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Sysinternals Autoruns says that I have 8 instances of the Dropbox shell extension being loaded at startup, via the registry key

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ShellIconOverlayIdentifiers

There is no apparent difference in the invocations -- they all run

c:\users\myUserName\appdata\roaming\dropbox\bin\dropboxext64.22.0.dll

But if I check the registry, they are each invoked with a different GUID and are named "DropBoxExt1 Class", "DropBoxExt2 Class", etc. There doesn't seem to be any parameter passed differently to the different instances.

I am on Windows 7 64-bit. Can I safely remove all but one of them?

1 Answer 1

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You may delete all of them. You may leave one if you wish.

To explain, these are little images that overlay the desk top icons that belong to the product in question.

Unfortunately, Windows only allows 15 such overlays. The way it works is that Windows sorts alphabetically all the sub-keys in the registry and takes the first 15.

Therefore, many big companies have entered into the battle of the overlays, each trying to needlessly multiply their entries so as to crowd out the others.

I currently count in my registry 10 Dropbox overlays, 3 of Mega, 7 of OneDrive and 3 of SkyDrive. This makes for 23 in all, a pity that 8 of them will be ignored and are there for nothing. The big companies have apparently not learned to share, but Dropbox is the worse of them.

For more information see :

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  • You explanation was a real time saver! Thank you!
    – small3687
    Commented Jan 28, 2021 at 1:19

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