By Ailsa twitter/ Last Updated March 22, 2023

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How to fix Dropbox not syncing between computers

“Two days ago, I suddenly noticed a problem with my laptop at home, that is my Dropbox not syncing between computers. I don’t know what happened. I’m sure that no settings were changed but it suddenly failed to sync. Who can tell me how to solve this problem?”


Dropbox has a wide range of users, and one of the most popular features is file sync. You just need to log in to the same email and password on different devices, then you are able to sync the local files to the Dropbox to achieve file sync between multiple devices.

Although it is liable to use Dropbox as online storage, it is not as safe as it thought sometimes. Some users may always encounter a lot of problems while using Dropbox, especially "Dropbox is not synchronized between computers". Based on this, the tutorial summarizes 12 solutions to help users solve the problem. Before we start, let's have a look at what causes the problem on eath. Please keep reading.

Causes of Dropbox smart sync not working

To make sure your work is not seriously affected, you need to fix the issue of Dropbox not syncing Windows 10 or Dropbox not syncing Android as soon as possible. And a comprehensive understanding of the causes of the problem is a good start, and it will help you understand the subsequent solutions. Here are 8 common reasons as follows.

The Internet is not connected.

Dropbox was set in error.

Extra Dropbox cache and data.

Incorrect file name.

Dropbox cloud disk has insufficient storage space.

Windows firewall and antivirus software restrictions.

File property error.

Dropbox version is not updated.

So how can you do to solve the problem? We will introduce 12 different solutions to you. Please continue reading.

12 effective solutions to Dropbox not syncing

If you are struggling with the issue Dropbox not syncing in Windows 10, just try the following 12 effective schemes, in turn, to get your Dropbox file sync back to normal.

Table of Solutions

1. Restart the Dropbox applications and processes

Typically, Dropbox works properly, but sometimes errors occur during startup of your computer, leaving the Dropbox process unresponsive, not running, or frozen, and affecting its file sync function. To fix this error, you can try to restart the Dropbox applications and processes to solve the problem.

Restart the Dropbox application

Here’s how to do it, please follow the steps.

1. Click on the Dropbox icon in the taskbar notification area, click Settings icon at the top right corner.

2. Next, select Quit in the drop-down menu, and then open the Dropbox application again.

Restart Dropbox

Restart the Dropbox process

Here’s how to do it, please follow the steps below.

Press the “Ctrl + Shift + Esc” button to open Task Manager, find Dropbox in the Process list, and click on End Task in the bottom right corner.

Task Manager

Note: If the Dropbox process is not found, it means that the process is over and please start it again.

2. Check out the internet connections

Besides, connecting to normal networks is a prerequisite for Dropbox file synchronization functions, so you need to check the internet connection of your computer. Firstly, you need to make sure the router is working properly and you can also try to fix the problem by restarting the router.

If you can't access the Dropbox website normally through your browser, then you can open "Windows Settings", find the "Network & Internet" option, and click “Status”>"Network troubleshooter" to solve the network connection problem.

Check Network Connection

3. Clear the Dropbox application cache and data

When Dropbox accumulates excessive cache and data, it may cause the software to function of Dropbox syncing Android improperly. To solve the problem of Dropbox smart sync not working, you need to clear the cache and data on Dropbox, but please note that different devices clear the cache differently.

Mobile terminal (take iPhone for example)

Please check and follow the guide to detailed operations on iPhone.

1. Download and install Dropbox APP at App Store, find the Account tab below the Dropbox,

2. Click the Settings button at the top right corner, and click the Clear cache option at the bottom of the interface.

Clear Cache

Note: Android phone operates similar to iPhone, both finding the Clear cache option in the settings.

PC terminal (clear the cache on the Mac)

Please check and follow the guide to detailed operations on Mac.

Step 1. Open Finder, select GO at the top, and select Go to Folder in the drop-down menu to open the search window. (You can also open the window directly by pressing Command + Shift + G).

Note: If your Dropbox file is saved in the default location, enter "~ / Dropbox / in the search box. dropbox.cache " is OK. ("~" refers to the main folder, "/ Dropbox" refers to your Dropbox folder, and " /. dropbox.cache " is a hidden folder that Dropbox uses as a cache.)

Dropbox Mac Go To Folder Popup

Step 2. Click on GO to open the cache folder.

Dropbox Mac Cache Folder

Step 3. You can view the currently cached files and then drag all folders to the bin on “Dock

Dropbox Cache Drag To Trash

PC terminal (clear the cache in Windows)

Please check and follow the guide to detailed operations in Windows.

Step 1. Use the Windows + R combo to open the Run dialog box and enter the command “%HOMEPATH%\Dropbox\.dropbox.cache" and click OK.

Input The Command

Step 2. Right-click all the files and folders in “.dropbox.cache”, select Delete in the drop-down menu, and empty the recycle bin for permanent removal (or use Shift + Delete directly).

Clear All Cache

PC terminal (clear the cache on Linux)

Please check and follow the guide to detailed operations on Linux.

Step 1. Double-click the Home icon on the desktop, click the View option at the top, and check the Show Hidden File option in the drop-down menu (or use Ctrl + H to switch the hidden file view).

Show Hidden Files

Step 2. Double-click to open the Dropbox folder and find the hidden ".dropbox.cache" folder.

Open Hidden Files

Step 3. Select all the files and folders in “.dropbox.cache” and select Delete in the drop-down menu.

Delete Hidden Files

4. Check the file name

File names in Dropbox only support Latin characters, and if some of your files use unsupported special characters, they will failed to be synchronized to other computers. Unsupported file types include the following:

Folder: “desktop.ini”, “thumbs.db”, “.ds_store”, “icon\r”, “.dropbox”and “.dropbox.attr”.

A temporary file created by an application (for example, Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint). They are usually used in “~$” (a wave number and dollar symbol) or “.~”(a dial points and wave number) beginning.

In addition, Dropbox files won’t open that are showing on other computers, so you need to close all files on other computers to make sure Dropbox file sync works properly.

5. Check for the local storage space

When facing Dropbox stuck syncing, You may only notice cloud storage with Dropbox, but in fact, local storage is also important. Dropbox may automatically stop the file sync feature if the local disk space is insufficient. Therefore, you need to check for the local storage space.

Here are the steps:

Right-click the “This PC” icon on your desktop, select Properties on the drop-down menu, switch to the General tab to check for disk space, and click the Disk Cleanup option to manage disk space.

Disk Cleanup

6. Disable the antivirus software

While antivirus software improves computer security, it may also limit certain functions of Dropbox, disabling its file synchronization capabilities. To end this error, you need to temporarily disable antivirus software.

Step 1. Use the Windows + I to open the Windows settings and navigate to Update and Security> Windows Security> Virus and Threat Protection> Manage Settings.

Virus Threat Protection

Step 2. Switch Off to close the Real-time Protection.

Disable Windows Defender Antivirus

7. Disable Windows Defender firewall

The Windows Defender firewall is similar to antivirus software, both are used to improve computer security, but it is always too strict and may sometimes stop Dropbox from file syncing in progress between computers. So you can turn on permissions to allow Dropbox through the Windows Defender firewall, but the best way is to close it temporarily.

Step 1. Use the Windows + R combination key to open the Run dialog box, input “control”, and then click OK to open the control panel.

Open The Control Panel

Step 2. Find and click System and Security on the control panel main interface, and then select Windows Defender Firewall.

Windows Defender Firewall

Step 3. Find and click on Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off on the left sidebar.

Turn Off Windows Defender Firewall

Step 4. Select Turn off Windows Defender Firewall under the private network settings, select Turn off Windows Defender Firewall under the public network settings, and then click OK.

Change Network Settings Firewall

8. Modify read-only files or files not locked by Dropbox applications

Dropbox stuck uploading issue may be caused by the file format. Since file sync feature of Dropbox does not apply to read-only files or files locked by non-Dropbox applications, you need to modify the file properties so that the file sync function works normally.

Windows Version: Check in the file properties if your file is Read-only, and uncheck the option, then click OK.

Cancel The Read Only Option

Mac Version: Check if your document is locked in the file information and unlock it if so. (How to see the file is locked? Check if there is a locked icon).

9. Uninstall and reinstall the Dropbox

If the solutions mentioned above do not work, uninstalling and reinstalling is the easiest solution when you deal with tough problems. So when you have a problem that Dropbox is unable to be synchronized between computers, you can consider using the uninstall and reinstall method.

Step 1. Use Windows + I to open Windows settings and click the Apps option. Switch on the left sidebar to Apps & features, find Dropbox in the list of apps in the right window, and then click Uninstall.

Uninstall Dropbox

Step 2. Use Windows + E tab to open File Explorer, enter “%LOCALAPPDATA%” in the address bar, and press Enter.

Open File Explorer

Step 3. Right-click the Dropbox file and select Delete from the expanded menu. Return to File Explorer to continue entering “%APPDATA%”, “%PROGRAMFILES(X86)%”, and “%PROGRAMFILES%”, then delete the Dropbox folder from these directories, and then reinstall Dropbox.

Delete The Dropbox File

10. Reconnect Dropbox account

In addition, from some user feedback results, reconnecting Dropbox accounts can also help solve the problem that Dropbox sync not working. You need to first exit the original Dropbox account and log in again to try to fix the problem.

Step 1. Click on the Dropbox icon in the taskbar notification area, click the Settings button in the top right corner, and select the Quit option in the drop-down menu.

Step 2. After confirming the exit of the Dropbox account, then click the "Sign in" option in the same position to reconnect the Dropbox account.

Sign in

11. Install the latest version of Dropbox

If your Dropbox fails to sync in Windows 10 as before after trying several methods, you could try installing the latest version of Dropbox. Whether it's a system or software, you can always fix some previous errors after an update. If you're confused about the problem that Dropbox can't sync, try updating the Dropbox version to solve the problem.

You can uninstall Dropbox, then open the Dropbox website from your browser, download and install the latest version of Dropbox. 

12. Make sure to login with the same Dropbox account

Finally, although this seems incredible, there has been a Dropbox account login error which lead to syncing progress being stuck before. To solve the problem, you need to check for consistent Dropbox accounts logged in on two computers, and if not the same account, correct it as soon as possible to restore file synchronization between computers.

Tip: Easier way to backup files to Dropbox-CBackup

If you urgently need to sync files to the Dropbox cloud drive, it is highly recommended to use the free cloud backup service CBackup, a free and professional cloud backup software for mainstream operating systems such as Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP.

It enables you to back up and sync all your data from local to the cloud effectively. So with CBackup, you are able to sync Dropbox between computers with ease and there’s no worry of any uploading error. What’s more, you can enjoy unlimited free cloud storage by combining your idle cloud space when the storage is insufficient for you.

Cbackup Main Page

So how to synchronize local files to Dropbox by using CBackup? First, we need to download and install the CBackup client, and then follow the steps below:

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

Add Dropbox to CBackup 

Here are steps to add Dropbox to CBackup, please follow.

Step 1. Open the browser, sign up with your CBackup account for free, and log into the CBackup.

Sign up

Step 2. Click the Storage option on the left menu bar, select "Dropbox" and click "Authorize Now", and then operate step by step according to the interface prompts to grant CBackup access to the Dropbox file.

Add Dropbox 

Step 3. Return to the CBackup interface, edit the Cloud name and Storage path of Dropbox, tick the “Note" option, and then click OK.

Complete Dropbox Info

Backup files to Dropbox

Here are steps to backup files to Dropbox with CBackup, please do as follows.

Step 1. Select the Backup button on the menu bar and click Backup PC to Public Cloud.

Create Task

Step 2. Edit the Task Name and add files as the backup source, and select the Dropbox that you have added as the backup destination. After confirming that the Dropbox account has been successfully added, click on Start Backup to start the task.

Start Backup 

As mentioned above, using CBackup can also increase your Dropbox storage space. When your Dropbox cloud storage is insufficient and you don't want to pay extra, use CBackup to merge multiple Dropbox accounts for free to get more cloud storage space.

CBackup has the following advantages over the popular Dropbox:

Dropbox will only offer 2GB of free cloud storage, while CBackup gives you 10GB CBackup Cloud of space for free and you can combine multiple cloud disks for more free cloud space.

CBackup is superior in stability and provides security for your data.

CBackup offers multiple backup destinations, including popular cloud storage services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive.

CBackup enables backup and sync between cloud storage while Dropbox does not.

In addition, CBackup uses 256-bit AES encryption, which makes your data transfer more secure, and OAuth, and which allows absolute privacy for your logged-in information.


If you're worried about Dropbox not syncing between computers, try the 12 options listed above and they can provide some help for you. But if you still fail to solve the problem, it may be due to more complex reasons. If you want to sync and back up files to Dropbox, it is recommended to use CBackup, which is not only better in stability but also enables backup and sync between cloud drives, allowing you to enjoy more free cloud space by combining multiple cloud disks.

Get Unlimited Cloud Storage for Free to Protect Files with CBackup

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