Fix: Dropbox stops syncing in Windows 10

Ivan Jenic By: Ivan Jenic
6 minute read

Home » Fix: Dropbox stops syncing in Windows 10

Dropbox is a pretty solid service that rarely causes problems to users. However, there might be some situations when the service will give you headaches anyway.

One of the most annoying problem not just with Dropbox, but with basically any cloud-storage service, is when the Desktop client stops syncing. Various factors can cause Dropbox’s sync to stop working. This is a serious problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible and we’ve prepared a few solutions that might help.

What to do if Dropbox for Windows 10 fails to sync

Table of contents: 

  1. Disable your Antivirus
  2. Unlink Dropbox
  3. Make sure you’re properly connected to the internet
  4. Delete Dropbox cache
  5. Modify the Dropbox location (for advanced users)
  6. Try installing Dropbox from the Windows Store
  7. Check your firewall and add Dropbox to the exception list
  8. Disable your antivirus/Add Dropbox to the exception list
  9. Run the App Troubleshooter
  10. Uninstall the latest update

Fix – Dropbox won’t sync in Windows 10

Solution 1 – Disable your Antivirus

Having an antivirus program installed on your computer is beneficial in terms of security, but it can be harmful to other aspects of your computer. It’s known that antiviruses often conflict with various Windows features and third programs and Dropbox is on the list, as well.

The first thing you should do is pause your antivirus for some time and see if Dropbox is able to sync. If you notice that syncing works without problems when the antivirus is turned off, either uninstall the antivirus (and switch to Windows Defender, which is something Microsoft would love you to do) or whitelist Dropbox in the antivirus.

Also keep in mind that that some system optimization software, like TuneUp, can delete Dropbox while optimizing Windows. In that case, reach to TuneUp support for help and further instructions.

On the other hand, if you determine that neither the antivirus or optimization programs are responsible for the syncing problem, move on to the next solution.

Solution 2 – Unlink Dropbox 

It may happen that your Dropbox settings are corrupted. One of the most effective ways of dealing with this issue is unlinking your computer from your Dropbox account and linking it again. That way, the settings will reset and the problem can be solved.

Here’s what you need to do to unlink and link accounts:

  1. Sign into your account on dropbox.com.
  2. Click your name at the top of any page to open the account menu.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Select the Security tab.
  5. In the Devices section, click the X beside the name of your computer to unlink it.

To link your computer back to your Dropbox account, just sign in with the Desktop client. It should do all the work for you on the first sign in.

If unlinking/linking your computer doesn’t get the job done, try some other solutions listed below.

Solution 3 – Make sure you’re properly connected to the internet

Obviously, the sync can’t function well if you’re not properly connected to the internet. So, just in case, make sure everything’s fine with your internet connection. In case you notice any problems, try solving them by using workarounds from  this article, and then try to sync Dropbox again.

Solution 4 – Delete Dropbox cache

Just like it’s the case with antivirus programs, the piled up cache can cause problems with your Dropbox client. So, if none of the solutions from above worked well for you, try clearing the cache. In case you don’t know how to do that, follow these instructions:

  1. Open the file Explorer.
  2. Go to your Dropbox folder, and go to the cache folder (you can also access the folder by entering %HOMEPATH%\Dropbox\.dropbox.cache in Search).
  3. Select all by pressing Ctrl+A.
  4. Press Delete and confirm, to remove everything from the folder.

Now, try to sync your files with Dropbox again, and see if the issue is resolved.

Solution 5 – Modify the Dropbox location (for advanced users)

In case none of the settings from above worked for you, try a more advanced solution. You’ll have to can remove your settings by hand using an administrative account. This should reset Dropbox and resolve the syncing problem. If you’re not sure what you’re doing, ask someone else for help in order to avoid doing even more damage.

Here’s exactly what you need to do:

  1. Quit Dropbox. To do so, click on the Dropbox icon in the system tray, then the gear icon in the notifications panel, and select Exit Dropbox from the menu.
  2. Now, right-click the Start Menu, and select Command Prompt (Admin)
  3. Copy and paste the following lines into the command prompt, one at a time, and press Enter after each one:
    • icacls “%HOMEPATH%\Dropbox” /grant “%USERNAME%”:(F) /T
    • icacls “%APPDATA%\Dropbox” /grant “%USERNAME%”:(F) /T
    • icacls “%LOCALAPPDATA%\Dropbox” /grant “%USERNAME%”:F /T
    • icacls “%PROGRAMFILES%\Dropbox” /grant “%USERNAME%”:F /T
  4. If the location of Dropbox folder is not C:\Users\YourUser\Dropbox path, modify the first command to point to it. Example: icacls “D:\Dropbox” /grant “%USERNAME%”:(F) /T
  5. Now, restart Dropbox, and see if anything changed

Solution 6 – Try installing Dropbox from the Windows Store

You probably prefer the regular, win32 version of Dropbox, but there’s also a UWP version, and it’s quite good. Additionally, UWP apps (should) work better in Windows 10, so you really have nothing to lose.

Just head over to the Microsoft Store, download and install the UWP version of Dropbox, and see if you have more luck with this app.

Solution 7 – Check your firewall and add Dropbox to the exception list

Since Dropbox is not a first-party program, there’s a chance Windows Firewall will block it. If that’s the case, you don’t really need to fully disable the Firewall to make Dropbox working. You can just add it to the exceptions list. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Search, type firewall, and open Windows Defender Firewall. 
  2. Go to Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall. 
  3. Scroll down through the list of apps, and find Dropbox.
  4. Make sure to check both Private and Public.
  5. Save the changes and restart your computer.

Solution 8 – Disable your antivirus/Add Dropbox to the exception list

The same thing applies to your antivirus solution. If Dropbox still keeps closing, maybe your antivirus simply blocks it. To prevent that, go to your antivirus’ settings, and add Dropbox to the list of exceptions.

Solution 9 – Run the App Troubleshooter

If you’re having problems with the UWP version of the app, you should run the built-in app troubleshooter to potentially resolve the problems. Here’s how to run Windows 10’s App Troubleshooter:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Navigate to Updates & Security > Troubleshoot.
  3. Click Windows Store Apps and choose Run the troubleshooter.
  4. Wait for the troubleshooter to finish the process.
  5. Restart your PC.

Solution 10 – Uninstall the latest update

As we said above, you never know with Windows updates. So, it’s also possible for a Windows update to disrupt your system, and break some apps or programs. If installing the latest updates didn’t get the job done (or even made the problem worse), let’s flip the philosophy and uninstall the latest Windows update. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Settings > Updates & Security > Windows Update
  2. Go to Update history > Uninstall updates.
  3. Now, find the latest update installed on your computer (you can sort updates by date), right-click it, and go to Uninstall
  4. Restart your computer

We hope at least one of these solutions help you to address your issues with Dropbox syncing. If you have any comments, questions, or know some solutions we didn’t list here, make sure to let us know in the comments below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2016 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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