Solve Dropbox Selective Sync Conflict & Avoid It Completely

This article will show you the 3 ways to resolve the Dropbox selective sync conflict and the reason for this problem to avoid the selective sync conflict folder later.


by Jonna Lasted Updated February 1, 2023

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Dropbox Selective sync conflict mess!

“I just did a fresh OS install on my Mac, with my Dropbox folder on an external drive. The next day, I see a big mess of duplicate and triplicate folders. To make matters worse, the folder sizes are different, and there are multiple Dropbox selective sync conflict folders. Is there any way to solve it and manage these folders?”

Dropbox Selective Sync Conflict Folder

Quick Guide

What causes a Dropbox selective sync conflict?

Dropbox is a cloud storage service with a wide audience. When you save a file to the Dropbox folder on your computer, it will automatically sync the file to the cloud, and you can access the file through apps on a variety of devices. Dropbox has a "selective sync" feature, you can select only the folders you want to sync to your computer.

What does selective sync conflict mean in Dropbox? When you choose not to sync the folder to your computer in the "Selective Sync" preferences, a folder with the same name as the unsynced folder is created, and they are in the same location, a selective sync conflict in Dropbox will occur. And if you try to sync two folders, the newer folder will have the words "Selective Sync Conflict" appended.

How to resolve selective sync conflict in Dropbox?

Selective sync conflicts will not affect Dropbox's sync of other folders, and all files in the selective sync conflict folders are still safe. We provide you with three options to resolve selective sync conflicts in Dropbox and tell you what to do when selective sync conflicts in Dropbox occur. Read on to learn the specific steps.

Option 1. Add "selective sync conflict" after the name

If you do not need to sync the files in the conflict folder to the Dropbox cloud, you can ignore the selective sync conflict folders. They will not have a bad effect on other files in Dropbox, and will not prevent other files from uploading to Dropbox. You just need to continue adding "selective sync conflict" after the name.

Option 2. Change the name of the conflict folder

The conflicting folder is caused by creating a folder with the same name in the same location. In Dropbox resolve selective sync conflict, you can change the name of the conflicting folder and make sure that you do not create a folder with the same name again.

Option 3. Merge the required files

This method is suitable for accounts where there are not many files in the conflict folder: you can manually check the required files in the two folders, and transfer them to a new folder created in the Dropbox folder by dragging or copying and pasting them. And the new folder will be synced to the Dropbox cloud. After completing this operation, you can delete the two conflicting folders to free up storage space.

How to prevent a sync conflict from happening again?

Whether to avoid sync or selective sync conflicts, you need to do the following:

1. Please check your Dropbox account online to make sure the folder to be created is not in the same location.

2. If you share files with others, you’d better control your partner's operating permissions. If your partner only needs to read files, please set his permission to "read-only".

3. If your partner needs to work with you to operate the sync folder, you can tell each user to put the files they created under a subfolder named after the individual.

4. Avoid manually copying unsynced files to other computers, which may easily cause conflicts, especially Office files.

5. When the application automatically generates files (such as software configuration, etc.), avoid the application from running on multiple computers at the same time.

Although selective sync conflicts will not bring difficulties to other data sync processes, if they are not handled promptly and properly, they may affect the use of files in conflicting folders. The selective sync conflict of Dropbox can only be resolved manually. 

2 tips to deal with Dropbox Selective Sync conflicts

Sync everything from Dropbox to another cloud drive

If you resolved the issue, you could continue syncing files with Dropbox, or try another cloud storage service to avoid Dropbox selective sync conflict mess. Common and useful cloud drives include Google Drive, OneDrive, iCloud, Box, etc. They can also help you sync data and share folders with others.

What if you want to sync the Dropbox files to another cloud drive account with everything transferred, and bypass the Dropbox selective sync conflicts forever? Just try the free cloud backup service CBackup to get things done.

CBackup is a professional and secure cloud backup service, which supports Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, etc. It supports automatic sync of files from one cloud account to another cloud account and provides flexible sync settings. In this way, with only one login you can manage multiple cloud storage accounts.

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

Follow the steps listed below to sync files from Dropbox to another cloud like Google Drive for example with CBackup:

Step 1. Register an account on CBackup for free and sign in to CBackup desktop app.

Sign Up

Step 2. Click Storage and select Dropbox, and click Authorize Now. then follow the on-screen guide to grant access to CBackup to manage Dropbox files. Then edit the settings for Dropbox. And then use the same method to add your other cloud drives (Google Drive is a demonstration here).

Select Cloud Drive

Step 3. Click the Sync tab, then click the Sync Public Cloud to Public Cloud button to create a backup task.

Sync Public Cloud to Public Cloud

Step 4. Hit New Task on the CBackup web app, and then click Add Source to select Dropbox as the sync source, and hit Add Destination to choose Google Drive as the destination.

Add Source and Destination

Step 5. After selecting, click Start Sync to sync Dropbox to Google Drive easily.

Sync Dropbox to Google Drive

Tip: You could set up the Settings on the bottom left of the window, then set Scheduler to run the sync at a specific time, daily, weekly, even monthly; email notification can send you the email about the sync process; file filter can only include the file types you want to sync, and more.

Select Schedule

Better Free Way to Sync Files to Dropbox Easily

If you cannot solve the Dropbox selective sync conflict error and want to sync the data in the Dropbox conflict folder to Dropbox, there is a very simple method - use the free cloud backup service CBackup to sync files to Dropbox easily.

Note: Please ensure you have uninstalled the Dropbox desktop app on your computer.

Then do the following steps to sync files to Dropbox easily and automatically, and ensure you have added Dropbox to CBackup:

1. Please click Sync and Sync PC to Public Cloud subsequently.

Sync PC to Public Cloud

2. Then choose the local files and folders you want to sync, and select a Dropbox folder as the destination.

3. Click the Settings on the bottom left, then click Scheduler > Set a Sync schedule for automated Sync, choose One time only, Daily, Weekly, or Monthly, and hit OK.

Sync Scheduler

4. Hit the Start Sync button to sync files to Dropbox automatically.

Start Sync Files to Dropbox

Besides, you could enjoy other useful features like:
Backup files to Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, CBackup Cloud, the combined cloud, etc.
Combine multiple Dropbox accounts with CBackup to get more free storage space if your Dropbox is full.
Backup one cloud to another easily with powerful settings, like scheduler to allows you to perform Dropbox schedule backup, email notification, file filter, etc.
10GB free cloud storage space of CBackup Cloud, and you could upgrade to 5TB at a lower price.

Finally words

The methods to resolve the Dropbox selective sync conflict are introduced in the article and tell you how to correctly avoid this situation from happening again. But if you cannot completely solve this problem manually, or worry that Dropbox not working in the future, you can switch to other cloud storage services and use CBackup to back up the data in Dropbox to another cloud drive to avoid loss.

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.