Latest Dropbox Incompatibility

Since the recent Dropbox versions (first observed on v72.4.136), DropboxPortableAHK is not compatible with Dropbox anymore. It looks like Dropbox changed some of the internal data structures that DropboxPortableAHK modifies to set the Dropbox path and I could not figure out a way around this, yet.

I want to use this unfortunate event to talk a bit about the future of DropboxPortableAHK. As most of you already noticed, active development stopped in 2017 and even then the changes were very infrequent and only consisted of a few bug fixes. I haven’t used DropboxPortableAHK myself for years, because I’m only using two computers that I have full control over and simply used the regular Dropbox app to sync between those. Actually, since Dropbox started to block ‘uncommon’ (in their view) file systems (like btrfs) without good reasons, I don’t use the official Dropbox application anymore at all and mostly work on one machine now.

As far as other users of DropboxPortableAHK go: I don’t really have much statistics for that. The only stats I have are the download statistics on the website and from the auto-update. As one would expect, those are also declining since months. As I don’t use the software anymore and the users seem to lose interest as well, I’m wondering if it’s worth it to continue working on DropboxPortableAHK. I just don’t have as much time as I did years ago when I started DropboxPortableAHK in school.

I know there are some passionate users left out there, and some of them even donated to this project. I’m really sorry that I could not provide a quick update for this issue, yet. I will try to find a solution to make the current Dropbox versions compatible again, but don’t expect something in the next days, it might very well take a few weeks.

If you still use DropboxPortableAHK, it would be great if you leave a comment to describe why and how you use it. It always motivates me when I read how my software helps people in their day-to-day life 🙂

EDIT: Good news everyone! I finally figured out a way to make DropboxPortableAHK work again with the latest version of Dropbox. There are a few issues left that I’d like to work on during the next days, but things are looking good for a new version coming out soon.

65 thoughts on “Latest Dropbox Incompatibility

  1. I mostly use it at my day job when I want to work on some other project. It’s handy to have my files available without the risk of leaving them on a company computer. And of course, that way, I also don’t have to worry about remembering to update at home afterwards. I used to a syncing program that worked directly between the USB and the computer it was plugged into, but I’m a lot less likely to screw something up with DropboxPortableAHK.

  2. I love and have used this software for years. It has been so helpful on work computers that I don’t have admin rights to install the actual dropbox app. Thanks for all the work you’ve done.

  3. I miss the time when we could launch multiple instance.. I still find dropboxAHK useful : it keeps its content in a single folder and is portable (no needs to reinstall/wait for dropbox cache to build, which is something long)!! PLEASE update 🙂

  4. I use a program at work, where I do not have administrator rights. The software definitely makes it easier for me to access my files without the need for installation.

  5. I also use it on my work computer. I prefer to use a large collection of portable apps, including your Dropbox Portable, so that i don’t have to install anything on the PC leaving files or configurations behind.

    • So do I. Portable apps are a real value on professional harware/environment: they are more up to date, didn’t needs admin rights, and deserves your professionnal needs just right.

  6. Hello Nick,
    I am using your software for similar reasons as noted by other replies.
    Using the “unpacker” trick, posted to several places in the user forum, I succeeded to update all my repositories to DB v77.4.131 this morning.
    Suggestion: publish your AHK sources as “open Source” e.g. on GitHub based on a liberal license e.g. BSD. Think there will be interested developers to help you or to continue development.
    Best regards, RaiKoHoff

  7. Hi, i use it in an external hdd for repair pc, new install, or other things like that. I think i use it from when you create it and it’s the must have for worker like me. I hope you can work on that or share that 🙂
    Thank you for your precious work!

  8. I use this on a work computer to have access to my personal files. It’s a lot more handy to have these on a portable drive so I don’t have to store anything personal on my work laptop. That way I have access to them on my windows work laptop and my linux home computer.

  9. Your app is the only way I have to get dropbox in my computer at work 🙁
    The IT dept. block completely the installation of any app, and as long as they consider dropbox as a “possible leak of confidential information”, they do not allow us to use it. But on the other hand lots of clients love to use it to share information or even to use it as a shared folder for document review; so you can imagine the issue of having to use the webpage…

    Hope you found the force to get back to the develop of the app!

  10. Hi Nick. I began to use dropbox ever since it was launched and I remember how crazy I was in increasing my storage space through referrals. You did a wonderful work all these years by offering AHK upates which I enjoyed using in setting up 3 accounts on 3 different pcs (work, home, laptop). Your work is greatly appreciated. You made people’s job easy and let them save time. My sincere thanks to you. Your work lasted longer than anyone’s support for dropbox portable.

  11. Hi.
    I use DropboxPortableAHK because I use some “shadow” soft to protect system partition. Any changes in AppData cancels on every reboot. This looks like virtual machine. This awesome greate protects system against viruses and many other problems like littering system by any soft and by even windows.
    But this prevents me to use soft like dropbox in regular way. That’s why I prefer portable soft.
    I want to say big thank you for DropboxPortableAHK. I used it for years and was pleased this experiance. I hope this project do continue it’s development and overcome current problem.
    Thank you again anyway!

    • I mean that is not the only software, that is kind of software. Shadow User, Shadow Defender, ToolWiz Time Freeze (freeware), RollBack Rx, DeepFreeze, etc. I use Shadow Defender or ToolWiz Time Freeze depends on some internal reasons. They are simple, but enoght functional for me. For example DeepFreeze have enterprise version AFAIK.

      Even Microsoft made such program: SteadyState (freeware), but that have been more than 10 years ago and now there isn’t this soft on microsoft site.

  12. Это отличная программа, я пользователь из России, всегда удобно взять с собой жесткий диск и синхронизироваться и работать на любом компьютере

  13. Hello

    Nick, thanks for your work.

    It seems que Dropbox portable is dead! The dropbox is allways updating the program, making incompatibilities. After this, i sugest:
    MEOCLOUD registration by this invitation:

    The site and aplication is similar to Dropbox and it is portable by coping the instalation folder.

    The registration thru the invitation gives 5Gb of cloud storage.

    Thanks for all, but i’m living the portable dropbox.

  14. Hi,

    I mostly use dropbox for cloud synchronisation between different users, for the following reasons :
    – regular dropbox works transparently under MacOS, and Linux. No computer knowledge is necessary to understand how to put a file in the « sync to be » folder ;
    – professionnal and personnal accounts, as I change very often of computer (one mission, up to one year, one computer ;
    – personnal / mobile / professionnal networks. It is hard to update cloud services within a professionnal environment, even if you have good reasons to (cipherd files, ID vault, etc.) that you need to synchronize everywhere ;
    – the most interopperable cloud service (available on android, chromeos, IOS, Synology, MacOS, Linux, Windows…)

    Of course, on every windows I use, it is both an AHK dropbox on USB key (+ ciphering software) ; or AHK dropbox on a portable environment, to limit the personal fingerprint on the professional hardware & software. I need the ability to “juste move” the personal folder from one computer to another one, and wipe the one on the computer lended to me.

    So, AHK dropbox IS a need. No cloud service are able to be compared to the offered flexibility.

    • “Users” here means users IRL, no digital artifacts of the same real human 🙂
      They have differents habits, differents levels of knowledge, and needs computer and datas as “tools”. Do not forget that the end users are not the same one as the power users who installs and choses the software…

      I agree with some users upper: feel free to publish the code as open source… in a dedicated project.

  15. I have only a work notebook and I’ve not the admin rights to install Dropbox, with the portable app I’ve always my personal data synched with my smartphone and with me on my notebook. It would be painful for me if you discontinue it.

  16. First of all,

    I have to say thanks for all you efforts. I cannot be more grateful and happy to found DropboxPortableAHK a few years ago.

    I use it everyday! Actually is amazing to be able to have dropbox files in an encrypted SD card. Actually really good for transportation and to keep your solid drive health in my opinion.

    I would appreciate if you can guide us through an alternative. I sincerely wouldn’t know what to do without this setup!

    I hope we find a solution!

    Again, THANKS!

  17. I definitely still use it. I use it to sync files and portable software that I use between my home and work computers, the latter of which I don’t have admin rights on.

    I would be very appreciative of any work you can do to get it working again. If you are able to get it working again, thanks so much! If not, still, thanks for all your hard work in the past.

  18. I have also used it for several years, and it’s really painful that I hear I could not use it any more. Really helpful on my work pc to sync my iphone pictures.

  19. I am a student, Dropbox is a vital part of my school life and as of this comment I am actively looking for a portable version for my USB stick since my college has about 50 PCs that we alternate in different rooms. I would really appreciate a version that is compatible. As a suggestion you could work with which has a huge community and may be willing to help you in development.

    Thank you in advance!

  20. I have been using your portable dropbox to sync my working files when I am on computers at my college. Your software allows me to automatically back up my work on my portable hard drive to dropbox in case it fails.

    I would be willing to pay a reasonable yearly fee for your software.

    I would also be fine with syncing to Google Drive or MS Onedrive if that is easier to maintain.

  21. I use it in my work because it is very practical. Very useful. I hope it will work again someday. It could sync with google drive or onedrive if you are getting trouble with dropbox.
    Thanks for your time making this good application.

  22. Is there any news as to whether an update to DBP will be coming at some point, since I’m now getting notifications that Dropbox will stop working come Monday, without an update?

    If the answer is no, so be it. I would just like to know, so I can figure out how I am going to handle the syncing without it.

  23. Your app is the only way I am able to use Dropbox at work, for similar reasons that others have commented. Regular Dropbox installation is completely blocked on our computers. Yet, I regularly work on multiple work and home computers and pay for Dropbox Pro (or whatever it is called these days) to make filesharing easier. I can have the regular Dropbox app on my home computer but rely on your app for any access to my files at work. It’s vital to my workflow! I would very happily pay an annual subscription to continue to use this service.

  24. I have a computer at work without administrator rights, but most of my work is in dropbox, therefore I love DropboxProtableAHK. Hope so much you will get it to run.

  25. As many have said here I have also been using dropbox portable for years.

    The ability to run multiple dropboxes at the same time and have it stored in the place of my choosing has kept me coming back to it.

    As above I use if for work and personal. I just hate having another background service doing “something”…

    I know with AHK when its on its on and works great (a part from when dropbox make your life difficult). When its off its off. Nothing weird happening in the background.

    I think the community have always been patient, encouraging and most of us know it is a labour of love to some degree. Somethings you can do something about (when you get a bit of time) other unfortuantely DB being DB…

    So we are grateful that you have kept it going for so long.

    Maybe if you do wish to retire it you could considar passing the touch on in terms of making it open source? Hopefully someone or a group might like to take it on. It may even allow you to stay involved if there are a few of you looking after it.

    It is simply the speed of getting my files anywhere simply by plugging something in or moving a few files around to execute. And just as easy to remove without a trace.

    Thank you, we hope you will continue but we are open as a community to what might help you to maintain. If you do decide it’s time to move on then good luck with all your continuing endevours! Will be missed for sure 🙂

  26. I love your portable program, it’s saved me tons of time and problems. Many times since I’m a consultant, customers dislike you installing software on machines. This has given me the ability to easily copy work I’ve done in my private sandbox to the customer without having to zip packages or move files physically via a USB drive. I will miss this program and I’ll probably end up using Tonido instead, but the main issues dropbox resolved were large file transfers in a speedy fashion as well as the ability for me to create project on drop box, code everything and transfer the project to the customers source control system…

    Anyway this will be missed.

  27. Let me echo the comments of everyone else – DropboxPortable has been a lifesaver when trying to sync between home/work/laptop computer, particularly when admin rights are restricted at work. The work of Nick (and indeed the DropboxPortableAHK community!) is much appreciated and am amazed that the project has been going for so long. Fingers crossed someone (or some group) is able to keep things going, so all the hard work does not get lost.

  28. Your software is very useful to me for my work as a teacher.
    I would be very disappointed not to use dropbox anymore but I will if you can’t make your software compatible.
    Good luck and thank you for your work.

  29. Sin lugar a duda, fue mi mejor opcion hasta hace apenas 4 dias, estuve trabajando con la aplicacion por durante 4 años y hasta hace unos dias, simplemente me saco y me pidio iniciar sesion y de ahi ya no pude avanzar. He de comentarles que funciono la ultima version beta de DropboxAHK, hasta la ultima actualización que mantenia el “Escritorio de Dropbox” fue impresionante manejar esa portabilidad, llegaba a cualquier PC, conectaba mi HD Portatil, y hacia modificaciones desde el nuevo “Escritorio de Dopbox” y la sincronizacion bastante estable y rapida, como si realmente estuviera en mi pc personal con la nueva funcion de dropbox; es una lastima que haya terminado hasta aqui.

  30. DropboxPortableAHK has been a useful tool for me. Like many others above, I use systems where I either do not have administrator rights or prefer not to leave any personal files.

    I can understand that a labor of love started in school may have lost it’s luster. Especially if you no longer need it yourself.

    As others have stated, maybe you could release it as open source, and allow the community to maintain it.

    Thanks for your efforts!

  31. Good news everyone! I finally figured out a way to make DropboxPortableAHK work again with the latest version of Dropbox. There are a few issues left that I’d like to work on during the next days, but things are looking good for a new version coming out soon 🙂

  32. I Used it a lot on my usb disk at the university.
    Also i beleve i had multiple instances of dropbox running.

    Dropbox Portable is the best way to work with dropbox in my opinion.
    Try to sell it to them this time.
    I made you some donations, maby they like it as well.


  33. Hi,
    many thanks for your work, I use for many years now. I use 3 free Dropbox account and I need not to mix them up. So this portability and separate account is great for me.
    I hacked many time to update Dropbox like some explain in forum, many thanks to them too!
    I hope you will release something, and you will enjoy your work.
    Best regards!

  34. Dropbox portable is amazing. I have to store all my work files on a portable hard drive for work as we have no permissions to install anything but with dropbox portable I can work normally on my home pc and everything would sync to my work HHD without the need to keep copying files back and forth. Honestly don’t know what I’d do without it! Thank you so much for all your hard work! Wish dropbox would realise how useful it is and do all this!

  35. Yes, thank you, thank you very much. This is a must for me. I use it at work, as many user said, and is my way to share work I do at home. Thank you again for mantain this alive!

  36. Dear Nick,

    Your work is very important for many of us. I’m a teacher and I use Dropbox portable to be updated with my work anywhere: with my computer at work, at home, without internet connection… etc… So please helps us to keep on working. Many thanks in advance!!!

  37. Thanks so much for continuing to develop this! Using notebooks with smaller SSDs now and having to hop around various computers, it’s so useful have Dropbox access via a USB stick!!

  38. I wanted to upload some backup files without having the full dropbox program loaded 24/7. I just want to perform backups maybe once or twice a day from specific folders. I also want ability to access dropbox files but without having dropbox bloat loaded taking up 150-300MB ram + slow sync.

  39. Pingback: DropboxPortableAHK - Portable Dropbox App

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