I am trying to get Dropbox to run on startup. Checking the box in the Settings of the program "Start Dropbox on system startup" does nothing.

I've tried including Dropbox in the Startup Applications gui by adding the command found in usr/share/applications under "Properties" for Dropbox.

The problem that I am experiencing is that, after adding the relevant command "dropbox start -i" Dropbox will run on startup only once and then it disappears from the list of startup applications. Someone asked a similar question earlier, but the answer didn't seem to be a reasonable one. How can I identify why entries disappear from Startup Applications?

I have followed the suggestion here Can't change startup programs in Startup Application Preferences, but that didn't help, either.

The problem isn't happening with other apps. For example, I added Audacity using the method above and it booted on startup but did not disappear from the Startup Applications list as Dropbox does.

I currently only have two applications listed in startup: SSH Key Agent and touchpad-indicator-autostart.

How can I keep Dropbox from disappearing from the Startup Applications list and to force it to run on startup?

  • If you add it to startup applications, what is exactly the content inside, and the exact filename of the corresponding .desktop file in ~/.config/autostart Dec 8, 2017 at 20:28
  • Hi koli, did you notice the question ^? Dec 10, 2017 at 7:33
  • @JacobVlijm The content of the Dropbox entry command is dropbox start -i. After adding this to startup applications, a file named dropbox.desktop is added in ~/. config/autostart. Does this sound right?
    – kolipoki
    Dec 10, 2017 at 13:47
  • Ah, see my answer. Dec 10, 2017 at 14:19

2 Answers 2


If Dropbox is set to not run on log in (intentionally or not), or the checbox does not work as intended, it will remove the .desktop file you, or Startup Applications created, on next login. Subsequently, it will disappear from the list of startup applications.

Simply rename the file ~/.config/autostart/dropbox.desktop to (e.g.) start_dropbox.desktop after it is created, and Dropbox will not recognize it as his, and leave the file alone.

  • Brilliant! Thank you! Renaming the file in ~/.config/autostart worked. After rebooting, the file did not disappear from the folder, and upon rebooting a second time, Dropbox still opened on startup.
    – kolipoki
    Dec 10, 2017 at 14:41
  • @kolipoki ah, perfect, glad it works :) Dec 10, 2017 at 14:47

To add dropbox to your startup, copy /usr/share/applications/dropbox.desktop to $HOME/.config/autostart/dropbox.desktop.

The next time you login, dropbox will be started.

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