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The Dropbox folder on your computer: errors and other messages

On rare occasions, you may see an error message on the Dropbox folder on your computer. Select from the list of errors below to find out what to do next.

Sections in this article:

"Cannot establish a secure connection"

All connections to the Dropbox service are done using a secure connection (SSL). If you get a "Cannot establish a secure connection" error, check the following:

Is your system incorrect?

Your computer will compare your system date to the expiration date of our SSL certificate. If your system time is stuck in the past or so far in the future that it’s outside of Dropbox's SSL certificate expiration date, a secure connection can’t be established.

To correct this, change your system time to the current date (either on your computer, your router, or both).

Note: System time is different than the date/time that appears in the system tray or menu bar of your computer. Check the macOS or Windows help centers for more info.

Do you have a proxy or firewall blocking the Dropbox service?

  • Dropbox uses standard internet ports (80 and 443) to transfer data. However, many firewalls and security software (such as antivirus programs) will proactively block unauthorized or unknown internet services. Add Dropbox to your proxy or firewall settings as an exception to connect to the Dropbox service.
  • Known issues with ESET Endpoint Security Solutions: According to ESET's website, this product currently has a conflict with Dropbox when SSL scanning is enabled. Possible workarounds are to exclude the Dropbox certificate within the "Ask about non-visited sites" mode, as well as to exclude dropbox.exe from protocol filtering.
  • Known issues with Kaspersky Endpoint Security 8: This product currently has a conflict with Dropbox that prevents users from connecting after the application is updated. The current workaround is to add an exclusion in Kaspersky to allow Dropbox to connect. The second option is to upgrade the application to the Kaspersky Endpoint Security 10 version. More information on Kaspersky's site.
  • Known issues with HitmanPro (anti-malware): This product currently has a conflict with Dropbox that can block Dropbox sync operations. There are no known workarounds for this, however you can temporarily disable HitmanPro when you'd like to sync your Dropbox. Visit the HitmanPro website to learn more about the product, or to report false positives.

Are your default proxy settings incorrect?

Some external software programs will change your computer's default proxy settings when installed and may not alert you of this. Confirm that your proxy settings haven't changed and, if you don't use a proxy setting, select the option for "No proxy."

You can also use the Dropbox Preferences menu to set Proxy settings:

  1. Click the Dropbox icon in the system tray or menu bar.
  2. Select Preferences…
  3. Click the Network tab.
  4. Fill in your proxy settings under the section appropriately labeled Proxy Settings.

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"Move Dropbox to supported location / Unsupported file system"

If you see a notification that you need to move the Dropbox folder to a supported location, or that you're trying to move Dropbox to an unsupported file system, you need to check that the location for the Dropbox folder has a supported file system. To ensure stability and a consistent experience, we rigorously test the compatibility and behavior of Dropbox with the most common filesystems. One of our requirements is that the Dropbox folder must be located on a filesystem that supports extended attributes.

If you see this notification, please move the Dropbox folder to a supported location.

To check the file system of the location of the Dropbox folder, you can use the Disk Management tool (Windows) or the Disk Utility tool (Mac).

Note for advanced users: If you don't have a supported location, you can also try reformatting a location to a supported file system. However, please note that this option may require erasing the disk first, and brings risk of data loss. Please only try this option if you're comfortable with your computer's advanced options. Reference your operating system manufacturer's websites for all necessary steps to reformat your drive without losing data:

"OperationalError" or "BrokenTempDirError"

On Windows computers, this error indicates there’s a problem with the permissions of your %TEMP% folder. This folder is used by Dropbox (and many other apps) for start up, install, and uninstall. To fix this issue, you'll need to give your user profile "full permissions" over the %TEMP% folder.

Change permissions for the %TEMP% folder

  1. Open a Windows File Explorer (not Internet Explorer) window.
  2. Type %LOCALAPPDATA% into the navigation bar (include the percent signs).
  3. Right-click on the Temp folder and select Properties from the pop-up menu.
  4. On the Security tab, select your user name in the list and edit the permissions so that you have full control of the folder.
  5. Also on the Security tab, click Advanced and select the option Include inheritable permissions from this object's parent as well as Replace all child object permissions with inheritable permissions from this object.

Note that permissions can be modified by other applications on your computer (in particular, software you've obtained from untrusted sources). If the permissions problem returns after restarting the computer, it means another program on your computer is making this change. Check your system permission logs if you know how, or take your computer to a professional to identify the program that's making the change.

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"Try again or check out our Help Center"

If you see the error Try again or check out our Help Center, contact Dropbox support. Be sure to include as much detail as possible about what happened. For example, tell us what you were doing when the error appeared.

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"You’re using an older version of Dropbox"

We regularly release new versions of the Dropbox app with new features, better performance, and security enhancements. These new versions are rolled out through automatic updates.

Certain conditions may cause these updates to fail. Failure to update can result from environment configurations, such as permission issues, or due to interactions with other applications, such as antivirus or firewall policies.

After a few failed attempts to automatically update, the Dropbox app displays the message “You’re using an older version of Dropbox.” To resolve this issue:

  1. Download the latest version of the application.
  2. When the download is finished, double-click the Dropbox installer to execute it as your current system user.
  3. Older versions might require you to enter your Dropbox login credentials after updating. After you log in, the Dropbox application may take some time to sync files.

You may need to uninstall the Dropbox app before reinstalling if:

  • You’re instructed to uninstall
  • The installation doesn't complete
  • The issue you want to resolve by reinstalling the application continues to happen

If the counter for updating your application expires, your Dropbox stops syncing. Click “Update Dropbox” to start the update process and continue using Dropbox.

Dropbox Business

If you’re part of a Dropbox Business team, it's possible that your auto-updates failed because your user profile on your computer doesn’t have the permission to install new versions of Dropbox. If the manual update fails, contact your IT admin for assistance.

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"Your computer is not supported"

If you receive the “Your computer is not supported” error, your computer may not meet our system requirements. To fix this issue, check that Dropbox is running on a supported operating system. If your operating system isn’t supported, update to a supported version.

Compatibility mode on Windows computers

If you’re using a Windows computer, check that compatibility mode isn’t enabled for Dropbox. To use the Dropbox desktop app on a supported operating system, disable compatibility mode.

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"Dropbox can't access your Windows Registry"

If you receive the “Dropbox can't access your Windows Registry” error, it means Dropbox is attempting to access vital account information using your Windows Registry, but is being denied permission.

In most cases, it's possible that access to the registry is protected by the account credentials of an old or out-of-date user account. Resetting your Windows password should fix this problem.

Reset a Windows password

  1. Click Control Panel from the Windows Start menu.
  2. Open User Accounts.
  3. Click your account and press Change my password.
  4. Enter your new password twice, and press Change Password.

Once your password is reset, try reinstalling Dropbox. The installation should work without error. If this doesn't resolve the issue, then it's possible that some files in your folder have incorrect permissions.

Fix incorrect file permissions

  1. Quit the Dropbox application from the Dropbox menu.
  2. Click the Start menu. Search for Command Prompt or select All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt.
  3. Copy and paste the following lines exactly as they are, one at a time, into the Command Prompt. To paste into the command prompt field, right click and select Paste.

    cd %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Protect

    attrib -s -h -r credhist

    attrib +s +h credhist

  4. Restart Dropbox.

If this doesn’t fix the error, you may need to manually remove the entry from the registry. Due to the sensitivity of the information in your Windows Registry, only those comfortable editing the registry should attempt this. You’ll also need admin rights on your computer to edit the registry.

Update Windows Registry

  1. Click the Start button. Type REGEDIT in the search box and press Enter.
  2. In the Registry Editor, find the ks key following this path:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Dropbox\ks

  3. Right click ks and select delete.

If you get an error that says "Can't delete ks key: error while deleting key,” you may need to add your group or user name.

Add group or user name to fix “Can’t delete ks key: error while deleting key”

  1. Right click the ks key.
  2. Select Permissions…
  3. If your Windows login doesn't appear under Group or user names press Add… to add your account.
  4. Select your login from the Group or user names.
  5. Click the check box under Allow next to the Full Control permission.

Add yourself as an owner

  1. Click the Advanced button.
  2. Select the Owner tab.
  3. Select your name from the list and check the box next to Replace owner on subcontainers and objects.

Note that it's possible you’ll get an error when trying to add yourself as an owner. There are some objects in the registry that are impossible to change ownership of. The error message is expected behavior, and you can ignore the warning.

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"Dropbox is damaged and can't be opened"

When installing Dropbox on certain versions of your operating system, you may see an error stating that "Dropbox is damaged and can't be opened."

Dropbox is damaged error message
If you encounter this error message, restart your computer and run the Dropbox installer again. If you continue to receive this error, try downloading a new copy of the Dropbox installer.

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