Dropbox Update 2022

Some changes in the latest release of dropbox have created a lot of noise in the forums. The summary is that Apple have made some changes in their macOS that gives less flexibility to how Dropbox can operate, and Dropbox have made changes accordingly.

Will this impact me?

On the surface, no. Unless you have gone in and changed the location of your dropbox folder, most standard users will not notice much of a difference. But there are significant changes in the way dropbox operates, so as a precaution, I’ve backed up all my dropbox folders and am watching over the next few months.

What are the changes?

The biggest changes are:

  • Storing your Dropbox folder on an external drive is no longer supported by macOS. (You most likely don’t do this anyway.)
  • Dropbox folder can no longer be moved, it lives in ~/Library/CloudStorage (You most likely won’t even notice any difference.)

Here’s what you may notice, Dropbox now appears in ‘Locations’ as a hard drive, not in ‘Favourites’

What else has changed?

I’ve read here that all the syncing is now handled by iCloud not dropbox. Not sure if that’s true? There’s not a lot of information from Dropbox about why the changes have been made apart from ‘Apple made us do it’.

Reading between the lines it appears that these changes have been forced upon Dropbox by Apple. Apple have a history of not working well with 3rd Party developers. At best this would be a consequence of some internal OS changes or an attempt at better security. At worst it would be Apple trying to force people onto iCloud. But whatever the internal reasons from Apple, it leaves dropbox users with some changes. There’s a lot of traffic about it on the dropbox forums.

Here’s an example of the vague language used:

“As with any operating system, macOS is updated regularly and with that we must keep the Dropbox desktop app aligned with any requirements set out by an OS.”


How to I upgrade?

Do not select the ‘Upgrade Now’ button!!! This is about upgrading to a paid dropbox plan plan.
You want to ‘Update’ which is not an option available anywhere in the dropbox app. Dropbox will update automatically in its own time. There’s no way to force a manual update from Dropbox application itself.

You can download the new version yourself from here to install it:

Otherwise dropbox will notify you about it at some (potentially inconvenient!) time. If you are a dropbox user I’d suggest a manual update when you have the time and headspace in case something goes wrong.


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