After booting up, a popup screen tells me Dropbox did not install correctly, but it is lurking somewhere. To install properly I first have to delete the incorrect install. How can I do that?

I'm using the latest version of Ubuntu.

7 Answers 7


This is from Dropbox help page:

dropbox stop
dropbox status  # Should report "not running"
rm -rf ~/.dropbox-dist
rm -rf /var/lib/dropbox
rm -rf ~/.dropbox*
sudo apt-get remove nautilus-dropbox
sudo apt-get remove dropbox
rm /etc/apt/source.d/dropbox
  • 13
    Package 'dropbox' is not installed, so not removed
    – endolith
    May 1, 2014 at 23:01
  • Unexpectedly, the commands listed here deleted Dropbox folders "in the cloud". i.e., I have Dropbox working well under different OSs, but running these commands deleted folders completely (rather than just from the current OS). I tried performing this on linux, but notice the result from Mac.
    – josephwb
    Sep 30, 2017 at 3:50
  • as of August 2020, after running the sudo apt-get remove commands I also get the message Package 'dropbox' is not installed, so not removed; but if I type dropbox I get the Dropbox command-line interface and a list of commands to use.
    – Fons MA
    Aug 13, 2020 at 8:30
  • As of June '22, I did this on Ubuntu 20.04. After running sudo apt-get remove nautilus-dropbox, everything seemed to be done. When I ran sudo apt-get remove dropbox I saw Reading package lists... Done // Building dependency tree // Reading state information... Done // Package 'dropbox' is not installed, so not removed, and when I ran rm /etc/apt/source.d/dropbox, I saw rm: cannot remove '/etc/apt/source.d/dropbox': No such file or directory
    – Post169
    Jun 21, 2022 at 13:21
  • I found something in /home/.var/app that had to be removed to completely remove dropbox.
    – geneorama
    Oct 17, 2022 at 21:55

Try this command in a terminal:

sudo apt-get remove --purge nautilus-dropbox
  • 5
    Don't forget rm -rvf ~/.dropbox ~/.dropbox-dist; rm -rv ~/Dropbox to remove all settings made and the last Dropbox folder.
    – VDarricau
    Aug 29, 2016 at 12:11

Based on this link you can follow this steps:

dropbox stop
dropbox status  # Should report "not running"

rm -rf ~/.dropbox-dist
rm -rf /var/lib/dropbox
rm -rf ~/.dropbox*
sudo apt-get remove nautilus-dropbox
sudo apt-get remove dropbox
rm /etc/apt/source.d/dropbox

And if you want to delete the files that were synced, you can run this command:

rm -rv ~/Dropbox

You can remove a package through apt-get:

sudo apt-get remove dropbox

It works like this:

  1. sudo dpkg --configure -a
  2. Press Ctrl+C to before the download of Dropbox tries to do anything.
  3. Remove dropbox with sudo apt-get purge nautilus-dropbox
  • 4
    why would this work better than just running sudo apt-get purge nautilus-dropbox?
    – Alvar
    Sep 7, 2014 at 16:28
  • because once the package is broken you can not use apt/dpkg for nothing other than fixing the package... in my case it still throw sudo apt-get remove --purge nautilus-dropbox Mar 29, 2016 at 10:19

I had the same error, because my internet fails

I did this:

sudo rm -r /var/cache/apt/archives/lock

sudo rm -r /var/lib/dpkg/lock

Those were directories that were causing troubles

Then i just remove it:

sudo apt-get remove nautilus-dropbox

Pd.- After that I tried to install it again and it works perfectly


I had the same issue and I ran all the above commands without any results. I was not able to uninstall no matter what so instead I ran with sudo apt install nautilus-dropbox and it installed all over again and at last I was able to launch and enter.

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