I have a Data partition between OS X Mavericks and Windows 7 Boot Camp. I have my Dropbox folder in the partition. I have tried using it in the past formatted as exFAT. This was unsatisfactory in that it would not stay indexed in OS X, and there were other issues.

I have now formatted the Data partition as Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Then on Windows 7, I have a trial version of Paragon HFS+ for Windows installed.

Here is my issue. OS X creates a bunch of files in Dropbox ending in com.dropbox.attributes. There is at least one of these almost for every file in Dropbox. From OS X these do not sync to the Dropbox server and are hidden. However, in Windows they are visible and sync to the Dropbox server.

I would like to do two things:

  1. Hide them in Windows 7
  2. Prevent them from syncing to the Dropbox server in Windows 7

(By the way, I have already tried running a command in Windows that hides all of these files. It only worked temporarily. As soon as Dropbox was back up and running they re-appeared.)

Please let me know if you need any more information or clarification.

I appreciate the input, Rich. After looking here more closely, I can see how it is pretty much a lost cause without Dropbox's fix for it. By my post I was curious if hiding or making them marked as "system files" would make a difference or to see if there were other ideas. I had tested the possibility of running a bat file on startup that did the following (hide and mark them as a "system file"):
attrib +S +H *.dropbox.attributes /S
I learned quickly that the issue is that Dropbox in conjunction with Windows 7 actually creates the com.dropbox.attributes files and that it is not OS X that creates the files. The extended attributes of OS X cause Windows to create them. So, they get created anew every time Dropbox runs in Windows. I will plan to file a bug report.

It is too bad that partitions between OS X and Windows don't play nice. My Data partition at home between two Linux distros and Windows 7 works beautifully, no such issues. Between OS X and Windows the extended attributes of OS X (in conjunction with Dropbox of course) seems to be the main culprit. This was the case when I tried to use this Data partition formatted as exfat. Who knows, maybe one day all OSs will be compatible with all formatting types and work well together.

1 Answer 1


There is nothing that you do about this other than try to hide them. It occurs because one file system doesn't support extended attributes.

There have been quite a few posts on the dropbox forum and I suggest you file a bug report with dropbox. They'll claim it is normal behavior but they still need to find a fix.

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