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Ignore folder (without selective sync)

826 Votes

Ignore folder (without selective sync)

Please please please can you add a feature that allows folders to be excluded from the Dropbox account (on windows and mac). For sure I'm not the first person to request this, but I'm yet to find a good explanation of why it's not there. A quick google search reveals loads of people also looking for the same feature. I really like the workflow I have with dropbox, but it's getting to the point where I might switch providers in order to allow better selective sync.

I've seen hackish solutions using selective sync, but it would be great if this could be done in one of the following ways:
- global pattern matching eg "node_modules"
- a marker file in the directory like .dropboxignore
- a simple right click context menu "Ignore this folder"

Other than that, keep up the good work. Cheers.

Level 2

They are already ignoring folders. They call it "selective sync".

The only needed difference is that they will not DELETE THE CONTENT of the local folder when selecting it.

They could EASILY add this checkbox and do an IF statement to decide if they should delete the content of the local folder or not.


They simply do not care, and/or (as my guess) have a financial interest to keep it that way.


Level 3

@Travis M.7 It's definitely not an insurmountable technical nightmare. They already have the selective sync option, and this would just be an extension of that. I'm not saying there wouldn't be complications, and that it wouldn't require thought to ensure it was done correctly and not interfere with the selective sync options, but 2.5+ years is more than enough time to implement the most requested feature on their forums.


Considering this is an "advanced" feature, used by developers, it doesn't even need to be very pretty.


Their reasons are definitely not purely technical, and financial seems the next most likely option.

Level 2


I don't know why dropbox doesn't have this feature yet, but in the meantime...

I takes a while but it works to exclude at least node_modules folders:

Just go to your work directory...
dropbox exclude add `ls -lR . | grep -v "node_modules.*node_modules:$" | grep "node_modules:$"`

Level 4

I agree! And it should allow both folders and files and file extensions to be ignored. For example, I'd ignore *.bak, *.tmp, and *.pch (Visual Studio precompiled [temporary] headers).


Having a .dropboxignore file would be great, but maybe too complicated for the normal user. But a right-click "Ignore" in the Drobox section of the shortcut menu would be really easy for users. Or even an Ignore tab in settings (so we could specify wildcards as I mentioned above).


I agree with others that I'm ready to change to a different solution than Dropbox. I don't want to sound threatening and I'm sure Dropbox would hardly notice a thousand of us moving elsewhere, but there are other cloud based services that do this. I mostly stay with Dropbox because I have a year of file history there.

Level 2



Community Manager

Hi all,


A Dropbox response is long overdue here - I've been following this for months and I haven't gotten any positive feedback on whether this is happening.


You're welcome to continue adding suggestions and feature improvement requests. I try to keep all product updates I can get info on  here:

Level 3

How can we put pressure on Dropbox to start listening to their customers? Maybe start directly pinging their CEO or CTO?


Level 2

+1 for this. Really badly needed feature that is present in other sync solutions I use.

Level 2
Level 2

I support this feature request - this would allow to ignore caches, etc...


Although I do not share the seemingly common view that "this should be trivial to implement" blablabla.... I will leave the technical evaluation to the competent teams of kickass dropbox engineers who have built a strong and capable product over the years.


Hope to see this someday!