By Kelsey twitter/ Last Updated May 27, 2022

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  • Are you afraid of accidentally losing the data stored on your hard drive?
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Can you upload to Dropbox from an external hard drive?

Dropbox has attracted many users because of its simple cloud storage and sync services. Cloud storage services such as Dropbox, as the most popular backup method nowadays, have gradually begun to replace external hard drives.


Many users have begun to look for ways to sync external hard drive to Dropbox, because when users store and sync data to the cloud through Dropbox, this will not only make up for the shortcomings of external hard drives (it is easy to be stolen and easily damaged in disasters), you can also access the data in the cloud at any time on different devices, without the need to carry a hard disk.

Dropbox provides apps that are compatible with Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. As long as you have an account and backup files to Dropbox, you can sync files to any device for access. Dropbox provides each user with 2GB of storage space for free, and then you can learn how to sync Dropbox to external drive and vice versa in this article.

How do I sync my external hard drive with Dropbox?

“For many years I have worked between Mac computers at home and the office using an external hard drive to sync my files, however, I would like to change to a Dropbox folder instead, for convenience and security reasons, and I want to sync external hard drive to Dropbox. Besides, I would like to know if can take my Dropbox sync external drive, so I can still use it if I need to travel and there's no Wi-Fi to connect to Dropbox.”

Still, some users do not know how to sync external drives to Dropbox. In the following content, we will take you to learn all the solutions to sync Dropbox to external hard drive or vice versa.

How to sync external hard drive with Dropbox

Can Dropbox sync to an external hard drive or vice versa? The answer is of course yes. Dropbox officially provides two channels to allow local files to be synced to the cloud. In addition, we will also provide a simpler method. Read on to learn how to sync external hard drive with Dropbox.

Before starting the following methods, please make sure that you have connected the external hard drive to your computer and can read the data locally because if you connect the external hard drive to your computer, Dropbox will treat it as part of the local storage.

Way 1. Drag and drop files to Dropbox website

The Dropbox web app supports file reception, you can sync external drive to Dropbox by following the steps below.

1. Go to the Dropbox website and log in to your account to go to your Dropbox interface.

2. Open your file explorer and navigate to the folder where the external hard drive data is located, select the file that needs to be synced to Dropbox with the mouse, and then drag it to the Dropbox website. The external hard drive files you move will be synced to Dropbox directly.

drag and drop files to Dropbox

Way 2. Upload external hard drive files to Dropbox

If you only have a small number of files to upload, you can sync files from your external hard drive to Dropbox in the following two simple steps.

1. Go to the Dropbox website and log in to your account.

2. Under the Home tab, click Upload files/Upload folder. Alternatively, you can also under the All files tab to click Upload > Files/Folders.

upload files to Dropbox

Then the external hard drive files will be synced to Dropbox after uploading.

Way 3. Sync external hard drive files with Dropbox Folder

Dropbox offers a desktop application that supports file syncing, so you can make Dropbox sync external drive through the following steps.

1. Download and install the Dropbox app on your computer, launch the app and log in to your account.

Dropbox Signin

2. After that, Dropbox will create a folder named Dropbox on your computer.

3. Open the folder, and then open the folder storing the external hard drive data from another window. Drag or paste the files that need to be synced to the Dropbox folder to take Dropbox sync with external hard drive.

Upload files to Dropbox App

Way 4. Sync external hard drive to Dropbox with CBackup

The above 3 methods rely on two official Dropbox tools to sync the external hard drive and Dropbox, but the steps will be more complicated and the process will take a long time. If there is an error in the manual step, you may even need to re-enable sync. It will be difficult to sync all the files from PC to Dropbox. Therefore, we recommend that you consider using the free cloud backup service - CBackup. 

CBackup is a professional Dropbox auto backup software that allows you to safely sync and backup local files to Dropbox. In addition to Dropbox, it also supports users to back up files to other mainstream cloud storage services, such as Google Drive, OneDrive, etc. With its easy-to-use client, you can easily automatically back up your computer to Dropbox.

CBackup main page

CBackup provides free scheduled backups, filtered file backups, email notifications, and other functions to help users back up their PCs in the cloud as easily as possible. Also, CBackup provides 10GB of CBackup Cloud backup space for each account for free. You can combine this space with the space of Dropbox or even other cloud drive accounts into a large enough backup space to store more files. Even if you are troubled by problems such as Dropbox not syncing across devices one day, you can switch to CBackup directly as an alternative.

Let’s backup computer to Dropbox with CBackup to make it easier:

1. Download and install CBackup on your PC, and create a CBackup account to sign in.

Download CBackup Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Sign In

2. Go to the My Storage tab, click the (+Add Cloud button, then select Dropbox and hit Add. Then follow the instructions in the pop-up window to allow CBackup to access the Dropbox files.

Add Cloud

Note: CBackup uses the OAuth authorization system and 256-bit AES encryption technology. No one except the user can access the data in the account, and you don't need to worry about the data being stolen or tampered with.

3. Go to the Backup Tasks tab, press the New Task > Local Files button to create your task.

Create Task


4. You can customize Task Name for easy distinction. Then click the Add Source button to select the folder where the external hard drive data needs to be stored, and click the Add Destination button to select Dropbox as the destination.

Add Source

Add Destination Single Cloud

5. Click the Start Backup button to transfer the external hard drive files to Dropbox.

Start Backup photos to Dropbox

Note: If you don't want to manually select the files to be backed up, you can click Settings at the bottom of the window before starting the backup, and set up a scheduled backup to enable Dropbox automatic sync PC files.

Schedule Backup

Besides, the following features of CBackup might help you a lot while transfer files from one cloud to another:

  • Backup one cloud to another easily to protect your cloud data, then if your files get lost in the source cloud, and then you can restore data easily with the backed up data.
  • Sync one cloud drive to another with everything tranferred, especially useful when you plan to switch cloud drives and transfer everything to the target cloud storage.

Extended reading: How to sync Dropbox to external drive

Some users need to use files in Dropbox without a network connection or want to sync Dropbox locally for other reasons. Let's learn how to sync Dropbox to an external drive with the following 2 easy ways.

Way 1. Sync Dropbox to external hard drive with website

1. Go to the Dropbox website and log in to your account, go to the homepage.

2. Find the file you need to sync to the external hard drive, click the More button on the right side of the file, and click Download.

3. The time to complete the download depends on the size of the file and the network speed. After the download is complete, find these files in the local disk and move them to the connected external hard drive by dragging or pasting.

Way 2. Sync Dropbox with Selective Sync

Any Dropbox account can enable Dropbox Selective Sync to sync Dropbox to an external hard drive.

1. Click the Dropbox icon on the taskbar of the desktop. Click the gear icon and select Preferences.


Dropbox Preferences


2. Go to the Sync tab, and tap the Selective Sync option.

Dropbox Selective Sync on Windows

3. Select the folders you want to backup to Dropbox automatically, and click Set up.

4. Check Select All to select all folders on Dropbox, tap Update to sync the entire Dropbox to computer.

Select All Folders Selective Sync


You can use the above 6 methods to sync external hard drive to Dropbox, or sync Dropbox to external hard drives. If you want to sync your computer to Dropbox in the easiest and fastest way, you might as well try to use CBackup, which has free cloud space, simple operation, stable and safe.

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