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You can start Dropbox as a Windows Service. Otherwise, your changes are not synchronized when you are logged off. For example, if you install Dropbox on a server, your changes will not sync if you do not log in.


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  • Fede

    I want to start Dropbox (without login into Windows Server 2008 R2) at 6.30 pm and shut it down at 9 am, this should be everyday.

    Today I have a Task waking up and killing Dropbox.exe everyday, but as your post says, it won’t synchronize without being logged. And sometimes I think it won’t even work with Administrator logged, but with the server locked.

    • PW

      I managed to get dropbox to run as a service in Windows 2012 Essentials. I had to install dropbox under the primary admin account, then follow the steps to configure as a service. I then had to remove all other user accounts and could only use the primary admin account to log into the server. Dropbox then ran as a service without problems.

  • SimonAntony

    None of these solutions work anymore. Seems that later versions of the Dropbox service now work very differently. When the service fires, the Dropbox login credentials are lost hence it can never login. If anyone has any Alternate solutions, please let us all know

    • plebann

      This is way working for me:
      Run Dropbox.exe, log in, let it synchronize.
      Configure to not run as windows starts up.
      Close app.
      Configure service as described in links. Log On service must be the same login as user that last run the app.
      Change start parameters (service properties, General tab), add “/home”.
      Start service.

  • Dan

    I can’t get it to work on Windows Server 2012 R2. Anyone else got it working? Any hints on what to try?

  • What i did to get different Dropbox client 3.8.5 running as a service on a windows server: each dropbox user receives it’s own dropbox service
    First I create different users with the windows user name ‘DropBoxUserName’ for each user i would like to sync. Each DropBoxUserName (f.i. DropBoxLuc) user must have Administrator privileges
    I used the same Administrator password for each user.
    Repeat this for each other user (f.i. DropBoxMarc, DropBoxPeter, etc …)
    Login with the first DropBoxUser you created on your server (DropBoxLuc)
    Configure the dropbox client for the requested user using the dropbox credentials required for the DropBox user, select a different home folder for each user to sync to, check that it is syncing.
    Open preferences, and uncheck “Show desktop notifications” and “Start Dropbox on system startup”
    Close and exit the dropbox client so that it stops.
    The Dropbox client 3.8.5 uses the same location C:Program Files (x86)DropboxClientDropbox.exe for all users.
    1. Install the service for this user: I included the user name in the service name (Luc, Marc, Peter etc…)
    instsrv “DropBoxLuc” “C:Program Files (x86)Windows Resource KitsToolssrvany.exe”
    2. Open the registry, go to your the key HKLMSYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesDropBoxLucParameters
    3. You should find one string value “Application” with value “C:Program Files (x86)Windows Resource KitsToolssrvany.exe” (without the double quotes)
    4. Add the value “AppParameters” with REG_SZ type, give it the value “/home” (without the double quotes)
    5. Close the registry
    6. Open the panels services.msc, go to the DropBoxLuc service, click right and select “properties”
    7. Modify The Log On tab, set the account to “DOMAINUserName” (f.i. CONTOSOLuc)
    8. Add the password and click on Apply. If it is the first time for this user, the user receives “the logon as a service” policy.
    9. Start the service, add a file to a dropbox location, check on the website, the file should be added.
    10. Logout as user DropBoxLuc
    Repeat the steps above for all others clients you would like to sync.
    I have now 3 different clients syncing on my server, one with a personal dropbox and two admin client (DropBox for business)

    • Aerospike

      Thank you!
      The information that I have to run (and setup) dropbox as the same user that will later run the service, was the one piece of info missing from all other guides that I could find.
      Now this finally works under Win2012R2.

      One additional bit of information: after setting up dropbox as the user that later runs the service and confirming that the service is running (and dropbox is actively syncing), I have stopped the service, removed the administrator privileges from the user and started the service again.
      So far it is still working, so it seems administrator privileges are only required for the initial setup of dropbox and can be removed once everything works as desired.

      • Hi Aerospike: My pleasure! Nice to let me know that thereafter I can remove the administrator privileges from the different Dropbox service accounts.

        • Aerospike

          You’re welcome.

          I did some additional tests and was able to completely remove the service accounts from the local users of the server where the dropbox service is running. So those accounts can’t be used to log on locally on that machine.

  • Me

    a mi no me funciono asi.

    en el comando del servicio he tenido que poner cmd /C “c:program filesdropboxclientdropbox.exe”


  • nozipho

    hi. I have created users on dropbox and set their parameters to view only but they can add their information like pictures. how can I stop that prom happening?