How do I synchronize groups into Dropbox?

This FAQ was last modified on: Thursday, March 29, 2018 09:40am
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Please Note: 
The process for synchronizing groups from our on-premises campus systems into Dropbox is different from the process used for Office 365.  Please read and follow the FAQ before submitting support requests for syncing Dropbox groups.  This process only syncs the group.  If you need a Dropbox Team Folder, you will need to request it after syncing your group.  Thanks!


Departmental CSRs can synchronize groups into Dropbox using groups from Georgia Tech’s Active Directory (AD). 

  • Find the group named Department-Dropbox-Groups in your Groups OU where “Department” in the group name is the name of your OU.  (Example 1:  Department "GT" would use GT-Dropbox-Groups.  Example 2:  Department "_ATL" would use ATL-Dropbox-Groups.)
  • Any group that is added to your Department-Dropbox-Groups group will be synced into Dropbox when the sync utility runs.  Once you’ve added groups to your Department-Dropbox-Groups group, it should look something like this:  

Example of a departmental DEPARTMENT-Dropbox-Groups group in Active Directory.

Things to know

  • New groups and changes to groups will not be immediately available in Dropbox.  The Dropbox Active Directory Connector must run at least one cycle after your group is added or modified for the group to be fully available.  The Dropbox AD Connector cycle currently runs every 15 minutes (on the hour, 15 minutes after, 30 minutes after, and 45 minutes after).  This schedule is subject to change based on resource utilization, feedback from Dropbox support, and feedback from the campus IT community.  
  • A group must have user accounts that are also in Dropbox.  If the group is empty or has no user accounts that are in Dropbox, it will sync into Dropbox with zero members.   
  • A group can have other groups (also known as nested groups) as members (example below).  Be aware that all the nested groups will sync into Dropbox as well.  If you do not want these nested groups synced into Dropbox, you must create new separate groups that only contain user objects. 
  • Groups are “flattened” when they are synced into Dropbox.  Groups that have synced to Dropbox will only have user accounts as members. 
  • Users that have de-provisioned from Dropbox, because they are no longer active employees, will be removed from the group that is synced into Dropbox.  
  • This process only syncs groups.  It does not create a Dropbox Team Folder as part of the process.  You will need to submit a request to have a Team Folder created.  

Example 1 – Sync a group with users as members

In Example 1, the department has set three groups to sync into Dropbox:  GroupA, GroupB, and GroupC.  Each group has two members that aren’t in the other groups. 

After the Dropbox Active Directory Connector runs, four groups will be available in Dropbox:  GroupA, GroupB, GroupC, and Department-Dropbox-Groups.  GroupA, GroupB, and GroupC have the same members in Dropbox that they do in Active Directory.  The Department-Dropbox-Group will be “flattened” and contain all the users that are in groups for the department.  

Example of groups synced from AD to Dropbox

Example 2 – Sync a group with nested groups

In Example 2, the department has set four groups to sync into Dropbox:  GroupA, GroupB, GroupC, and GroupD.  GroupA has two nested groups:  GroupB and GroupC.   GroupB, GroupC, and GroupD each have two members that aren’t in the other groups. 

After the Dropbox Active Directory Connector runs, five groups will be available in Dropbox:  GroupA, GroupB, GroupC, GroupD, and Department-Dropbox-Groups.  GroupA (the group with two nested groups as members) will be “flattened” and contain the members from GroupB and GroupC.  GroupB, GroupC, and GroupD (because they only contain user objects) will have the same members in Dropbox that they have in Active Directory.  The Department-Dropbox-Group will also be “flattened” and contain all the users that are in groups for the department.  

Example of nested groups synced from AD to Dropbox

What if I don't have a Department-Dropbox-Groups?  

All existing campus departments that were in GTAD when Dropbox group sync was made available to campus had this group provisioned by OIT.  Only new OU's for new departments should need this group created.  If you don’t have this group, please submit a support request to have the group created and configured.  Creating this initital group yourself will not make it sync with Dropbox.