Dropbox for macOS will no longer support external drives

Dropbox for macOS will no longer support external drives

Mac users who also use Dropbox have recently encountered issues. Indeed, Apple removed an old extension used by cloud services with macOS Monterey 12.3 and replaced it with a new API. Dropbox is finally working on a new version of its macOS app that works with this API, but it has a downside. Users will no longer be able to store their Dropbox folder on external drives.

macOS Monterey 12.3 was released in March 2022. But even before the update, Dropbox had warned its users that the macOS app would lose some of its functionality due to the latest changes in Apple’s operating system. For example, it is no longer possible to open online-only files (placeholders) stored in the cloud.

Some of these compatibility issues will be resolved once Dropbox releases an update to its app to make it compatible with the new macOS API for cloud platforms. But there are other limitations that seem more permanent.

New macOS API limits how Dropbox and other cloud apps work

For example, Dropbox currently allows users to store their Dropbox folder on external storage. However, this will no longer be possible even after updating with support for macOS Monterey and macOS Ventura. This is because all cloud app content on macOS will now be moved to the ~/Library/CloudStorage file for reasons of confidentiality.

Of course, many users were shocked by the news. “So what’s going to happen – if we have a Dropbox folder on an 8TB drive and a small internal drive – will it try to clone stuff and eat up space?” A user asked Dropbox Support. A company representative confirmed that nothing can be done about this as it is a limitation of macOS.

Dropbox has informed users that it will begin rolling out an official update with support for macOS Monterey 12.5 and later in the coming months. But unfortunately, users who need to store their Dropbox folder on an external drive will lose this option forever. More details on changes for Dropbox users with the new macOS API can be found on this webpage.

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H/T: Jon Cotton

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