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Help! "Couldn't start Dropbox" error (Mac & Big Sur)

Help! "Couldn't start Dropbox" error (Mac & Big Sur)

prc87
Helpful | Level 6

Dropbox won't start on my MacBook Air (13" 2018), with Big Sur 11.3.1.

Have uninstalled dropbox and reinstalled. Same error

Uninstalled again, advanced re-install. Same error

AFAIK, vanilla install, with dropbox folder in default location.

Used to work, but stopped when rebooted laptop after 11.3.1 upgrade

 

Help!

 

Error messages:

 

"Couldn't start dropbox"

"This is usually because of a permissions error. Storing your home folder on a network share can also cause this error."

 

Contents of error file:

"

bn.BUILD_KEY: Dropbox
bn.VERSION: 122.4.4867
bn.constants.WINDOWS_SHELL_EXT_VERSION: 48
bn.is_frozen: True
machine_id: 664c1217-e060-5667-8990-51d38e73896b
pid: 815
ppid: 1
uid: 502
user_info: pwd.struct_passwd(pw_name='petercrow', pw_passwd='********', pw_uid=502, pw_gid=20, pw_gecos='Peter Crow', pw_dir='/Users/petercrow', pw_shell='/bin/bash')
effective_user_info: pwd.struct_passwd(pw_name='petercrow', pw_passwd='********', pw_uid=502, pw_gid=20, pw_gecos='Peter Crow', pw_dir='/Users/petercrow', pw_shell='/bin/bash')
euid: 502
gid: 20
egid: 20
group_info: grp.struct_group(gr_name='staff', gr_passwd='*', gr_gid=20, gr_mem=['root', '_xcsbuildagent', '_serialnumberd', '_xcscredserver'])
effective_group_info: grp.struct_group(gr_name='staff', gr_passwd='*', gr_gid=20, gr_mem=['root', '_xcsbuildagent', '_serialnumberd', '_xcscredserver'])
DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH: None
cwd: '/'
     real_path='/'
            mode=0o40755 uid=0 gid=0
     parent mode=0o40755 uid=0 gid=0
HOME: '/Users/petercrow'
appdata: '/Users/petercrow/.dropbox/instance1'
         real_path='/Users/petercrow/.dropbox/instance1'
                mode=0o40700 uid=502 gid=20
         parent mode=0o40755 uid=502 gid=20
dropbox_path: '/Users/petercrow/Dropbox'
              real_path='/Users/petercrow/Dropbox'
                    not found
              parent mode=0o40777 uid=502 gid=20
sys_executable: '/Applications/Dropbox.app/Contents/MacOS/Dropbox'
                real_path='/Applications/Dropbox.app/Contents/MacOS/Dropbox'
                      mode=0o100755 uid=502 gid=20
                parent mode=0o40755 uid=502 gid=20
trace.__file__: '/Applications/Dropbox.app/Contents/Resources/python-packages.zip/dropbox/client/ui/common/boot_error.pyc'
                real_path='/Applications/Dropbox.app/Contents/Resources/python-packages.zip/dropbox/client/ui/common/boot_error.pyc'
                      not found
                parent not found
tempdir: '/var/folders/y5/nky42css7sbgmkskdqtx09q80000gp/T'
         real_path='/private/var/folders/y5/nky42css7sbgmkskdqtx09q80000gp/T'
                mode=0o40700 uid=502 gid=20
         parent mode=0o40755 uid=502 gid=20
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "dropbox/client/main.pyc", line 807, in wrapper
  File "dropbox/client/main.pyc", line 6277, in finish_dropbox_boot
  File "dropbox/client/main.pyc", line 6497, in on_fresh_link
  File "dropbox/client/main.pyc", line 6534, in create_dropbox_folder
  File "dropbox/client/main.pyc", line 1236, in safe_makedirs
  File "os.pyc", line 223, in makedirs
PermissionError: [Errno 1] Operation not permitted: '/Users/petercrow/Dropbox'
"

 

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

Re: Help! "Couldn't start Dropbox" error (Mac & Big Sur)

prc87
Helpful | Level 6

Ran these changes, but no different.

 

Tried once more, after double-checking firewall off.

 

uninstall DB

reboot

delete DB folders from local storage, and empty bin

reboot

search and delete every 'dropbox' named file in ~/library

reboot

advanced reinstall

reboot

logoff DB on webclient

reboot

start DB

login

accept all vanilla (recommended) options

and it started and seems to be sync-ing correctly.

 

Not sure what changed this time around, but DB seems to be working again. 

 

Thanks for your help.

View solution in original post

30 Replies 30

Re: Help! "Couldn't start Dropbox" error (Mac & Big Sur)

Walter
Dropboxer

Hey there @prc87, thanks for using Dropbox and welcome to our Community!

From what I understand it looks like your Home directory is “locked”. Can you please do the following steps to fix this?

 

  1. Right-click on your Home folder → /Users/{your username}
  2. Select "Get Info" from the menu
  3. Uncheck the "Locked" checkbox.

If you have certain folders intentionally locked, then after doing the above you can go ahead and re-lock any folders within your Home directory that aren't the Dropbox folder. 

Let me know how you get on, Peter!


Walter
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Help! "Couldn't start Dropbox" error (Mac & Big Sur)

prc87
Helpful | Level 6

Thanks Walter

I checked as you suggested. 

The home directory “locked” status is UNCHECKED. Also, none of the enclosed folders are locked as far as I can tell—and the Dropbox folder has been deleted too, as part of the advanced re-installed.

 

As a test, I checked the Locked status. Rebooted. Unchecked it. Rebooted. Then tried to open Dropbox. Same error persists, unfortunately 

Re: Help! "Couldn't start Dropbox" error (Mac & Big Sur)

Walter
Dropboxer

Could you the try disabling any antivirus or firewall you may have and try again @prc87?

Otherwise, you could also try the following:

 

  1. Click on the apple icon in the top left hand corner of your screen.
  2. Select "System Preferences..."
  3. Then "Security & Privacy."
  4. Select the Privacy tab.
  5. Select "Files and Folders."
  6. Under Dropbox, ensure that all the folders are checked.

To make changes, you will need to click on the lock icon, and enter your macOS password.

Now, attempt to restart the Dropbox desktop app.

Let me know if this helped, Peter!


Walter
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


Heart Did this post help you? If so, give it a Like below to let us know.
:arrows_counterclockwise: Need help with something else? Ask me a question!
:pushpin: Find Tips & Tricks Discover more ways to use Dropbox here!

Re: Help! "Couldn't start Dropbox" error (Mac & Big Sur)

prc87
Helpful | Level 6

Thanks. Will check in the morning.

Re: Help! "Couldn't start Dropbox" error (Mac & Big Sur)

prc87
Helpful | Level 6

Ran these changes, but no different.

 

Tried once more, after double-checking firewall off.

 

uninstall DB

reboot

delete DB folders from local storage, and empty bin

reboot

search and delete every 'dropbox' named file in ~/library

reboot

advanced reinstall

reboot

logoff DB on webclient

reboot

start DB

login

accept all vanilla (recommended) options

and it started and seems to be sync-ing correctly.

 

Not sure what changed this time around, but DB seems to be working again. 

 

Thanks for your help.

Re: Help! "Couldn't start Dropbox" error (Mac & Big Sur)

Walter
Dropboxer
Glad to hear you're back up and running, Peter.

See you around the Community and take care!

Walter
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


Heart Did this post help you? If so, give it a Like below to let us know.
:arrows_counterclockwise: Need help with something else? Ask me a question!
:pushpin: Find Tips & Tricks Discover more ways to use Dropbox here!

Re: Help! "Couldn't start Dropbox" error (Mac & Big Sur)

tim_kelley
Explorer | Level 4

I am having the same problem. The error message is

bn.BUILD_KEY: Dropbox
bn.VERSION: 124.4.4912
bn.constants.WINDOWS_SHELL_EXT_VERSION: 48
bn.is_frozen: True
machine_id: 4902f188-79dc-51ef-ab44-66e5c3af45e7
pid: 512
ppid: 1
uid: 504
user_info: pwd.struct_passwd(pw_name='ctk', pw_passwd='********', pw_uid=504, pw_gid=20, pw_gecos='C. T. Kelley', pw_dir='/Users/ctk', pw_shell='/bin/tcsh')
effective_user_info: pwd.struct_passwd(pw_name='ctk', pw_passwd='********', pw_uid=504, pw_gid=20, pw_gecos='C. T. Kelley', pw_dir='/Users/ctk', pw_shell='/bin/tcsh')
euid: 504
gid: 20
egid: 20
group_info: grp.struct_group(gr_name='staff', gr_passwd='*', gr_gid=20, gr_mem=['root', 'tim', '_nsurlstoraged', '_serialnumberd', 'ctk', 'bubba', '_sophos', '_xcsbuildagent'])
effective_group_info: grp.struct_group(gr_name='staff', gr_passwd='*', gr_gid=20, gr_mem=['root', 'tim', '_nsurlstoraged', '_serialnumberd', 'ctk', 'bubba', '_sophos', '_xcsbuildagent'])
DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH: None
cwd: '/'
     real_path='/'
            mode=0o40755 uid=0 gid=0
     parent mode=0o40755 uid=0 gid=0
HOME: '/Users/ctk'
appdata: '/Users/ctk/.dropbox/instance1'
         real_path='/Users/ctk/.dropbox/instance1'
                mode=0o40700 uid=504 gid=20
         parent mode=0o40755 uid=504 gid=20
dropbox_path: '/Users/ctk/Dropbox'
              real_path='/Users/ctk/Dropbox'
                    mode=0o40700 uid=504 gid=20
              parent mode=0o40755 uid=504 gid=20
sys_executable: '/Applications/Dropbox.app/Contents/MacOS/Dropbox'
                real_path='/Applications/Dropbox.app/Contents/MacOS/Dropbox'
                      mode=0o100755 uid=504 gid=20
                parent mode=0o40755 uid=504 gid=20
trace.__file__: '/Applications/Dropbox.app/Contents/Resources/python-packages.zip/dropbox/client/ui/common/boot_error.pyc'
                real_path='/Applications/Dropbox.app/Contents/Resources/python-packages.zip/dropbox/client/ui/common/boot_error.pyc'
                      not found
                parent not found
tempdir: '/var/folders/9q/sddj5fcj2m729sjf5_hbnxb40000gr/T'
         real_path='/private/var/folders/9q/sddj5fcj2m729sjf5_hbnxb40000gr/T'
                mode=0o40700 uid=504 gid=20
         parent mode=0o40755 uid=504 gid=20
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "dropbox/client/main.pyc", line 821, in wrapper
  File "dropbox/client/main.pyc", line 6488, in finish_dropbox_boot
  File "dropbox/client/message_queue.pyc", line 307, in _wrapped
  File "dropbox/client/main.pyc", line 6017, in _init_components_for_account
  File "dropbox/client/main.pyc", line 5944, in create_sync_engine
  File "dropbox/sync_engine_boundary/factory.pyc", line 225, in make_sync_engine
  File "dropbox/sync_engine/nucleus/classic_client/sync_engine.pyc", line 275, in __init__
  File "dropbox/sync_engine/nucleus/classic_client/modern_client/modern_client.pyc", line 219, in __init__
  File "dropbox/sync_engine/nucleus/classic_client/modern_client/base.pyc", line 149, in __init__
  File "dropbox/sync_engine/nucleus/classic_client/thin_adapter/in_proc.pyc", line 223, in __init__
  File "dropbox/sync_engine/nucleus/classic_client/thin_adapter/in_proc.pyc", line 597, in _init_new_engine_locked
  File "dropbox/sync_engine/nucleus/thin_client/client.pyc", line 182, in __init__
  File "extensions/nucleus/nucleus_python.pyx", line 76, in nucleus_python.NucleusSyncEngine.__cinit__
nucleus_python.SyncEngineError: "Initializing engine |>> Initializing filesystem |>> Attempting to register icons |>> Opening dst |>> open syscall |>> Permission denied"

 

Re: Help! "Couldn't start Dropbox" error (Mac & Big Sur)

tim_kelley
Explorer | Level 4

I tried everything in this thread short of deleting my Drobbox folder. 

Re: Permission Error - Can't start Dropbox

tim_kelley
Explorer | Level 4

I just tried this "fix" and it failed. Error message was

bn.BUILD_KEY: Dropbox
bn.VERSION: 124.4.4912
bn.constants.WINDOWS_SHELL_EXT_VERSION: 48
bn.is_frozen: True
machine_id: 4902f188-79dc-51ef-ab44-66e5c3af45e7
pid: 1361
ppid: 1
uid: 504
user_info: pwd.struct_passwd(pw_name='ctk', pw_passwd='********', pw_uid=504, pw_gid=20, pw_gecos='C. T. Kelley', pw_dir='/Users/ctk', pw_shell='/bin/tcsh')
effective_user_info: pwd.struct_passwd(pw_name='ctk', pw_passwd='********', pw_uid=504, pw_gid=20, pw_gecos='C. T. Kelley', pw_dir='/Users/ctk', pw_shell='/bin/tcsh')
euid: 504
gid: 20
egid: 20
group_info: grp.struct_group(gr_name='staff', gr_passwd='*', gr_gid=20, gr_mem=['root', 'tim', '_nsurlstoraged', '_serialnumberd', 'ctk', 'bubba', '_sophos', '_xcsbuildagent'])
effective_group_info: grp.struct_group(gr_name='staff', gr_passwd='*', gr_gid=20, gr_mem=['root', 'tim', '_nsurlstoraged', '_serialnumberd', 'ctk', 'bubba', '_sophos', '_xcsbuildagent'])
DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH: None
cwd: '/'
     real_path='/'
            mode=0o40755 uid=0 gid=0
     parent mode=0o40755 uid=0 gid=0
HOME: '/Users/ctk'
appdata: '/Users/ctk/.dropbox/instance1'
         real_path='/Users/ctk/.dropbox/instance1'
                mode=0o40700 uid=504 gid=20
         parent mode=0o40755 uid=504 gid=20
dropbox_path: '/Users/ctk/Dropbox'
              real_path='/Users/ctk/Dropbox'
                    mode=0o40700 uid=504 gid=20
              parent mode=0o40755 uid=504 gid=20
sys_executable: '/Applications/Dropbox.app/Contents/MacOS/Dropbox'
                real_path='/Applications/Dropbox.app/Contents/MacOS/Dropbox'
                      mode=0o100755 uid=504 gid=20
                parent mode=0o40755 uid=504 gid=20
trace.__file__: '/Applications/Dropbox.app/Contents/Resources/python-packages.zip/dropbox/client/ui/common/boot_error.pyc'
                real_path='/Applications/Dropbox.app/Contents/Resources/python-packages.zip/dropbox/client/ui/common/boot_error.pyc'
                      not found
                parent not found
tempdir: '/var/folders/9q/sddj5fcj2m729sjf5_hbnxb40000gr/T'
         real_path='/private/var/folders/9q/sddj5fcj2m729sjf5_hbnxb40000gr/T'
                mode=0o40700 uid=504 gid=20
         parent mode=0o40755 uid=504 gid=20
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "dropbox/client/main.pyc", line 821, in wrapper
  File "dropbox/client/main.pyc", line 6488, in finish_dropbox_boot
  File "dropbox/client/message_queue.pyc", line 307, in _wrapped
  File "dropbox/client/main.pyc", line 6017, in _init_components_for_account
  File "dropbox/client/main.pyc", line 5944, in create_sync_engine
  File "dropbox/sync_engine_boundary/factory.pyc", line 225, in make_sync_engine
  File "dropbox/sync_engine/nucleus/classic_client/sync_engine.pyc", line 275, in __init__
  File "dropbox/sync_engine/nucleus/classic_client/modern_client/modern_client.pyc", line 219, in __init__
  File "dropbox/sync_engine/nucleus/classic_client/modern_client/base.pyc", line 149, in __init__
  File "dropbox/sync_engine/nucleus/classic_client/thin_adapter/in_proc.pyc", line 223, in __init__
  File "dropbox/sync_engine/nucleus/classic_client/thin_adapter/in_proc.pyc", line 597, in _init_new_engine_locked
  File "dropbox/sync_engine/nucleus/thin_client/client.pyc", line 182, in __init__
  File "extensions/nucleus/nucleus_python.pyx", line 76, in nucleus_python.NucleusSyncEngine.__cinit__
nucleus_python.SyncEngineError: "Initializing engine |>> Initializing filesystem |>> Attempting to register icons |>> Opening dst |>> open syscall |>> Permission denied"
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