I trust you are already familiar with Dropbox. It is a convenient way to store files in the Cloud (on the Internet). I use it as an alternative to iCloud.

I wanted to have a second Dropbox account to store Dropbox backups of one of my websites.

It’s easy to set up a second Dropbox account (you just need a second email address), but having both sync to your computer requires a bit of fiddling around. Nothing daunting; it’s actually relatively easy.

Here are instructions (a Howto) on how to have multiple drop box accounts set up on one (Mac) computer.

First Method (with Dropbox Encore)

One way is to use a small application called Dropbox Encore. I only found out about that after I went about it another way. Here are the instructions for the Dropbox Encore method:

  1. Download Dropbox Encore from joyofmacs.com
  2. Mount the disk image and drag the application to your ‘Applications’ directory
  3. In Finder, make yourself a folder that will be home for your second dropbox folder. Put it somewhere easy to find and give it a unique name so you can easily tell the folders apart
  4. Dropbox prefsLaunch Dropbox Encore and a second Dropbox icon should appear in your task bar, this is how you know the software is working correctly
  5. Change the Preferences in one of the Dropbox instances to “Use black and white menu bar icons”. See the image to the right for an example.
  6. Follow the standard Dropbox set up instructions but be sure to choose ‘Advanced’ and configure the software to use your new folder as the place to store files locally
  7. Dropbox will create a new folder called ‘Dropbox’ in your target folder, and your files stored in the cloud will begin to synchronise.
  8. Dropbox creates an entry in your Finder Favorites, called Dropbox. When you set up the second instance of Dropbox it will replace the original Dropbox folder in your favorites with the new one. So you need to drag the original Dropbox folder to your favorites. At this stage they will both be called Dropbox, so perhaps position them in such a way that you can recall which is which. For instance, have one at the top of your favorites and one at the bottom.
There are also full instructions for this method on the Joyofmac.com Dropbox Encore page.

Second Method (with Automator app)

The other method (which is the one I used) is this:

To create your custom application, follow these steps:

  • Launch Automator and create a new workflow using the Application template
  • Add a Run Shell Script action:
  • open Library > Utilities
  • drag the Run Shell Script action to your workflow space on the right
  • remove any default text (e.g. cat) from the script window
  • Paste in the following code (change the folder “Dropbox-personal” if desired):
HOME=$HOME/Dropbox-personal /Applications/Dropbox.app/Contents/MacOS/Dropbox &
  • Press the Run button at the top right of Automator. This will test you’ve set it up correctly, and it will launch the second instance of Dropbox Desktop for you to enter the details of your second Dropbox account.
  • Go through all the steps of the Dropbox Wizard.
  • When asked the location to store your Dropbox files, select Custom, and direct it to the folder you created for your second Dropbox account.
  • Save your custom application. File > Save
  • Give it a name and save it to the new Dropbox folder you are using. That way everything is in one place.

To make sure the second instance of Dropbox runs at start-up, you need to add the Automator app to your list of Login Items in System Preferences. The following images shows you what I mean.

Login items dropbox