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Re: Disaster: Dropbox removing external disk support for Mac users :(

Disaster: Dropbox removing external disk support for Mac users :(

Jon C.10
Collaborator | Level 8
Go to solution

In case anyone's unaware... if you're a Mac user storing your Dropbox on an external drive, you'll shortly lose that ability.

 

https://talk.tidbits.com/t/dropbox-drops-support-for-storing-files-on-an-external-drive-and-onedrive...

https://help.dropbox.com/installs/macos-support-for-expected-changes

 

Just confirmed this with DB support (see below).  Gutted - been with Dropbox for years and our entire video team flow is based around it 😕


>Hi there, I read today that you are scrapping the ability to store the Dropbox folder on external disks, on OSX. I'd like to ask more about this please.


> Hello Jon, and thank you for contacting Dropbox Support. My name is Joseph, and I will be more than happy to look into your request, right away.  

That is correct Jon, as part of the Dropbox for macOS update, the Dropbox folder must be located in ~/Library/CloudStorage.

>This is a showstopper for us, and will mean we have to move to another service. We have a large distributed team using DB for video work, no way it'll fit within internal drives.
Is there a workaround?

 

> I totally understand and I apologize for the inconvenience. Unfortunately, there is no workaround on this as changing the location of your Dropbox folder is no longer supported by macOS.

>This change doesn't seem to have hit us yet - we're running a variety of machines inc Ventura
What will trigger its enforcement? Can we stay on an earlier OS or Dropbox version?

>The updates happening automatically every time the Dropbox app is restarting, for example if your device never restarts it should maintain the older version but we can't guarantee full functionality on older versions of the application.

>So what will happen - if we have a Dropbox folder on an 8TB drive and a tiny internal drive - will it try to clone stuff across and eat up the space? What's the mechanism?

>That's right, it will try to move the content on your internal drive until it has no space and gives you an error.

>Is Smartsync still supported? I.e. will it move stuff to being online only if it won't fit?

>It is, however it is now known as online-only.

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

KzDbx
Community Manager
Go to solution

Hello everyone. Thank you for your feedback.


We understand that this is a significant pain point for you and your teams that rely on having Dropbox sync on external drives.
Currently, the File Provider API only supports your Dropbox folder in ~/Library/CloudStorage. We are actively working on a solution to support external drives on the updated Dropbox for macOS. While we work to implement a solution, customers who have their Dropbox folder on an external drive will not be migrated to the updated macOS experience. External drive support will continue to work as usual on your current experience.


We will keep you updated when we have more details to share.

View solution in original post

672 Replies 672

iagdotme
Helpful | Level 5
Go to solution

I'm very confused about what is happening with Dropbox. I've read the help documentation and read through some posts on this forum.

 

The standard copy-and-paste reply from Dropbox support is from this article: https://help.dropbox.com/installs/macos-support-for-expected-changes

"Storing your Dropbox folder on an external drive is no longer supported by macOS."

 

The issue with this and all the replies I've seen is that there is no explanation or understanding as to how much of a disadvantage this to some of us long-time Dropbox users. I want to understand what has happened and what the workarounds (if any) are.

 

I'm currently on Mac OS 12.5 (Monterery).

I am concerned about upgrading because it looks like I will no longer be able to store my Dropbox folder on my external drive.

On my 1Tb MacBook Pro, this isn't an issue.

But on my 512Gb Mac Mini, this is a significant issue. 

Like many people, I work with very large video files, and I quickly run out of space on my Mac's hard drive. And it's not an option to store many of these files online, because of the time it takes to download (even on a fast connection).

 

From what I gather, Apple are requiring 3rd party tools to work with their iCloud API and to store all files within the user library.

But, is it not possible to move my Apple user library to an external library? Even on Ventura? If so, wouldn't that mean I CAN use Dropbox on an external drive?

On my Mac Mini, I don't really want any of my documents on my main drive, because there just isn't enough room.

 

Can someone explain what is happening here, and if there are any workarounds? Specifically, can I move my user library to an external drive and so use Dropbox there?

Thanks!

Mark
Super User II
Go to solution

Hi @iagdotme 

 

So the simplest answer here is 'no'. Due to the changes Apple have made they are no longer allowing this. However, disclaimer here in that is the official supported line. There may be ways of doing so which involve tweaking / changing things BUT these wouldnt be supported by either Apple or Dropbox should something go wrong. At this moment I dont actually know of any, but, I imagine over time some will appear. 


 


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iagdotme
Helpful | Level 5
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Thanks, Mark.

 

Would it be cynical of me to think this could be Apple wanting us to upgrade our Macs to ones with HUGE hard drives? 😉

I can't seem to find any explanations of what Apple are doing and that they are definitely no longer supporting external drives. I can't be the only person who needs to do this.

Businessman994
Helpful | Level 5
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This is a disaster for our my small business. We have 5 Mac Mini's with tiny 250gb hard drives, which run Dropbox on external SSDs (formatted to the AFPS system). I literally setup a new Mac Mini this weekend this way.

 

Now I am reading that Dropbox just won't work on them at all? So Dropbox has to use what little space is available in the 250gb internal drives??

 

If this is true...we will have no choice but to leave Dropbox and migrate to something else.

Jon C.10
Collaborator | Level 8
Go to solution
We are in the same boat. We pay Dropbox thousands a year, I’ve just been talking to support about getting a partial refund when we cancel our account once we work out wth to replace it with :-/. Disaster is right.

Businessman994
Helpful | Level 5
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Has this change already happened? I just checked one of our Mac Minis and the Dropbox folder is still on the external SSD.

davidgaw
Explorer | Level 4
Go to solution

Unfortunately, it sounds like the change is being driven by Apple itself, not by Dropbox, which may mean that all alternative services face a similar limitation. If you continue to use Macs running Ventura or later, you may need to find another way to work or acquire machines with more internal storage (which a cynic might suspect as a reason for Apple to make the change).

studioj23
Helpful | Level 5
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So for older systems on older OS's this will or will not happen? ie my main rig is on Catalina and I wasn't planning on upgrading it anytime soon. Will I need to find another solution for our 20TB dropbox?? holy moly this is a disaster. 

Apothekerry
New member | Level 2
Go to solution

This is bad bad news, and may make Dropbox unusable for me, as well. 

Anyone have any thoughts about sticking an alias in that new required location, that points to an external drive?

Need more support?