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Dropbox and additional Mac permissions

Sections in this article:

Why is Dropbox asking for my username and password on my Mac?

If you use macOS, you may need to authorize Dropbox to run on your computer. A dialog box may appear that asks for your computer's username and password.

Apple dialog box

This dialog box is used to give Dropbox additional permissions to your computer, which enables certain Dropbox features, including:

  • Automatic app updates
  • User-interface interactions (such as the Dropbox badge, and the Finder integration on some versions of Mac)

Without these additional permissions, you do not have access to these features, or to other new features that may require these permissions in the future.

Is this a Dropbox dialog box?

No. This is an Apple system dialog box, not a dialog from Dropbox. This is a dialog box that macOS uses to change your permission settings.

Can I disable these permissions?

Yes. You can click Cancel rather than approving these additional permissions. This means that the Dropbox features listed above will not function on your computer. You will be asked to enter your username and password again the next time you start or restart Dropbox.

Does this mean Dropbox can see my computer password?

No. Dropbox cannot see, receive, or share your computer password in any way. Entering your computer username and password in this dialog box only allows Apple to change your permission settings for Dropbox.

Why does Dropbox want me to turn on accessibility on my Mac?

If you use a later version of macOS, you may receive a notification indicating that Dropbox wants to Turn on accessibility

This Mac dialog box gives the Dropbox app the permissions it needs to enable full functionality. This includes:

If you decline this request, Dropbox features may not work as expected. 

How do I enable or disable Dropbox accessibility on my Mac?

If you're installing Dropbox on your Mac, you'll see a dialog box requesting accessibility permissions. To allow accessibility from here, click Turn on Accessibility. You will be redirected to the Security & Privacy section of System Preferences. To turn on accessibility from here:

  1. Click the lock icon to unlock your system preferences.
    • You will be asked to enter your computer username and password (not your Dropbox username and password)
  2. Check the box beside the Dropbox icon to enable accessibility or uncheck to disable accessibility.
  3. Click the lock icon again to re-lock system preferences.

To enable or disable accessibility after installation:

  1. Go to the Security & Privacy section of System Preferences.
  2. Click the Privacy tab.
  3. Click Accessibility in the menu.
  4. Click the lock icon to unlock your system preferences.
    • You will be asked to enter your computer username and password (not your Dropbox username and password)
  5. Check the box beside the Dropbox icon to enable accessibility or uncheck to disable accessibility.
  6. Click the lock icon again to re-lock system preferences.

You may also be prompted to:

  • Enable accessibility for the Dropbox badge, if you have not previously
  • Restart your the Dropbox desktop application

If you'd like to delete the Dropbox application, click the "-" (minus sign) while the box is checked. Then restart the Dropbox application.

Why does Dropbox want me to turn on automation to refresh my document?

Dropbox asks for permission on macOS 10.14 (Mojave) and above in order to update Microsoft Office (PowerPoint, Word, Excel) files to the latest edited version. You will be asked to enable this for each application individually, but only when Dropbox detects changes to your documents. 

If you want to turn on automation to refresh a document, click Turn on Automation when prompted to do so. 

How do I enable or disable Dropbox automation settings on my Mac?

If you use macOS 10.14 (Mojave), you can enable or disable automation settings at any time. To do so:

  1. Go to the Security & Privacy section of System Preferences.
  2. Click the Privacy tab. 
  3. Click Automation in the menu.
  4. Click the lock icon to unlock your system preferences.
  5. Check or un-check the box next to each application to enable or disable automation.
  6. Click the lock icon again to re-lock system preferences.
  7. Restart the Dropbox desktop app.

I'm a Dropbox Business system administrator. How do I manage permissions for users without admin access?

In macOS 10.14 Mojave, Apple has provided system administrators the capability to manage accessibility settings. This is done on behalf of users through the Privacy Preferences Policy Control Profile Payload if it is delivered through User Approved MDM (UAMDM). This profile is not available on High Sierra (10.13) or earlier versions. Organizations should coordinate and test these changes with Apple and their MDM vendor to verify that the functionality meets their needs. There are no other automation mechanisms for managing the Privacy and Accessibility Preferences on a macOS system. 

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