How to Use Multiple Dropbox Accounts on Same User

I have been trying to find out a way to do this for a while, but time constrains never let me get to the bottom of it!

Finally with some time on my hands I managed to find the answer and it’s really easy to do. There are several ways to do this, but for me the easiest is to use Automator and create a shadow dropbox app.

To get this working you will need to create an Automator workflow to run a shell script and then add this to your log in items.

Creating a Custom Dropbox App:

  • Launch Automator and create a new workflow using the Application template
  • Add a Run Shell Script action:
  •  open Library > Utilities
  •  drag the Run Shell Script action to your workflow space on the right
  •  remove default text (cat) from the script window
  • Paste in the following code (change the folder “ChangeMe” to the desired name):
bash
HOME=$HOME/ChangeMe /Applications/Dropbox.app/Contents/MacOS/Dropbox &

NB: At this stage you can test from Automator by pressing the Run button at the top right, this (if working) will launch the setup wizard for Dropbox;

 You don’t need to go through the wizard at this stage

  • Save your application
  •  in Automator, select File > Save
  •  name and save somewhere that makes sense to you. My suggestion is to save your application in the Applications Folder. The name should match the value of $HOME from the bash script (e.g. Dropbox_Amsys your user folder).

NB: You should also save the workflow in case you want to use it later.

  • You can now quit Automator.

Once you have saved your custom Dropbox application, you can test it by double-clicking the application. This should launch your new Dropbox instance again.

This time you can go through the wizard.

Set App to Launch at Login

If you want your custom Dropbox app to launch at login, you will need to add it to your login items.

  • Open System Preferences > Users & Groups
  • Select your account selected on the left, select Login Items on the right
  • Click the plus button below the list of login items to add a new item
  •   Browse to the folder where you saved your custom app, click to select it, then click Add

Or Drag the app to your log in items window.

Or Drag the app to your log in items window

How to Differentiate Between Accounts

Dropbox offers the option to use a black and white icon. To change these settings you go to Preferences > General.

 

How to differentiate between accounts

 

change icon of custom dropbox app

 

If you really want you can also change the icon of your custom app.

4 Replies to "How to Use Multiple Dropbox Accounts on Same User"

  • Andrew

    Great tip. But won’t both Dropbox apps reference the same Dropbox folder when they run together? Or can you set up a custom Dropbox folder under the same user account distinct from the usual Dropbox folder?

  • It will leave your current dropbox and it creates a new folder with the name that you put on the line of script

    HOME=$HOME/ChangeMe 

    Thanks, Hugo

  • Gary

    I’d challenge you to do the reverse! I have a private dropbox that I sometimes access on my company machine, but also have to switch to the company dropbox for business matters. Can you create a single app that will switch that for me, rather than me having to manually log out, login with new account, switch drop box location?

    • Hugo Costa

      Hi Gary,

      If I understand it right, what you want is what the blog explains?

      After you completed the blog you will have 2 dropbox accounts synced on the same user account, ie ~/Dropbox (company one) and ~/Dropbox_Personal.

      This will mean that you will have access to both your accounts at anytime without having to logout.

      The problem with your solution is that every time you change accounts then it needs to resync, with my way both accounts will be up to date!

      Cheers,
      Hugo

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