Dropbox Backup Specific Folders

  1. The main features of the Dropbox service include: Data Backup – the Dropbox client software provides for the backup of specific files and folders via a secure connection to a secure off site data repository. Data Synchronization – Dropbox allows for the synchronization of data between multiple computers using the Dropbox client software.
  2. Backup with Dropbox is effortless but one big limitation is that your files and folders need to be residing inside the main Dropbox folder before they can be sent to the cloud. To deal with this problem, we’ll make use of Microsoft SyncToy, a free application that keeps files and folders in sync with each other.

In most cases, it will suffice that Dropbox checks for changes every time it starts, but for folders that require immediate backup, such as you Documents folder, you can also turn all this around: put the real files in the My Dropbox folder, then create a symbolic link to the folder, now in My Dropbox, in the original location.

Content of this article:

About Dropbox

Dropbox, one of the famous cloud storage services, is widely used in storing data on cloud, syncing files to multiple devices and platform, including Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android. When you sync local folder to Dropbox or its folder, all the folders will be synced automatically to all your devices as long as there is an internet connection. You just need to log in with the same account on your devices.

Besides, you can sync folder outside Dropbox folder. You can directly copy and paste the folder you want to sync to Dropbox folder. If you want to see it at the original location, you can create a symbolic link (a sort of shortcuts) between Dropbox folder and the folder on your drive that you want to sync.

2 common ways to sync local folder to Dropbox

Way 1: Dropbox one way sync with Dropbox folder

The first thing is to download and install Dropbox on the local computer if you want to sync local folder with Dropbox. After downloading, your computer will have a Dropbox folder. It looks like a normal folder, but it can automatically sync local folders to Dropbox once you put files inside and you can access files in Dropbox through this folder.

Now, follow the steps below to sync local folder with Dropbox folder.

Step 1. Open Dropbox folder by double-clicking Dropbox in the desktop.

Step 2. Copy and paste the local folders to Dropbox folder. Then, it will automatically sync to web-site.

Way 2: Sync local folder with Dropbox using Smart Sync

Smart Sync is a new feature for Dropbox to help users save hard drive space automatically via Online-only option, which is only available on Plus, Professional or Business plans. Please note you can only view your files with an internet connection. It provides a free-trial for users still using the Basic plan, so you can try it before purchasing.

Then, let's start to sync local folder with Smart Sync feature.

Step 1. Open the Dropbox folder on your computer.

Step 2. Select the files you want to make online-only, right-click it, then choose Smart sync and Online-only option.


  • Except for the manually operation, you can still enable automatic smart sync feature. Click Dropbox icon at the system tray and your avatar, select Preferences, then tap on the Sync tab and tick On under Save hard drive space automatically.

  • Also, you can set the file added to web default as online-only.

Other things you need to know

1. If you want to sync folders to all your devices, you need to log in with the same email address and password on each device.

2. Dropbox service will monitor the Dropbox folder on the computer and other devices. And once there is a change, Dropbox will sync it automatically as long as there is an internet connection.

3. When your computer or other devices are offline, all the changes will be saved and synced again when it connects to internet.

4. Dropbox can only sync files in the Dropbox folder or mobile app. If you want to sync folder outside Dropbox, you need to add it to Dropbox folder.

5. Dropbox selective sync is diferent from Smart Sync, which refers to sync your folder on dropbox.com to local. If you have this need, you can go to References > Sync tab > Selective Sync, then uncheck the folder you don't want to sync to your computer.

Easier way to sync local folder outside Dropbox folder

To sync folder outside Dropbox folder, the simplest way is to copy and paste the folder you want to sync to Dropbox folder. After that, you can create a symbolic link so that you can see folder at its original location. Also, if you are using Plus, Professional or Business plan, Smart Sync is a great choice.

Besides, you still can use Dropbox alternative software - AOMEI Backupper Standard. It’s very easy to use. The sync process is automatic without any human intervention. And this software will keep the selected folder both online and local, you can view your files at any time.

More features of AOMEI Backupper:

  • Support multiple backup devices, such as, Google Drive, OneDrive, network drive, or NAS, external hard drive, USB drive, and more.

  • Schedule sync in daily/weekly/monthly: This feature can protect your data intact as much as possible and give you more backup versions while restoration.

  • Email notification: In an emergency, this feature can provide you the convenience of leaving directly without waiting for the final result. It will inform you if the task is sucessful through your email.

To sync local folder outside Dropbox folder, just use the following steps.

Step 1. Download Dropbox alternative - AOMEI Backupper, install and run it. Then, click Basic Sync under the Sync tab. To backup files to Dropbox for a copy of image file, click File Backup.

Step 2. Click + Add Folder and click Desktop, Libraries or This PC to find the local folder you want to sync.

Step 3. Click Drop-down menu and pitch on Select a cloud drive.

Step 4. Select Dropbox or its subfolder and then click OK to exit this window.

Note: If you want to sync local folder to Google Dive, click 'Google Drive' in the given picture above.

Step 5. Click Start Sync. If you want to create a scheduled backup, you can click Schedule, select any settings you want.


  • Don't modify the source folder name, otherwise the software will not sync changes anymore.

  • This software also supports 'Real-time sync', 'Mirror Sync' and 'Two-Way Sync', which can bring users much convenience. But all of them are available on the professional version of AOMEI Backupper.

Wrapping things up

Speaking of syncing local folder to Dropbox, you may think about the simplest way - using Dropbox folder on the desktop. In addition, Smart sync of Dropbox is an excellent choice, which can help you save hard drive space automatically via online-only option. You can also view these online files locally when your computer connect to network.

But if you want to protect your files continously or enjoy other advanced features, you can turn to AOMEI Backupper Standard. It supports many useful features, such as, daily/weekly/monthly sync, event triggers, USB plug in etc. Try it and you will be pleasantly surprised.

Camera uploads is an optional feature that automatically uploads photos from your mobile device to Dropbox.

Dropbox Backup Specific Folders Windows 10

Once you enable camera uploads, your photos will upload to the Camera Uploads folder in your Dropbox account. After they’ve uploaded, you can move them to a different folder in your Dropbox account if you’d like.

Dropbox Backup Specific Folders

Learn more about uploading photos:

Note: If you’re using macOS 10.15 (Catalina) or higher, you’ll see a notification that says “Dropbox would like to access files on a removable volume.”

Clicking OK will allow camera uploads to work. You can change this preference anytime:

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Click Security and Privacy.
  3. Click the Privacy tab.
  4. Click Files and Folders.
  5. Check or uncheck the box next to Removable Volumes under Dropbox.

Mobile: Turn camera uploads on or off

iOS: iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch

  1. Open the Dropbox mobile app.
  2. Tap Account (the person icon) in the bottom right.
  3. Tap Camera Uploads.
  4. Toggle Camera Uploads to on.
  5. Tap Upload.

Android phone

  1. Open the Dropbox app.
  2. Tap the menu button.
  3. Tap Settings.
  4. Under Camera uploads, tap Turn on camera uploads.
  5. Tap Allow.

Windows 10 in S mode (Windows Mobile)

  1. Open the Dropbox app.
  2. Tap the menu icon.
  3. Tap Settings.
  4. Tap Camera upload.
  5. Toggle Camera upload on.

Desktop: Turn camera uploads on or off

When you plug a camera (or mobile device) into a computer with the Dropbox desktop app installed, you’ll see a prompt asking if you’d like to enable camera uploads for that device. Once you accept, that device will automatically upload your camera roll each time the device is plugged in to that computer.

You can also turn camera uploads on or off with the following steps:

  1. Under Backups check the box next to Enable camera uploads for.
  2. Choose Photos only or Photos and videos from the dropdown.

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System requirements for camera uploads

To use camera uploads, we recommend a supported device and the latest version of the Dropbox desktop or mobile app. Camera uploads doesn’t work if your mobile device battery is too low or if it’s roaming.

If camera uploads isn’t working, see if there are any additional requirements in this troubleshooting guide.

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Background uploading

Background uploading allows Dropbox to upload photos even when the Dropbox app is closed. It automatically uploads your photos whenever it detects a change in your device’s location.

If you have an Android device, you can prevent photos from uploading when your device’s battery is low.

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  1. Navigate to the Camera uploads page in the Dropbox mobile app.
  2. Tap Background uploading.
  3. Use the slider to select the battery level or toggle Only while phone is charging to on.
  4. Tap OK.