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Stop new folders from syncing automatic

Level 1

We use selective sync for our team folder which works great. The only problem is that when a user creates a new folder inside the team folder this new folder automatically is included in the selective sync and I have to remove it from the sync manually.

Can you turn off the automatic sync for new folders? 

Nick P.38
Level 1

Yes to above! This is essential.  When I joined shared folders - I do not necessarily want them on all my computers as well!  There should be an option wether that new folder I join is synced or not!  It immediately starts downloading on all three of my computers immediately - I cannot have that happen on my Internet bandwidth.

Level 1

Its a complete pain how it does that, and there is currently no fix for it.


Here is a KLUDGE for when your bandwidth is short.

It takes some presetup but then works a charm to save all that extra bandwidth use.

It is for 4 computers. Designate each computer a Letter A to D.


Create a folder called \DROPBOX\@2SYNC

Then create a set of folders in there 16 in total folder names follow...

---- ---D --C- --CD -B-- -smiling face with sunglasses -BC- -BCD A--- A--D A-C- A-CD AB-- Asmiling face with sunglasses ABC- ABCD

Then on each computer use selective sync and select to ONLY sync the folders with that computers letter.

Now when you get a new shared folder, log into the web interface and accept the invite.

Then immediately via the web move the folder into the @2SYNC subfolder than matches the computers you want it on. End result is it only syncs to them, as you have setup the selective sync setting already.

Since keeping your folders in there isnt the best, later at a time thats good for you, create an empty folder by the same name as the shared folder, where you want the shared folder to end up

Then unsync that folder from any machine you dont want it on.

Then on the web interface erase the folder you created, and move the shared folder to that location. Since you have designated which machines are to not sync it already when you move the shared folder there only the ones that should have it will.

Megan W.6
Level 1

Our design team have the same problem as mentioned - we don't want new folders to automatically sync. Does anyone know if this has been resolved?

Peter P.56
Level 1

We just started the trial for dropbox for business. Dropbox would be a perfect solution for us if it weren't for this issue. When we discovered the selective sync folder we were pretty happy, but then later we discovered that new folders sync automatically within a selective sync folder.  If we could just turn off auto syncing for new folders and let users pick which folders they want to sync. I hope dropbox is listening and is working on a fix for this.

paul w.46
Level 1

agreed! Auto-inheriting new dropbox folders when using selective sync is a real pain.

Dear dropbox staff: Can something be done about this? I have no other complaints.

Jeffery C.
Level 1

This is a definite "must have" option. Enterprise denotes control over the enterprise. If there is no central control or ability to configure all clients on the network to business accepted defaults, then the solution to keep files available for use from any device is not a solution for a business but a detriment and another problem for IT to manage.

Super User
Super User

If you crate a new folder inside a folder already selected on Selected Sync and add files to it, the new folder and files will be downloaded to all computers where the parent folder is selected in selected sync.

This is the expected behavior, by design.

It's just like NTFS permissions propagation in Windows OS. 

Selective Sync has been designed to save space on small hdd or ssd. For example if you have a laptop with 240GB ssd and you have 800GB of data in Dropbox, with Selective Sync you can sync just a couple of folders, to save space.


Jeffery C.
Level 1


It may be the expected behavior by design, but the design is flawed. You can't compare this to NTFS permissions. With NTFS your are denied access and at least can contact the administrator to give access to a particular subfolder if needed. The Selective Sync default should be set to NOT sync files unless "selected". If you have a team using a shared site and some member of the teams adds 800GB of data, it shouldn't automatically be downloaded to every member of the team unless it is selected to do so. Otherwise you may have a user who has a HDD or SSD filling up until their drives are out of space without them realizing it. Not a good outcome.Selective sync is great and is needed but it should be the default to NOT SYNC unless told to do so. And for a business version of Dropbox, it should be able to be controlled by IT for default settings across the enterprise.

Super User
Super User


Yes, IT admins can use granular permissions and non-inherit permissions from top folders in Windows folders, but this have a huge administrative payload and sometimes, troubleshooting is need it to get the required results.

Dropbox is designed to be simple to use.

But I agree, will be fine if we can have an option to setup Selective Sync to use 3 modes:

- full (no selective sync). Pc will have all folders in sync with the cloud

- selective sync (sync all selected folders and new folders and data added in the future) - just like how works today

- partial sync - selective sync enabled. sync current folders. new folders will not sync until selected

- custom - more customization available (granular)

But I'm pretty sure this will increase the support tickets to Dropbox support

I don't believe Dropbox is designing such feature for now, maybe you will need to find a workaround

Level 1

@Alexis G

If you create a new folder inside a folder already selected on Selected Sync and add files to it, the new folder and files will be downloaded to all computers where the parent folder is selected in selected sync. This is the expected behavior, by design.


Well that's a pretty joe generic, since you're syncing that folder.

However, the behavior of selective sync is not what is "expected".

People expect software to perform as per the description of what the software says it does. And it says "ONLY CHECKED FOLDERS WILL SYNC TO THIS COMPUTER"

Yet if I add a file to a shaded folder (parent folder of a selected folder), then the content added also syncs. This violates the description of the software's behavour of "ONLY CHECKED FOLDERS" which it isnt.


Of course I do understand why it fails, and that is because the software isnt recording checked folders at all when you select them, its recording folders you UNCHECK, for NOT SYNCING, which isnt anything like what they say it does.

"Only Women and children in the lifeboats" does not mean "Only women and children in the life boats and anyone else who turns up after I say this".