Let Dropbox Sync Specific Folders with 4 Easy Ways

Wanna know how to let Dropbox sync specific folder and how to make Dropbox stop syncing specific folder? Continue reading this article to learn the detailed steps of the 4 methods.


by Jonna Lasted Updated April 10, 2024

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Only want to sync specific folders on my 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 how do I only sync specific folders in Dropbox? Thank you!”

How do I let Dropbox sync specific folders?

Generally speaking, installing and running Dropbox on a computer will allow users to store and sync files and folders to the cloud, and access them from any other device that has the Dropbox app installed. After enabling Dropbox sync, the service will synchronize all the content in the account to the computer by default. Is there any way to enable Dropbox to sync specific folders?

When Dropbox syncs all files to Mac or PC, it will take up hard drive space very much. For Dropbox saving hard drive space, users may need that Dropbox backup specific folders, which they need.

No matter what your reason is, you want to prevent a folder from automatically syncing with Dropbox, or you want to sync only individual folders to free up local space, you may want to know how to let Dropbox sync any folder, and how to let Dropbox stop syncing specific folders. You can do this by the methods in the following content.

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Way 1. Dropbox sync specific folders with Selective Sync

The Dropbox selective sync feature covers all Dropbox users. Enable this feature to select Dropbox to sync specific folders to the computer. You can also make Dropbox pause syncing specific folders when using Selective Sync to deselect some folders to free up space.

On Windows

Step 1. Download and install the Dropbox desktop app on PC, and log in to your Dropbox account.

Step 2. Tap the Dropbox icon in the system tray, click the Settings icon at the top right corner, then click Preferences.

Dropbox Preferences

Step 3. Under the Sync tab, click the Selective Sync button, press OK to continue.

Dropbox Selective Sync on Windows

Step 4. Uncheck unnecessary folders, and Dropbox will not sync unchecked folders. Click Update to confirm that Dropbox only syncs specific folders.

Selective Sync Update

On Mac

Step 1. Download and install the Dropbox desktop app on Mac, and sign in with your Dropbox account.

Step 2. Tap the Dropbox icon in the menu bar, click the Settings icon at the top right corner, then click Preferences.

Dropbox Preferences Mac

Step 3. Under the Sync tab, click the Choose Folders button on the Selective Sync section.

Dropbox Selective Sync Choose Folders Mac

Step 4. Unselect unnecessary folders and Dropbox will not sync unchecked folders, click Update to confirm.

Dropbox Selective Sync Update

Step 5. Click Update again in the pop-up window to let Dropbox sync only certain folders to your computer.

Way 2. Dropbox backup specific folders with Smart Sync

If you are using Dropbox Plus, family, professional, or a member of a business plan, you can use Dropbox Smart Syncto make files online only, so that you don't take up too much space on your hard drive, and you can access all Dropbox files locally, which goes as follows:

Step 1. Open the Dropbox desktop app from your computer, and log in to your Dropbox account.

Step 2. Open the File Explorer (on Windows) or Finder (on Mac), navigate to the Dropbox folder.

Step 3. Right-click a folder, and click Local in the Smart Sync drop-down menu, it makes Dropbox sync one folder only.

Step 4. If you need to stop Dropbox from syncing a folder to your computer, you need to switch its status to Online Only.

Smart Sync Online Only

How to sync specific folders to Dropbox?

In addition to using the above 2 methods to select the folder method that only needs to be synced from Dropbox to the computer, you can also set Dropbox to sync only specific folders according to the following text:

Solution 1. Modify folders to sync from PC to Dropbox

Step 1. Go to Dropbox > Settings > Preferences, under the Backups tab, tap the Set up button.

Dropbox Sync Certain Folders from This PC

Step 2. Tick the specific folders you want to sync from your computer to Dropbox. You can also click Add folders to add more folders that need to be synced.

Step 3. Click the Set up button to confirm.

Selectively Sync Folders to Dropbox

Solution 2. Change the Camera Uploads settings to sync specific folders

If you want to sync photos and video folders from the camera to Dropbox, you can do it through the following steps.

Step 1. Go to Dropbox > Settings > Preferences, under the Backups tab, click Photos Only/Photos and Videos.

Step 2. Click OK to confirm Dropbox only sync certain folders.

Better free way to sync specific folders to Dropbox

However, when using some of the features of Dropbox, you may encounter the problem that Dropbox selective sync not working or Dropbox smart sync reports an error. You can use the free cloud backup serviceCBackup to sync files from computer to Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, etc. to avoid these problems easily. Besides, you could get a combined cloud space composed of multiple cloud storage accounts with CBackup. It also provides 10GB of CBackup Cloud space (and you could upgrade to 1TB or 5TB at a good price). 

Download CBackup Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step 1. Add Dropbox to CBackup

1. Please download CBackup desktop app, and then create a new account and log in to CBackup.

Sign in

2. Go to Storage > Dropbox > Authorize Now. Then log in to your Dropbox account and authorize to allow CBackup to access it.

Add Cloud

3. Then you can change the Cloud name and edit Storage path, and tick Note press OK to confirm.

Complete Dropbox Info

Step 2. Sync Specific Folders to Dropbox

1. Go to Sync > Sync PC to Public Cloud to backup computer to Dropbox.

Sync PC to Public Cloud

2. Edit the Task Name, and choose the specific folders in Source tab, then choose a Dropbox folder as the destination.

Add Source And Destination

3. You can also go to Settings > File Filter to select the file types you want or don’t want to sync to Dropbox, then hit OK.

Sync File Filter

4. Click Start Sync to sync specific folders to Dropbox.

Sync Files to Dropbox

Besides, you could go to Backup > Backup PC to Public Cloud to backup files to Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and more. And you could combine multiple Dropbox accounts to get more free Dropbox cloud space.


The above 4 methods can allow Dropbox to sync specific folders instead of all folders to save space on the hard drive and Dropbox account. When there is a problem with the Dropbox program, you can switch to CBackup to back up files to Dropbox. The service provides multiple backup settings and free cloud space. why don't you give this a shot?

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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