Is there any way to have files only upload from Dropbox folder without syncing every second or having to store the files on my computer?

Is there anyway to have Dropbox work like Google Drive or Google Play Music, I do not want to have to manually upload on the website, I want to choose a folder to upload and be able to safely delete the files afterwards from my computer knowing they will still be online, in the cloud.

Or with Dropbox is the only way to do that is keep folders synced? I have tried to get around this to no avail. It always syncs somehow either deleting files from Dropbox, because they aren't in the folder anymore, or when restoring the files on Dropbox website, it downloads them to my computer again taking up space.

I guess I can just manually upload on the website but just asking if there is any way to set Dropbox to just simply scan a folder for new files to upload like Google Drive and Google Play Music, instead of syncing.

I just find it odd the only way to keep things on Dropbox cloud is by also keeping them on your computer.

  • 2
    My suggestion is off topic, but it keeps deleted ones and you can choose to recover them. An option for you is selective sync. But it sounds like the service isn't designed toward your type of uses.
    – nerdwaller
    Dec 19, 2012 at 17:53
  • Yes I know but it only will keep them up for 30 days, once deleted from the actual computer folder. After that you no longer get the option to restore deleted files.
    – Michelle
    Dec 19, 2012 at 18:07
  • Thanks pretty much got it sorted out I suppose, just not possible with Dropbox. I mean it is but not in the way I was hoping, I guess it's still a little easier than connecting my phone to my computer but I was hoping it would have more options. Cheers.
    – Michelle
    Dec 19, 2012 at 18:29
  • 1
    You could use Selective Sync so as to not to sync the folders, then download or upload the files manually. Is that a solution?
    – harrymc
    Sep 11, 2014 at 7:15

4 Answers 4


Dropbox is a cloud syncing service, its not a file hosting service. The whole idea is to sync your files across all your devices.

  • I guess, it is a cloud service that hosts files still though. You can manually upload files and those files do not need to be on your computer afterwards. It's only the files added to the Dropbox folder from the coomputer, which is what I am trying to get around.
    – Michelle
    Dec 19, 2012 at 18:14
  • 2
    "Cloud" is a general term. Yes, it is using the "cloud" to store and sync, but it's not a file hosting service. It's design is to simplify having files available actually ON all of your devices.
    – BroScience
    Dec 19, 2012 at 18:19
  • Well I guess there is no way around it. Was quickly answered much appreciated, I guess I'll just live with manually uploading to Dropbox website to get around not storing it on my computer also or just use something else. Thanks.
    – Michelle
    Dec 19, 2012 at 18:25
  • Dropbox is a file hosting AND syncing service. One of it's main features is to be able to upload files and share publicly accessible links to them, the very definition of a file sharing service. Don't attack the OP for having a legitimate question. I also need an answer to this question as I have 1TB of storage and not all of my devices have a 1TB or more HDD. Sep 10, 2014 at 3:33
  • Who attacked anybody? Where do you see an attack in any of those explanations?
    – Everett
    Sep 10, 2014 at 12:17

To disable the sync on some/all folders, you may use Selective Sync :

  1. Click on the Dropbox icon from the system tray.
  2. Click on the Gear icon and select Preferences... from the menu.
  3. Click the Account tab.
  4. Click the Selective Sync... button.
  5. Uncheck any folders that you don't need to sync to your computer's hard drive.
  6. When you're done, select OK.

You can then download or upload files manually from the Dropbox website.

  • (This answer is really a duplicate, but I posted it first in a comment on the post.)
    – harrymc
    Sep 12, 2014 at 9:57

You could use Selective Sync to synchronize just the important stuff between your Dropbox account and your computer. Selective Sync let's you keep your files in the cloud without having to store them on your computer.

For instance, if you had your music library synchronized with Dropbox and you only wanted to retain a few albums from the library on your PC, then given that you've created separate folders for each album, you could use Selective Sync to keep just the ones that you want on your computer and the rest will still be available on Dropbox.

You can access Selective Sync from Dropbox Preferences, in the Account section. Selective Sync


The unique way is to get rid of the Dropbox app and develop a new one on your own (based on link).

If you are on Mac OS X, you can also make an Automator script/app so that you just have to drag-'n'-drop the files on an icon.

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