Fix: Dropbox File Sync Issue on macOS

As we move towards the digital era daily, our most precious data and memories must be stored in the cloud. Nowadays, most people do not use an external storage device to store their data. Also, previously big companies used their servers for data handling, but they prefer to use services like Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, etc., to transfer and handle their data as it is much easier than keeping an own server.

Dropbox is one of the most popular file-sharing platforms used by many companies, individual users, startups, etc. Dropbox comes with a lot of features that its users appreciate. The Dropbox File Sync feature is popular among users as it provides a seamless backup and restores process that does not require any extra attention from the user. Once backed up, the files can be accessed from any Dropbox client, Web, or mobile app. This feature is available for both Windows and macOS users.

Although the Dropbox File Sync feature is handy for users, it is reported to have some issues on the macOS client. The macOS client is unable to sync the data with the cloud. There might be various reasons behind it. We will be looking at the possible issues and their solutions so that you can easily fix such problems. So, without any further ado, let’s see what can be the possible causes of the Dropbox File Sync issue on macOS.

Dropbox File Sync Issue

Dropbox File Sync Issue on macOS: Possible Reasons

There can be various reasons that can cause the Dropbox File Sync issue on macOS. However, there are several well-known as well as application-specific issues that can cause the problem. Some platform-specific issues might cause the same issue. Well, here are some of the possible reasons:

  1. There is an error in your File.
  2. Your network connection is interrupted.
  3. You have exceeded your storage quota.
  4. Backup and Sync are not configured properly.
  5. Your system date and time do not match the internet time.
  6. Full disk access is not given to Dropbox.

There are some possible reasons for which Dropbox File Sync issues may appear in macOS. There are some other reasons too that we will talk about later on.

How to Fix Dropbox File Sync Issue on macOS?

Fix 1: Check For Any Error in Your File

The first and foremost reason that can cause Dropbox to fail to sync your files is an underlying problem with your file. There can be several problems that your file can have. Let’s see what possible problems can be and how to solve them.

1. Identify duplicate files

There can be scenarios when more than one file might have the same name. In this case, Dropbox might be unable to manage the different files. So, you should check for duplicate file names and rename the same.

2. Identify unsupported file types

Dropbox does not support temporary files. Most temporary files start with a dot; for example, “.ds_store,” “.dropbox,” etc. are examples of unsupported files. Some system files won’t be uploaded to the cloud.

3. Look for any Copyrighted files

Dropbox does not allow its users to upload files that violate the copyright and DMCA standards policies. This is mostly done to avoid any kind of piracy and unauthorized access to files. So, if you have any files on your system, they won’t be backed up.

4. Unlock any Locked files

macOS has a feature that allows you to lock any file very easily. However, it interferes with the Dropbox system, so the locked files are not accessed by it. This causes the file not to get uploaded to your Dropbox storage. To unlock a locked file, here’s what you have to do:

  1. Select the file that is not getting uploaded and press “command” and “I” together.
  2. It will open the info page of the particular file.
  3. Once you are there, check if the “Locked” option is checked or not. If it is, uncheck it and see if it is getting uploaded or not.

Fix 2: Check Your Network Connection

This is one of the most common reasons for a lot of problems. A stable internet connection is required for most of the daily application tasks. Uploading your data to Dropbox also needs a stable internet connection so that it can seamlessly upload the files without any interruptions. Try connecting your Mac to WiFi with higher speed and stability. Also, it is recommended that you work close to the router, so you do not face any blockage due to walls.

Another reason that can cause network interruption is the macOS Firewall. If the abovementioned step didn’t work for you, follow the steps below to disable the Firewall on your Mac:

  1. Open “System Preferences” on your Mac.
  2. Now click on “Security and Privacy”.
  3. Now click on “Firewall” from the top bar.
  4. Now click on the Lock icon on the bottom left and enter your password to toggle the Firewall option.
  5. If the Firewall is turned on, turn it off by clicking the “Turn Off Firewall” button.
  6. Click on the Lock icon again to save the settings.

Fix 3: Check If You Have Exceeded Your Storage Quota

Most of these Storage services come with a predefined Storage quota, providing different plans to upgrade them. However, the free plans mostly allow us to use a much lesser amount of storage which gets filled up very quickly. To overcome this issue, you either need to buy a premium subscription with higher storage or manage your storage like a pro. Here is how to access your account and manage your storage:

  1. Open your Dropbox account on the Web.
  2. Now click on your Profile Picture or Initials, then click on “Settings.”
  3. Once you are on the Settings page, click on “Plan,” and Dropbox will itself suggest how to manage your storage.

Fix 4: Change Your Backup Setting on Dropbox

If your desired folder/file is not selected properly, it won’t be backed up to your Dropbox storage. Most of us install these applications and leave them to work independently. However, they need to understand your requirements to upload your preferred files and folders.

  1. Click on the Dropbox icon on the Menu bar.
  2. Now click on your Profile Picture or Initials, then click on “Preferences.”
  3. Now click on “Sync” and “Select folders.”
  4. Now you can select the folders you want to sync. Select them and click on “Update”.

Fix 5: Sync Your Mac Date and Time

You must have the date and time synced with the online service to properly sync files and folders between the cloud and your Mac. The best way to overcome this problem is to automatically sync the date and time with Apple’s server and not use custom settings. Fixing this is a pretty easy task, and here is how to do it:

  1. Open System Preferences and click on “Date & Time.”
  2. Now click on the Lock icon in the bottom left and enter your password.
  3. Now, make sure that “Set date and time automatically” is checked and the server is “Apple (”.
  4. Click on the Lock icon again to save the settings.

Fix 6: Provide Full Disk Access to Dropbox

Dropbox needs full disk access to make it work without any problems. However, some of us do not provide full disk access to these apps due to security reasons. But, if you are facing any error in syncing your files, provide full disk access to Dropbox, which will mostly fix the issue.

  1. Open System Preferences and click on “Security & Privacy.”
  2. Now click on “Privacy” and head to “Full Disk Access.”
  3. Now click on the Lock icon in the bottom left and enter your password.
  4. Now make sure Dropbox is checked as it permits Dropbox.
  5. Click on the Lock icon again to save the settings.
  6. Quit and Restart Dropbox and see if it is Syncing or not.

Bonus: Fix for Common Problems

Apart from all the problems we have discussed, several other problems can cause Dropbox to fail to sync with the cloud. If the abovementioned steps didn’t work for you at all, you can try these solutions and see if it is working or not.

  1. Re-login to Your Dropbox Account
  1. Open the Dropbox Preferences and click on “Account”.
  2. Now click on “Sign out” to sign out of the app.
  3. Now open the app again and re-login with your credentials.

2. Force Quit Dropbox

  1. Open “Activity Monitor” using Spotlight and navigate to “CPU.”
  2. After that, find “Dropbox” and click on the “X” icon on the header.
  3. Now a Dialog box will appear. Click on “Force Quit.”
  4. Once the application is stopped, open the application again; this time, you should not have any issues.

3. Reinstall Dropbox

  1. Open “Applications” from Finder.
  2. Find “Dropbox” and drag it to Trash (basket icon.”
  3. Agree to any dialog box to uninstall the app.
  4. After Dropbox is done uninstalling, download the latest version and install it again and log in. Make sure to select the folders you want to upload to avoid errors.

Download Dropbox

Final Thoughts

We have provided all the possible solutions to help you overcome the Dropbox File Sync issue on macOS. All the solutions provided are tested and should fix your problems as well. However, if they do not fix your problem, you can let us know in the comments below. Also, try to use the updated macOS, a better internet plan, and a paid Dropbox account so that you do not have to face any errors in the long run. Sometimes an older macOS version can cause various errors. You can also contact dropbox Support to get help at your fingertips and do as they say, and that too should also fix your problem.

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