How to run Dropbox as a Windows service

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Written by Thomas Speekenbrink

The Dropbox desktop application will only run when a user is logged onto a computer. There may however be times when you want Dropbox to be running all the time with or without a user logged in. Use the below steps to configure Dropbox to run as a service.

  1. Log into the server or desktop with the account that you want to run the service as and setup Dropbox. Configure Dropbox to not run at startup and exit the application.
  2. Download srvany.exe from Microsoft Windows 2003 Resource Kit (available free from Microsoft). After installing the Resource Kit (default in C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Resource Kits\Tools) copy srvany.exe into the folder where Dropbox is installed.
  3. Open a windows cmd prompt (run as administrator) and type in the service and authentication details you want (in our case DropboxSync) i.e. sc create DropboxSync displayName= "Dropbox Service" start= auto obj= "<domain>\<username>" password= "<password>" binPath= "C:\Program Files (x86)\Dropbox\srvany.exe"
  4. Goto your Start Menu, type in regedit and goto the new service (in this case DropboxSync) HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\DropboxSync
  5. Create subkey Parameters below in which you must create a string value: Create a String Value called Application then right click on this and add the path to Dropbox.exe (e.g C:\Program Files (x86)\Dropbox\Client\Dropbox.exe)
  6. From the command prompt run net start DropboxSync or start the service via the services snap-in

You can then manage Dropbox as a service. If you need to edit the settings within Dropbox log in as the account that the service is running under, stop the service then start Dropbox from the icon in the start menu. When you have completed the changes to the settings close the google drive desktop application and start the service back up again.