I would like to have an icon for Dropbox in Wingpanel (preferably one that matches the style of the default icons there) and have it display the current status (updated, synchronizing, offline).

What's the best/easiest way to achieve this?

  • I believe this should be made into two separate questions. I can answer the part about Wingpanel, but I don't know how to integrate the app with Files.
    – Gabriel
    Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 19:17
  • 1
    @Gabriel I believe Dropbox integration is a single issue, conceptually speaking. Besides, it's perfectly fine if you can only offer a partial answer -- that already helps :)
    – waldyrious
    Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 19:18
  • 1
    @Gabriel partial answers are fine if there are 2 parts to it :)
    – user3
    Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 19:20
  • 1
    Update: I split the question in two, per meta.elementaryos.stackexchange.com/q/6/84, and accepted the current answer. The second part was moved here: elementaryos.stackexchange.com/q/256/84
    – waldyrious
    Commented Jul 5, 2015 at 11:15

3 Answers 3


To add the Dropbox icon to the Panel I used the script "Dropbox for elementary OS", available here.


This script, designed for elementary OS, installs the latest version of Dropbox and integrates it with WingPanel.

System tray icon preview

Before you install

You need to install git with:

sudo apt-get install git

and uninstall any previous version of Dropbox on your system:

sudo apt-get remove dropbox*


git clone https://github.com/zant95/elementary-dropbox /tmp/elementary-dropbox
bash /tmp/elementary-dropbox/install.sh

Dropbox will auto-update when a new version is available.


git clone https://github.com/zant95/elementary-dropbox /tmp/elementary-dropbox
bash /tmp/elementary-dropbox/uninstall.sh
  • Thanks for the answer! Does removing dropbox delete the files in it, or can I leave the directory for the script to reuse?
    – waldyrious
    Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 19:26
  • You mean if removing Dropbox will remove your personal files? Absolutely not, only the files pertaining to the app will be removed.
    – Gabriel
    Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 19:27
  • Thanks for the clarification. It wasn't much of a concern, since the files would still live on dropbox.com and my other machines, but it would be wasteful to delete the files and then download them again once the script reinstalled dropbox.
    – waldyrious
    Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 19:30
  • @waldyrious your files will never be removed, but re-installing Dropbox means it will take it some time to re-index all your files. That's just a check to see if what's in their database matches what you have on your system, it will not have to download/upload all your files again.
    – Gabriel
    Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 19:32
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    @orschiro I clean the cache of my computer, and try again the tutorial dowloading everything and work
    – Revod
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 14:44

There's no point of running that script (that downloads Dropbox again, plus another time for the executable).

Just unset the dropbox application from the startup applications (Parameters=> Applications => Startup)
And then create a new startup application with these instructions


You will get a nice dropbox icon ! ;-)

WATCH OUT for the single quotes !

ATTENTION: To get the legacy indicators (like Dropbox) displayed, you will need to install elementary-indicators.

  • Works for me, Elementary OS Loki.
    – swt83
    Commented Jul 2, 2017 at 16:28
  • Works on Elementary OS Juno too Commented Oct 27, 2018 at 13:47
  • None of the two methods work for me on fresh Juno - I tried this first to no avail, then the github script and the icon still doesn't show up. Now what?
    – jena
    Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 10:07
  • You need elementary-indicators as specified in my edited answer. Commented Nov 29, 2018 at 15:24

elementary OS 5 Juno and later does not have a “system tray” or support app indicators, as this is a decade-deprecated API and has been replaced with more useful, purposeful APIs like CloudProviders. You can read about all of that in this elementary blog post.

Since Dropbox is a proprietary app, only Dropbox themselves can update their app to support modern APIs that are used by desktops like elementary OS and GNOME. Alternatively, someone could apply for a developer API key and attempt to make an open source Dropbox front-end that integrates with these modern APIs.

Until one of those happens, there is no supported way to get better Dropbox integration into elementary OS.

  • The HIG entry linked from that very blog post does not seem to disavow app indicators in the system tray, though. It explains when such an integration makes sense or not, and according to those recommendations, system-related information like those related to the filesystem (Dropbox, Google Drive), network (VPN, IPFS) and performance indicators should be acceptable.
    – waldyrious
    Commented Dec 8, 2019 at 16:29

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