I Uninstalled the Dropbox App in Favor of Maestral

Today I have uninstalled the Dropbox app from my Mac.

I’ve been an early Dropbox user and invited friends until I got up to 10 GiB, which was a ton of storage back in the day.

But the native apps gets more and more annoying; they have a history of faking system standard dialogs to “trick” you into installing the kernel extension with root privileges; and resource consumption was at times confusingly high. Stuff like that made me tired of the app.

I transitioned to an open source 3rd party client, Maestral. Twitter folks mentioned this some time ago, and I was mildly interested; MacSparky reportedly uses the app as well, and I ran Maestral next to the native Dropbox client for a week now, too. So far, no hiccups. The very minimalist macOS native UI for status windows is actually … good. It’s spartan but serviceable and, well, uses native UI components!

A year ago, I had everything in my Dropbox. The file sharing and syncing is great.

To sync stuff between my main Mac and the i-devices, I found that my own Nextcloud server does a great job, too. I’ve been using the Nextcloud server for a year now and absolutely cannot complain. I’m a simple man, though, and mostly store text files and a couple of pictures there.

Dropbox is still a staple to get great syncing on iOS for some apps. It’s also the go-to solution at the moment to share project files and collaborate on writing projects with Sascha at zettelkasten.de, so Dropbox isn’t going anywhere. But I do not miss the MS Word overlays or the dialog that pops up for every new external drive I connect that wants me to update a 1TB drive to my 10GB Dropbox account. Or the “do you really want to delete this file from your shared folder” dialog. (I understand that new users might need some onboarding, but I’ve been using this service for over a decade and this is getting long in the tooth, geez luise…)

Anyway! End of rant. Get Maestral for free and try it out. It syncs into a separate folder, so you can keep the ~/Dropbox one for a while longer.

Update 2022-01-28: I found Keyboard Maestro macros to replicate the missing “Copy Link” feature.