Is it possible to move the user folders (not the home folder itself) e.g. documents, photos, music etc to another location e.g. inside my Dropbox on Mac? If so how do I do it? I know I can do this in Windows by changing the target folder for 'My Documents' but being a relative beginner on Mac OS X I am unsure how to do this.


In this case? No. However you can work around it by doing one of the following:

  1. Change your Dropbox folder location
    To do so, open up Dropbox's preference and press Move... and choose your home folder. This wouldn't be the option I'd recommend. (It's easier and more possible with Dropbox 0.8.x with selective sync and being able to move your Dropbox folder)

  2. Use Symlinks
    You can use symlinks to make it appear as though your Documents, Movies, etc. folders are in the Dropbox folder without actually breaking the file system (and having the folders recreated) that Mac OS X is expecting.

    You'll need to do this in the Terminal but you can run ln -s /Users/YOUR_SHORT_USERNAME/Documents /Users/YOUR_SHORT_USERNAME/Dropbox/Documents replacing the word Documents for whichever folder you need to.

    You can see more about this at Dropbox's wiki


Well, the easiest way I know of is to copy the user folder to the new location, then open System Preferences: Accounts.

Just unlock and 'Ctrl Click' your user account, select Advanced Options and set the new destination.

I'm not aware of any draw backs.

  • This seems more like an answer to superuser.com/questions/25128/…. Note that this question isn't about moving the home folder itself. – Jonik Sep 13 '10 at 16:47
  • Ah… I see it's the plural (user folders). You are totally right. I guess it's ok, if I don't delete my answer. This way people read your comment and will have link for the other question/topic which maybe is what they are searching for. Cheers, – patrick Sep 14 '10 at 10:05

First copy your Documents folder to Dropbox, then open the OS X terminal an do the following:

sudo mv Documents OldDocuments
ln -s /Users/$(whoami)/Dropbox/Documents Documents

After that, you're welcome to delete OldDocuments, though you might need to do:

sudo rm OldDocuments

I am waiting for my Documents to finish syncing to DropBox before I try deleting.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.