How to Fix Dropbox Sync Issues

If you often juggle between working offline and online, you must know the importance of the file backup process. And file hosting services like Dropbox let you do that with ease. You need to select the offline files or folders which you want to be available to you online, and the system would take care of it. However, at times, Dropbox’s sync might not sync systematically.

How to Fix Dropbox Sync Issues

If you have experienced something like this, it’s time you ran a few tests to jump-start the syncing process on Windows 10.

Without further ado, let’s see some of the best ways to fix Dropbox sync issues.

1. Shut Down and Restart Dropbox

We know, you may have already tried this step, but it doesn’t hurt to try, right? Simply exit the app and re-launch it again.

If it’s a simple one-off thing, the odds are that you will see the documents and files syncing after some time. And at the same time, keep an eye out for files that are open in your system.

2. Is the Process Stuck

Is Dropbox not responding at all? If that’s the scenario, it might be a case of a stuck process.

Step 1: To end the Dropbox process, right-click on the Taskbar to bring up the Task Manager.

Step 2: Next, right-click on the Dropbox process and select End Task. Once done, re-launch Dropbox to see if it has solved your issue.

3. Is There Enough Space

Like any other file hosting service, Dropbox has file upload limitations as well. For example, the Dropbox Plus allows you to use up to 2TB of storage, while the Basic plan lets you use only 2 GB. If you are on the latter, the odds are that you might have run out of storage space. And when that happens, the files on your PC won’t sync to the cloud. Apart from that, you won’t be able to edit as well. Hence, it makes sense to rule out the possibility of storage space.

Step 1: Head over to Dropbox on your web browser and click on the avatar on the right.

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Step 2: Select Settings > Plan, to see how much of the space is utilized.

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While Dropbox usually alerts you when your account is running out of space, you can always check if the option is enabled in the settings.

To do that, head over to the Dropbox settings and click on Notifications. And while you are at it, you can also disable a few unimportant ones.

4. Selective Sync Option In Dropbox

If you have been seeing only some of your files and folders synced, the selective sync feature might be the one to blame. As its name suggests, it lets you select only a few files for syncing.

Step 1: To check the selected folders, open Dropbox on your PC and click on your avatar on the right. Next, select Preferences > Sync and click on Selective Sync.

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Step 2: Next, deselect all the files and folders from the list.

5. Clear the Cache Files

Another reason that your Dropbox might not be syncing properly is because of cache. Thankfully, it’s easy to clear the Dropbox cache.

Step 1: Head over to Program Files on the C: drive. Locate Dropbox and open the .dropbox.cache folder.

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Step 2: Now, delete everything inside it.

If you are unable to access the contents of the cache folder or can’t see the content, luckily there’s another way to access it.

Step 1: Open the Run app from the Start menu and enter the following command.


Windows Explorer will immediately direct you to the Dropbox cache folder. Select all the folders and delete them.

6. Re-Install Dropbox

If all the above steps have still not fixed your issues, you might want to uninstall and install Dropbox. Once done, do check that all the old Dropbox files and data are also removed.

Once you have everything settled, install Dropbox using the same credentials.

Last but not least, do check if Dropbox has the access to communicate through your PC’s firewall. To check, head over to Settings > Update & Security, and select Windows Security from the left panel.

Once done, click on Firewall & network protection and select the ‘Allow an app…’ option.

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This will show you the names of all the allowed apps and features. All you need to do is click on Change settings to enable modification.

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Next, scroll down and see if Dropbox is in the set of allowed apps.

Sync Up

Dropbox systematically shows the day-to-day sync issues right on the desktop app. Some of the common issues that can arise out of file names mismatch it when using special characters on the file names. The idea is to rule out the common issues before attempting to change any system files and folders.

Last updated on 13 July, 2021

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