How to Do Dropbox Backup and Restore: 2 Easy and Free Ways

Want to perform Dropbox backup and restore for computer files? Go on with this to learn how to use Dropbox for data backup with Dropbox backup and a third-party tool - CBackup.


by Jonna Lasted Updated July 12, 2023

Share this: instagram reddit

Can I Use Dropbox to Backup My Computer?

Dropbox, a cloud-based file hosting service, offers users cloud storage, data synchronization, and collaborative file sharing capabilities. It serves as a versatile platform, allowing users to share files with friends and others via emails or links. Accessible through web browsers or dedicated apps, it supports installations on various devices such as Mac, PC, and mobile.

Many people may want to know - can I use Dropbox for file backup and restore? Yes. Dropbox offers a free Dropbox Backup feature that provides an easy way to automatically back up important files and folders on computer and external hard drives. In this guide, we will elaborate on how to create Dropbox backup and restore using Dropbox Backup and free third-party backup software. Let’s begin.

Bakcup Computer to Dropbox

Dropbox Backup vs. Sync

It's common knowledge that Dropbox primarily functions as a synchronization tool rather than a dedicated cloud backup tool. But what exactly sets Dropbox backup apart from sync? Let's explore the significant distinctions.

Backup involves a one-way process that duplicates files from the source location to the destination. Whereas, sync operates in two directions, allowing files to be consistent across two or more locations.

  • In synchronization, deleting data from one location results in its deletion from other locations as well. However, when you delete a file from a backup location, it won't affect its existence in other locations.
  • While syncing grants direct access to check, monitor, and edit file sets, backed-up files need to be restored before accessing them.

How to Use Dropbox Backup to Backup Computer Files

Before setting up a backup using Dropbox Backup, it is essential to complete the following preliminary tasks:

  • Connect your computer to the Internet.
  • Ensure that all open files and applications on your computer are closed.
  • If you haven't already, install the Dropbox desktop app on your computer.

Once these initial steps are taken care of, you can proceed with the step-by-step instructions to let Dropbox backup specific folders on your computer:

Step 1. Locate and click on the Dropbox icon in your taskbar (Windows) or menu bar (Mac). Then, click on your avatar or initials in the upper right corner and select Preferences.


Step 2. Navigate to the Backups tab and click on Set up.

Set up

Step 3. Check the boxes next to the folders you wish to include in the backup. If desired, click on Add folders to include additional folders.

Choose Windows 10 Folders

Step 4. Once the folders are selected, you have the option to either proceed with the setup by clicking Set up or delay the setup by choosing Not now.

Step 5. To manage the backups, click on Manage backups to open the Dropbox backup page and select the specific backup you wish to manage from the list on the left-hand side.

Dropbox Backup Manage Backup

View progress - Monitor the real-time progress of the backup
Prioritize files - Prioritize the synchronization of specific files immediately on your computer
Skip files - Exclude certain files from being synced on your computer
View deleted files - Browse and recover deleted files that were deleted within a recent timeframe.
Rewind backup - Restore a previous version of your backup files (not available for Dropbox Basic users).

How to Restore File Backups on Dropbox

To make Dropbox restore your backup files and folders from Dropbox, you can easily download them directly from the Dropbox website, following these steps:

Step 1. Visit the Dropbox website by going to in your web browser. Then, log in.

Step 2. Select the specific backup files or folders you want to restore by checking the corresponding checkboxes. Then tap on Download.

Download Files from Dropbox

How to Perform Dropbox Backup and Restore with a Third-party Tool

While Dropbox Backup lets you do file backups, it's not very convenient to use, and there are times when Dropbox Backup is not working. Another way that you can perform Dropbox backup and restore effortlessly is with the help of CBackup, which provides an easy method for you to back up what you want to protect to Dropbox and restore backups whenever you want.

Versatile Backup Options: CBackup enables you to back up files, folders, entire computers, and even external hard drives to Dropbox.
Flexible Scheduling: With the built-in Scheduler, you can automate your backups on a daily, weekly, monthly, or specific time basis, ensuring your data remains protected without manual intervention.
Versioning and Restoration: It keeps unlimited versions of file backups and allows you to restore backups for free to the original computer to a new computer.
Background Operation: File backups and restores in CBackup are seamlessly conducted in the background, ensuring that the operation of other programs remains unaffected.
Multiple Backup Destinations: CBackup extends its support beyond Dropbox, offering you the option to backup files to OneDrive, Google Drive, and even CBackup Cloud (with 10GB of free backup space).

To let Dropbox backup external hard drive or computer files using CBackup, please follow these detailed steps:

Step 1. Begin by downloading CBackup and creating a CBackup account. Once created, log in to your CBackup account.

Download CBackupWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 2. Click Storage on the left side, choose Dropbox, and hit Authorize Now. Follow the on-screen instructions to grant CBackup access to your Dropbox files.

Select Dropbox

Step 3. Go to Backup > Backup PC to Public Cloud to initiate the creation of a backup task.

Create Task

Step 4. Under Source, choose the specific files, hard drive, or even the entire computer that you wish to include in the backup. Then, select your Dropbox account as the backup destination. Proceed to Settings > Scheduler, enable Set a backup schedule for automated backup, and choose the desired frequency or specific time for the task to be automatically performed.

Scheduled Backup

Step 5. Finally, click Start Backup to initiate the automatic backup of files to Dropbox.

Backup to Dropbox

How to Restore Dropbox Backups on CBackup

Step 1. Access your backup tasks by navigating to Tasks in CBackup. Locate the desired backup task and click on the three dots button associated with it. From the options presented, select Versions.


Step 2. Choose the version you need to restore and click on Restore.

Step 3. Select files to restore, and choose a restore path - the original location or a new location. Then, tap on Start Restore to let Dropbox restore backup without overwriting any current data.

Start Restore

Bonus Tip: How to Backup Dropbox Automatically

In addition to backing up files to Dropbox, CBackup offers the flexibility to back up your Dropbox files to various popular cloud storage solutions. For example, you can backup Dropbox files from one account to another, as well as backup Dropbox to Google Drive, OneDrive, FTP/SFTP, etc.

To show you how to backup Dropbox with CBackup, we demonstrate the detailed process of backing up Dropbox to Google Drive.

Step 1. Click Storage, and add your Google Drive account to CBackup by clicking + Add Cloud.

Add Cloud

Step 2. Go to the Backup tab, then hit Backup Public Cloud to Public Cloud.

Create Cloud Backup Task

Step 3. Edit the name of the backup task. After that, choose Dropbox as the backup source, and choose Google Drive as a backup destination.

Step 4. Customize your auto backup settings as needed. Next, click Start Backup to back up Dropbox files to Google Drive easily.

Backup Dropbox to Google Drive


This comprehensive guide offers two solutions for performing Dropbox backup and restore, accompanied by detailed step-by-step instructions. By utilizing the free backup service provided by CBackup, you gain access to benefits such as unlimited versioning and effortless file restoration for your Dropbox backups.

Additionally, CBackup allows you to expand your backup options by securely backing up your Dropbox files to other cloud storage services. Furthermore, you have the flexibility to combine multiple Dropbox accounts, effectively increasing your overall cloud storage capacity without incurring additional costs.

Jonna · Editor
Jonna becomes a professional in the areas of cloud backup and restoration, data protection, etc. after years of learning and researching. She maintains a keen eye for the latest technology trends, ensuring that the information provided is always in step with industry developments.

Free Cloud Backup & Sync Service

Transfer files between cloud drives, combine cloud storage to gain free unlimited space

Get Started Now

Secure & Free