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How to change desktop app preferences

The Dropbox desktop app is available for Linux, macOS, and Windows operating systems. The preferences menu allows you to customize the Dropbox app to your liking.

Sections in this article:

How to access the preferences menu

  1. Click the Dropbox icon in the system tray or menu bar of your computer.
  2. Click the gear icon and select Preferences… from the menu.

Depending on your operating system (Linux, macOS, or Windows), you may see some or all of the options below in the preferences menu. On Linux, you can change some of these settings using commands.

Settings in the general tab

Start Dropbox on system startup

You can have Dropbox launch automatically whenever you start your computer. This option is recommended in order to keep your Dropbox folder synced online and to other computers at all times.

Enable Finder integration

With the Finder integration on Mac computers, you can see Dropbox icons over the files in your Dropbox folder and access the right-click Dropbox menu.

Microsoft Office add-in

Choose if Dropbox shows as a save location in Microsoft Office on Windows computers.

Dropbox Badge

Choose if Dropbox badge appears each time you open a Microsoft Office file, to see it only when others are viewing a file, or to never see the badge.

Language

To specify a different language from the default operating system settings, select it from this menu.

Version

This is the current version of your Dropbox installation. Reference this number in support cases or to see if you have the latest version of Dropbox.

Settings in the account tab

Personal and work accounts

If you have a personal and work account, you can choose which account's settings you want to change.

Space

See how much storage space is available in your account.

Account linking

The email address associated with your Dropbox account is shown here. You can unlink this Dropbox account from your computer. If you unlink, your Dropbox will stop syncing to your online account. An unlinked computer can be linked or relinked to any Dropbox account using the same button.

Dropbox Business users: If you've connected your personal and work Dropboxes, then both account settings will be listed on this tab. You can toggle back and forth between the two Dropboxes using the buttons at the top of the tab.

Settings in the import tab

Camera uploads

Camera uploads automatically uploads photos and videos from your phone, camera, SD card, or many other media devices whenever you connect it to your computer. Click Enable Dropbox Camera import to turn on or off camera uploads. You can also choose what you enable camera uploads for.

Dropbox Business users: If you connected your personal and work Dropbox accounts, camera uploads is only enabled and applied to your personal Dropbox.

Screenshots

Whenever you take a screenshot, Dropbox will automatically save it to your Dropbox and copy a link to your clipboard so you can share it instantly.

Dropbox Business users: If you connected your personal and work Dropbox accounts, you can choose the Dropbox to which screenshots will be saved.

Settings in the bandwidth or network tab

To change bandwidth settings on a Mac computer, click Network, then click Change Settings... next to Bandwidth.

Download rate

  • Don't limit: Select this radio button if you want Dropbox to download files from the Dropbox server at the fastest available speed.
  • Limit to: Limit the rate of download by entering your own download rate in kilobytes per second. Entering "0" will tell Dropbox to download at the fastest speed available.

Upload rate

  • Don't limit: Select this radio button if you want Dropbox to upload files to Dropbox at the fastest available speed.
  • Limit automatically: Select this radio button if you want Dropbox to determine the speed at which to upload your files when it is syncing.
  • Limit to: Choose your own upload rate here in kilobytes per second

LAN sync

LAN sync is a networking feature that allows you to save time and bandwidth by downloading files directly from other computers on your local network. Deselecting this option will force Dropbox to sync from Dropbox servers every time it detects a change in your Dropbox folder.

Settings in the proxies or network tab

To change proxies settings on a Mac computer, click Network, then click Change Settings... next to Proxies.

Proxy settings

  • No proxy: Choose no proxy server to tell Dropbox if you don't use a proxy server. Choosing this option may bypass some issues that occur when Dropbox attempts to find a proxy server and fails
  • Auto-detect: This option will let Dropbox auto-detect your proxy settings. Select this option if you are unsure if your internet connection requires a proxy server
  • Manual: Select this radio button to allow you to enter your proxy settings manually. This option is typically for users or administrators who have a non-standard proxy server configuration

When Manual is selected, the following settings will be available for editing:

  • Proxy type: This pulldown will let you select your proxy server's protocol. Dropbox supports HTTP, SOCKS4, and SOCKS5.
  • Server: Enter the URL and port of your proxy server here.
  • Proxy server requires password: Select this checkbox if your proxy server requires a login. Once you do, the Username and Password fields will be editable.

Settings in the notifications tab

Notify me about

You can set your notification preferences to choose what notifications to receive.

Do not disturb

On Mac computers, you can turn off notifications for a limited time. Choose how long notifications are turned off for.

Settings in the sync tab

Selective sync

Selective sync lets you choose which folders from your Dropbox online account sync to the Dropbox folder on your computer. If you deselect a folder, it won't appear in your Dropbox folder, but it's still in your account on dropbox.com.

Smart Sync

Smart Sync is only available to Dropbox Business and Professional users.

If you choose the Local setting, new files and folders that you add to your account on dropbox.com download to your computer's hard drive in the Dropbox folder.

If you choose the Online-only setting, new files and folders added to your account on dropbox.com display in your Dropbox folder on your computer, but are online-only.

Note: Smart Sync settings only apply to the top-level of folders inside your main Dropbox folder. All lower-level files and folders follow the setting of their parent folder, unless you change them individually.

Select Let my admin manage this setting to use your team's default setting.

Sync setting FAQs

Why are my files downloading to my computer when my Smart Sync is set to online-only?

There are two reasons a file may download to your computer’s Dropbox folder even though your Smart Sync is set to online-only:

  • The file or folder was already on your computer when you added it to your Dropbox folder
    • In this case, the file or folder will continue to take up hard drive space unless you make it online-only
    • Note: You can also unsync it from your computer using selective sync
  • You’re using an application that needed to download files to function properly, including:
    • Backup services
    • Antivirus software
    • Recently used file lists
    • Third party applications that monitor files

 Why, after using selective sync, are my folders online-only when my Smart Sync is set to local?

If you’re using Smart Sync (which is only available to Dropbox Business and Professional users), you can still use selective sync to sync folders from dropbox.com to your computer’s Dropbox folder. Those folders sync to your computer as online-only regardless of your Smart Sync setting, but you can change them to local at anytime. 

To change a folder from online-only to local:

  1. Right-click the folder.
  2. Hover over Smart Sync.
  3. Click Local.

Dropbox folder location

This option changes the location of your Dropbox folder. Typically your Dropbox folder is installed in your user folder (the folder named after your login). However, you can choose any location on your hard drive with this option.

Note: While you can choose the location of your Dropbox folder, you currently can't change the name of your Dropbox folder. No matter where you put it, it will be named Dropbox or Dropbox (Team name) for Business accounts and Dropbox (Personal) for connected personal accounts.

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