Alternative to Dropbox (since they broke it)

Hi clever automators. I’m in need of some help/advice.

So, Apple broke Dropbox’s ability to be able to host everything on an external HDD. This, for me, is not ideal, I’m a musician working with lots of large Cubase, Pro Tools and other projects that I NEED to have stored locally, but there’s also no way they’ll fit onto my main HDD. Someone else has a similar issue.

Does anyone have any advice? I’ve been using Dropbox FOREVER and I always loved just how seamless it was to automatically sync everything. But now it’s effectively broken, it’s not so useful to me. I don’t want to store everything exclusively in the cloud. I’m happy to consider alternative services. I work between Mac and PC, so ideally something cross-platform.

Or, if there’s a solution out there I’ve not considered, I’d be grateful for any advice. There must be more people that just me with this issue?

Thanks so much in advance for any help/advice.


You could look at using Nextcloud. At the moment their sync engine (which works on Mac, PC and Linux) allows you to pick any location for your synced files. It also allows for selective sync of folders. It doesn’t allow for cloud only files (download on demand) as far as I am aware. I just have it download all files to my laptop.

There are hosted options, or you can self-host on your own hardware. There are options to install via various methods. More details are on their site.

I am using KDrive
It works very similarly to Dropbox

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Thanks so much both, I’ll be checking these out asap. I’m not really savvy enough (or want to) host my own server etc - know your limits etc, but they both look really promising to me.

Really appreciate it!

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Does Maestral do what you want?

Dunno, but I’ll take a look - thanks for suggesting :+1:

I don’t believe it does. The limitations on external data stored (drive/network) are explained in the documentation.

Yeah, seems to be the same issue. Thanks for flagging.

I have switched from Dropbox to SyncThing. It gives you complete control over where directories live and what systems they sync to. Clients are available for Mac, iOS, Linux, and MS Windows.

It is a sync model - directories and files live on your systems, not in a vendor cloud. On iOS, a SyncThing client called Möbius Sync (yes, you do need the umlaut to find it) lets you sync directories to the “On My iPhone / iPad” folder so they are accessible in Files and file dialogues.

The sync model comes with caveats: there’s no cloud backup to bail you out if you accidentally delete a file. You also need to be mindful of how much you are storing on your iOS device.

With those in mind, though, SyncThing has completely replaced Dropbox for me.