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Originally, Dropbox offered a simple folder that allowed you to easily share files between machines. Now, Dropbox wants you to use its own full-blown file manager named the “Dropbox desktop app.” Here’s how to get the old Dropbox folder back.

First, open Dropbox. Click the Dropbox icon in the Windows taskbar system tray or on the Mac menubar. The Dropbox window will pop up. Click on your account’s avatar (which may also look like a circle with your initials in it).

In the menu that pops up, select “Preferences.”

In the Preferences window that opens, look for the “Open folders in” option at the bottom of the General panel.

Click this box and set it to “File Explorer” (on Windows 10 PCs) or “Finder” (on Macs.) If it’s set to “Dropbox desktop app,” then the Dropbox folder opens in Dropbox’s desktop file manager instead of a standard folder.

After making the selection, click “OK” to save your changes and close the window (on PCs) or simply close the Preferences window (on Mac).

Dropbox Preferences on Windows: Select Open Folders In

From now on, whenever you open the Dropbox folder in Finder or File Explorer (or click on the Dropbox icon in your taskbar or menu bar), you will see your Dropbox files as if they were in an ordinary folder.

When Dropbox first launched, it was one of the few services that made sharing files between PCs and other devices as easy as dragging-and-dropping into a folder. Now, there are several Dropbox alternatives for Windows PCs and Macs that work just as well.

RELATED: The Best Free Dropbox Alternatives (For More Than 3 Devices)

Profile Photo for Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is a former Associate Editor for How-To Geek. Now, he is an AI and Machine Learning Reporter for Ars Technica. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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