Copy files manually
On your old computer
- Update the Dropbox desktop application to the latest version.
- Wait until syncing has finished, as indicated by the green circle with the checkmark on the Dropbox icon in your menu bar.
- Once syncing has completed, copy the contents of your Dropbox folder to your portable drive (such as a USB drive or external hard drive).
On your new computer
- Install the latest version of the Dropbox desktop application and sign in to your account when prompted.
- The application will create a Dropbox folder and begin downloading files from your account. Stop the download immediately by clicking the Dropbox icon in your menu bar, clicking the gear icon, and selecting Pause Syncing from the menu.
- Copy the files from your portable drive into the Dropbox folder. The default location of the folder on your Mac is /Users/yourUserName/Dropbox (such as /Users/Robert/Dropbox).
- Resume syncing by clicking the Dropbox icon in your menu bar, clicking the gear icon, and selecting Resume Syncing from the menu.
The Dropbox desktop application will then start indexing the files in your Dropbox folder. If all of these files are the same as the files in your account online, indexing will finish, and you'll be all set.
If, in the middle of this process, a file has changed in your account (for example, someone else has updated a file in a shared folder), Dropbox will generate a conflicted copy so that both versions of the file are preserved.
- By default, Dropbox will try to download all of the folders in your account. If there are folders you don't want taking up space on your new computer, you can use the Selective Sync feature to deselect them. However, you may need to wait until Dropbox has finished its initial indexing of your files for the Selective Sync settings to become available.
- If you're going to copy files manually, you may want to leave shared folders temporarily, copy your non-shared stuff to the Dropbox folder, then re-add the shared folders and let them download to your computer. This will prevent Dropbox from generating conflicted copies of files if other people have changed them, as described above.