I wonder if any of the mainstream sync services (e.g. Dropbox and the likes) is able to sync relative symbolic links among the synced folders correctly.

And by supporting I mean uploading and syncing them as symlinks rather than resolving them and uploading them as a duplicate of the original file/folder.

To the best of my knowledge Dropbox doesn't really understand symlinks, and I can not find much information about GDrive, OneDrive, Box, etc...

This can't be awfully hard to implement, so I am hoping at least one of these services offers the functionality. That is the way I make my resources accessible from different locations, instead of creating redundant copies.

  • Please let me know if this is a duplicate. I can not find the exact same question in the forum. Oct 20, 2015 at 18:33
  • Resilio sync is one (paid) option as of Nov. 2017
    – Neal Young
    Nov 17, 2017 at 20:16

3 Answers 3


I was looking for an answer to this and just tested out a number of syncing services on my Mac by trying to copy an OSX framework. The only one that successfully copied the internal symbolic links between folders was...

  • Copy.com (Edit: Service will shut down on May 1, 2016. So that leaves us with... none.)

It seemed to work fine, symbolic links were copied as expected. I don't really know anything else about the service - I just found out about it today.

The following completely ignored the symbolic links: Google Drive, Box, OneDrive, Mega, iCloud Drive

The following copied the contents of the symbolic link like it was a folder (thus resulting in duplicate files): Dropbox


BitTorrent sync will do what the OP requests. It will copy and sync symlinks as links, without following them. It differs somewhat from services like Dropbox in that there is no cloud involved - just peer to peer communication. There is a free service and a paid service. I dropped Dropbox for this very reason, and have used BitTorrent Sync for over a year without major problem.


It seems syncthing will also handle symlinks correctly (symlinks are not followed but copied as symlinks); see relevant discussions: https://github.com/syncthing/syncthing/issues/262 https://github.com/syncthing/syncthing/issues/2358

But I'd love to see a cloud hosted solution (unlike bt sync and syncthing) that handles symlinks correctly.

  • see also quora.com/unanswered/… Jun 5, 2016 at 23:54
  • It seems that iCloud can be made to copy symlinks as symlinks, and work like a dropbox solution but with the correct treatment of symlinks. I have only tried this on a Mac, and it uses iCloud in a non-standard way so I do not know if this is in anyway intended or supported by Apple. But it does sync symlinks as symlinks. I can give more details if needs be.
    – GeoffV
    Oct 11, 2016 at 16:39
  • I should also add that this feature seems unreliable. I added a symlink on one machine and it appeared properly on another, but on a third machine it did not appear at all.
    – GeoffV
    Oct 11, 2016 at 17:39

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.