Mac Storage Full? How to Selectively Sync Your Dropbox

Posted On 30 Apr 2018
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Choosing to Selectively Sync Dropbox Files Saves You Mac Storage Space

If you are a proud and loud Mac owner, especially if you're a Macbook Air owner, you've likely seen the "Disk Almost Full" notification pop up at one time or another. This is Mac's way of letting you know it needs more room to work.

There are many, many things you can do to reduce the burden on your hard drive, including:

One way you might already employ to reduce hard drive clutter is storing files and folders via Dropbox. Dropbox is essentially a hard drive in the cloud: you pay for more space and Dropbox's team takes care of the rest. However, if you have the Dropbox app installed on your computer, you are likely syncing Dropbox files and folders to your local hard drive. And, if you're doing so, then you aren't saving space—you're actually creating more clutter

Here's how it works: Dropbox files and folders live in the cloud, but you can also sync a copy of those files and folders to your machine. That copy takes us space just as if it were living on your desktop. If you have too many synced files and folders you'll see your disk storage disappear quickly.

How to Selectively Sync Dropbox Files and Folders

I love the Dropbox app and I recommend using it if you are a Dropbox client, but I suggest you selectively sync Dropbox files in order to minimize drag on your computer's performance.

In order to manage this functionality, hover over the Dropbox icon in your menu bar. Click the icon and it reveals a dropdown. on the far right side of the dropdown's menu bar you'll see a gear icon. Hovering over this icon creates a prompt that says, "Access and manage your Dropbox settings."

Clicking this gear icon reveals a menu. Go to Preferences...

From these options, choose the Sync menu on the far right-hand side. In the middle of the screen, you'll see a Selective Sync option, where you can "Choose folders to sync." Click this and go through all of your files and folders and dropbox and choose which to pull down to your hard drive.

Remember: only sync folders you need access to regularly. Each file and folder adds weight to your hard drive and slows you Mac performance.

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