How to use Dropbox Selective Sync« Back to Tech Tips
Dropbox cloud storage service helps you keep files safe so they are always available when you need them. You can sync files across devices linked to your account and access them whenever you like.
Dropbox syncs all your folders, including large media files and personal files, using Smart Sync. If you use Dropbox at home and work, chances are you don’t need folders from your devices syncing to your office computer. Also, you may want to prevent large folders on your computer from syncing to other devices.
Dropbox’s Selective Sync feature allows you to choose which folders you would like to download or sync to any of your Dropbox-linked devices. It creates a simple method of saving space on your hard drive. You won’t lose any files in your Dropbox storage by using Selective Sync, as any folder you choose to remove from your computer storage remains safe in your Dropbox account. The feature is available on all Dropbox plans, including the free Basic plan.
To use Selective Sync, you must first install the Dropbox desktop application on your computer.
How to use Dropbox Selective Sync for Mac
- Click on the Dropbox app icon on the taskbar on your Mac to begin.
- Click on Settings in the drop-down menu and select Preferences.
- Click on the Sync icon on the Dropbox Preferences screen to switch to the Selective Sync tab.
- Under Selective Sync, click ‘’Selective Sync’’. Check folders you would like to save to the computer, and uncheck folders you do not need. Unchecked folders will be deleted from the computer.
- Uncheck already synced folders if you wish to delete them from your hard drive, but have them in the Dropbox cloud.
- Once done, click Update in the lower right corner. A verification dialog box will pop up. Then, click Update to confirm.
To re-sync deleted folders on your Mac, follow the first four steps above and re-check the folders to download them from Dropbox storage to your computer.
How to use Dropbox Selective Sync for Windows PC
- Click the Dropbox icon on your taskbar.
- Click on Settings (gear icon) in the top-right corner of the pop-up menu.
- Select Preferences from the drop-down menu.
- Click the Account tab or Sync tab on the Dropbox Preferences screen.
- Select the preferred account to update if your personal and work accounts are connected.
- Click ‘’Selective Sync.’’
- Check the folders you would like to save to the computer from the list.
- Uncheck the folders you wish to remove — they will be deleted from your computer but will remain in cloud storage.
- Uncheck already synced folders if you wish to delete them from your computer, but still have them in the Dropbox cloud.
- Once done, click Update in the lower right corner. A verification dialogue box will pop up.
- Click Update to confirm.
Note that the Selective Sync settings do not affect your entire Dropbox account. You need to go through this same processes on all your other linked computers.« Back to Tech Tips