Mac Software

Do macOS tags work with Dropbox?

In sync: macOS tags work with Dropbox

Tags in macOS can be very handy when you’re working on a project with different people. You can, for example, mark different files in a folder with coloured tags to show their current status – a green tag indicating that the file is ready to send, for example. However, you might be wondering whether macOS tags work with Dropbox, so that if one of you marks a file with a green tag, say, others who have access to that same Dropbox folder will see it?

The good news is the answer is yes – Dropbox does indeed support the extended attributes in which Apple’s tags are stored. That means if you add a tag to a file in macOS, other macOS users sharing that Dropbox folder should see that tag on their systems.

However, there are some limitations here. Firstly, those tags will only be visible to other macOS users. If you’re viewing the folder in the Dropbox app on a smartphone or on a Windows PC, the tags won’t be visible. If you’re working in a mixed-platform environment, it’s probably best not to rely on the macOS tags.

The other notable limitation is the type of view your colleagues are using. Tags are clearly visible in List view, for example, but not so obvious in the Icon view. If you’re going to use tags, it might be best to get everyone to view their Finder folders as a list, so that the tags are clearly visible to all users.

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at

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