What Is “dbfseventsd,” And Why Is It Running on my Mac?

Looking through Activity Monitor, you notice something named “dbfseventsd.” How do you even pronounce that? It’s running three times: twice by the root account, and once by you. What is it?

This article is part of our ongoing series explaining various processes found in Activity Monitor, like kernel_task, hidd, mdsworker, installd, WindowServer, blued, launchd, and many others. Don’t know what those services are? Better start reading!

This particular process, dbfseventsd, is part of Dropbox, the popular file syncing service. The process’ name stands for Dropbox file system events daemon. You know what Dropbox is, but what does the rest of that mean?

Well, a “daemon” is a macOS process that runs in the background, and “file system” refers to the way folders and files are organized on your computer. The process called dbfseventsd runs in the background and watches your file system for any changes to your Dropbox folder.

Without this daemon running, Dropbox wouldn’t know when to sync new files, or changes to your existing files. You need to leave the daemon running if you want to use Dropbox. In fact, if you try to force dbfseventsd to quit, Dropbox simply launches it again.

If you really want to close dbfseventsd, you have to close Dropbox. Click the icon in your menu bar, then the gear icon on the window that pops up, and then click “Quit Dropbox.”

You’ll notice that all three instances of dbfseventsd shut down, along with Dropbox.

This daemon shouldn’t take up a lot of CPU power or memory, but if it does simply quitting Dropbox and starting it up again should help. If the problem persists, repairing your disk and file system might be a good idea.

Photo Credit: Stanley Dai

Justin Pot is a staff writer for How-To Geek, and a technology enthusiast who lives in Hillsboro, Oregon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, if you want. You don't have to.