Dropbox Cannot Sync Error Messages

The following like errors can appear on local Dropbox folder or on Dropbox App icon in taskbar/system tray (in Windows operating system) or menu bar (in Mac OSX or Linux OS like Ubuntu).

“Can’t sync xxx access denied” on drop-down menu item.

“Can’t sync xxx permission denied”.

Dropbox Can't Sync Permission Denied

On Windows 7, the file is showing up in my Dropbox with a red circle/white X.

When I try to delete it, it says, "You need permission to perform this action. You require permission from [MYSELF] to make changes to this file." If I try to open the file it says, "Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item." The icon in the lower right-hand corner says, "Indexing [FILENAME]... Can't sync [FILENAME] (access denied).”

How to Fix “Dropbox Can’t Sync Permission Denied”?

The following solutions mostly can solve this Dropbox problem no matter it is installed on Windows (7, 8, or 10), OSX or Linux. Yet, some special ones are for special devices. And, the following files refer to documents, sheets, charts, photos, videos, voices, etc. kind of files.

Solution 1. Make sure file is not in use

In general situation, this issue occurs when Dropbox application failed to access the target file location. Just make sure the file is not opening or editing by any programs, even to make sure there is no other files of the same folder directory is in use. Otherwise, the file will be lock and unable to synchronize.

Tips: Sometimes, except for the file is in use, improper close of the file will also result in lock of the file. Just find the file, open it and save it correctly and try to sync it again.

Solution 2. Delete the file

If the file can t be accessed by Dropbox is not necessary for syncing, you can just delete it.

Solution 3. Make use of Dropbox selective sync

If the file in syncing problem is a kind of file which can’t be deleted from syncing, or it will be recreated the next time, like temporary file, you can exclude it from syncing using Dropbox Selective Sync function. Thus, the Dropbox can’t sync permission denied error will be fixed.

Dropbox Selective Sync

Solution 4. Shorten file path or filename

Sometimes, a file with a long file path or filename is difficult for Dropbox to get access to it. Thus, you should either shorten the file path by finding another subfolder under Dropbox local folder to store the file or put the file directly in the root path of Dropbox folder, or, shorten filename by renaming it.

Solution 5. Refresh the source folder

Refresh source Dropbox folder will trigger Dropbox desktop client to start over again and re-sync un-synced files. Thus may solve Dropbox can’t sync, access denied issue.

Solution 6. Try to keep same location path in different devices

You may sync your desktop with your laptop through Dropbox software. Yet, the local Dropbox folder have different path in these two devices. For example, on your desktop, the Dropbox is on C:\Program Files (x86)\Dropbox\test1\file1; while, on the laptop, it locates in C:\Program Files (x86)\Dropbox\test\file1. Thus, it may cause you not syncing between your laptop and desktop.

The easiest fix is to rename one of the file path to make it the same as the other one and Dropbox may works again.

Solution 7. Turn off User Account Control in Windows

If you are running Windows system, you can try to turn off User Account Control (UAC) to get permission of the files. Search “UAC” in Start and open the search result. In the pop-up window, drag the slider to the bottom. Save and exit.

Windows User Account Control Permission

If this solves the matter, it proves this is a permission problem. Therefore, you should restore the UAC settings and turn to change the permission of the files, like ACL (access control list) or deeper permissions issues inside your home folder.

Solution 8. Upgrade Dropbox

Upgrade your Dropbox client to the latest version may solve Dropbox can’t sync permission denied issue.

Solution 9. Folder on NAS not synced

Some NAS drives have faulty network protocol implementations which can lead to this kind of problems. If the folder that you are trying to sync is on a network share or network drive, the solution is to move it to local location.

Solution 10. Resume/restart/reconnect/reinstall

1. Pause Dropbox and resume synchronization.

2. Restart Dropbox App or your machine.

3. Disconnect your Dropbox account and reconnect it.

4. Reinstall Dropbox and better the newest version.

Solution 11. Clear cache

Dropbox Caches may mislead the access to target files. Thus, clear them might solve Dropbox can’t sync permission denied problem.

1. Search “.dropbox.cache” in Dropbox folder.

2. Delete them from the folder.

Dropbox Folder Cache

Solution 12. Rebuild data file

Solution 13. Ran Dropbox as administrator

Solution 14. Change Dropbox proxy settings

Dropbox Proxies

Solution 15. Turn off computer firewalls & antivirus software

Firewalls or antivirus software (like Windows defender, McAfee, Kaspersky, ESET, etc.) may treat Dropbox as target and interfere it from accessing target files. Thus, temporary disable them or add Dropbox to their white lists will get Dropbox client resync the failed files.

Solution 16. Sync to Dropbox with MultCloud

If all above solutions can-t work in your situation to solve your “Dropbox can’t sync permission denied” issue, you can take this one as your last resort. MultCloud is a third party professional multiple cloud drives manager, which enables you sync files from local to online cloud by uploading. Besides, you can download files from cloud to local; create, delete, rename, cut, copy and share online files just like in Dropbox page.

Dropbox in MultCloud

Most importantly, MultCloud’s main function is to enable you to directly transfer files from one Dropbox account to another without shifting among accounts, and without downloading files from source cloud to local and re-uploading from local to destination cloud.

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Multcloud Key Features

  • Cloud Transfer

    Transfer files in cloud drives, FTP and WebDav for easily file management and information delivery.

  • Cloud Sync

    Sync two clouds or directories in two clouds through two-way sync or one-way sync.

  • Cloud Explorer

    Combine multiple cloud storages into one and manage them like in Windows explorer.