2 Ways to Unsync Files in Dropbox – Without Deleting Files

If you don’t know how to unsync files in Dropbox whether from local PC to Dropbox or vice versa, you can get a full tutorial from here. Also, a more flexible way to sync files to Dropbox is included.


By Maggie Updated on September 22, 2023

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Need to unsync Dropbox without deleting files

By default, Dropbox syncs all the files and folders in the Dropbox folder on your PC and it can also help you automatically upload photos to Dropbox. And if you add, modify, or delete files from local PC to Dropbox storage, or vice versa, the changes are two ways.

According to Dropbox rules, one Dropbox account can be connected and used on multiple devices, which means a large number of files are viewed and shared on multiple devices, which may cause file confusion.

If you want the Dropbox online files and folders not sync to your local PC, you can use its embedded features called Dropbox Selective Sync. But if you want the files and folders included in your local Dropbox folder not sync to your Dropbox account, Dropbox does not have an option to make it happen, for any files in the specific Dropbox folders will be automatically synced.

Unsync Files in Dropbox

Thus, you may wonder how to stop Dropbox from syncing Windows 10/11 files without deleting them. Well, you can follow the provided steps to enable that both from local PC to Dropbox and vice versa.

How to unsync Dropbox without deleting files

From this part, you can learn how to unsync Dropbox without deleting files. Both steps to unsync files from Dropbox to PC and from PC to Dropbox are listed here.

Exclude files from Dropbox sync to local PC

There is a feature called Selective Sync in Dropbox that allows decide which files you can sync to specific computers and which ones you don’t want. You see the files and folders on your computer, but they are stored in your Dropbox online account not locally. Activating this feature can help you save disk space on your computer.

1. If you have downloaded Dropbox desktop app on your PC, just find the Dropbox icon in the system notification bar.

2. Click it and select Preferences from the menu. In the open-up window, click the Sync tab, then click Selective Sync.

Selective Sync

3. Once a sub-window pop up, you can check or uncheck specific folders or sub-folders to sync to the computer you are currently using. Then click Update to save your changes.

Select Folders

◈Unchecking folders will not remove that folder from the cloud or any other computer, they will be available online only on the Dropbox website.
◈You can’t remove individual files with Selective Sync—only folders, which includes the files and folders inside them.

4. Click OK to update Selective Sync settings.


Unsync files from local PC to Dropbox

If you want to delete a folder from the Dropbox account online but want the file to remain on your local Dropbox folder, or unsync the files and folders on local PC to Dropbox, this device does not have an option to make it happen. But there’s still a way for you to unsync local files manually.

1. Open File Explorer. Switch to Dropbox in the left panel. Navigate to the file or folder you want to exclude from sync.

2. Use right-click copy option, or Press CTRL + C to make a copy.

3. Navigate to where you want to save the local copy. Right-click the blank space and tab paste, or press CTRL + V into its new location.

4. Go back to Dropbox in the left-hand panel of File Explorer and delete the original file. Thus, the specific files or folders you do not want to sync to Dropbox will only save on your local PC.

More flexible way to sync specified files to Dropbox

Now you know how to unsync Dropbox without deleting files by the methods provided above. Many users encounter various problems while using Dropbox such as Dropbox not syncing in Windows 10. If you don't want to spend a lot of effort solving Dropbox problems every time, you can choose a reliable third-party software to sync files to Dropbox storage like AOMEI Backupper Standard.

  • This is the best free file sync tool specially designed for Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP.
  • You can use its Basic Sync feature to sync files and folders to Dropbox or other cloud services (OneDrive, Google Drive, Amazon Drive, etc.), to internal/external drives, a USB drive, network location, NAS device.
  • It also enables you to run automatic sync for data that are changed frequently on daily/weekly/monthly basis.

Click the download button below to install this freeware on your computer. For Server users, try AOMEI Backupper Server.

Download FreewareWin11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Then follow the steps below to learn how to easily sync desired files to Dropbox:

1. Launch AOMEI Backupper Standard, click Sync on the left tab, and select Basic Sync on the right side.

Basic Sync

To enjoy advanced modes  as Mirror Sync, Real-Time Sync and Two-Way Sync to sync files, you can upgrade to the Professional version to experience them.

2. Then, you click Add Folder and select the files or folders from your computer that you want to sync to Dropbox.

Add Folders

3. Next, click drop-down menu to tap the Select a cloud drive option to select your Dropbox cloud service path as the destination. Press OK.

Select a Cloud Drive


✨ Click Schedule Sync in the bottom left corner to set up automatic sync task. You can select daily/weekly/monthly/event triggers (paid)/USB plug in (paid) depending on how often you may modify Dropbox folder.

Enable or Disable Schedule Sync

4. Confirm your operations and then click Start Sync. After finishing, you can manage the sync task in Home tab and view the synced files and folders in Dropbox. 

▪Please don’t change the folder name of the source directory after syncing. Otherwise the program cannot detect it anymore.
▪You can also automatically upload files to Dropbox, even don't set up scheduled sync settings, with the help of Real-Time Sync (Advanced version). 

 Bonus tip: backup files to AOMEI Cloud:

Apart from the cloud drives offered by third-party providers, you can also click Backup > Cloud Backup to backup important files to AOMEI Cloud. It offers you 1TB free storage for 15 days after you sign up for an AOMEI account.


Wrapping things up

Now you know how to unsync files in Dropbox by following the provided steps above, whether from Dropbox to local computer or vice versa. And you can also master a simpler way to sync files to Dropbox with your desired schedule sync settings.

AOMEI Backupper is not only a free sync tool, but also a reliable and easy-to-use backup software, you can backup your Windows 11 to USB with just a few clicks. And when facing inaccessible boot device on Windows 11, you can use this backup image to recover your computer securely.

Maggie · Editor
Maggie is a technical editor from AOMEI and troubleshoots technical problems against data protection. She has received professional and systematic technical training. With a focus on user experience, security, and problem-solving, she always puts herself in the readers' shoes and provides them with valuable technical insights.