Reinstall OSX, dropbox folder on hard drive and on cloud will be gone?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Temaki, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. Temaki macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2012
    If i reinstall OSX, i assume my Dropbox folder (or 4sync, google drive, whatever) will be gone. does that mean all my files stored on cloud will be gone too? i've never done that, so im just curious.
  2. GGJstudios, Aug 24, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2012

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Reinstalling OS X won't remove any of your files, unless you reformat first. It's always a good idea to backup your drive before doing anything like reinstalling the OS.
  3. Temaki thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2012
    yea i meant a clean install.
    ok now i understand how dropbox works. if i don't have my files backed up and accidentally format my drive, then i'll be screwed.

    i would rather upload all my files on other servers like mediafire or 4share. then my files would live forever, doesnt' matter i reformat my drive or not.

  4. TopToffee macrumors 6502a

    Jul 9, 2008
    No, if you reformat your hard drive, you shouldn't lose your dropbox files. When you reinstall dropbox, it should download all your files. That's sort of the whole point of dropbox, I think.
  5. Sital macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2012
    New England

    I know, I just did it.
  6. Chiffs macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2012
    Yep Dropbox files are saved on the net and a copy is in the desktop file.

    Clean install = reinstall Dropbox and log in and it will start to download copies.
  7. andyriot macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2010
    You will not lose your Dropbox files. They are stored on the cloud, and any device you add (computer, phone) just syncs them over the cloud as another copy. The original always stays in the cloud.
  8. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    All true. Still, not a bad idea to back up to a second source.
  9. Temaki thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2012
    how come it's possible? because when i delete a file in my Dropbox folder, that file on the cloud is deleted too (automatically).

    so, when i reformat my hard drive, that means all my data is completely wiped off including that Dropbox folder. and on the cloud, all the files will be gone. Dropbox mirrors everything on the cloud and hard drive.

    pls correct me if i'm wrong. thanks!
  10. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    You are wrong. When you wipe your drive... the entire machine is wiped clean... including the dropbox application that would indicate that your files are gone. Hence... the files are NOT deleted from the cloud.

    If you want to be super safe. You can unlink your computer from dropbox before wiping the drive. Now, that computer is removed from the list of computers that have access to dropbox (this assumes that you have more than one computer linked to your DB account).

    When you reinstall everything, and log into dropbox for the first time... your new machine will connect to dropbox and begin the initial download.

  11. Temaki thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2012
    That makes sense. thank you! i'll test it when i reinstall OSX.
  12. sabahm macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2012
    Don't make yourself confused here. This is as simple as tossing coin in the air. Yes, when you install dropbox app on your desktop it shows all the files hosted on your desktop and synced each time you make any updates on your system, plus it also gets updated / deleted on the app! But, it never gets deleted from the cloud. You can simply login to your account and upload your file there. Syncing on desktop is an added option. You may unlink it from your computer to be more safer if you want to. Format or re-format removes file from your system and directory including dropbox app. But in actual, the main data is stored on cloud and it never gets apart whether you format or reformat your OS.

    Play with your MAC ;) And in case you want to be super space, make a backup on some other server!
  13. backdraft2014 macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2014
    Hello People,

    I'm agree Dropbox is a cloud. Right now I want to format my Mac and I have more than 60 GB in my dropbox folder. If I format my mac (I will lost all the information), should I have to wait (a long long time) the sync between my computer and my dropbox before using the files OR can I copy and paste my files in the Dropbox folders (the files just before the format) and "nothing happened"?

    Thank you so much for your help guys.
  14. Mike Boreham macrumors 65816

    Aug 10, 2006
    Yes, if Dropbox has to download 60Gb of files after the fresh install it will take a long time.

    If you manually put the Dropbox folder back into your new installation (from a backup) before signing in to Dropbox, then when you sign in to Dropbox after the fresh install it will simply re-index everything, but doesn't have to download it. This will all work better if you are using default settings and locations for the Dropbox folder.

    Re-indexing takes quite a long time (30-60mins or so for my 40Gb folder), but much quicker than re-download.

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