Backup Dropbox To External Hard Drive Mac


Dec 21, 2020 • Filed to: Take Data Backup • Proven solutions

Q: How to backup Mac to Dropbox?

'I have an immense amount of data on my Apple Mac, as at the end of every month I copy all the data from my mobile phone to the Mac. However, it already has so much data downloaded on it, I have a bulk of data that needs to be backup. The data includes my pictures, videos, files, and professional data, which is quite significant for me. This is the reason why I am striving to backup Mac to Dropbox, I have no clue how to do this. I'm looking for the easiest steps to flawlessly conduct the backup process. I want to know simple and quick ways to do it.'

Saving your data to Dropbox is usually a great idea for people who are stabilizing office and academic career side by side. People are mostly afraid that they will lose the data if any misadventure takes place. Although, it is quite true that many little mistakes can get the data off your hands. Still, no need to worry, there is a list of solution which are to be disclosed further in the guide. The solutions are not tiring rather they are small and easy for the user to understand. Just follow the guide and you will know everything about how to do you back-up the mac.

Part 1: Overview of Dropbox

The primary thing to do before you proceed to any solution is to know about the app you are using in detail. Dropbox has millions of users all around the world, the questions come up, why? Dropbox is cloud storage which enables you to copy your data to an online cloud from where you can access the data anytime you want. You have multiple options in Dropbox, either to enable your Mac automatically backup your precious data or you do it one by one, this enables you to backup selective data. However, these are some of the prominent features of Dropbox;

  1. It offers you cloud storage, file synchronization, client software, and personal cloud. Many other utilities only allow you some of the features which don't include personal storage or even client software. The utility of personal storage is accessible from any device you want, this makes sure that you aren't stuck with one device only, rather are at an ease of data access.
  2. Dropbox easily creates a special folder on the user's computer for data to make it prominent that all your data is smoothly been backup and the application is still in use.
  3. The sacred folder that Dropbox gives you on the user's computer is also known to automatically sync with all your devices. This feature allows you to create and access the backup with ease from Mac to Dropbox. Once the files are copied to this folder, the backup will be initiated and you will attain your backup on the Dropbox automatically.
  4. Getting Dropbox on your operating system is never an issue. The app is easily available on Windows, Macintosh, and even Linux desktop operating systems. This makes it versatile enough to be used on every operating system, you can create a backup from every operating system.
  5. If we are talking about the operating system to back up the significant data, the query comes that if it is accessible on mobile or not. Well, the Dropbox application is available on iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, and also on Android. So, it is quite clear that you can access your data from any mobile device you want. You are just required to download the application and cherish the features of Dropbox. Just make sure you follow the guide to properly run the Dropbox and make a backup of your valuable data.

Plug in hard drive or SSD (alternatively you can use a NAS drive). You should see an alert on your Mac asking if you want to use the drive with Time Machine. Click Use as Backup Disk.

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  • Plug your external drive into your Mac and wait for it to mount. Open your User folder. Click and drag your Dropbox folder into the icon for the external drive.
  • I use iPhoto 11, and I'd like to backup the library, along with all the photos. I'd ideally like a continuous backup, by putting the iPhoto Library.photolibrary file / package in Dropbox. But I'm concerned that Dropbox may not preserve everything HFS+ provides, such as: Symlinks, hard links and aliases. Resource forks and extended attributes.
  • Seagate Backup Plus Slim 1TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD – Silver USB 3.0 For PC Laptop And Mac, 1 year Mylio Create, 4 Months Adobe CC Photography, 1 year Rescue Service (STHN1000401) 4.7 out of 5 stars 1,073.

Part 2: How to Backup Mac to Dropbox via Dropbox website

It is always obligatory for you to go for the easiest and the most convenient way to deal with your situation. This the reason that it is best to use the Dropbox website first, before jumping to the next procedure. The website of Dropbox is easily accessible, you surely need strong internet to conduct this procedure. You can easily access the Dropbox website on any of your browsers, once you have turned on your Mac and connected it to fast internet service, Follow the steps to backup Mac to Dropbox via Dropbox website;

Step 1: Open your browser and go to the Dropbox website. Once you have opened it, login to your account or either sign up if you don't have an account yet, the procedure for making an account is not so stiff.

Step 2: After you have the website opened and the account logged in, on the upper right corner you will have an option of 'Upload' click it and then you can access your data which has to be backup.

Step 3: You will have two options, either you can select a file to upload or even multiple selective files or you can simply upload the whole folder by selecting the chosen folder.

Step 4: However, make sure the data that you have chosen to upload is less than 20gb because that's the capacity that you avail from the Dropbox website. If you are willing to upload larger files than 20gb, follow the next given procedure in which you can utilize a desktop app to upload large folders and files. Yet, the uploading speed will depend upon the size of the data or either the internet speed that your computer attains.

Part 3: How to Backup Mac to Dropbox via Desktop App

So, we have previously gone through the simplest procedure to backup Mac to Dropbox. Yet, the previous method was deficient that it only allowed you to backup data of 20gb. However, the desktop app enables you to upload data more than 20gb, this utility is for the people who have bulks of data stored on their Mac and think of making a backup to Dropbox. So, if you have immense data on your Mac, this is the finest method that you can follow to backup Mac to Dropbox, follow the steps bellowed carefully;

Step 1: In this method too, you need to go to the Dropbox website. You are required to download and install the Dropbox app on your Mac. Once you have downloaded and installed the application, the icon of Dropbox will appear on your screen.

Step 2: Now, you need to click 'Open my Dropbox Folder'. In the home folder, your Dropbox folder will be created which will enable you to store and access files even when you are away from your operating system.

Step 3: The folder and file that you need to make a backup of, you need to select and drop the file/folder in the Dropbox folder which will sync it to your Dropbox account.

Step 4: If you desire to make a backup of your data on the Mac, you can just copy and paste the file/folder into the Dropbox folder on the Mac.


Data is valuable to every person who attains it, some contain data that is significant for the academic and professional career and some have personal data to save. Due to the fear of losing data people strive to create a backup of their data. It is beneficial for a Mac user to use Dropbox for making a backup of their data. As it is easily accessible at any place you want. Well, the only thing that you need to do is to follow the methods with focus. Missing even one step can lead you to useless results. This is why make sure every step is followed.


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Why Need to Transfer Files from Dropbox to Computer?

Usually, you need to put your all kinds of files like work documents, family photos/pictures,favorite videos, etc. on cloud drives (Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and so on) when you donot have enough local storage to save them. However, sometimes, you also want to move youronline files back to local devices such as computer, PC, ipad, phone, tablet, notebook, laptop,etc. for the following reasons:

  • You plan to move certain files from Dropbox to another cloud and take local as transit.
  • You are going to switch from Dropbox to other cloud drives, like Dropbox to OneDrive.
  • You have to do some work on the docs shared by your colleagues to your Dropbox.
  • You want to transfer some movies from Dropbox to local to watch on your trip in case thereis no Wi-Fi connection.
  • You want to have a local copy of very important files for double insurance.
  • More…
Backup Dropbox To External Hard Drive Mac

But there comes a question on how to save files from Dropbox to computer? You will findthree solutions from following parts.

How to Transfer Files from Dropbox to Computer?

As you may know, you can directly transfer pictures from Dropbox to computer and you can alsotransfer photos from dropbox to computer making use of sync feature of Dropbox desktop app.

Way 1. How Do I Transfer Files from Dropbox to My Computer by Directly Downloading?

1. Go to and sign in with your Dropboxaccount.
2. Find the file you want to transfer to PC, click on More (three dots) on the right ofthe file column and choose Download.

3. Wait for it finishes. The time it takes to finish the downloading depends on how large thefile is and how fast your network is. Finally, you can find the file on your local computer.


  • If you have set a default location to save downloaded files from web, you can find thefile you download there; if not, you may be asked to decide where to store thedownloading file.
  • You can only download one file or one folder for one time. If you have many differentkinds of files to be downloaded, you can create a temporary folder and put all targetitems in. Then, you just need to select Download for the temporary folder.
  • Folder downloaded from Dropbox to PC is a compressed file. To view its contents, youneed to firstly decompress it.

Way 2. How to Transfer Files from Dropbox to PC Using Dropbox App?

If you have already installed Dropbox desktop application and set to sync target files from cloudto local, you can find what you want in Dropbox folder on your computer directly. If not, youhave to first of all download it from its official webpage,install it on your computer and sign in your account to open it.

Then, click on its icon on the right of the taskbar. A window will pop up; click Settings(gear icon) on its top right and choose Preferences.

In Dropbox Preferences window, go to Sync tab. Click Selective Sync button to find thefiles you want to transfer to your computer.


  • If you have been using Dropbox app but have not synced the target files before, you canselect them to sync now.
  • If you do not want these files to keep synced to local in the future, you can unselectthem when they finish.

Way 3. How to Transfer Files from Dropbox to Computer on MultCloud Platform?

Except for methods above, you can also transfer photos from Dropbox to PC on a platformprovided by a FREE third party cloud storage manager, MultCloud.

Why Need to Rely on MultCloud?

  • In case you cannot enter Dropbox webpage for some reasons.
  • Dropbox desktop APP selective sync feature is unable to connect.

  • If you download files to PC just for transit and you will then upload them to another cloud, youcan directly transfer these files from Dropbox to target cloud through MultCloud withoutdownloading and uploading.

How to Make Use of MultCloud?

To make use of MultCloud, first of all, you need to createan account of it. Then, sign in your account to its platform.

Next, add your Dropbox to its platform. On its Add Clouds tab, in the list of common clouddrives, select Dropbox. Then, just follow the guidance to finish adding Dropbox.

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Backup Dropbox To External Hard Drive Mac

After successfully adding Dropbox, go to Cloud Explorer and choose Dropbox in the leftmenu. Then, you can do what you can just like in Dropbox webpage including download/uploadfiles, create new folder, delete an item, rename a file/folder, copy/copy to or cut (move),share a photo/picture, etc.

Tip: MultCloud only allows you to download single file. You can’t download singlefolder with it.

If you want to migrate files from Dropbox to another cloud drive, you can directly transfer themfrom Dropbox to destination without first moving them to computer on MultCloud platform using'Cloud Transfer' utility. Here take migrating from Dropbox toGoogle Drive as an example.

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  • If you do not want to transfer whole Dropbox to Google Drive, you can select folders youwant to migrate as the source while creating the task. Besides, MultCloud supportsselecting multiple folders as the source.
  • As long as the task starts, you can close the page and even shut down your PCbecause MultCloud can process your task at the background.


Backup Dropbox To External Hard Drive Macbook

It is not difficult to see that your problem about how to transfer files from Dropbox to computeris getting resolved easily following any way above mentioned. You could select one way thatsuits you most to perform the operation. If you prefer to use the third way with MultCloud, Youcan make full use of its 'Cloud Explorer', 'Cloud Transfer' and 'Cloud Sync'. To learn moreabout how they work, click the product page to get the information.

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Tip: If you are a big fan of Dropbox and you want to use Dropbox better, here are top 12 tools to improve yourDropbox experience.