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My method on how to fix Dropbox not installing on Windows 10 Pro

My method on how to fix Dropbox not installing on Windows 10 Pro

halftone
Helpful | Level 5

There have been many, many posts here about Dropbox refusing to install on Win10 Pro, and perhaps other versions.

I've just spent a long day grappling with this problem. Neither the installer or offline installer would complete installation, crashing out with a very uninformative message that Dropbox could not be installed.

Help offered here by support reiterates the same advice: check the PC meets minimum specification and do and 'advanced reinstall'.  https://help.dropbox.com/installs-integrations/desktop/advanced-reinstall

I did all that multiple times, but got nowhere. I have a Dropbox Plus account, and it was essential I get it working ASAP.

My own W10 Pro 64 installation is an upgrade from Win7Pro 64, where Dropbox always worked fine. I used Laplink PC Mover to move documents, apps and settings across. Notably, PC Mover did not migrate Dropbox. Neither the app nor Dropbox older were imported.

What I found was that on my old Win7 PC's Dropbox is installed in C:/Program Files, but (mentioned hereabouts) on Win10 it installs into C:/Program Files (x86).  It seems that at some point Dropbox has apparently changed from 64 bit to 32bit (!?), so now installs in the x86 location. PCMover had moved the Program Files/Dropbox folder, containing files, but been unable to install for W10. So it was all broken.

(Meanwhile I made the mistake of installing the Dropbox Mode-S app from the MS store. That installed OK, but didn't sync, so useless for me. I uninstalled it within minutes).

I then went through the Registry deleting all the 'Dropbox' references manually (must be 50+). Then I deleted C:/Program Files/Dropbox, and rebooted.

After that it immediately installed perfectly and now works as it should. :sunglasses:

I feel this is common enough that a script is really needed to ensure there are no remains of a legacy 64-bit version getting in the way of the current 32 bit version. It would be nice if it was part of the installer, rather than leaving it to punters to try and understand why it won't work.

If not: Support might be well advised to ask the victims of install failure if they have a folder C:/Program Files/Dropbox. If so, the registry needs hoovering, and the Dropbox folder and all its contents need deleting.

E&OE and YMMV of course.

4 Replies 4

Re: Fixed: Dropbox refusing to install on W10 pro

Jay
Dropboxer

Hi @halftone, thanks for your steps, and I’m glad to hear they worked for you.

I personally wouldn’t recommend users tinker with their Registry, as deleting or editing values there could completely destroy a Windows installation and prevent it from booting at all.

I’ve made a note of your feedback in our system regardless!


Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Fixed: Dropbox refusing to install on W10 pro

halftone
Helpful | Level 5

Yes, you're right to warn that it's a high-risk thing to do unless the user is both experienced and desperate, and knows how to make a registry backup first. A script would be MUCH safer, and would simplify support.

Just to be clear: this Win10Pro 64 was an in-place upgrade from Win 7 Pro 64. Which is the only way of maintaining an OEM Windows activation (MS are still doing that, despite it supposedly ending in 2016). But the trouble is that all the left-overs from old 64 bit Dropbox get left in place and skewer the new 32-bit Dropbox installation. The fact that I used PCMover had no relevance here. A bare-metal W10 install shouldn't present the problem.

Re: Fixed: Dropbox refusing to install on W10 pro

halftone
Helpful | Level 5

I've since done 2 more upgrades from Win7 Pro 64 to Win10 Pro 64. On each, before the upgrade, I uninstalled Dropbox using Revo Uninstaller. This has the advantage of safely cleaning the registry of all all Dropbox keys. The upgrades then went fine, no issue with installing Dropbox afterwards. Better than trying to clean up wreckage manually.

Re: Fixed: Dropbox refusing to install on W10 pro

Jay
Dropboxer

Thanks for the continued feedback, @halftone! It is appreciated, and has been noted further in the system. 🙂


Jay
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.

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