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Dropbox irritates Mac customers with an annoying Dock icon and presents unspecified help

 Illustration of a confused Dropbox user looking at the company's new file browser.

Aurich Lawson / Getty

It’s a story that I’ve by no means meant to put in writing. Dropbox has up to date its file sync software for Mac final month and the brand new model comprises a bug that I wish to get rid of.

I believed it will not be troublesome, not to mention worthy of a newspaper: I might contact Dropbox, clarify the issue and decide whether it is potential for me to alter the annoying habits. If that was not the case, I might suggest that they barely modify their software. I hope my message might be handed on to their growth crew and that they are going to ultimately make a change.

As a substitute, I discovered one thing irritating and engaging: many Dropbox help workers have apparently by no means used the Mac software of their firm and don’t perceive the way it works. Because of this, Dropbox customers should clarify to Dropbox workers how the Dropbox software works on Mac.

As a division of labor, it's most likely logical for some technical help representatives to focus on Dropbox for Home windows, Dropbox for Mac, or Dropbox for cell units, and so forth. However when Dropbox applied a significant change in its Mac software, help representatives responded to Mac customers with out realizing what they had been speaking about. I don’t blame the person technical help representatives. Dropbox wants the corporate to make sure that its workers are able to reply customers' questions, particularly in anticipation of main adjustments that may inevitably result in a rise in consumer complaints. It didn’t occur this time.

Dropbox desires to be within the foreground

In abstract, the issue is that this: Dropbox now opens a brand new file browser and Dock icon related to every startup, even when you don’t want it. In case you are not acquainted with Macs, the Dock is the applying line situated on the backside of the display screen (or on the aspect when you’ve got moved it into the settings) and performs the identical operate because the Home windows taskbar. If my pc restarts or Dropbox restarts, the brand new Dropbox window I are not looking for seems within the Dock:

 The new Dropbox application opens a file browser and dock icon every time I restart my Mac. "Src =" https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/dropbox-new- browser-file-980x843.jpg "width =" 980 "height =" 843 Enlarge / The brand new Dropbox software opens a file browser and dock icon each time my Mac restarts.

Jon Brodkin

That's not a giant deal as a result of I can go away the brand new Dropbox file browser and do away with the Dock icon each time I begin my pc . I can’t cease utilizing Dropbox. I paid $ 138 a 12 months to the corporate for 2TB of storage and 12 months for file historical past, which data all deleted recordsdata and revisions to recordsdata. (That may go as much as $ 158 the following time I'll be billed in February.) It's value it, as a result of Dropbox nonetheless works very effectively, whereas the alternate options have all the time been unreliable or underwhelming. different manner after I tried them. I'll come again to this later on this article.

However the Dock icon and window characterize a significant change in the best way Dropbox presents itself to customers. Dropbox has all the time been the kind of software that exists while you want it and strikes away while you shouldn’t have one. Dropbox synchronization and file sharing options are constructed into the Finder (the Mac File Supervisor) and a small icon seems within the Mac's menu bar on the prime of the display screen so you may change a setting.

 Dropbox pop-up menu for Finder files. "Src =" https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/dropbox-finder-right-click-300x315.png "width =" 300 "height =" 315 Enlarge / The dropbox context menu for Finder recordsdata.

Jon Brodkin


However now, Dropbox desires to be all the time within the vanguard. The corporate constructed its personal file browser to interchange what was already out there within the Mac Finder, and it opens this new file supervisor each time Dropbox is began. wrote about it final week when Dropbox began being distributed to a bigger variety of customers. I've recognized him for over a month since I ended up within the Dropbox Early Entry program.

You should utilize the Mac Command-Q shortcut to exit the file browser. The brand new Dropbox window and the brand new Dock icon will disappear so long as you may have additionally disabled the Mac function displaying current Dock functions. You possibly can remedy the opposite main drawback by going to the Dropbox settings and selecting "Open Folders in Finder" as a substitute of "Open Folders in Dropbox". So, should you click on on the Dropbox menu bar icon, then on a file, it opens within the Mac's native file supervisor as a substitute of the personal Dropbox file supervisor. You will need to change the setting as a result of the brand new Dropbox software robotically switches the default Finder worth to the brand new Dropbox file browser.

Dropbox continues to sync within the background after you have left the brand new file supervisor, and the helpful menu bar icon remains to be current. However it’s important to do it each time you restart your Mac or each time you restart Dropbox. Whatever the settings you select, the brand new file browser and the corresponding Dock open every time you begin Dropbox. I assume lots of people will merely go away it within the Dock as a result of they might not understand that Dropbox will proceed to operate usually even should you exit the file browser.

What does this need to do with Dropbox workers? Properly, it seems that they have no idea that it’s potential that Mac functions run and not using a dock icon, whereas that’s precisely how Dropbox has labored for a decade. And so they gave unhealthy recommendation to customers who need to return to the outdated manner of doing issues.

Since many Dropbox workers commit this error, I assume it's a failure at the next stage. Dropbox has made a significant change to its Mac software, nevertheless it doesn’t appear to have absolutely defined this alteration to its representatives. It is perhaps thought that Dropbox would be sure that its help representatives absolutely perceive how its Mac software and Mac Dock operations work earlier than it has to answer Mac customers, however this has not been the case.

Explaining the Dropbox App to Dropbox Staff

Try this help thread that began a month in the past with the title "Unable to delete Dropbox icon from Mac OS Dock". The consumer who began the thread wrote:

On the Mac, prior to now, I simply preferred having a small discreet Dropbox icon within the menu bar to watch objects, after which entry my recordsdata from the Finder.

After a current replace of the "new" Dropbox, the Dropbox app itself opens now and slaps a giant Dropbox icon in my Dock, which I are not looking for there.

The issue is that if I select to not open Dropbox when connecting, the menu bar icon doesn’t seem both and the synchronization doesn’t seem. by no means.

How can I stop the Dock icon from showing at startup?


Fairly easy request, no? Besides that the Dropbox worker who responded instructed the consumer that it was inconceivable for Mac functions to not have a Dock icon, even when it was not. simply not true.

The Dropbox worker replied:

[W] Whereas it’s value noting that every one energetic applications will seem on the Dock so long as they’re open, please notice that it’s going to not be potential to delete them from there with out fully eradicating the applying. From there, I've already made positive to put in writing down your ideas in my report internally, as it will be an excellent suggestions for the builders on our crew.

The assertion that "all energetic applications will seem on the Dock so long as they’re open" is fake as a result of many Mac functions merely seem within the menu bar and function within the background. That's how Dropbox labored till a month in the past, so Dropbox's opponents nonetheless work and but some Dropbox workers suppose it's inconceivable. Many different Mac apps that may seem within the Dock or within the menu bar mean you can disable the Dock icon, which Dropbox can simply do by including a test field to its software settings.

There’s one other unusual response from a Dropbox worker on this help wire, during which the help consultant suggests disabling the power of Dropbox to start out robotically after logging in. Mac. Sure, this may stop the show of the Dock icon, however it will additionally stop Dropbox from working in any respect.

On June 13, I contacted Dropbox on Twitter and was instructed there was no strategy to disable the launch of the Dock icon. The Dropbox worker who answered me on this tweet appeared to know the issue, however my subsequent makes an attempt had been all answered by workers who didn’t perceive the operation of the Dropbox software for Mac.

I contacted Dropbox by way of electronic mail on July 9 and an worker responded the following day with the next suggestion:

As I perceive it, the present drawback is that the Dropbox Desktop App Dock icon makes it troublesome to make use of your system, is that right? … As a result of dock icons are related together with your Apple system settings, a fast Web seek for "learn how to disguise dock icons" might doubtlessly yield the specified outcomes.

Just like the Dropbox consultant within the help thread, the Dropbox worker who responded to me appeared to suppose that it was inconceivable for a Mac software to run and not using a dock icon until A consumer doesn’t discover an unsupported hack that adjustments the operation of the applying. Though it’s potential to cover some icons of the Dock in by modifying the information.plist file of every software, it didn’t work after I tried it with Dropbox. And it’s best if the applying formally helps Dock concealment, as a consumer disrupting the operation of an software could trigger unexpected issues.

I replied to the Dropbox worker and defined to him that Dropbox had by no means opened a dock icon till not too long ago, that it was inconceivable for me to alter the operation of the Dropbox software and that the Dropbox growth crew ought to absolutely know that she had deliberately made this alteration. . I additionally requested the worker if he had used the Dropbox software for Mac not too long ago as a result of I needed to verify I might speak to somebody who understands this. what’s the Dock and the way it works.

In his subsequent electronic mail response, the Dropbox worker didn’t specify whether or not he had ever used Dropbox for Mac. However he stated, "As you stated, you can’t disguise the Dropbox dock icon, I've despatched your feedback to my growth crew for you."

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