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If you realize that some files may appear missing in your Dropbox folder but: they indeed appear in the Dropbox website and the program shows all files synced don’t panic.

Windows don’t show hidden files and other Operating System’s reserved files’s attributes. The common files attributes are:

[R] Read-only file attribute.
[A] Archive file attribute.
[S] System file attribute.
[H] Hidden file attribute.
[I] Not content indexed file attribute.
[X] No scrub file attribute.
[V] Integrity attribute.

So Fixing this problem requires changing the files attributes. For this you’ll need to open a cmd line terminal:

Start -> Run -> write: cmd -> [enter]
Windows button + R -> write: cmd -> [enter]

Go to the Dropbox folder you want to change the files’s attributes and use the command: attrib
for example: “attrib -r -a -s -h /S folder_name/*”
Remove all the attributes for all the files inside the folder folder_name and sub-folders.

For more explained details about the command attrib run: “attrib /?” in command line.

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Helpful(2) Unhelpful(44)
  • Tina

    you got to be kidding me. I am not a programmer – come up with a fix that I can actually do without calling IT. That a whole bunch of files and folders don’t show up in my Dropbox but are present in the web version is ridiculous in the first place (took me forever to even realize what was going on – I mean who thinks of that).

    • ksol1460

      I *am* a programmer and this is ridic… it should work without my having to do an attrib or anything else. Using my phone, I created a new folder in my dropbox and uploaded all the photos I took yesterday. They show on my phone, and on the website, but are nowhere to be found if I access Dropbox via my PC. According to the website, they are apparently in a folder marked “Camera Uploads” which I did not create, and it’s a different colour as if it’s special somehow, but I can’t figure out what to do with it or how to make it visible in my PC-Dropbox. This is what I get for being lazy and using my wifi connection instead of plugging in the damn tether. They should make this more understandable. This is the kind of thing that scares older users who think they’ve accidentally deleted all their pictures.

    • DarthDisney

      Oh good lord stop whining.

  • Tamara Tennille

    I have the opposite problem, I upload them from my Dropbox folder and they don’t show on the website. How can my clients see the files? is there a fix on Mac?

  • Macfolio

    Same problem for me Tamara (running Mac, Mavericks) – files appear in my local dropbox fine but cannot see them on the web site list – none of them. Home screen list is completely empty. I can see folders if I click Sharing or Links or search for a specific file or document. They appear to be working / syncing ok though. Weird and potentially turning me to another solution soon.

  • frustrated

    Yea what the heck…followed the directions, got a black screen with cursor blinking but I am not a programmer. I should be able to see a newly created folder so I can save things to it on my computer. Please advise with something I can do…or give clearer directions.

  • Kurtz25

    1) This post has nothing to do with programming. Sometimes you have to actually be willing to type a few letters into a black window. It won’t give you cooties.

    2) This doesn’t address the problem very well, though. My problem is that the files show on my Macs and on the web, but not on Windows. I can’t change the attributes on Windows because the directory isn’t there… Which is the problem!

    • April

      Re: 2) Some typographic characters are allowed on Mac OS but not Windows, such as slashes and parentheses. Changing the file names allowed my office to sync fully between our Mac and PCs.

  • a

    on windows watch out for illegal characters in folder or file name

    • Tincho

      Thanks man!! This was my problem. The folder had illegal characters for Windows such as “…”

      • D

        No or / in file names

    • I had “:” for one of my folders. It worked fine on my Mac, but my Windows 8 machine didn’t like it at all. Thanks!

      • Anique

        This was my problem! Thanks so much. the above had be SO confused. this was simple! very useful

    • Disraeli Demon

      Thanks, this fixed my problem – folders visible on Mac and web but not Windows.

  • Tony

    I have a similar problem the file shows up in my windows explorer but when I open a program and try to access the files, the Dropbox folder appears to be missing. Does anyone know how to fix this?

  • Frustrated

    Seriously, fix this. Don’t expect your users to fix it for you.

    I placed 106 brand new files in a dropbox folder, and only half of them show up online. What a piece of shit.

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  • Tim Jenkins

    Worked for me (with a small modification – on Windows 7), big thanks. Not a bad idea to get used to just a little coding – like checking under the hood of a car. Putting aside that Dropbox needs to make this whole file thing a bit more foolproof, here is some supplementary info to the above. I held down Windows key and pressed R. In the Run dialog box I entered cmd and press enter. In the Command screen (black box), the cursor is blinking and on that line is the default directory. For many people, you can then just type cd Dropbox and press enter to change directory to Dropbox. If that doesn’t work (error message), you’ll need to check in Windows explorer etc for what the pathway is for Dropbox on your computer. Then type cd and that pathway but using forward slashes instead of backslashes so something like cd C:/Users/John/Work/Dropbox (HINT: find Dropbox folder in WIndows Explorer – shortcut is hold windows key down and press e to get Windows Explorer – right click on the Dropbox folder and click properties then from the properties box copy the pathway and on the cmd balck box command line, right click paste the pathway and replace the backslashes with forward slashes). Once you’re there, type cd NameofHiddenFolder (replacing NameofHiddenFolder with the name of your folder that is hidden) and press enter. Then type attrib -r -a -s -h and press enter. Hopefully problem is then resolved.

    • Knight

      Thank you! If you haven’t explained I would have never figured it out, but I have a question, I did what you explained, but when I checked the files on both my iPad and phone I still can’t see the files. (I refreshed both the drop box on my computer and Other devices but it didn’t help)
      I didn’t get an error or message saying it’s invalid, when I clicked enter once I typed in “attrib -r -a -s -h”
      It just gave me the next command line ” like ” (“my comp” being the folder I want to change)
      it has a lot of subfolders and files, though, so I’m unsure if that’s part of the problem or if I need to log out log in or uninstall reinstall my dropbox apps.

      • Tim Jenkins

        The number of subfolders and files shouldn’t be a problem. attrib is just a function in Windows though. For OS you might have to use something like chflags nohidden c:users/cryptidly/dropbox/my comp . Maybe you need to put quotes “” around the whole pathway to help deal with the space in the folder name. Sorry can’t help much there; I don’t know Macs, ipads or iphones etc

  • sui


    try this guys

    pres Windows key together with R then type cmd enter. you will see black box. Into this black box type cd Dropbox and press enter. then type attrib -r -a -s -h press enter (note that between -r is space -a space -s space -h) then close black box and wait 5 minutes and your dropbox should start uploading files to your PC.

  • Geoff Wallace

    I notice last comment one year ago. I have this problem and also grey minus which I never came across before. I bought into drop box because I had used it before and it appeared simple, but now it simply does not do the very simple thing I want it to do without taking out precious time that not only means I’n not really working but that i’m never absolutley sure if my files are in drop box or not because I cant see them in drop box even through the show up in windows explorer as in drop box. Why on earth can I not just have what i’m paying for somewhere to store and share my files without having to enter into the world of IT. It should work much simplier than this

  • MommyPenguin

    I reinstalled Dropbox through the “link to a computer” option on my phone, and after I reinstalled it, my computer told me that I have 69 new Dropbox files, and they all appeared. Might work for others, too.

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  • Philippa Ditton-Phare

    If you right click on the Dropbox icon in the system tray, click on the cogwheel to manage and access your Dropbox settings. Click Preferences. Click Account. Click Selective Sync. You will likely find that the folders missing on your PC are unchecked. Tick them and they will sync.

    • LittleBlue

      How can this be accomplished on a mac when clicking on the dropbox icon does not show a “preferences” option?