Dropbox Hero Image

Dropbox is a handy way to synchronize files across devices via the cloud. By default, Dropbox starts whenever you turn on your Windows PC or Mac, but sometimes you might not want it to. Here’s how to make sure it doesn’t launch when you startup.

First, open Dropbox. Click the “Dropbox” icon in the Windows notification area (at the bottom-right corner of your screen) or on the Mac menu bar (at the top-right corner of your screen.) In the Dropbox menu, click your account’s avatar, which may also look like a circle with your initials in it.

Click on Avatar in Dropbox on Windows 10

In the menu that appears, select “Preferences.”

Click on Preferences in Dropbox for Windows

In the Preferences window that opens, click the “General” tab. If there is a check mark in the box beside “Start Dropbox On System Startup,” then uncheck it.

Uncheck "Start Dropbox on system startup" on Windows 10.

On Windows, click “OK” and the setting will be saved. On Macs, click the red “X” in the corner of the window to close Preferences. The next time your start your PC or Mac, Dropbox will not load.

An Alternative Method for Windows PCs

On Windows, it is also possible to prevent Dropbox from opening at startup using Task Manager. To open Task Manager, right-click on the taskbar and select “Task Manager.” In Task Manager, click the “Startup” tab. Select “Dropbox” from the list of applications, then click the “Disable” button.

In Task Manager, click the "Startup" tab, then select "Dropbox" and click "Disable."

Close Task Manager. After that, Dropbox will no longer startup at boot. To start it up manually, open your Start menu, type “Dropbox,” then click the Dropbox icon that appears.

An Alternative Method for Macs

On a Mac, you can also stop Dropbox from launching at login using System Preferences. To open System Preferences, click the “Apple” icon in the upper-left corner of the screen, and select “System Preferences.”

In System Preferences, select “Users & Groups.” Then select your user account and click the “Login Items” tab. You will see a list of applications that start at login. Select “Dropbox” and press the “minus” button below to remove it from the list.

In "Login Items," select "Dropbox" from the list and click the "minus" button on Mac.

Close System Preferences. The next time you log into your Mac, Dropbox will not launch. Of course, if you need to launch it later, you can find Dropbox in your Mac’s Applications folder.

RELATED: How to Launch Applications on Your Mac

Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is a Staff Writer for How-To Geek. For over 14 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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