Had It With the Dropbox App? Here Are Five Alternative Dropbox Clients

The Dropbox app has a troubled reputation among Mac users. The client is often called out for using significant system resources, even when it's not doing anything in the background. And when it does lurch into action, syncing with Dropbox's servers can sometimes be painfully slow, for no obvious reason.

General Dropbox Feature
Added to this is the fact that almost a year after the first Macs with the M1 chip became available, Dropbox still doesn't natively support Apple silicon, and won't until sometime in 2022. That means ‌M1‌ Mac owners must use Dropbox with Rosetta, and reports suggest the client hemorrhages MacBook battery life and uses a disproportionate amount of memory on Apple silicon Macs.

If you've had your share of frustrations with the Dropbox app, you can always switch to another rival cloud storage service like iCloud, or you can try one of the following alternative Mac clients to sync with your existing Dropbox account.

1. Maestral (Free)

maestral
Maestral is a popular open-source Dropbox client for Mac that's free to use and has a significantly smaller resource footprint than the Dropbox app (40MB versus 420MB). The lightweight client happily syncs files and folders in the background, and won't bring your Mac to a standstill in the process. It also natively supports Apple silicon. The caveats are that it doesn't support Dropbox Paper, shared folder settings, or the transfer of only those parts of a file which have changed ("binary diff").

2. CloudMounter ($29.99 a year)

cloudmounter
CloudMounter connects cloud storage accounts like Dropbox and Google Drive to your Mac's Finder, allowing you to treat them like regular, local drives. You can search, drag, drop, and access your files, and it doesn't automatically synchronize them to your local drive, which is great if you need access to files on Dropbox's servers but are low on storage space. It encrypts your files to ensure their safety, and you can also share any file or folder by copying its Dropbox link to the clipboard via a contextual menu option.

3. Mountain Duck 3 ($39)

mountainduck macos
Like CloudMounter, Mountain Duck integrates with Finder to turn it into a fully-functional SFTP client, allowing you to access your Dropbox (or other cloud storage service) account as if it was a local drive. You can choose to keep individual files offline on your local disk, and it displays which files are in sync with little icons. Client-side encryption is included, and it also has a contextual menu to keep sync and URL copying options at your fingertips.

4. Transmit 5 ($45)

transmit panic mac
Long-running file transfer app Transmit used to be referred to as an FTP client, but these days it can also connect to 11 different cloud services, Dropbox being one of them, which is why we've included it here. While it's not a straight up Dropbox client replacement (it doesn't sync files in the background) its dual-pane interface is faster than Finder, which makes it good if you upload and download files regularly. It also has useful features like File Sync, which can mirror remote and local files in one click.

5. Strongsync ($49.95)

strongsyncair
Strongsync is another client that lets you mount cloud storage accounts on your Mac as if they were local disks. Files get downloaded transparently when another app requests them or when you request them in Finder. Amongst other clouds, it supports Dropbox and Dropbox for Business. There's no kernel extension or reboots needed, it offers full library search, and its SwiftUI 2 interface natively supports both Apple silicon and Intel Macs.

Know of any other Mac clients that support Dropbox integration and have proved useful to you? Let us know in the comments.

Tag: Dropbox

Top Rated Comments

doolar Avatar
15 months ago
I moved to iCloud after about a decade on Dropbox. Couldn’t be happier!
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rfog Avatar
15 months ago
I have about 600 GB in Dropbox, near 400.000 files. A couple of days ago I tested some of those:


* Maestral: Used 100% one CPU, selected only two folders to sync, only one was synchronised.
* CloudMounter: a mess with file dates, plus a lot of sync issues when uploading heavy files.
* Strongsync: Evaluated, never got a full sync.
* Mountain Duck behave similar as Maestral. I don't remember what did wrong, but failed to do some operations losing the file changes.

I think Dropbox is bad, but other those third party tools are worse when you want real hard job done. Any cloud can manage 10.000 files. Problems happens when you have it tens of thousands, even iCloud Drive.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
michelb76 Avatar
15 months ago
People comparing dropbox to onedrive to icloud are probably not using any dropbox features. It syncs faster than others, advanced sharing is super-easy, even with people outside of your family/company and backup/restore/versioning is unparalleled. If you don't need those features, then yes, you can switch to whatever is cheap. The client sucks (it will of course be apple silicon native at some point), but so does onedrive, google drive, and icloud isn't that much better because it is too dumb and you have zero control.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GaymerAdam Avatar
15 months ago
Often confused why people would pay for Dropbox. You get 5 x 1TB accounts and the full MS Office suite with Office 365 for £3.33 a month with a retail card, or you can pay £7.99 a month for 2TB on Dropbox.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Marlor Avatar
15 months ago
Why not just set up a self-hosted NextCloud instance like a normal person?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PC_tech Avatar
15 months ago

The client I use after finishing my dropbox yearly is called iCloud.

Same price. Better integration. No ******** company that doesn't care about it's customers "M1 Mac is not a thing"
Apple doesn’t care about you either ?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone trade in

Apple Adjusts Trade-In Values for iPhones, Macs, and More

Wednesday January 25, 2023 9:40 am PST by
After announcing new Mac and HomePod models last week, Apple adjusted its trade-in values for select devices in the United States. iPhone trade-in values decreased by up to $80, and most Android smartphones also went down. Mac trade-in values remained unchanged or increased by up to $40 depending on the model, while some Apple Watch models increased in value and others decreased. Trade-in...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Pro Expected Later This Year With These 7 Exclusive Features

Tuesday January 24, 2023 4:53 pm PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are expected to be announced in September as usual. Already, rumors suggest the devices will have at least seven exclusive features not available on the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. An overview of the seven features rumored to be exclusive to iPhone 15 Pro models:A17 chip: iPhone 15 Pro models will be equipped with an A17...
Mac mini M2 2023

New 256GB Mac Mini and 512GB MacBook Pro Have Slower SSD Speeds Than Previous Models

Tuesday January 24, 2023 1:11 pm PST by
While the new Mac mini with the M2 chip has a lower $599 starting price, the base model with 256GB of storage has slower SSD read and write speeds compared to the previous-generation model with the M1 chip and 256GB of storage. A teardown of the new Mac mini shared by YouTube channel Brandon Geekabit reveals that the 256GB model is equipped with only a single 256GB storage chip, while the...
apple tv 4k red image

Apple Releases tvOS 16.3

Tuesday January 24, 2023 10:10 am PST by
Apple today released tvOS 16.3, the third major point update to the tvOS 16 operating system that originally came out in September. Available for the Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD, tvOS 16.3 comes six weeks after tvOS 16.2, an update that added Apple Music Sing. The tvOS 16.3 update can be downloaded over the air through the Settings app on the ‌‌‌‌Apple TV‌‌‌‌ by going to System > Software...
watchOS 9 Feature

Apple Releases watchOS 9.3 With New Watch Face, Bug Fixes

Monday January 23, 2023 10:06 am PST by
Apple today released watchOS 9.3, the third major update to the watchOS 9 operating system that first launched in September. watchOS 9.3 comes over a month after watchOS 9.2, an update that added new Workout functionality and Crash Detection optimizations. watchOS 9.3 can be downloaded for free through the Apple Watch app on the iPhone by opening it up and going to General > Software Update. ...
iOS 16

iOS 16.3 for iPhone Launching Next Week With These 4 New Features

Friday January 20, 2023 11:43 am PST by
In a recent press release, Apple confirmed that iOS 16.3 will be released to the public next week. The software update will be available for the iPhone 8 and newer and includes a handful of new features, changes, and bug fixes. Below, we've recapped bigger features in iOS 16.3, including support for physical security keys as a two-factor authentication option for Apple ID accounts, worldwide ...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With the New M2 Pro Mac Mini

Tuesday January 24, 2023 1:45 pm PST by
The new M2-series MacBook Pro and Mac mini models launched today, marking the debut of the first M2 Pro and M2 Max chips. We have the M2 Pro Mac mini on hand, and thought we'd take a look at the machine and do a series of benchmarks to see how it fits into Apple's lineup. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Base model Mac mini machines come with either an M2 or M2 Pro...
Ventura Macs Feature Blue

Apple Releases macOS Ventura 13.2

Monday January 23, 2023 10:09 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Ventura 13.2, the second major update to the macOS Ventura operating system initially released in October. macOS Ventura 13.2 comes more than a month after macOS Ventura 13.1, an update that added the Freeform app and other changes. The ‌macOS Ventura‌ 13.2 update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System...