Sync Mac Desktop & Downloads with Dropbox

NOTE: this no longer works. So I started syncing my downloads folder to iCloud using these steps:

  • Open iCloud Drive
  • Make a Downloads folder in it
  • Put that Downloads folder in your sidebar (it will look like a regular folder, rather than a circle with a downward pointing arrow)
  • Move everything in your existing Downloads folder to the new Downloads folder
  • Remove the old (circular) Downloads folder from your sidebar by dragging it out, or by unchecking it under Finder -> Preferences -> Sidebar
  • Open Terminal, and type:
  • sudo rm ~/Downloads; ln -s ~/Library/Mobile\ Documents/com~apple~CloudDocs/Downloads/ ~/Downloads
  • Enter your computer password (which you won’t see as you type)

Stuff that no longer works:

You can use Dropbox to sync things outside your Dropbox folder using a little Linux wizardry.

Sync Mac Desktop with Dropbox:

Open terminal and type this and hit enter:

ln -s ~/Desktop ~/Dropbox

Sync Mac Downloads with Dropbox:

ln -s ~/Downloads ~/Dropbox

Done and done.

Pro tip: the first path is the source, the second is the target container you want to choose (not a copy of the source itself on dropbox). Read here for more info on this.


I do the same thing to sync my MAMP folder on my mac through Dropbox:

ln -s /Applications/MAMP/db ~/Dropbox/Apps/MAMP

And to sync my Wiretap Studio library:

ln -s ~/Documents/WireTap\ Studio\ Library.wtpl ~/Dropbox/Apps