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Migrating From Dropbox Team Folders

To move data from a Team folder, you must select a single user who has access to that Team folder and then select “Include Shared Folders” for that job so that the Team Folder displays in the file chooser.  See important information below on using “Include Shared Folders” to avoid duplicating data.

You must also make sure that the oauth user who has access via a group to the top level Team Folder does not have those permissions revoked further down, as that will block access to those branches of the folder.

Preparing Dropbox for Migration From Team Folders

The easiest way to migrate all or most of the Team Folders in a given Dropbox tenant is to ensure that the oauth user  – the admin used to create the Dropbox admin system in CFP – is a member of a Dropbox Group for the top level of all Team Folders that need to be migrated.  That way you can just select that user account in the CFP job configuration to transfer all Team Folders.

NOTE:  Dropbox has two types of accounts:  Standard and CDM.  To determine which type you have, create a Dropbox admin system, add the oauth for it, and look at the fine print on the system.  Standard accounts will show Has team shared dropbox No, while CDM accounts will show Has team shared dropbox Yes.  For CDM accounts, even personal folders are essentially of the ‘team folder’ type, which are simply labeled with each user’s name.  So transferring the team folders that are not personal folders must be handled a little differently.

CFP Job Configuration

  1. If you are doing a non APM job, you can transfer a Team Folder as you would any other folder. You must select a user account that has access to the Team Folder, so the user must be a member of a group that has edit rights to the top level of the Team Folder.
    For Standard Dropbox Accounts:  You must select the “Include Shared Folders” checkbox under Advanced Options for the Dropbox source node, at which point the Team Folders available to that user will each be listed with a “group of heads” icon in the file chooser.  Folders that are shared but not Team Folders will be listed in the file chooser with folder icons. Do not select more than one account for transfer if “Include Shared Folders” is selected, as this can result in transferring an instance of the same folder for the owner and every sharee of the folder. That causes duplicate data on the target and excess byte charges for transferring the duplicate folders.
    For CDM Accounts: Team Folders will be listed without selecting “Include Shared Folders.” Do not select this option if you are moving team folders from a CDM account.
  2. If you are doing an APM job, the specifications in step 1 all apply. While Team Folders do not technically have any owner, CFP will list a Dropbox admin as the de facto owner of the Team Folder in the spreadsheet.
  3. Note that by and large, we discourage selecting Include Shared Folders when running APM jobs, because it can result in transferring multiple copies of data sets on behalf of both the owner and any sharees. However, Team Folders will only display in the file chooser if Include Shared Folders is selected (for standard, non CDM accounts). Therefore, the recommended APM setup for Team Folder sources is:
    1. Identify one Dropbox Admin (ideally this will also be the oauth, as described earlier) who has access to all Team Folders. Set up an APM job that ONLY contains that one admin user.  Selecting a single user is important, because you won’t get a file chooser for the next step if you select more than one user.
    2. Select Include Shared Folders, and select the Team Folders in the file chooser for that one user. Do not select any other shared folders from the Admin’s file chooser.  Team Folders will have a “group of heads” icon next to them in the file chooser, while shared folders will have a folder icon.
    3. Generate a map and run the APM job as usual.  You can use the Paths tab to redirect specific Team Folders – or specific subpaths of those Team Folders – to shared spaces or specific accounts on the target.
    4. Select all Dropbox accounts, including the Dropbox Admin used for the Team Folders, in a separate job (splitting into several jobs if necessary) and do not select Include Shared Folders. Run this APM as usual.


Updated on April 14, 2021

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