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First time user, want to setup Dropbox correctly

New member | Level 2
New member | Level 2

This a pretty basic question, so please excuse it.  I work on a iMac and Macbook Pro.  I want to put all my genealogy files (including Reunion 12 software) in Dropbox.  After I have installed Dropbox onto both computers, what do I put where?  In the Favourites window, do I remove the My Documents, Downloads and other folders that are under me as the User and, in their place, create identical folders (My Documents, Downloads, etc.) in Dropbox and then put an alias of those folders into the favourites window?  When I work on a document in one of those alias folders, will it automatically be synced in Dropbox wherever I access it?  One last thing, if I am not on the internet, can I access the contents of whatver is in the alias files?  If not, how do I make sure I have a copy on my computer hard drive of whatver I have put in Dropbox (and make sure whatever is on my computer hard drive is synced to what is in Dropbox).  Thanks.

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Accepted Solutions
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Re: Setting up Dropbox

Dropboxer
Dropboxer
Hey there @mwduffy
 
Once you’ve installed the Dropbox desktop application, you should have the Dropbox folder available. You don’t need to delete the other folders that are set by default by your OS. What you can do is copy-paste or move the files that you want to your Dropbox folder and they will sync across all your connected devices and your Dropbox account. You can also mark the Dropbox folder as a favorite for easier access!
 
Moving on to your next question, whenever you make changes in your Dropbox folder (add/remove/edit files/folders), those changes will be synced. When a file is edited without an internet connection though, you may be able to access content in your Dropbox folder of a specific device, but any changes you make will sync and appear as the current version once your device is online again. You can see if a file or folder is syncing by its icon
 
Finally, if you’d like to have a copy of your Dropbox folder's content, I’d recommend either manually saving the files/folders locally, or check out via any search engine for any potential third-party applications. I understand that this might sound like it doesn’t save up space on your device, so I’d recommend having a look through the Help Center articles that have more info on selective sync and Smart sync
 
Let me know if there’s anything else I may have missed out on. Thanks!

Lusil
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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2 Replies 2
Highlighted

Re: Setting up Dropbox

Dropboxer
Dropboxer
Hey there @mwduffy
 
Once you’ve installed the Dropbox desktop application, you should have the Dropbox folder available. You don’t need to delete the other folders that are set by default by your OS. What you can do is copy-paste or move the files that you want to your Dropbox folder and they will sync across all your connected devices and your Dropbox account. You can also mark the Dropbox folder as a favorite for easier access!
 
Moving on to your next question, whenever you make changes in your Dropbox folder (add/remove/edit files/folders), those changes will be synced. When a file is edited without an internet connection though, you may be able to access content in your Dropbox folder of a specific device, but any changes you make will sync and appear as the current version once your device is online again. You can see if a file or folder is syncing by its icon
 
Finally, if you’d like to have a copy of your Dropbox folder's content, I’d recommend either manually saving the files/folders locally, or check out via any search engine for any potential third-party applications. I understand that this might sound like it doesn’t save up space on your device, so I’d recommend having a look through the Help Center articles that have more info on selective sync and Smart sync
 
Let me know if there’s anything else I may have missed out on. Thanks!

Lusil
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


Heart Did this post help you? If so, please give it a Like below.
Still stuck? Ask me a question!
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

Highlighted

Re: Setting up Dropbox

Dropboxer
Dropboxer
One other thing I’d like to add is that aliases in Mac (aka shortcuts in Windows) aren’t supported so you won’t be able to directly link to any folders outside of your Dropbox folder, and have them also sync to the servers.
 
If you want folders outside of Dropbox to sync, them you might need another third party service that can assist with this method. 
 
Bear in mind that when syncing system folders (Documents, Downloads etc), and in general syncing folders outside of Dropbox, that can result in unexpected behavior, such as high CPU usage, endless syncing, and so on.

Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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