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Stop auto-inheriting new folders when using selective sync

171 Votes

Stop auto-inheriting new folders when using selective sync

I work at an organization that uses dropbox to manage client project documents. We have a shared folder at the root called 'Clients', and have hundreds of project folders within that directory (a folder for each client project) where we store projects documents. Our team uses the 'selective sync' feature in order to only sync the project folders that we are currently working on. However, every time a new project folder is added to the 'Clients' root, it is automatically added to my selective sync without ever specifying that I wanted to sync that folder or its contents. This causes a lot of frustration because team members are forced to waste bandwidth and computer storage saving files they never requested. Is there a way to turn off automatically inheriting new folders when using selective syncing?

Level 1

I have the same problem. Here is the reply I received from the Support Desk.

"Hi Ekapa,
Thanks for contacting Dropbox Support!
By default, all folders in Dropbox automatically sync to any computer that's linked to your Dropbox account. If you'd like to prevent a folder from syncing to your computer, you'll need to manually un-check the box next to the folder's name. I'm sorry for any inconvenience that this might cause.
We're always looking for your input when creating the next version of the Dropbox app, and I'll make sure your comments are passed along to our development team."

It seems it can't be done yet which is a real pity.


Level 1

Same issue here. Please make is possible to stop syncing new folders unless manually selected to be sync'd

Level 1

I asked this same question 9 months ago and got the answer "No" this is currently not possible. Dropbox I would suggest doing this sooner rather then later because there is a lot of companies out there that need this functionality. Once we find it in an alternate Cloud software package we will be switching because this is such a big deal for us.

Level 1

Amen. This is my biggest complaint and the number one reason our company is considering alternate solutions. As a video producer I'm syncing tons of large files... something my team should not be burdened with.

Level 1

FYI - I found an alternative solution last night that has the functionality that I believe you are looking for. Check it out @

Level 2

With the advent of cheap computers with limited disc space, it is desirable to limit the number of directories synced to these devices. Assume I have a desktop that syncs the complete Dropbox account, and a cheap laptop with selective sync. No problem with the initial install. However, if a new folder is added on my desktop computer, it will automatically be synced to my laptop the next time I login. I have to remember to go to the selective sync on the laptop & unselect the new directory.

Suggest adding an option to not automatically add a new folder in selective sync. Would be great if it could be done on a per folder basis. Then I could tell dropbox to not add a folder to my laptop in my archive folder.

Level 1

Dont hold your breath, this has been asked for since they created selective sync, they cant even admit that currently it doesnt do what the interface says it does. So your not likely to get a change soon.

Level 1

We are using Dropbox for businesses and so far it has been working great.

However the biggest problem is that Dropbox syncs all new folders on the computers even when you have selective sync turned on. Many of our team members have multiple computers and are involved in different projects, so it would serve a lot better if Dropbox did not sync every new folder. It's a huge waste of hard-drive space and bandwidth when someone creates a new folder for project photos and it automatically syncs to everyone, then everyone has to go and remove that folder from being synced.

I have laptop that I use for meetings and only need few folders synced from our teams Dropbox. However every time I turn it on, it tries to sync the whole internet, runs out of hard drive and I constantly have to uncheck folders via selective sync.

We do know that you could play around with the folder hierarchy to prevent this, but it would make the folder structure super messy and hard to maintain.

We just would love an option [x] Sync new folders automatically that you could uncheck.

Level 1

Same here, its a huge issue over cell data, I have to continuously unchecked folders so I can upload my few files. POS default setting should be changed.


Hi Lauri,

Whenever you create a new folder, either on the website or within your Dropbox folder on your computer, it will sync to our servers and to your connected devices. There is currently no way to set your Dropbox settings not to sync new folders. You would need to apply the selective sync settings each time a new folder is created. However, I'm happy to pass this feedback along to the team. Thanks!