How to Uninstall Dropbox on a Mac

Delete the app from the Applications folder or remove its files in Library

What to Know

  • Uninstall Dropbox by dragging its icon from Applications to the trash can.
  • If the app is still open, click Dropbox in the menu bar, and then click profile image > Quit.
  • To remove the Finder Extension: Apple icon > System Preferences > Extensions and untick Dropbox.

This article teaches you how to uninstall Dropbox on a Mac. It also looks at any issues that may occur when doing so and how to fix such problems.

How to Remove Dropbox From a Mac

Uninstalling Dropbox on a Mac initially looks very straight forward, but there's a catch - it's pretty well embedded on your computer. Here's how to do the simplest part of uninstalling Dropbox.

This method is best if you don't want the dedicated Dropbox app installed but you still want to access Dropbox through a folder option on your Mac. 

  1. On the menu bar, click the Dropbox icon.

    Mac desktop with the Dropbox icon on menu bar highlighted.
  2. Click your profile name or image.

    Dropbox Mac app with profile image highlighted.
  3. Click Quit to close the app.

    Dropbox Mac app with Quit highlighted.
  4. Open Finder.

  5. Click Applications.

    Mac Finder app with Applications highlighted.
  6. Scroll down to find Dropbox.

    Finder with Dropbox app highlighted.
  7. Drag the Dropbox icon into the trash can.

  8. Right-click the trash can and click Empty.

How to Remove the Dropbox Finder Extension

If you want Dropbox on your Mac but you don't want the Finder Helper extension tool every time you right-click a file, it's possible to remove this separately. Here's what to do.

  1. Click the Apple icon in the top left corner of the screen.

    Mac desktop with Apple icon on menu highlighted.
  2. Click System Preferences.

    Mac desktop with System Preferences highlighted.
  3. Click Extensions.

    Mac System Preferences with Extensions highlighted.
  4. Untick Share Menu and Finder Extensions underneath Dropbox.

    Mac Extensions options with Dropbox choices highlighted.
  5. The extensions will no longer show up when you right click on a file.

How to Uninstall Dropbox Manually on a Mac

The first method above removes the Dropbox app, but it doesn't entirely remove all traces of the service from your Mac. If you're an advanced user and feel comfortable doing so, here's how to remove everything to do with Dropbox from your Mac.

Before following these steps, make sure to disable your Mac backup on Dropbox by clicking DropBox > profile image > Preferences > Backups > Manage Backups > Disable Backup, otherwise you may lose some files.

  1. In Finder, click Go > Go to Folder.

    Mac desktop with Go to Folder highlighted on Finder.
  2. Enter ~/.dropbox and double-click the top result.

    Mac desktop with Finder's search function open.
  3. Select all the files and delete them.

    If you haven't disabled the backup on the Dropbox app, you will lose files by doing this. Make sure to unsync before deleting anything.

  4. In Finder, right-click Dropbox under Favorites.

  5. Click Remove from Sidebar.

What Happens to Dropbox Files Once I Uninstall?

Providing you remember to turn off Dropbox syncing with your Mac, your files mostly stay in the same place. 

The files already uploaded to Dropbox remain accessible via your Dropbox account, while the files on your Mac are still there. If you don't remove the sync feature, however, your files will be deleted from your Mac if you follow the above steps. The files will still be accessible via however. 

For most users, it's safest to uninstall the Dropbox app but to not remove files via Finder.

  • How do you uninstall an app on Mac?

    Normally, all you need to do is right-click the app in the Applications folder and then select Move to Trash to delete an app. Some programs may have extra data elsewhere on your computer, however. Look for an "Uninstall [app name]" item in the app folder, or use a third-party cleanup app to make sure you get everything.

  • How do I add Dropbox to the Finder on a Mac?

    To add an app to the macOS sidebar, you'll usually find it in the Applications folder and then drag it into the Favorites section on the left side of the Finder window. To move your Dropbox folder, however, you'll need to look somewhere else. Select your username (next to a house icon) from the sidebar, and then drag the Dropbox folder over.

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