How to Check if Dropbox is Syncing and Fix Dropbox not Syncing

How to check if Dropbox is syncing files? How do I force Dropbox to sync when it is not syncing? Get through this guide to check Dropbox sync status with ease.


by Jonna Lasted Updated March 27, 2023

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How to Check if Dropbox is Syncing

Although it comes in handy to sync local folders and files to Dropbox on computer, it is often difficult to figure out if Dropbox has stopped syncing. Thus on this page, we will teach you how to check if Dropbox is syncing and how you can fix Dropbox sync issues.

When you upload a file to Dropbox, it will send its entirety to Dropbox's servers, that is syncing to Dropbox. During the syncing process, there would be different sync statuses for files and folders. You can check the following sync status below to know how to make sure Dropbox is syncing:

Dropbox Sync Status Explanation Problem/Solutions



Indexing means it is reading all the files in your Dropbox folder and preparing to sync uploaded files.

Network instability/disconnection or synchronization interruption may cause Dropbox indexing slow or indexing taking forever.

Please check the network or try to pause/resume the Dropbox sync.

Sync Certain File


Syncing “xx” (file name) implies a specific file is syncing to your Dropbox account.

Sync Multiple Files


Syncing xx files (file numbers) means a specific number of files is syncing with Dropbox.

Pause Sync


Sync paused until a certain time/Sync paused indicates Dropbox will resume sync at the specified time or Dropbox sync has been indefinitely suspended.

Click on the Sync paused position > tap Resume Sync to resume file synchronization on Dropbox.

Up to Date


Your files are up to date means your files have synchronized to the Dropbox cloud.


The Dropbox icon with a spinning graphic means Dropbox is busy syncing.

Wait for the sync process to complete. Depending on the number and size of the files being synced, the time it takes can vary from a few days to a few seconds.



The Dropbox icon with a pause graphic indicates that Dropbox sync is paused and your uploaded files and folders will not sync to the cloud until sync resumes.

Refer to Sync paused on Dropbox above.



A red circle with a number on the Dropbox icon means there are unread notifications. It usually has nothing to do with Dropbox sync status.

Click the Dropbox icon > tap on the bell button > get all unread notifications (marked with a red dot).



Nothing on the Dropbox icon means Dropbox sync is idle and files and folders are on your computer up to date.

How to Check if Files are Successfully Synced to Dropbox

In addition to checking the sync statuses on Dropbox, you can also review icons on files in the Dropbox folder to see if your files are synced to

File Icons Explanation Problem/Solutions

Solid Green


The solid green icon with a white check mark shows the file/folder is synced, and its content is stored locally.

Locally-stored Dropbox files will take up hard drive space. You can make Dropbox files online only by right-clicking the file/folder > selecting Smart Sync > choosing Online-only.

Spinning Blue


The spinning blue icon means the file/folder is being synced.


Red X


The red x means sync has not happened.

This usually happens when there are changes on the file that are not saved on Dropbox or the file is too large.

You can pause/resume Dropbox sync to sync the file again.

Gray Minus


The gray minus means a folder or file isn’t syncing.

It usually appears on a file/folder when you're using the Dropbox selective sync feature, meaning you've opted not to sync this file or folder on your computer.

You can go to Dropbox Preferences > Sync > Select Folder to check it.

Partially Green


The partially green icon indicates the folder is synced, and it contains both local and online-only files.


Gray Cloud


The gray cloud means the file/folder is synced, but its content is online only.

The file can only be accessed when you are connected to the Internet.

You can right-click the file > Smart Sync > Local to make it available offline.

Solid Green Lock

Spinning Blue Lock

Partially Green Lock

Gray Cloud Lock


The file is locked from editing.

Right-click the file > click Unlock Editing to unlock it.

How to Fix if Dropbox is not Syncing

All information about how to check if Dropbox is syncing on the Dropbox program and on files/folders in the Dropbox folder is covered above.

If your Dropbox is not working as expected, apart from pausing and resuming Dropbox synchronization, you can follow the tips below about what to do if Dropbox is not syncing to fix syncing issues on Dropbox easily.

Tip 1. Reboot the Dropbox process

Step 1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc at the same time to go to Task Manager.

Step 2. Find Dropbox and click End task.

Task Manager

Step 3. Run the Dropbox app again to see if you could let Dropbox force sync folders or files.

Tip 2. Clear Dropbox Cache

Step 1. Press Windows + R keys on the keyboard to open the Run box.

Step 2. Paste the %HOMEPATH%\Dropbox\.dropbox.cache command and click Enter to head to the .dropbox.cache folder.


Step 3. Select all cached files/folders and click Delete to resolve Dropbox not syncing files correctly.

Clear Dropbox Cache

Tip 3. Check File Size and File Name

Dropbox does not support the use of certain special characters or emoticons in file names, including but not limited to /, :, *, ?, ", <, >, |, etc. Also, Dropbox requires file and folder paths to be less than 260 characters in length. Therefore, please check your filenames to make sure they do not have any special characters and do not exceed the character limit.

Tip 4. Ask Dropbox support for Help

Dropbox offers a Dropbox support team to help you solve any question about Dropbox. Depending on your plan and account type, you could contact Dropbox support via phone, live chat, email or the community.

Use CBackup to Sync Files to Dropbox Quickly and Error-free

If your Dropbox is not syncing and none of the above tips work, you could try CBackup to sync files to Dropbox. This is a free cloud backup and sync service for Windows users. It allows you to back up your files, folders, hard drives, and entire computers to Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and CBackup Cloud, and restore them when accidents happen.

Its sync feature can help you upload to Dropbox without local copy, saving your computer hard drive space. You can also use its cloud-to-cloud sync function to transfer Dropbox files from one account to another or migrate Dropbox to Google Drive/OneDrive/FTP/SFTP with ease.

To use CBackup to sync files to Dropbox, click the download button to install this tool on your computer. Then, proceed with the simple guide below.

Download CBackupWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step 1. Create an account for CBackup first if you don’t have one. Run the CBackup desktop client and log in.

Step 2. Go to the Storage tab, select Dropbox, and click Authorize Now to permit CBackup access to this cloud.

Select Dropbox

Step 3. On the Sync screen, choose Sync PC to Public Cloud.

Choose PC to Public Cloud

Note: If you click on the Sync Public Cloud to Public Cloud option, you will go to the Dropbox website, where you could create cloud file backup/sync tasks to transfer Dropbox files between accounts and move Dropbox files to another cloud hassle-free.

Step 4. Select files or folders you’d like to upload and pick a folder in Dropbox as your target location. Then, hit Start Sync to begin the sync process easily.

Start Sync to Dropbox

Note: CBackup also offers Scheduled Sync that can help you set up Dropbox scheduled sync files daily, weekly, or monthly flexibly. Besides, its File Filter is available for you to exclude files from Dropbox sync with one click.

In the End

Do you want to know how to check if Dropbox is syncing? With the complete guide on this page, you could check Dropbox sync status and file icons to see your file sync process clearly. Also, there are some solutions that can help you get rid of Dropbox syncing issues. What’s more, you could rely on the CBackup freeware to upload files to Dropbox with no errors.

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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