Issues with Dropbox camera uploads on Mac

We recently discovered an incompatibility between the Dropbox desktop app and certain versions of macOS Sierra. This issue may have prevented some files from fully importing to Dropbox, if you were using the camera uploads feature to import to Dropbox from your desktop computer. It affects only a small, specific set of users. In these very limited cases, the issue may lead to incomplete or unusable photos and videos.

This article outlines who may have been affected by this issue. If your account was affected, this article also details what you can do next.

Important note:

  • We recommend that you not delete any files from your device until you confirm they're correctly imported to Dropbox.

Who's affected by this issue?

This incompatibility affects only a very specific set of users on macOS Sierra, and who imported files to Dropbox in a very specific way.

You may have been affected by this issue if all of the following are true:

  • You use the Dropbox desktop app (version 17.4.33 or older) on an Apple computer
  • You're running macOS Sierra 10.12.2 on that computer
  • You imported files to Dropbox on that computer using the camera uploads feature
  • You imported these files by connecting a device directly to your computer via USB
  • The files were imported after December 12, 2016
  • At least one of the files was larger than 4 MB

Each of these points must be true for you to have been possibly affected by this issue. If even one of those points are false, then you shouldn't be affected by the issue.

Important notes:

  • You shouldn't be affected by this issue if you imported photos or videos from a mobile device to Dropbox via the mobile app.
  • You'll only be affected by this issue if you connected a device directly to your computer via USB, and then imported photos or videos to Dropbox with camera uploads. A "device" in this case could be a mobile phone, SD card, or digital camera.

How will I know I'm affected by this incompatibility?

First, be sure that you've read the section above. It details the specific set of criteria that must all be true for you to have possibly been affected by this issue. If any of those six criteria are false, then you're likely not affected.

If you are affected, you'll notice by checking the large files that you imported to Dropbox by connecting a device to your computer via USB. Specifically, you may see one of the following three behaviors:

  • Your photos are incomplete (you only see a small part of the image)
  • Your videos are unplayable
  • Your photos or videos fail to open altogether

I'm affected by this incompatibility. What should I do?

If you're affected by this issue, you'll need to do two things:

  1. Update to the latest version of the Dropbox desktop app (17.4.34+)—we resolved the compatibility issue in the latest version of our app.
  2. Reconnect the original device you used for camera uploads—Dropbox should then automatically re-import and replace the incomplete or unusable files.

The latest version of the Dropbox desktop app (17.4.34+) will fix this issue for future file imports. It will also help you fix any files that may be incomplete or unusable.

Important notes:

  • We recommend that you not delete any files from your device until you confirm they're correctly imported to Dropbox
  • The automatic replacing of incomplete or unusable files will only work if the new files have the same name, and the original (incomplete) versions remain in the Camera uploads folder
  • If you renamed the files or moved them out of the Camera uploads folder after the initial import, the re-import may create a second set of files (you'll see both the new versions and the incomplete or unusable versions)
    • You can then manually delete the incomplete or unusable versions from Dropbox

What if I already deleted the incomplete or unusable files from my device?

If you already deleted the files that were affected by this issue, we may not be able to recover them for you. Please contact us as soon as possible so that we can investigate further. If it's possible to recover the deleted files we'll make every effort to do so.

Did this article answer your question?

We’re sorry to hear that. Let us know how we can improve:

Thanks for your feedback!

Community answers
    Community answers

      Other ways to get help

      Community

      Twitter support

      Guided help