Let Dropbox One-Way Sync: Local to Cloud & Cloud to Cloud

How to make Dropbox one-way sync files from/to local or another cloud drive? This article will show you 4 methods to achieve it. Please read on and learn the detailed steps.


by Jonna Lasted Updated April 10, 2024

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About Dropbox one way sync

Dropbox is one of the mainstream cloud storage services, and users are used to storing files in remote locations and syncing files. As one of the most useful features of Dropbox, file sync is actually the process of ensuring that the same files are contained in different locations. So what is Dropbox one way sync?

one-way sync vs. two-way sync

The most common types of file sync are one-way sync and two-way sync. As long as the device is connected to the network normally, all selected files and edits to files will be synced to another place.

One-way sync is a sync project that only involves one direction. Files will be transferred from the source location to the target without transferring any files back. For Dropbox one way to sync on Mac and Windows PC, it can be to sync files from the local to Dropbox to store data, it can also be to sync files from the Dropbox cloud to the local, or to sync files from Dropbox to another cloud drive.

Two-way sync is a two-way copy of files so that the two locations are synced with each other. In this type of sync, changes made at the source or target location will be reflected in both directions.

One Way Sync

According to the different needs of users, the source and destination of the one-way sync of Dropbox they need to perform are also different. In the following content, you can learn how to sync Dropbox to local, sync computer files to Dropbox, and sync data between Dropbox and another cloud drive.

Part 1. One-way sync PC files to Dropbox

On the Dropbox website, users are only allowed to manually select and upload files. You can use the official Dropbox client tool to backup computer to Dropbox. The program will generate a Dropbox folder on the desktop to help complete the process. Next, learn how to set up one-way sync to Dropbox from locally.

Step 1. Go to the Dropbox download page, install and launch the Dropbox app.

Step 2. Log in to your Dropbox account, and click Open my Dropbox, it will generate a folder on your computer.

Open my Dropbox

Step 3. The Dropbox folder is usually located at C:\Users\Username. Now you only need to add any file or folder to the Dropbox folder, and it will automatically start one-way syncing data to your Dropbox cloud.

Dropbox in Windows Explorer

Part 2. One-way sync Dropbox to local location

So how to make Dropbox only sync one way to the local hard drive? You can set up folders that need to be synced from the cloud to your computer through Dropbox selective sync.

Step 1. Find the Dropbox icon in the desktop taskbar, right-click it, and then click Settings > Preferences.

Dropbox Preferences

Step 2. Find the Sync tab in the pop-up window and click the Selective Sync button.

Dropbox Selective Sync on Windows

Step 3. In the next pop-up window, all folders on your computer will be listed. You need to tick the folders you want to sync from Dropbox to your computer and then click Update.

Selective Sync Update

Note: If you don’t want the Dropbox app to automatically reflect local changes back to the cloud, you need to avoid editing the synced folders on your local computer.

Part 3. One-way sync Dropbox to another cloud and vice versa

There are many cloud storage services on the market, and several mainstream services such as Google Drive, OneDrive, and iCloud have their own characteristics. You may make Dropbox sync one way to another cloud or vice versa for one of the following reasons:

  • There is not enough storage in your Dropbox account, you need to migrate Dropbox to another cloud drive with more storage to get more space.

  • You are using Dropbox and another cloud drive at the same time, and you need to synchronize Dropbox to other clouds in one direction to better manage files.

  • You may give up another cloud drive and switch to Dropbox, or it may be the opposite. Before that, you need to sync files from one cloud to another.

You may have also discovered that Dropbox does not officially provide cloud to cloud sync service. If you need it, you can rely on the free cloud backup service - CBackup to sync Dropbox to another drive account directly without downloading and uploading manually.

Here are the steps to perform Dropbox one-way sync to Google Drive for example, just follow the steps to make it:

Step 1. Please download and install the CBackup desktop app, and register for a free CBackup account, then log in.

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

Step 2. Click Storage > Dropbox > Authorize Now in turn to add, then follow the same step to add Google Drive.

Add Dropbox

Note: You need to add and authorize each cloud drive account in turn. You can add as many cloud drives as possible to CBackup, and the idle storage of these accounts can be combined into a large backup space.

Step 3. Hit Sync > Sync Public Cloud to Public Cloud in consequence.

Sync Public Cloud to Public Cloud

Step 4. Click the Sync Tasks tab and tap the New Task button to create your sync task.

Create Sync

Step 5. Click Add Source to choose Dropbox, and click Add Destination to choose Google Drive as the sync destination.

Add Sync sSurce and Destination

Step 6. Click the Start Sync to one-way sync Dropbox to Google Drive.

Sync Dropbox to Google Drive

Tips: You can set up the Scheduler to run automatically, Email Notification to get the sync result in time, and File Filter to only include the file types you'd like in Settings (bottom left co).

Easier way to one-way sync local folder to Dropbox

Syncing the Dropbox app to sync all the files from the computer to Dropbox is still more troublesome because you need to manually add the files to the Dropbox folder before the process will start. Fortunately, the CBackup client provides an easier way to back up your computer to Dropbox. As a professional cloud backup service, CBackup is not only a cloud to cloud sync and backup solution, but also one of the best offsite backup solutions.

Step 1. Please ensure you have added Dropbox to CBackup.

Step 2. Then go to Sync > Sync PC to Public Cloud to create a new PC to cloud sync task to sync local files to Dropbox.

Sync PC to Public Cloud

Step 3. Select entire computer files or specific folders as you want. Select Dropbox as the sync destination.

Step 4. Press the Start Backup button to back up the computer to Dropbox easily.

Start Sync Files to Dropbox

If your Dropbox is full, you're allowed to merge two or more Dropbox accounts or other clouds, like Google Drive, OneDrive, etc. So, you can increase Dropbox storage space for free.
CBackup uses incremental backup while performing cloud backup so that it only backs up the changed parts since the last backup once the files get changed, saving backup time and your cloud space.


You can use the above 4 methods to make Dropbox one-way sync files, whether you need to sync one-way from the local to Dropbox, or one-way sync from Dropbox to the local, or sync files between clouds, you can from the content above to find an effective method. If you need to sync files now, why not try it now?

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.

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