Dropbox App For Macbook

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EDIT: I read the whole thread, found an Anon comment with a link to: Keep Dropbox Running Smooth With Proper Maintenance: Unlink Old Computers and Devices - The Mac Observer which I had not found elsewhere. Dropbox's syncing and file-sharing features are integrated with the Finder (the Mac file manager), and there's a little icon in the Mac's Menu Bar at the top of the screen for when you need to.

Whether you want to stop using Dropbox altogether, or are just planning on removing it from your Mac while continuing to use it with your other devices or via the web, you might be facing a few tasks. First, can you uninstall Dropbox without deleting your files? Is it safe to remove this important app? Is it possible to remove Dropbox completely from your Mac?

If you don’t know where to begin, we have this handy guide for you. Even if Dropbox is failing to uninstall, we have a few ideas that you can try to fix this.

How to remove Dropbox from Mac manually

Uninstalling Dropbox from your Mac is just like removing any other application – open Finder > Applications, find Dropbox and drag it to Trash. Empty Trash to permanently remove the app.

If your Dropbox is set to open at startup or you’ve opened it yourself, you need to quit the app before dragging it to Trash.

To do that, click on the Dropbox icon in the Menu bar, then your profile icon, and select Quit:

If you want to also delete your Dropbox folder with the files you’ve added there, just drag and drop it to Trash. The folder should be located in your Home folder. To open it, go to Finder > Go > Home. Or use the standard keyboard shortcut Shift + Command + H.

This will not only delete your app, but the files you’ve added to the app’s folder as well, so make sure you backup everything you don’t want to delete. Open the folder and go through the files manually if you are not sure.

Now, you might want to also delete any of the app’s leftover support files on your Mac.

They are normally stored in several of your Library folders. Open Finder and use Shift + Command + G key combination to go to Library. Press Go to open the Library folder:

As you can see, you might have a Dropbox folder in there still, as well as some Dropbox files and folders in other parts of the library, like Cookies, Cache, Containers, Group containers, Preferences, Launch agents, and more.

Removing these is not necessary but they will take up space on your hard drive unless you delete them.

Uninstall Dropbox without deleting files

Uninstalling Dropbox app on Mac did not affect the files we kept in our account as they all remained available on the web:

We’ve also noticed that the dedicated Dropbox folder with our files stayed in the default Home folder for Dropbox files (this can be changed in Preferences).

It does not look like uninstalling Dropbox app from Mac affects the files stored in the cloud storage.

One way to make sure you don’t accidentally sync any changes to your files before you uninstall is to unlink your device from your Dropbox account. To do that, open Dropbox on the web at dropbox.com, click on your profile image, and click Settings. Go to Security tab and scroll down to Devices.

You’ll see all the devices you linked to your Dropbox account and will be able to unlink any of them. Click on the trash icon to unlink a device and confirm.

You can also cancel syncing of your folders to your Dropbox account. Go to Dropbox menu in the Menu bar, click on your profile pic, and select Preferences. Go to the Sync tab there:

Click Choose folders to uncheck any folder on your Mac that you might be syncing to Dropbox.

Remove Dropbox application settings

Dropbox

If you just want to reset all the settings in your Dropbox app, you can easily remove the app’s files in the respective library folder and reset the app.

To remove Dropbox app settings, open Finder and press Shift + Command + G (or Finder > Go > Go to Folder…) and type in ~/.dropbox in the pop up search window. Press Go.

Finder will open your Dropbox system folder where you can select and delete all the files:

Drag the files to Trash or use keyboard shortcut Command + Delete. This will remove all Dropbox app settings from your Mac and you will have to reset everything manually:

You can also reset your desktop Dropbox app by unlinking your device from your Dropbox account on the web as shown earlier in the article.

How to uninstall Dropbox using an uninstaller

You can also use an uninstaller to remove Dropbox. CleanMyMac X is up to the task.

Just like with the regular Dropbox uninstall, you need to quit Dropbox. Find the Dropbox icon in your Menu bar, click it, spot your profile icon/photo, click on it, and find Quit:

Next, open CleanMyMac X and go to Uninstaller menu:

Find Dropbox in All Applications and select it. Hit Uninstall to proceed. In a few moments, you app will be removed.

Stop Dropbox from launching at startup

If you don’t use Dropbox often and don’t want it hogging your RAM, you can switch off the app’s launch at startup.

You can do this through CleanMyMac X Optimization tool. Open the app, go to Optimization, and click View All Items.

In the Login Items, you will find Dropbox Login Item, which you can remove:

To stop Dropbox from launching at startup manually, go to System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items. Select Dropbox and click the - at the bottom to remove it:

You can also switch off startup loading in Dropbox itself. Just open the app from your Menu bar, click on your profile image, and go to Preferences. Uncheck “Start Dropbox on system startup”.

You often want to switch off Dropbox startup launch if you are using more than one cloud storage and want to only access each cloud when you need it. But what if you had one app to provide you with one point of access to all cloud services you use? CloudMounter does just that.

The app allows you to add various cloud services you use as your computer disks. Just select the type of cloud service you use, authorize the app, and enjoy the convenience of managing all your files through a single service. This is ideal for you if you are running low on storage on your Mac or cloud services.

How to uninstall the Dropbox contextual menu

If you are using Dropbox frequently, context menu when you double-finger click on an item can be very useful for quick app actions:

But if you want to remove this from your menus, just go to System Preferences > Extensions. You’ll see Finder Extensions checked under Dropbox. Uncheck to remove.

What to do if Dropbox won’t uninstall

What if you are trying to uninstall Dropbox and not succeeding? Let’s see what are the most common reasons for failing to uninstall Dropbox.

Since you need to quit Dropbox through the app itself before beginning the uninstallation process, first check your Menu bar for the Dropbox icon – if it’s there, this means the app is working on your laptop and you need to quit it to uninstall.

Click on the icon to open the app’s Menu bar dropdown window, then click on your profile image and choose Quit. The app will close and you will be able to remove it now.

Another possible solution can be unlinking your device from your Dropbox account.

Open Dropbox on the web, go to Settings > Security and navigate to Devices at the bottom of the page.

Click on the trash icon to unlink any device.

Sometimes Dropbox extensions running in the background may be the culprit. You can stop them through System Preferences > Extensions on your Mac. Just uncheck any Dropbox extensions.

If you are not the admin of your device, you may need to contact your admin to remove the app.

Bonus tip: How to delete Dropbox account completely

If you’ve uninstalled Dropbox from your Mac, backed up all your files, and want to close your account with Dropbox, all you need to do is login to dropbox.com, go to Settings (click on your profile icon or image in the top right corner of the page). Click Delete account:

You’ll be prompted to confirm account deletion by entering your password and selecting Permanently delete. If you were using an external account, like your Google account, to log into Dropbox, you’ll be prompted to set a password first.

Conclusion

If you’ve been using Dropbox for a while or it has been living on your desktop for ages, it may feel a little scary to uninstall it. Especially, if the first time you try, it shows a mistake or just won’t delete. You may wonder if it’s safe to do at all and whether your files will be deleted too.

Before uninstalling, take a look through all the files you’ve been storing on Dropbox and copy the ones you still need to a different location.

After you uninstall Dropbox, you can also choose to delete the Dropbox folder on your laptop with the files you put there, as well as your Dropbox account, which will still be available online after the uninstall.

You also use an uninstaller like CleanMyMac X to uninstall Dropbox from your Mac.

If you are not sure if you want to quit Dropbox just yet but feel overwhelmed with all of your cloud services and it’s exhausting and time-consuming to manage them all, you can actually use a tool to integrate them as virtual disks on your laptop – CloudMounter will connect your cloud services and make managing them super easy.

Both CleanMyMac X and CloudMounter are part of the Setapp’s 200+ app collection, so you can use them with your Setapp subscription. By the way, if you want to try out the apps, you can use them for free by signing up for a Setapp free trial.

Setapp lives on Mac and iOS. Please come back from another device.

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This is a story I never had any intention of writing. Dropbox updated its file-sync application for Mac last month, and the new version contains an annoyance that I would like to eliminate.

I figured this wouldn't be difficult, let alone newsworthy: I'd contact Dropbox, explain the problem, and find out if there's any way for me to change the annoying behavior. If there wasn't, I'd recommend that they make a small change to their app, and hopefully my message would be passed along to their development team and they'd eventually make a change.

Instead, I learned something both frustrating and fascinating: there are numerous Dropbox support employees who apparently have never used their company's Mac application and do not understand how it works. As a result, Dropbox's users have to explain to Dropbox employees how Dropbox's application works on the Mac.

As a division of labor, it probably makes sense for some support reps to specialize in Dropbox for Windows, or Dropbox for Mac, or Dropbox for mobile devices, etc. But when Dropbox rolled out a major change to its Mac application, it had support reps replying to Mac users without knowing what they were talking about. I don't blame the individual support reps—Dropbox the company needs to make sure its employees are prepared to answer user questions, especially in advance of major changes that will inevitably lead to a rise in user complaints. That didn't happen this time.

Dropbox wants to be front and center

To summarize, the problem is this: Dropbox now opens a new file browser and an associated Dock icon every time it starts, even if you don't want it to. If you're not familiar with Macs, the Dock is the line of applications on the bottom of the screen (or the side, if you've moved it in the settings) and serves the same function as the Windows Taskbar. If my computer restarts or if Dropbox restarts, the new Dropbox window that I don't want pops up in the Dock:

This isn't a huge deal, as I can quit Dropbox's new file browser and get rid of that Dock icon each time my computer starts up. I'm not going to stop using Dropbox—I've been paying the company $138 a year for 2TB of storage and for 12 months' worth of file history, which saves all deleted files and revisions to files. (It's going up to $158 next time I get billed, in February.) It's worth it to me because Dropbox still works great, while the alternatives have always been unreliable or disappointing in other ways when I've tried them. I'll get into that more later in this article.

But the Dock icon and window is a major change in how Dropbox presents itself to users. Dropbox has always been the kind of application that is there when you need it and gets out of the way when you don't. Dropbox's syncing and file-sharing features are integrated with the Finder (the Mac file manager), and there's a little icon in the Mac's Menu Bar at the top of the screen for when you need to change a setting.

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But now, Dropbox wants to be front and center at all times. The company built its own file browser to replace what's already available in the Mac Finder, and it opens that new file manager every time Dropbox starts. We wrote about it last week when Dropbox started rolling it out to more users. I've had it for more than a month since I somehow ended up in Dropbox's Early Access program.

You can use the Mac's Command-Q shortcut to quit the file browser, and the new Dropbox window and Dock icon will disappear—as long as you've also disabled the Mac feature that shows recent applications in the Dock. You can fix the other major problem by going into Dropbox settings and choosing 'Open folders in Finder' instead of 'Open folders in Dropbox.' That way, if you click the Dropbox Menu Bar icon and then click a file, it opens in the Mac's native file manager instead of Dropbox's own file manager. You have to change the setting because Dropbox's new app automatically switches the default from the Finder to Dropbox's new file browser.

Dropbox does keep syncing in the background after you quit the new file manager, and the useful Menu Bar icon will still be there. But you have to do this every time you restart your Mac, or every time Dropbox restarts. No matter what settings you choose, the new file browser and corresponding Dock open every time Dropbox starts. I suspect many people will just leave it in the Dock because they may not realize that Dropbox will continue running normally even if you 'quit' the file browser.

So what does this have to do with Dropbox support employees? Well, it turns out they don't know that it's possible for Mac applications to run without a Dock icon even though that's exactly how Dropbox worked for a decade. And they've been giving bad advice to users who want to change back to the old way of doing things.

Because multiple Dropbox employees are making this mistake, I assume this is a failure at a higher level. Dropbox made a major change to how its Mac application works, but it doesn't seem to have fully explained that change to its support reps. You'd think Dropbox would make sure its support reps have a baseline understanding of how its Mac app works and how the Mac Dock works before they have to respond to Mac users, but that hasn't been the case.

Explaining the Dropbox app to Dropbox employees

Check out this support thread that began a month ago with the title 'Can't remove Dropbox icon from Mac OS Dock.' The user who started the thread wrote:

On the Mac, in the past, I've liked just having a small discrete Dropbox icon on my menu bar to monitor things and then accessed my files from the Finder.

After a recent update to the 'new' Dropbox, the Dropbox application itself now opens itself and slaps a big Dropbox icon in my Dock which I don't want there.

Trouble is, if I select to not open Dropbox on login, then the menu bar icon also doesn't appear and syncing doesn't take place at all.

How do I stop the Dock icon appearing on startup?

Thanks!

Pretty simple request, right? Except the Dropbox employee who responded told the user that it's impossible for Mac apps to not have a Dock icon, even though that's simply not true.

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The Dropbox employee responded:

[W]hile it would be worth noting that all active programs will appear on the Dock while they are open, kindly note that it will not be possible to remove it from there without removing the app altogether. From there, I've already made sure to note your thoughts in my report internally, since this would be some great feedback for our team devs.

Download dropbox app for macbook

The statement that 'all active programs will appear on the Dock while they are open' is false, as many Mac applications just appear in the Menu Bar and work in the background. That's how Dropbox worked until a month ago, that's how Dropbox's competitors still work, and yet some Dropbox employees think it's impossible. Many other Mac apps that can appear in either the Dock or Menu Bar let you disable the Dock icon, and Dropbox could easily do this by adding a checkbox to its app settings.

There's another strange response from a Dropbox employee in that support thread, in which the support rep suggests disabling Dropbox's ability to start up automatically upon logging in to the Mac. Yes, that would prevent the Dock icon from appearing, but it would also prevent Dropbox from working at all.

I contacted Dropbox on Twitter on June 13 and was told that there is no way to disable the launching of the Dock icon. The Dropbox employee who responded to me in that tweet did seem to understand the problem, but my further attempts were all answered by employees who don't understand how the Dropbox for Mac app works.

I contacted Dropbox by email on July 9, and an employee responded the next day with the following suggestion:

If I understand correctly, your current issue is that the Dropbox desktop application dock icon is getting in the way when using your device, is that correct?... As dock icons are associated to the settings on your Apple device, doing a quick internet search as to 'how to hide dock icons' might possibly yield the results you are looking to achieve.

Similar to the Dropbox rep in the support thread, the Dropbox employee responding to me seemed to think that it's impossible for a Mac app to operate without a Dock icon unless a user finds some unsupported hack that changes how the app works. While it's possible to hide some Dock icons by editing each app's info.plist file, this didn't work when I tried it with Dropbox. And it's better for the app to support Dock hiding officially because a user messing around with how an app works can lead to unintended problems.

I responded to the Dropbox employee and explained that Dropbox never opened a Dock icon until recently, that there is no way for me to change how the Dropbox app works, and that Dropbox's development team should surely know that it intentionally made this change. I also asked the employee if he has used the Dropbox for Mac application recently because I wanted to make sure I could talk to someone who understands what the Dock is and how it works.

Dropbox App For Macbook Air

In his next email reply, the Dropbox employee did not answer whether he has ever used Dropbox for Mac. But, he told me, 'As you mentioned there is no way for you to hide the Dropbox dock icon, I have passed on your feedback to my development team for you.'