By Ailsa twitter/ Last Updated September 29, 2021

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How to sync only certain folders on Dropbox?

“I have all my files in Dropbox on my PC. I want to "some" of them, not all of them on my laptop. When I downloaded Dropbox on the laptop, I ended with "all" files on the laptop.

Can someone please let me know how to remove those files I don't want on the laptop? Or do I have to start all over? And then if I have to start all over, how do I only get the files I want?

Thank you!”

-- Question from dropboxforum.com

“I have a desktop machine with plenty of space with Dropbox set up. I also have a netbook with limited space. Is there any way to set up my netbook to sync only with certain folders in my Dropbox (i.e., sync my 10 MB of documents not my 100 GB of pictures)?”

-- Question from superuser.com

If you have problems with sync only certain folders on Dropbox, don’t be in a panic, there are some solutions for you listed below.

Sync Certain Folders with Dropbox Selective Sync

Dropbox Selective Sync feature is available for all Dropbox users, including Dropbox Basic plan, Plus, Family, Professional and Business plans, to sync only certain folders to computer. With Dropbox Selective Sync, you could unselect the folders you want to remove from the computer to free up space and make Dropbox sync only certain folders to the computer. All files and folders are still stored in dropbox.com.

Here is how to use Dropbox selective sync to sync only certain folders.

On Windows

1. Install Dropbox desktop app and log in to your Dropbox account.

2. Tap Dropbox icon in system tray.

3. Click the Gear icon at the top right corner, then select Preferences.

4. Select the Sync tab, then press Selective Sync ... button.

5. Unselect the folders you want to remove from your computer hard drive to change Dropbox sync folders, click Update.

Update Dropbox Selective Sync

6. Then click Update again to let Dropbox sync only the selected folders to your computer.

Update Dropbox Selective Sync Confirm

On Mac

1. Install Dropbox desktop app on Mac and log in to your Dropbox account.

2. Tap the Dropbox icon in the menu bar.

3. Click the Gear icon at the top right corner, then select Preferences.

Dropbox Preferences Mac

4. Select the Sync tab, then press Choose Folders button under the Selective Sync section.

Dropbox Selective Sync Choose Folders Mac

5. Unselect the folders you want to remove from your computer hard drive, click Update.

Dropbox Selective Sync Update

6. Then click Update again to let Dropbox sync only the selected folders to your computer.

Dropbox Smart Sync

If you are using the Dropbox Plus, Family, Professional, or Business plans, you are able to use the Dropbox smart sync to sync only specific folders to computer like the following steps:

Enable Dropbox Automatic Smart Sync

1. Please install the Dropbox desktop app and log in to your Dropbox account.

2. Tap the Dropbox icon in the system tray or menu bar.

3. Click the settings icon at the top right, and then choose Preferences.

4. Select the Sync tab, and then choose On under Save hard drive space automatically.

Dropbox Enable Automatic Smart Sync

Set Dropbox File or Folder Online Only/Local to Sync Only Certain Folders

Besides, you could set up the smart sync for your files and folders to make Dropbox sync only certain folders in Dropbox.

1. Log in to your Dropbox account with Dropbox desktop app on your computer.

2. Open your Dropbox folder in File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac).

3. Right-click the file or folder you want to remove from the hard drive, select Online Only at the Smart Sync drop-down menu.

4. If all your files and folders are online only, you could select Local at the Smart Sync context menu to make Dropbox only sync certain folders to your computer.

How to Selectively Sync Certain Folders to Dropbox?

As a matter of fact, you could selectively sync the Dropbox folders according to the following words:

Change folders to sync from computer to Dropbox:

1. Please go to Dropbox preferences.

2. Tap the Backups tab, then click Set up button under This PC section.

Dropbox Sync Certain Folders From This Pc

3. Choose the certain types of folders you want to sync from the computer to Dropbox. You could also click Add folders to add other folders to sync.

Selectively Sync Folders to Dropbox

4. Then press the Set up button.

Change Dropbox Camera Uploads settings to sync only certain folders:

If you want to set up to sync certain folders like photos or Photos and Videos for camera upload, just refer to the steps:

1. Please go to Dropbox Preferences.

2. Tap the Backups tab, select Photos Only or Photos and Videos behind the Enable camera uploads for under the Camera Upload section.

3. Hit OK to make Dropbox sync only certain folders.

However, you might encounter the Dropbox selective sync not working or Dropbox smart sync issues, like Dropbox smart sync not working, etc. What should you do to sync certain folders to Dropbox.

Better Way to Sync Certain Folders to Dropbox

Fortunately, we will show you the better way to make Dropbox sync only certain folders. And it’s highly recommended to try the free cloud backup service CBackup to sync certain folders to Dropbox. Please install the CBackup desktop app, and then create a new CBackup account and sign in.

Step 1. Tap the My Storage icon on the left side, then hit + Add Cloud button, and select Dropbox and hit Add. Then press Authorize > Allow to allow CBackup to access your Dropbox account.

Add Cloud

Step 2. Customize the Display Name and edit Storage Path, and tick the option “Note: Please do not change the path directly in the third-party cloud, nor modify or delete the backup file.”, and press OK.

Complete Dropbox Info

Step 3. Select Backup Tasks at the left side to backup certain folders to Dropbox.

Create Task

Step 4. Customize the Task Name, and click Add Source to choose the folders and hit OK, click Add Destination > Single Cloud and hit Next, and then choose Dropbox and hit OK.

Add Source

Step 5. Tap Settings > File Filter > select Exclude selected file types or Include the selected file types and specify the types you want or don’t want to backup to Dropbox, then hit OK.

File Filter

Step 6. Press Start Backup to backup certain folders to Dropbox.

Start Backup

The Epilogue

There are multiple ways for you to make Dropbox sync only certain folders not all Dropbox folders especially when there is no enough hard drive space. Dropbox selective sync and smart sync will help you out. It’s better to try the free cloud backup service If your Dropbox stuck syncing, which provides more useful features, like Dropbox schedule sync, email notification or file filter, etc.

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