How-To Automate Dropbox Synchronization In Android

Dropbox is one of those apps a lot of people couldn’t live without. I am among this group. One of the problems I have always had is how to automate Dropbox synchronization on my Android devices. Sure the syncing of the Dropbox for Android app is great, but what about the items on my microSD card I’d also like to keep in sync with Dropbox?

Using an app like Cloudpipes for Dropbox can help automate a good portion of what you will be using Dropbox for while mobile.

The setup

Setting up Cloudpipes for Dropbox doesn’t take much. After the download and starting Cloudpipes, you will need to sign into Dropbox. There is no special account needed.


After you are all logged in, you will see a page with 3 columns. The middle column is where you will see all of your files stored in Dropbox. The column furthest to the right is where you will see a log of all the actions taking place. The left column is the part where all the magic happens.


Each of the Pipes are an action. These Pipes can either upload to the cloud or download a file your Android. For each action, you will need to create a new Pipe. When downloading information, you will select the source folder in Dropbox and the destination location on your Android to transfer the files to. The destination and source locations are swapped when you are uploading.


Select the type of transfer you’d like. I think the unique option here is the choice of Moving. Moving a file keeps the most up-to-date version in both locations. This is what lacks with most other Dropbox syncing apps. Your other choices are: One-way sync, Copy (overwrite) and Copying (check for the newest revision of the file). All of these can be useful at different times.

Using Cloudpipes for Dropbox

Depending on the importance of the files you are syncing with your Dropbox folder, you can set an appropriate sync schedule. There are options to sync it in any interval you’d like from minutes to hours to a specific time each week on a certain day.

The other useful thing is, if you are only interested in a certain file type, you can just have Cloudpipes look for something specific. There are presets you can use as a template. For example, you can select the Document preset then delete the types you don’t need to sync. Also you can choose to files greater than, less than or equal to the size you set.

Some possible uses for Cloudpipes could be:

  • Keeping pictures taken from your phone automatically synced.
  • Upload screen captures taken on your Android automatically.
  • Keep the most current copy of a presentation downloaded and ready to go if needed.
  • Keep a current copy of your resume on your microSD card.
  • Sync downloaded eBooks.
  • Keep the most current version of a password database on your microSD card.

Final thought

The first thing that popped into my head was with an app like this, there is going to be a HUGE battery drain with all of that downloading and uploading. Once I saw you could set the syncs to happen when the device is on Wi-Fi or connected to a power source, I was more at ease. From the tests, I really think Cloudpipes is a must have for the Dropbox poweruser.

Trevor Dobrygoski
Trevor Dobrygoski

Trevor is a freelance writer covering topics ranging from the Android OS to free web and desktop applications. When he is not writing about mobile productivity, He is coaching and playing the world's greatest game... Soccer.

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