Make Dropbox Sync any folder on your PC

If you use Dropbox, like me, it can sometimes be annoying that it will only sync folders/files that you specifically place in the “Dropbox” folder.  This can get annoying at times when you have a folder in another location that you wish to also have backed up to Dropbox, yet do not wish to move it physically.  It turns out, there is a really neat trick that you can utilize to allow you to sync any folder with your Dropbox folder.

All you really need is the Windows Command Prompt.

How to Sync any folder with Dropbox:

You need to make sure you do not make any typo’s because you will have to use the Windows Command Prompt.  I will first have you setup the command in a text editor, such as Notepad.  (I will be using “Sublime Text” – which is practically the same thing only better.)

Open Notepad/Sublime Text:

01

Once you have Notepad open, go ahead and grab the location of your “Dropbox” folder.  The Location is usually “C:\Users\[UserName]\Dropbox”.  Another way to get the location is by clicking the Dropbox icon in your system tray and clicking the blue folder icon to open the Dropbox folder:

02
Icon to launch Dropbox folder circled


3
Once Dropbox folder is open, go ahead and copy the location/path of the folder.

Copy & paste the Dropbox folder path into Notepad.

Now browse to the folder that you want synced with Dropbox.  For this tutorial I will just use the following:

04

Copy & paste this folder path to your Notepad as well. Notepad should now look like this:

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Dropbox path & folder you want to link path

Now, it is time to formulate our command for the command prompt.  The command we will be using is the following:

mklink /d "Dropbox Folder" "Linking Folder"
5
Line 5 shows the command as we should write in the command prompt

Note: I created “Arduino-Linked” new folder behind the Dropbox folder.  The mklink cmd will make the new folder for you.  This will also help us clarify that it is a “linked” folder in Dropbox.

Now, finally, open up the Command Prompt as Administrator.

  • There are many way’s to do this.  I like to hit the [WIN]+X key and select “Command Prompt Admin” from the popup menu

Copy your entire mklink cmd (line 5 above) and paste it to your CMD Prompt and hit [ENTER]:

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symbolic link created for…

If all went well, you should see a message saying “symbolic link created for C:[DropboxPath]… <<===>>> c:[LinkedPath]..” (shown in green above)

If you do not see the above message, or if it says the syntax is incorrect it could mean one of the following:

  • You typed the path incorrectly
  • You created the “newfolder” manually
  • You forgot to include the quotation marks

Now, If we check our Dropbox folder, we should see the new folder “Arduino-Linked”, containing the same directory structure as the original “C:\Users\Deep\Documents\Arduino” Folder.

Here are the folders side by side:

fin-8
Local folder(Left).  Dropbox Synced folder(Right)

As you can see, all folders/content from our “C:\Users\Deep\Documents\Arduino” folder have been synced to a folder called “Arduino-Linked” in our Dropbox folder.

Summary

This is a very useful technique if you need to sync a local folder, yet keep the folder structure as well. Every time you update the linked folder, the Dropbox folder will automatically sync. Great way to auto-backup docs/folders as well. It’s possible to have it setup so all your folders in your “Dropbox” folder are linked to your local folders, if that makes it more convenient for you.

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