Dropbox Not Syncing Windows 10

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Dropbox is a highly useful cloud storage and collaboration service for a small business, allowing you to share your files with almost anyone. You can collaborate with co-workers or clients on projects using Dropbox, editing and working on files together. And you can use Dropbox as a file backup service, synching the data stored on your laptop with your Dropbox account in the cloud, constantly maintaining a current backup copy of all of your files.

RELATED: Understanding the New Sync Settings in Windows 10. How to Disable Account Sync Settings on a Device. Disabling Sync settings in Windows 10 lets you limit what information Microsoft sends to the cloud and stores on their servers. Whether you want to disable a single setting or stop syncing altogether, this is how you can gain control of. Ways To Fix Dropbox Smart Sync Not Working Issue In Windows 10 Posted by boithech April 3, 2021 Leave a comment on Ways To Fix Dropbox Smart Sync Not Working Issue In Windows 10 If you’re a fan of cloud storage platforms (and I’m sure you are), you probably use Dropbox, or have at least heard of it.

However, there is one thing that can bring Dropbox to its knees and leave you unable to access your files. When you’re having the problem of Dropbox not synching, you are unable to work as efficiently, because you cannot gain access to your files or share them with others. You also will lose the ability to have current backups of your files available.

When Dropbox is not synching with the files you have stored locally, you need to figure out what is happening and quickly. Here are 12 troubleshooting tips you can use when you are having a Dropbox not syncing issue.

1. Check the Easy Stuff First

Before we break down some of the primary reasons why Dropbox not synching may be happening to you, let’s make sure the problem doesn’t relate to something with your network, Internet connection, or system.

Verify That a Problem Exists

Look at the files that you believe are not synching properly, such as some files to which you recently made editing changes. If they have a red X marking them, they are not syncing properly. Files that are synching will have a green checkmark.

If you see only red X marks, the problem is with your files not syncing properly.

Check Your Internet Connection

Are you able to open websites through a browser? Can you receive and send email messages? If not, the problem with Dropbox not synching is not a problem with Dropbox. It’s an issue with your Internet connection.

If your Internet connection is running far slower than normal, or if it is dropping in and out, this also can make it appear as though Dropbox is having a problem with synching.

Storage Space Exceeded

If you are seeing that Dropbox is not syncing your files, make sure that you have not exceeded your Dropbox data storage limits. Once this happens, Dropbox will be unable to add new files until you delete some of the files you have stored in the cloud or until you upgrade to a higher subscription level to gain more cloud storage space.


Sometimes, a simple restart of your computer or your Dropbox app will fix whatever problem you are having. This may seem silly, but the restart seems to work more often than you might think.

Another option is to sign out of the Dropbox app before signing back into the app. This may allow the sync to restart on its own.

2. Corrupted DropboxUpdate.exe File

When Dropbox prepares to sync files from your local storage with the cloud storage, it needs to access the DropboxUpdate.exe file stored on your local computer. If this file is not available, Dropbox will give you an error message that it will not sync because it cannot update.

Dropbox uses this .exe file to check for any updates to the Dropbox app. It makes automatic updates to the app as needed, so you do not have to worry about this file … unless the file has a problem. Then Dropbox will not be able to update, also leaving it unable to sync.

To fix the problem, try downloading and reinstalling the Dropbox app. Reinstalling Dropbox should restore the .exe file to its proper working condition, but it will not affect your stored files.

3. Errors With File Names

If you are using Dropbox on a non-Windows computer, you may be able to include certain characters in your file names that are not compatible with Windows. Because the Dropbox service follows the same file naming rules that Windows requires, Dropbox will not sync those files. The improper symbols for file names in Dropbox include:

  • Asterisk
  • Colon
  • Quotation mark
  • Question mark
  • Greater than
  • Less than
  • Pipe stem (vertical bar)
  • Forward slash
  • Backward slash

Additionally, Dropbox may encounter problems synching certain files if they have a blank space as the last character in the file name. This can be extremely difficult to notice, as it is tough to see a blank space in a list of files, so check for other incompatibilities first that are easier to see.

Dropbox not syncing windows 10 desktop

These symbols are not viable for folder names either for use with Dropbox.

4. Incompatibility With Long File Names

Dropbox typically will not accept file or folder names that are more than 255 characters, so you may need to shorten some file names to ensure the file will sync properly.

Additionally, Dropbox may count the characters in the names of the folders and subfolders as part of the 255 character limit. So if you have a series of files nested in several layers of subfolders with long file names, you could end up with a violation of the character limit, leading to a synching problem.

Reduce the number of subfolders you are using or shorten the folder names to work around this issue.

5. Interference With Other Software

Sometimes, the Dropbox app will be running fine. Then, your antivirus software, firewall software, or system optimization software will do an automatic update, and suddenly Dropbox does not sync properly any longer.

This may mean that an update to one of these other types of software packages has created an incompatibility with Dropbox. Try adding Dropbox to the whitelist for the software package, which tells the software that it should allow Dropbox to operate freely.

If you are running the Windows 10 Defender firewall, you may have to give Dropbox permission to go through the firewall after an update to the firewall software. Click the Start button, and then click on the following Windows 10 levels in order:

  • Settings
  • Update & Security
  • Windows Security
  • Firewall & Network Protection
  • Allow an App Through Firewall

Scroll through the apps listed in the popup window until you reach Dropbox. Highlight the checkboxes under both the Private and Public columns in the Dropbox row and click OK.

Otherwise, if you believe you know exactly which software package is causing the incompatibility, you can contact the technical support team for that software to see if it is aware of the problem and knows of a workaround.

6. Interference With Other Synching Apps

If you are using other apps that sync files on your computer, such as Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive, these may cause interference with Dropbox. If Dropbox is not syncing properly, try closing these other apps.

7. Conflicts Between More Than One Dropbox Account

If you use Dropbox for your small business, and if you have a separate Dropbox account for your personal use, it is possible that you’ve signed in to your personal account on a smartphone and to your business account on a laptop. This may cause an incompatibility, making it appear as though you are having a Dropbox not syncing issue.

When you are having trouble syncing certain files, make sure that you are signed in to the same Dropbox account on all of the devices you are using.

8. Remove Cache Files Related to Dropbox

If the cache files related to Dropbox have corruption, you may have problems with Dropbox syncing properly. You can remove these cache files to reset Dropbox and allow it to begin working again.

In Windows 10, press the Windows key on the keyboard and the R key at the same time. You’ll see the Run window. In the Open text box, type:


Then press OK. Windows will open a window with the files and folders related to the Dropbox cache files. Highlight all of the files, right-click on them, and left-click on Delete in the popup menu.

You then will also want to remove those files from the Recycle Bin. Right-click on the Recycle Bin icon and left-click on Empty Recycle Bin. If you need to verify this selection, click OK or Yes.

Dropbox then will rebuild new cache files the next time it needs them, and this likely will fix the Dropbox not syncing issue.

9. Disable Dropbox Selective Sync

Selective Sync is a feature of Dropbox that allows you to pick exactly what files or folders the service will send to the cloud from your computer. If you have Selective Sync activated, Dropbox will not upload your entire catalog of files, which means you may believe that there’s a Dropbox not synching error, when, in reality, you have told Dropbox to only sync certain files through its settings.

Some users activate Selective Sync when they begin using Dropbox, and then forget that it is active.

To turn off Selective Sync, click on the Dropbox icon in the taskbar in Windows. Click Preferences, followed by Advanced. Click on Selective Sync and turn if off, so Dropbox will begin synching your entire list of files.

10. Check Whether Pause Is Activated

When you need to preserve your Internet speed and bandwidth for other tasks, you may want to pause Dropbox from synching, which will ensure that all of your bandwidth is going to your other tasks.

However, if you then forget that you have paused Dropbox, it may appear as though Dropbox is not syncing properly.

To see whether Dropbox’s pause feature is active, click on the Dropbox icon in the Windows taskbar. Then click on the gear icon and look for an option that says Pause Synching or Resume Synching.

If you see Resume Synching listed here, it means you paused the synching service at some point, and it remains on pause. Click Resume Synching, and Dropbox will begin syncing your files once again.

11. Check Your Local Hard Drive Space


When running Dropbox, you will need adequate free space on your local hard drive to allow the app to run properly. Even if you have plenty of cloud storage space available under your Dropbox account, you still need some free space on the local hard drive to allow Dropbox to work.

If your hard drive is at 95% capacity or more, your entire computer (not just Dropbox) may start to perform oddly, so it is important to try to keep the hard drive under this capacity level at all times. Deleting files on the local hard drive to dip below 95% capacity (or below 90% capacity, which is even better) may allow Dropbox to begin syncing properly again.

12. Reinstall Dropbox

You have the option of reinstalling Dropbox to try to fix any synching problems. Start by uninstalling your current version of Dropbox. Open Control Panel in Windows and then click Uninstall a Program. Select Dropbox from the list and click Uninstall.

Next, reinstall the Dropbox app. This process will not affect the files you have stored in the cloud under your Dropbox account, but you may need to re-enter your username and password after you reinstall Dropbox.

User Case

Sometimes, you may encounter the Dropbox Smart Sync not working issues like the user, what should we do to fix it? Don’t worry, we will explain for you.

About Drobox Smart Sync

Dropbox Smart Sync is a Dropbox advanced feature that helps you view, access the all files and folders in the Dropbox desktop folder from your computer and using virtually no hard drive space. It is available in Dropbox Plus, Professional, Standard, and Advanced for individuals and business teams.

You may meet the following Dropbox Smart Sync not working problems while using Dropbox, find solutions here respectively.

Dropbox Smart Sync not showing up

If you connected a personal Dropbox account, Smart Sync won't be available for that personal account. Or the Smart Sync isn’t here in your Dropbox Plus, or others.

Solution: update the desktop app and Mac app to the same as wellif you just upgrade Dropbox account to Dropbox Plus, or other editions in dropbox.com.

Dropbox Smart Sync online only not working


Sometimes, you may find the Smart Sync online only not working, because the smart sync files downloaded unintended.

Solution:Make the files online-only again. Right click the file, and select Smart Sync >Online Only.

Dropbox Smart Sync not freeing up space

If your Dropbox is full or show low disk space due to the Dropbox documents. You have to free up space.

Solutions: The two ways: Selective Sync and Delete files, could help you to free up space. Here we are going to show you about the selective sync to free up space for you hard disk.

1. Click Dropbox icon on the Windows tray, click your account profile icon, and select Preferences.

2. At the Sync tab, press Selective Sync and then Uncheck the folders and files that you would like to remove from your computer but still on your dropbox.com. Press Update to confirm.

Dropbox Smart Sync unspecified error

The Dropbox Smart Sync issues usually occurred while opening Microsoft Office files, words, excels, and PowerPoint.

Solution:Set the Smart Sync to Local. Here are the steps: Right click the file or folders, select Smart Sync, and then choose Local, open the files or folders when it’s downloaded.

Smart Sync is experiencing an issue

And there are some reasons should be responsible for this issue: Some updates happened to the Dropbox; Lack of Windows security updates; Antivirus or Security software maybe blocked the Dropbox; Something required for Smart Sync is not installed or running properly; Software conflicts.


1. Add Dropbox to White-list in Antivirus or Security Software.

2. Install Windows latest updates.

3. Restart the computer and Dropbox desktop app.

4. Reinstall Dropbox with Admin privileges.

5. Disable all running software to fix the conflict (like HIBUN software, etc.).

Dropbox Not Syncing

Besides, another issue like Dropbox not syncing maybe disturb you while syncing data to Dropbox. First ensure your computer, phone, tablet is connected to Internet, signed in the same Dropbox account, and the files or folders are located in Dropbox folder. If all is right, please refer the following solutions:

1. Rename File name without these characters: / < > : “ ? * . and shorter than 255 characters.

2. Do not sync some system files and temporary files like desktop.ini, thumbs.db, *.tmp, ~file, etc.

3. Change the file location to make the file components less than 300 components.


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If you have problems with sync files to Dropbox with Dropbox application, you may want to try professional file synchronization software - AOMEI Backupper Standard, which is designed for Windows computers to sync files to cloud (like Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Box, etc.) with simple clicks.

It’s highly recommended by million of users over the world due to its reliable synchronization, intuitive interface and outstanding performance. And now please download AOMEI Backupper Standard to have a try.

You could enjoy the following sync features:

1. Schedule sync. It allows you sync files to Dropbox or other clouds via daily, weekly, monthly, USB plug in, etc.

2. Sync Settings enables you to comment the sync task to differ from others, enable email notification to get the SMS or email alert after the sync finished, run specified program before the sync, etc.

3. One-way sync function can greatly protect the data on the source path.

4. Multiple Sync destination selection: apart from clouds, you could also sync files to external hard drive, USB drive, SD card, network share or NAS, local disk, etc.

5. Event Triggers Sync: you could trigger the sync task by the four events: user logon, user logoff, system startup, system shutdown. And you could sync files to Dropbox without occupy your working time.

6. Real time sync: It allows you to real-time monitor the source directory needing sync. If there is any change happens to any file or folder in the source directory, the program will sync them to the Dropbox immediately.

The last two are premium features, please upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional or other advanced editions to enjoy.


Dropbox Files Not Syncing Windows 10

If you meet the Dropbox Smart Sync not working problem or Dropbox not syncing files, you could try the best Dropbox alternative - AOMEI Backupper Standard to sync files to Drobox easily to safeguard all your files and folders. You can even sync open files without efforts.

Dropbox Not Syncing Windows 10 Free

Besides, AOMEI Backupper is also backup and restore software, which allows you to backup data to an image file to anywhere else you specified, create system backup for Windows PCs to prevent system boot failure, backup entire hard disk to other place just in case you need to restore everything, etc.