What do I do if Dropbox is stuck syncing, won't launch, or reports an error?

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If your Dropbox desktop installation experiences any of the following behavior, your Dropbox installation may be inaccessible or corrupted:

  • Dropbox closes as soon as it opens.
  • Dropbox fails to open and reports an error message. (If the error message is "OperationalError" or "BrokenTempDirError", fix the permissions for your %TEMP% folder.)
  • The Dropbox system tray/menu bar icon is endlessly syncing (as indicated by spinning arrows on a blue icon), but not making any progress.
  • The syncing status in your Dropbox menu says Permission denied or Rejected by Server.
  • The Dropbox contextual menu is missing.
  • Syncing icons do not appear correctly.

If Dropbox appears to sync files quickly at first, but then appears to be stuck at the last moment, it is possible your antivirus or system optimization application is interfering with the Dropbox application. This is a known issue with antivirus applications such as:

If this happens to you, consider adding Dropbox to your application's whitelist or try disabling your antivirus and restarting the Dropbox application.

TuneUp Utilities (Windows) is also known to optimize your computer by uninstalling Dropbox. If you are running TuneUp, try disabling the application and reinstalling the Dropbox application. You can report the issue with Tuneup using their online web form.

If you are not running an antivirus or are sure it is not interfering with Dropbox, your Dropbox settings may be inaccessible. If your settings are corrupted, one way to reset them is by unlinking and then relinking your computer to your Dropbox account. Don't worry, the files in your Dropbox folder will remain untouched.

For our advanced users

If unlinking and relinking your account doesn't solve the issue, your settings may be protected or inaccessible due to a permissions problem. If this is the case, you can remove your settings by hand using an administrative account. Here's how:

Windows On Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8

  1. Quit Dropbox by clicking on the Dropbox icon in the system tray, clicking the gear icon in the notifications panel, and selecting Exit Dropbox from the menu
  2. Press the Windows Key + R (at the same time) then type "cmd" and press enter to open the Command prompt.
  3. Copy and paste the following lines into the Command Prompt, one at a time, and press RETURN after each one. PLEASE make sure you copy and paste these commands(don't type them by hand), as getting them wrong could cause some harm. Also, you can only paste them by right clicking and selecting “Paste”.
    icacls "%HOMEPATH%\Dropbox" /grant "%USERNAME%":(F) /T
    icacls "%APPDATA%\Dropbox" /grant "%USERNAME%":(F) /T
    icacls "%APPDATA%\DropboxMaster" /grant "%USERNAME%":(F) /T

    If your Dropbox folder is not in the C:\Users\YourUser\Dropbox path please subsitute first command to point to it. For example if your Dropbox is in D:\Dropbox the command would look as following:
    icacls "D:\Dropbox" /grant "%USERNAME%":(F) /T

    The other commands should remain unchanged. Please take into account that depending on the size of your Dropbox this operation might take some time to complete, so wait for the C:\ prompt to appear again.
  4. Restart Dropbox from Start > Program Files > Dropbox

Note: We're working on a way to check and fix your Dropbox installation automatically from within the application. Stay tuned...

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