Dropbox: Missing Folders in Finder/File Explorer


U-M Dropbox, Dropbox desktop app


Some of my folders that are available on Dropbox on the web are not showing up in the Dropbox desktop app (i.e., in the file directory, Mac Finder or Windows File Explorer).


Follow the troubleshooting steps below to figure out why you may not be seeing all of your Dropbox folders in your local file directory:

  • Ensure that you are signed in to the desktop app using your U-M Dropbox account. If not, then you will need to sign in and link your U-M Dropbox account. Refer to Article ID: 2940 for steps on linking your U-M Dropbox account to the desktop app.

  • Verify that you have added the Dropbox shared folder to your U-M Dropbox account. Refer to Article ID: 6543 for more information on how to verify this.

  • Ensure the missing folder(s) is selected in the "Selective Sync" preferences on your computer. Refer to the instructions under "Choose which folders to store on your hard drivein Article ID: 3069.

    • Automatic, local desktop syncing for Team Folders is turned OFF by default. You will have to use selective sync in the desktop app to add it to your desktop sync.

    • If the missing folder is a Team Folder, you will need to ensure that:

      1. Selective sync is turned ON.

      2. The Team Folder is selected from the list of synced folders.

  • Check if the folder(s) has any special characters or symbols in the name - : \  / : * ? " < > | - as they are unable to be shown within Mac Finder/Windows File Explorer. You will need to remove any characters/symbols from the folder name.

    Note: These limitations are in place because computers will not allow file/folder names to include some symbols or special characters in their names.

If the above steps do not resolve the issue, you should try uninstalling and re-installing the Dropbox app. Refer to Article ID: 2883 for steps.

Additional Information

Questions? Contact the ITS Service Center for additional assistance.


Article ID: 4212
Mon 12/21/20 4:53 PM
Tue 2/6/24 12:32 PM

Related Articles (3)

This article provides additional information for adding a shared folder to your account or viewing a shared file in U-M Dropbox.
This article explains how to link your U-M Dropbox and personal (non-UM) Dropbox accounts on the web and connect them to the Dropbox desktop app.
This article explains that selective sync is a feature in the Dropbox desktop app that lets you choose folders to remove from your hard drive so you can save space on your computer. The folders you choose to remove from your hard drive remain stored in your account on dropbox.com.