Dropbox Not Syncing [Solved]

Dropbox not syncing? Can’t find your important files in Dropbox? Don’t give up hope… You’ll learn the real fixes in this guide to fix your problem.


Dropbox not syncing your files? You would be very annoyed and frustrated. But don’t give up hope… Usually this is a easy problem to troubleshoot. In this article, you’ll learn the step-by-step guide to fix your problem. Read on and find how…

Go on with the following questions to troubleshoot the Dropbox not syncing problem step-by-step:

Q1: Is Dropbox running on your device?

First things first, make sure Dropbox is running correctly on your computer. You can check the status of Dropbox on the menu bar of your device.

Suppose you’re using a Windows computer, you can check the status of Dropbox through this step:

The Dropbox system tray appears at the task bar. If you don’t see it, check it in the hidden menu through the small white arrow.

If unfortunately, you don’t see the Dropbox icon or it’s grayed out, restart Dropbox and then check if your files could be syncing successfully.

If Dropbox still keeps not syncing, no worries, move on to next step.

Q2: Does your device connect to Internet?

Dropbox syncing works relying on the Internet connection. So please check if your device connects to Internet. Or you can simply reconnect your device to Internet and then check if Dropbox could sync your file.

If Dropbox still keeps not syncing, no worries, move on to next step.

Q3: Do you try to restart your device?

Sometimes a simple restart can help you to fix many software woes. So when Dropbox is not syncing, give restarting your device a try. When your device reboots, check if Dropbox is syncing successfully.

If Dropbox still keeps not syncing, no worries, move on to next step.

Q4: Is there any other program editing the files you want to sync in Dropbox?

If the file you want to sync in Dropbox is open at the same time in other applications, Dropbox would then be unable to sync the file.

When your files are open or editing in some applications, like Microsoft Office, they would be locked. This lock may prevent Dropbox accessing and syncing your files. If this is the case, please save your files and exit the application where your file is open. And then Dropbox will fully sync your files.

If Dropbox still keeps not syncing, no worries, move on to next step.

Q5: Does your file name has any incompatible character?

If there’s any incompatible character in your file name, Dropbox can’t sync your file then.

Here are some common character issues for the file name you may probably encounter:

1) Files are incompatible with all operating systems with these two characters:

/ forward slash

\ back slash

2) Files are incompatible with Windows system with these characters:

< less than

> greater than

: colon

“ double quote

| vertical bar

? question mark

* asterisk

. period or a space at the end of the file name

You can check more examples of those incompatible characters on Wikipedia. If there’s any incompatible character appearing in your file name, delete the specific character to rename your file. Once you do, check if Dropbox could sync your file.

If Dropbox still keeps not syncing, no worries, move on to next step.

Q6: Are you using the Selective Sync feature?

The Selective Sync feature on Dropbox enables you select those folders you want to see on your device. That is to say, you can’t see those folders you un-select. Follow the steps below to check if you’re using this feature and the files Dropbox doesn’t sync are unchecked:

Note: The screenshots below are from Windows system, but the method also applies to other operating systems.

1) Click the Dropbox icon  at the menu bar on your device. Then click the Setting icon to select Preferences.

2) Click Selective Sync… on the Sync pane.

3) Wait Dropbox loading your folders. Then check to see if there’s any folder unchecked. And if yes and also that’s where the files Dropbox doesn’t sync locate, check the folder and click Update.

4) Click OK.

5) Click Apply > OK, and back to your Dropbox window to see if Dropbox syncs your files.

If you aren’t using the Selective Sync feature, simply move on to next step.

Q7: Is Dropbox whitelisted on your device?

If you’ve installed a firewall, say a security or antivirus software, the firewall may probably prevent Dropbox from accessing Internet. As a result, Dropbox cannot sync your files.

Open your firewall’s settings and check if Dropbox is whitelisted there. And if you have Dropbox on different devices, please make sure Dropbox is whitelisted on all of your devices.

Here’s an screenshot of Windows Defender in Windows system as an example:

If Dropbox still keeps not syncing, don’t give up hope, we have one more method for you. Please move on to next step.

Q8: Is Dropbox on your device up-to-date?

If you aren’t running the latest version of Dropbox, you might encounter some trouble, including this not syncing problem. So please make sure you’re running the latest version.

You can get the latest version of Dropbox through following steps:

Click the Dropbox icon  on your menu bar and then click Upgrade.

Go on to click Upgrade your Dropbox and following the on-screen instructions to finish up.

Hopefully this helps you fix your problem. Feel free to comment below with your own experiences and share with your friends or colleagues if they’re having the same problem.

By April Cai

April, a Microsoft Certified Professional(MCP), aims to make readers' tech life easy and enjoyable. She's passionate about helping people solve their computer, phone & app woes. That's not giving you a lot of detail, is it? So read more from the following articles.

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