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Android: synced offline folders on SD card

5 Votes

Android: synced offline folders on SD card

I am happy to see that the Dropbox app now supports synced folders aka offline folders. However, a major limitation still is that they can't be saved on the SD card.


This is stupid, in my case for example I have a 256 GB SD card in my phone which is mostly empty, but only 32 GB of internal storage, which are almost full. Hence, I am using a £10 third party app (Dropsync Ultimate) to sync some of my Dropbox folders to my phone's SD card. However, it is a shame that I have to use a third party app to do this and that I have to spend more money in this simple issue even though I'm already paying for Dropbox Premium.

So please, make offline folders on SD cards possible for us!

Level 6

You can adopt the SD card as internal storage (->google), and Dropbox will put the offline cache there. However, the whole folder sync seems still buggy, not all filed are synced back.

Level 2

I have to share my wholehearted agreement with the OP's comments.  The two biggest reasons that I love Dropbox are pretty basic: 1) it synchronises my stuff really well on all of my computers so that don't have to worry about whether I am offline or online in order to keep working; and 2) I don't need to think about what I am going to need to take with me offline before I get on that international flight.


I've used Dropbox for years for these reasons, which means I've got a lot of stuff in it.  Too much stuff for my phone/tablet's measly internal storage.  So, now that I take my Android tablet with me on those long flights instead of my laptop, I've got to think.  I need to worry about what I'm going to need access to offline so that I can only choose the essential stuff so as not to fill up my internal memory.  I don't even need to think hard to remember my underwear, my socks, and which tie to pack, but having to worry about which files I *might* need access to when I get a moment inspiration during that 10 hour flight is something I shouldn't have to do.  I don't even worry about my music collection, because Spotify seems quite capable of synchronising my entire music library onto my external SD card (even with all of its DRM concerns), and similarly I can go crazy making 20 seasons of TV available offline on Netflix because it too has figured it out.


So, 50% of why I use Dropbox is no longer relevant when it comes to using my Android tablet as my primary device when out and about, and I now worry about something that I didn't have to worry about before.


It's a first-world problem, I know, but Dropbox: Please be a leader in this area.  Cloud storage products are probably at the top of the list of products that ought to be flexible in how they store offline/synchronised data.

Level 5

 Amen, brothers & sisters!


My otherwise fine Samsung Tab S has only 16GB of primary storage & much of that is taken up w/ Samsung's oversized version of the Android OS. I'm lucky when I have 2GB free but there are scores waiting on my SD card.


Exporting individual files to my SD is time consuming &, at least for an old DOS-head like me, requires the secondary chore of building a parallel folder scheme in which to place them. (I'm sure the youngsters throw it all in one place but my skin crawls when I try that.) It is definitely no replacement for placing folders on the SD card directly from w/in Dropbox.


My particular situation will be alleviated when I feel justified in moving to a tablet w/ more primary storage but (1) as I mentioned, the not-yet-3-year-old device is otherwise quite serviceable & I'm as frugal w/my members money as my own; (2) even at 32GB of primary, I'd still be looking for this capability.


Dropbox remains a fine service but would improve with a real ability to use external SD cards. Although other services appear to have made more progress, I recognize that Google & the Android OS are likely the greater offenders. (Android's limitations of this sort &, particularly, all the clever programmers working to get around them make me nostalgic for the mid-80's when we were trying to find ways to grab a bit of the RAM above 640K & keep 60MB hard drives from overwriting the data placed on them.) That said, over the top & at 'em!


Ted Melina Raab

Level 6

Dear Ted,

as your device probably does not have the new Android feature of "Adopting the SD Card as Internal Storage", I recommend the app Dropsync to you. It does no live sync, but it syncs all my files once per night over WLAN.

Level 2

After much ado I still coulnd't find a solution on saving files at will to SD card.  I've finally decided to quit using Dropbox altogether. It's simply stupid beyond comprehension. 

Level 6

Dear donaldc852,

I use the File Manager App "Total Commander", which from inside the Dropbox App allows to "Export" a file to "Total Commander", which in turn ask you where to store the file.



There seems to be a personal aversion against direct, shared file system access at Google (reasons are not obvious to me), and as an Android user or developer one has to adapt or perish. It is not possible to share a file between apps, but a correctly implemented file manager app can own ALL files, and share them with other apps when needed. Unfortunately, not all developers have understood this Google paradigma yet, but try to gain direct, shared file Acess through weird workarounds.