Mac users who also use Dropbox have been experiencing some issues recently. That’s because Apple killed an old extension used by cloud services with macOS Monterey 12.3 and replaced it with a new API. Dropbox is finally working on a new version of its macOS app that works with this API, but it comes with a downside. Users will no longer be able to store their Dropbox folder on external disks.
macOS Monterey 12.3 was released in March 2022. But even before the update, Dropbox had been warning its users that the macOS app would lose some of its functionality due to the latest changes made to Apple’s operating system. For example, it’s no longer possible to open online-only files (placeholders) stored in the cloud.
Some of these compatibility issues will be fixed once Dropbox releases an update to its app to make it compatible with the new macOS API for cloud platforms. But there are some other limitations that seem more permanent.
New macOS API limits how Dropbox and other cloud apps work
For instance, Dropbox currently lets users store their Dropbox folder on an external storage. However, this will no longer be possible even after the update with support for macOS Monterey and macOS Ventura. This is because all content from cloud apps on macOS will now be moved to the ~/Library/CloudStorage folder for privacy reasons.
Of course, many users were upset by the news. “So what will happen – if we have a Dropbox folder on an 8TB drive and a tiny internal drive – will it try to clone stuff across and eat up the space?” A user asked Dropbox support. A company representative confirmed that nothing can be done about this as this is a macOS limitation.
Dropbox has been notifying users that it will begin to roll out an official update with support for macOS Monterey 12.5 and later in the coming months. But unfortunately, users who need to store their Dropbox folder on an external drive will lose this option forever. More details about what changes for Dropbox users with the new macOS API can be found on this webpage.
H/T: Jon Cotton