How does syncing work?

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Unlike the Dropbox desktop app, which constantly checks your files for changes, the mobile app usually syncs on demand only. This prevents Dropbox from consuming all of your bandwidth and space.

Downloading (favoriting) files to your phone or tablet

The mobile app shows you the list of your files, but it only downloads them as needed, such as when you tap on a file to view it. To ensure that a file is always on your device, mark it as a Favorite by either swiping left to right or viewing it in the app and tapping the star icon.

Uploading files from your phone or tablet

The mobile app can upload photos and videos from your device automatically using the Camera Upload feature. You can also manually upload photos, videos, and other types of files. See How do I upload files? for more.

Syncing over Wi-Fi and cellular networks

The mobile app tries to be smart about how much syncing it does based on the type of network your device is connected to.

  • On a Wi-Fi network, Dropbox will automatically download updates when you first launch the app, whenever you open a file, and every time you select the Favorites tab (if you have files marked as favorites). The Camera Upload feature will start or resume whenever you launch the app.
  • On a cellular network, Dropbox will only download updates on demand. Files you've marked as favorites may display an alert icon if they've been modified, and you can tap to view and download the latest version. The Camera Upload feature will not automatically start or resume unless you've turned on the Use Cellular Data option in the app's settings.
Category: Mobile

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