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Ignore folder (without selective sync)

Helpful | Level 5

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.

Current Status: Accepted

jonathan r.38
Explorer | Level 3

@Walter if the team decides not to work on it, will you at least comment on that?

Explorer | Level 4

A programmatic (e.g. Python) or command line interface would also work for me, as long as I would be able to script something and not use the GUI. This is already possible on linux. Why not on Mac?

Explorer | Level 4

Another "no comment" on this feature.  Will be cancelling DB for either pCloud or Sync.  For those that absolutely need this feature, here's a screenshot of pCloud's ignore interface in their desktop app.

I haven't used it yet, but others in this thread are seeing dramatic indexing/syncing speed increases.  I'll be testing it out over the coming months.

Another scary part of keeping sensitive dev/source files on DB is right in their terms.  Here's a quote from /terms :

"These and other features may require our systems to access, store, and scan Your Stuff. You give us permission to do those things, and this permission extends to our affiliates and trusted third parties we work with."

No thanks.  You're fading fast, Dropbox.

Explorer | Level 3

I'm a developer and I work with web and mobile projects. More than often I shuffle between my desktop and my laptop (when on the move). This means that my projects are stored in Dropbox and stay in sync so that I can seamlessly work on either of these machines.

When working with Node.js projects, there is a folder named node_modules which typically ends up with thousands of files, which do not require to be synched every time because they contain thousands of files and synching it takes hours even on a fast connection. 

What I'd like to do is be able to selectively prevent folders (by a pattern) from getting uploaded. A solution like .gitignore is thus highly sought which would allow advanced users to define a pattern for preventing files and folders from getting synched.

Please do incorporate such a feature. It would drastically improve the user experience for use cases like mine. The selective sync, unfortunately, is not the best solution for this job. It's too basic and clunky for this purpose. A .dropbox file in the root with a pattern to prevent files/folders would be perfect.


Hey there @sachinbee,
Just to note, I’ve merged your post to this thread here so as to keep track of your comments more efficiently. I’ll be passing along this info to our dev team for review and thank you for taking the time to let us know your thoughts here on the Community.
Have a great day - Thanks!
Explorer | Level 4

@Daphne - is there any reason why Dropbox has been ignoring this seemingly simple request for so long? Going through the comments now, I see a lot of frustration as a result of the lack of feedback. As some have started to note - your competitors are starting to steel your thunder, so please consider taking your community a little more seriously. 

We’re constantly and persistently working on new developments for Dropbox so I’m unable to share any timeline of what’s currently being worked on.
That being said, our dev team has been made aware of this feature request and we ensure that all comments are passed along and directed correctly by gathering the relevant comments in the same place. We always appreciate when you let us know your thoughts and what you want to see!
dawnn New member | Level 2
New member | Level 2

I'm also going to add my request for this feature too! I made my account just for this.  I use RStudio and git, and there's all sorts of conflict issues with lock files in .Rproj.user and .git.  I've had to move my development out of Dropbox, but we just switched to DB as our main backup system, so now I'm confronted with this issue again for me and for our whole lab.  

incomplete resolution here

more discussion on the previous work around

Please, please add this capability!

Explorer | Level 3

I have long been using git and there it is custom to apply a .gitignore file to indicate to git which files it should ignore. I sometimes also have files in dropbox that i would appreciate to be ignored in a similar way as they often are of a temporary nature. The files i would like to ignore are often generated via a random name, but with a specific suffix that i can regex match. This is usually not possible to handle via the normal cycle that as i remember is as follows:

  1. delete file
  2. generate folder with same name
  3. ignore the folder with dropbox sync
  4. go back and delete the folder again.
  5. recreate old file.

To a git user, it would not feel alien to have a .dropboxignore file that is automatically scanned by dropbox when it decides which files are to be synced.

Hey there @Tobias_Nielsen,
Just to note, I’ve merged your post here as it pertains to the same topic. We don’t currently have a feature like this to instruct the desktop app to ignore certain files when syncing, so I’ll be passing along your comments to our dev team for review in future improvements to Dropbox.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us today! 
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