable to start the desktop app as I get a permissions related error on my Mac. Any ideas?

TPX
Explorer | Level 4

Walter, 

Thanks for offering your suggestions, but I've decided I'll probably move on from Dropbbox. I've used Dropbox for years, started when it was a unique solution. Not so unique anymore but I've stayed with it since it worked for my needs. But that's changed and unfortunately the three device limit and other concerns make it time for a change. YMMV.

Cheers, Tom

Re: I'm unable to start the desktop app as I get a permissions related error on my Mac. Any ideas?

nchonacky
Explorer | Level 4

Walter,

     Thanks ... I can appreciate your decision. As is usual, and especially so in the light-speed world of IT, nothing stays the same. In this sense that I am glad you are foraging a way to find an alternative that will satisfy your needs within the cost/benefit threshold of changing to new while conserving or "transporting" your existing content and experience from the old to the new IT environment. Given my current needs and responsibilities, I have not yet reached this threshold.

     I am hoping that candid conversations like ours can contribute to what "old" technoligies use to consider possibly changing their own service desgin and business models. Simply put ... thanks!

Cheers - Norman

Re: I'm unable to start the desktop app as I get a permissions related error on my Mac. Any ideas?

nchonacky
Explorer | Level 4

Sorry Walter and TPX,

     I've mixed you up in addressing the message I sent minutes ago:


@nchonacky wrote:

Walter,

     Thanks ... I can appreciate your decision. As is usual, and especially so in the light-speed world of IT, nothing stays the same. In this sense that I am glad you are foraging a way to find an alternative that will satisfy your needs within the cost/benefit threshold of changing to new while conserving or "transporting" your existing content and experience from the old to the new IT environment. Given my current needs and responsibilities, I have not yet reached this threshold.

     I am hoping that candid conversations like ours can contribute to what "old" technoligies use to consider possibly changing their own service desgin and business models. Simply put ... thanks!

Cheers - Norman


I should have addressed the above to TPX! Getting old!! - Norman

Re: I'm unable to start the desktop app as I get a permissions related error on my Mac. Any ideas?

TPX
Explorer | Level 4

Norman,

I have Apple products and use iCloud for many functions but I stayed with Dropbox just because it worked and really I had no burning need to change. After discovering the 3 device limit, I moved my whole Dropbox file to iCloud and had all my devices up and running with all files in less than 10 minutes. Didn't even need to buy more space on iCloud. So, easy solution, only requiring a few differences to workflow and I can connect as many devices as I have. I don't have groups, share files with others, etc. so works well enough. YMMV

Cheers

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