How to Fix Dropbox Sync Issues (OS X)

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Recently, the iSmashPhone staff was sharing Dropbox folders with each other. Unfortunately, sometimes things don’t go as they’re designed to. In this case, the folders on my end weren’t syncing properly, and had a perpetual message that read “Can’t Sync” and “Permission denied.”

It was annoying, and it wouldn’t go away. We figured we’d give it a few hours at first, but it never fixed itself. Not even after relaunching Dropbox or the next morning when we powered our computer back on. Something was definitely wrong, and it was making our Dropbox act weird.

Here are two ways to fix that. The first of which worked for us.

Method 1:

1) Stop the Dropbox desktop application (if needed)

– Click on the Dropbox icon.
– Choose Quit/Stop/Exit

2) Open your Terminal app (Located at /Applications/Utilities/Terminal)

3) Copy and paste the following lines into the Terminal, one at a time, and press RETURN after each one. PLEASE make sure you copy and paste these commands (don’t type them by hand), as getting them wrong could cause some harm. Each step below is followed by a comment as to what it accomplishes, these comments can be copied and pasted in as part of the line, they will not affect the operation. You’ll be prompted for your computer user’s password (not your Dropbox password) after entering the first command.

sudo echo ‘Administrator authorized’

sudo chflags -R nouchg ~/Dropbox # Remove Locked flags on all files in the Dropbox folder

sudo chmod -R -N ~/Dropbox ~/.dropbox # Remove ACL permissions on all files in the Dropbox folder

sudo chown -R “$USER” ~/Dropbox # Set you as the owner on all files in the Dropbox folder

sudo chmod -R u+rw ~/Dropbox # Set read and write permissions for the owner.

If you have any questions before you do this, or if you see an error after running one of these commands, please let us know!

4) Restart Dropbox from Applications




Method 2:

1) Make sure the Dropbox desktop application is running

2) Click on the Dropbox icon in your menu bar

3) Select ‘Preferences’

4) Click on the ‘Account’ tab

5) Hold down the ‘Option’ key

6) Click on the ‘Fix Permissions’ button (make sure you’re still holding down the ‘Option’ key.

This will allow Dropbox access to your home folder, Dropbox folder, and any required settings.”


(Credit: Dan H. , Alec C.)

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