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Desktop symbolic link removed on restart on MacOS Catalina

New member | Level 2

For a decade, I've been syncing my Desktop using Dropbox by running the commands:

sudo rm -r Desktop
ln -s Dropbox/Desktop Desktop

I then see the files inside `Dropbox/Desktop` on my Desktop. Since installing MacOS Catalina, this stops working every time I reboot. The symbolic link is deleted and an empty Desktop folder is restored inside my user directory.

How can I get Catalina to preserve the Desktop symbolic link across reboots? Alternatively, how can I get Dropbox to sync the contents of my Desktop folder without using this kind of symbolic link?

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8 Replies

Re: Desktop symbolic link removed on restart on MacOS Catalina

Dropboxer
Hey @dankohn, I understand that you’d need some help to re-configure this setting; let’s have a closer look together!  
 
If I were in your shoes, I’d start off referencing the relevant resource. Since this isn’t something we officially support however, I’d need to point you towards other Community members’ workarounds on this & this discussion that could help shed some light on your options moving forward. 
 
I hope that this helps & please let me know if you’d like me to move your initial post under either of the threads above or you need further assistance from me in any way! 

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support

 

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Re: Desktop symbolic link removed on restart on MacOS Catalina

New member | Level 2

Thank you for those links. Dropbox's change in handling symlinks is unrelated because I keep the "real" Desktop folder inside the Dropbox folder. The solution was provided by niazy lower down the thread:

After creating the symlink to my Dropbox desktop folder, I locked the link file by displaying its info and checking the 'Locked' checkbox.

I still create the symlink as shown above but then set it to "Locked" to have it preserved between reboots.

I would recommend not moving this thread to make it easier to find via search. Thank you for the link to the thread and to niazy for the solution.

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Re: Desktop symbolic link removed on restart on MacOS Catalina

Dropboxer
Glad to hear that you’ve found the Solution you’ve been looking for @dankohn
 
Rest assured that the post will remain as is; I could also see that you’ve 👍🏽 this post as well, which is a great way to show your support. 
 
I’m always here, so feel free to touch-base with me should you have any similar inquiries in the future. Take care until then!

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support

 

Heart Did this post help you? If so please give it a Like below. 
White check mark Did this post fix your issue/answer your question? If so please press the 'Accept as Best Answer' button to help others find it.
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Re: Desktop symbolic link removed on restart on MacOS Catalina

New member | Level 2

The issue I'm having with this solution is that then all of the files in that symlinked folder are also locked and I can't modify/delete. Any insight?

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Re: Desktop symbolic link removed on restart on MacOS Catalina

New member | Level 2

I don't have that issue because the only thing locked is the symlink, not the actual folder or its file contents. So, any changes to the files still sync normally. You need to delete the Desktop and create a symlink like I show at the very top of this thread.

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Re: Desktop symbolic link removed on restart on MacOS Catalina

New member | Level 2

I guess I'm having issues getting the chflags command to work on the link file itself, and not on the directory it links to. When I drag it into terminal, it is acting like a directory, not a file. Any hints for a noob?

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Re: Desktop symbolic link removed on restart on MacOS Catalina

New member | Level 2

Mark me down as another ex-dropbox user.  My desktop needs to be where it belongs.  Used to use sym-links.  Can't anymore. :-(

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Re: Desktop symbolic link removed on restart on MacOS Catalina

New member | Level 2

Tks! 

It worked perfectly

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Desktop symbolic link removed on restart on MacOS Catalina
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