Dropbox filling up your hard drive? Selective Sync to the rescue.

Dropbox gives you 100 GB of data! Great! Oh, but now it’s also on my hard drives. Hmm.

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I figured it long after I had every single folder, file, photo and old shared garbage on several computers. Syncing files is wonderful until you don’t want all of those folders on all of your computers.

Choose only the folders you want to sync with each computer.

Choose only the folders you want to sync with each computer.

Up in the button bar at the top of your Mac (or bottom right for your PC), find your Dropbox icon. Find a little gear looking icon for settings and then Preferences. From there, it’s Account, then Selective Sync. From here, uncheck all of the folders you don’t want on that computer.

[box type=”info”]Not to worry, you’re not deleting the folder entirely, it’s still online at Dropbox, you’re just removing it from this computer.[/box]
Choose only the folders you want to sync.

Choose only the folders you want to sync.

You can always recheck the box later and the folders and files will be resynced with your computer. When, finally, someday, you realize that you really don’t need certain folders anywhere any longer, you can then delete them from Dropbox or from your computer and they’ll be gone forever. Careful if those are shared folders as they’ll be deleted from the other people’s computers, too.

  1. Click Dropbox icon.
  2. Find gear icon (settings)
  3. Click Preferences
  4. Account
  5. Selective Sync
  6. Uncheck folders

Computer slowing down? It might be that Dropbox has a ton of files on your computer.

Sure, it’s all in the cloud, happily not taking up space on your local drive, right? Not so fast. It’s also on your local computer, that’s the beauty of syncing. If your computer is filling up with too many files, check your Dropbox file status and see how many gigabytes you’re syncing that you may want to unsync.

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I've done the big corporate thing. I've done the creative writer thing. Now I'm happily in the middle. I like to help small businesses who are interested in "working their website before their website works them." I'm also interested in creating beautiful sites with powerful WordPress themes. Google+


  1. Write Every Day Challenge July 28, 2014 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    […] Dropbox filling up your hard drive? Selective Sync to the rescue. (Jul 28) […]

  2. George Hanson July 28, 2014 at 7:05 pm - Reply

    ?Actually free Dropbox account is 2Gb and it’s way too few to use as online space. I used http://Dropbox18gb.com service and expand it 18Gb. This can be good add on for people :)

  3. Next Level Wellness September 28, 2014 at 7:44 am - Reply

    I was still in the process of choosing a cloud storage. Thank you for this tip. Now i know what i can do to save more space in case i use this service.

  4. […] Dropbox filling up your hard drive? Selective Sync to the rescue. I was surprised at how extremely popular this post has become (traffic wise). […]

  5. Erik July 11, 2015 at 3:16 pm - Reply

    Nice been trying to find ways to clear scratch disks to save and edit photos in Photoshop this will help

  6. Joann September 30, 2015 at 6:42 am - Reply

    I am trying to free up space on my hard drive by using Selective Sync. I have unchecked certain files – my dropbox is now Up To Date but the files are still on my hard drive. Anyone able to help?

  7. Teresa November 4, 2016 at 3:49 pm - Reply

    Thank you! Thank you!
    My Macbook was full of Adobe Premier files – 153GB worth! When I moved them to Dropbox it only freed up 20GB so I was desperately trying to figure out what was wrong.

  8. jordan din November 23, 2017 at 10:10 pm - Reply

    I am very happy with the features of teh dropbox. At present, I am working with the dropbox and I found its very simple to use.

    If you are having not responding problem with any of your device or with any of your application, jus click on the given link and solve your problem.


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