How to Uninstall Dropbox

As a Cloud storage and file-syncing service of undeniable financial success, Dropbox is something that many users can get behind. Still, those who try it and change their minds should have a properly 'clean slate' on their hard drives that leaves no unwanted elements of the application lingering. Note that uninstalling Dropbox software has no impact on the user's Dropbox account and doesn't delete the Dropbox storage folder (or, more importantly, its contents).

As usual, macOS users have one of the easiest uninstall routes, thanks to Apple's streamlined and consistent UI design philosophy. Open Finder and click the Applications section, scrolling down to the Dropbox application. Alternately, use Finder's search field. Either way, click and hold Dropbox and drag it to the garbage icon.

Windows users can click the Start menu and scroll through application shortcuts to the right until they find Dropbox's icon. Right-click it and choose Uninstall. Another option is typing 'Add or remove programs' in the search bar, scrolling down to the Dropbox program icon, left-clicking it and choosing Uninstall from there. The latter can be more efficient if there are many programs. The list is alphabetized, searchable and filterable by the installation date. Note that Dropbox's entry's exact name may vary with its installation conditions, such as if it came preloaded on a phone or other device.

Linux has a reputation as being the operating system for more technically-minded users than Apple or Microsoft customers. In some respects, this sentiment is overrated, but removing applications like Dropbox is more complicated than one might expect slightly. Standard Linux installations require removing Dropbox and other programs through text terminal commands (similar to the Windows Command Prompt).

Open the terminal or shell with the keyboard shortcut appropriate to your Linux version, such as Ctrl+Alt+T in Ubuntu. Enter the commands below, individually, pressing enter after each line:

dropbox stop
dropbox status # Should report "not running"
rm -rf ~/.dropbox-dist
rm -rf /var/lib/dropbox
rm -rf ~/.dropbox*
sudo apt-get remove nautilus-dropbox
sudo apt-get remove dropbox
rm /etc/apt/source.d/dropbox

An additional command deletes the file storage folder, as long as it's in the default location:

rm -rv ~/Dropbox

The above provides examples of the deletion command ('rm'), sudo ('SuperUser Do,' which offers admin or root privileges), and a package removal command ('apt-get remove,' leaving off the third word changes it to a package installation). Although users limit themselves to just the package removal commands, doing so leaves the user's settings, plugins, etc., intact, which might or might not be desirable. As a good practice, Linux users should familiarize themselves with these fundamental operations for other contexts outside of the Dropbox program.

Although its profitability as a startup is legendary, Dropbox isn't without competition. With Google, Microsoft, and Apple offering alternatives, users shouldn't need to stick with Dropbox unless it's their file storage 'box' of preference.

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