When you install the Dropbox desktop app, you’ll gain access to your Dropbox folder directly from your operating system. Having one is convenient for a lot of reasons – for example, it may prove invaluable when you suddenly lose internet connection.
At first glance, it seems like you can’t move this folder around like you would move your regular folders. You can’t do it with simple methods such as copy/paste or drag-and-drop. However, you can still move it around. Keep reading to find out how.
Before You Move the Folder
You should know a few things before you proceed with moving the Dropbox folder around. If you don’t pay attention to certain details, your Dropbox folder may malfunction. This can be particularly frustrating when you’re not connected to the internet and there’s no alternative way to access your Dropbox storage. Here are the things that you should keep in mind:
- a) Always use the same hard drive when you’re moving the Dropbox folder and the same HDD as your operating system.
- b) Don’t use other network file systems with Dropbox, as they aren’t compatible.
- c) Be careful with external hard drives. If the Dropbox desktop app launches on the internal drive before the external hard drive boots, the error will appear. Furthermore, if you disconnect an external drive while Dropbox is active, there’s a chance that it will start deleting files.
- d) The Dropbox folder doesn’t support removable media. This includes flash drives, SD cards, connected mobile phone storage, and others.
Moving the Dropbox Folder
The only way to move the Dropbox folder is via the small Dropbox icon in your system tray or taskbar. The method is fairly simple, and you just need to do the following:
1. Select the “Dropbox” icon on the bottom-right of the taskbar.
2. Click the “Preferences” button (gear icon) on the top-right of the window.
3. Click “Preferences…” from the drop-down menu.
4. Choose the “Sync” tab from the bar on the top of the window.
5. Select the “Move…” option under the “Dropbox location” section.
6. Choose a new destination for your Dropbox folder.
7. Press “OK” when finished.
8. Select “Apply.”
9. Hit “OK” again.
Your Dropbox folder should now appear in the new designated location. If Dropbox doesn’t allow you to choose the appropriate location, there may be some other obstacles. Find out more about it in the following section.
Can’t Move Your Dropbox Folder?
If you can’t move your Dropbox folder to another location that is otherwise compatible with the app, you should check the following issues:
- a) See if certain files from the Dropbox folder are running in the background. If so, close them before moving the folder.
- b) Check whether you have enough storage space on your hard drive to move the Dropbox folder. If you don’t have enough space on that hard drive partition, the Dropbox folder won’t move.
- c) Your Dropbox folder may lack certain permissions or the new folder location may not have proper permissions. Both options will restrict the movement of the folder.
- d) If you use referenced files (connected folders, symlinks, etc.) Dropbox may have trouble moving the folder to another location.
If everything is alright, and you still can’t move the folder around, you may try to unlink your account and then set it up again. This should return the Dropbox to initial settings and may fix the issue. If you don’t know how to unlink the account, just follow these steps:
- Right-click the Dropbox icon on your taskbar.
- Select the Settings icon.
- Click “Preferences.”
- Choose the “Account” tab.
- Select “Unlink.”
After you’ve disconnected your account from the app, Dropbox will ask you to sign-in again. Just enter your credentials and try to move the folder again using the method from the previous section.
Dropbox Folder Isn’t a Partition
Some people think of the Dropbox folder as a new hard drive partition. Just because you have extra gigabytes on the Cloud doesn’t mean that you can physically make more space on your hard drive by installing the Dropbox app.
So, if you fill your Dropbox storage with a lot of data, it will crowd your drive and take up space instead of adding more. However, many prefer to have the Dropbox folder on their hard drive regardless. Do you? Share your opinion in the comments section below.