Fix: Dropbox not syncing in Windows 10

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • One of the most popular choices for file sharing and syncing across multiple devices is Dropbox.
  • If Dropbox is not syncing anymore you can try deleting the Dropbox Cache. If that doesn't work, relink your device and check your antivirus/firewall as well as the Internet connection. More tips in the article.
  • Check out the Dropbox section for more articles on this great service to learn more about how to get the most out of it.
  • More and more programs have a web version. See our Web Apps Errors section to help you enjoy all of them without those pesky issues.
fix dropbox not syncing issues windows

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 problems 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 is not syncing

  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

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. Does this resolve the issue?

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:UsersYourUserDropbox 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

FAQ: Learn more about Dropbox sync

  • Why are my Dropbox files not syncing?

The syncing process starts automatically if you are signed in to the same Dropbox account on multiple devices and your computer has the Dropbox icon in the taskbar. If it’s not there, fix it with our guide.

  • What is Dropbox smart sync?

Smart Sync lets you see the entire list of files and folders you have on your account without actually storing all of them on the computer. A good option for limited disk space. You should also add Dropbox to File Explorer.

  • Where are Dropbox files stored on my computer?

The default the Dropbox folder is located in C:\Users folder. You can change this folder location when installing Dropbox or afterwards using the Preference panel.

  • Why am I getting Dropbox can’t sync access denied errors?

Dropbox sync issues have numerous potential causes. Read the guide to fix Dropbox syncing issues to learn more.

Editor’s Note: This article continues on the next page with more solutions to fix Dropbox sync issues. If you want to read more about Dropbox, check out our collection of guides.

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