Transferring Files with Cloud Services using Rclone


Learn how to transfer files to and from the cloud using the rclone tool. This article uses Dropbox in its examples, but can be used with many other cloud providers as well. More documentation is available at Rclone.

These instructions are for Windows, but work with Mac with minor command alteration.

Download Rclone

Rclone is a free, downloadable, command-line based utility.

Once the file is downloaded, unzip it to a convenient location such as your desktop.

Get your own Dropbox App ID

When you use Rclone with Dropbox in its default configuration you are using Rclone's App ID. This is shared between all the Rclone users.

Here is how to create your own Dropbox App ID for rclone:

  1.     Log into the Dropbox App console with your Dropbox Account
  2.     Choose an API: This should be Dropbox API
  3.     Choose the type of access you want to use: Full Dropbox or App Folder
  4.     Name your App. The app name is global, so you can't use Rclone for example. This choice is not important, it just needs to be unique.
  5.     Click the button Create App
  6.     Fill Redirect URIs as http://localhost:53682/ and click Add
  7.     Find the App key and App secret. Use these values in Rclone config to add a new remote or edit an existing remote.

Configure Rclone

  1. In your terminal or Powershell or cmd, navigate to the folder where you downloaded Rclone.
    1. e.g., cd c:\temp\rclone
  2. Type: rclone.exe config or in PowerShell .\rclone.exe config
  3. Press n to create a new remote connection.
  4. Enter a name for the connection like: dropbox
  5. Find Dropbox in the list and enter the number.
  6. For the <client_id>, enter the App key from the Dropbox website.
  7. For the <client_secret>, enter the App secret from the Dropbox website.
  8. Press Enter twice, then it will open a browser window asking you to authorize this app. (Yes)
  9. Press Enter
  10. Press Q

Transferring files to Dropbox

  1. In your terminal or Powershell or cmd, navigate to the folder where you downloaded rclone.
    1. If you just completed the last step, you're already there.
    2. e.g., cd c:\temp\rclone
  2. Type: rclone.exe copy c:\temp\files\to\upload dropbox:\folder -P --create-empty-src-dirs
    1. In PowerShell, .\rclone.execopy c:\temp\files\to\upload dropbox:\folder -P --create-empty-src-dirs

Limitations and Additional Documentation

There are some additional limitations with Dropbox for instance, restricted filename characters.

For more information, please see Rclone's documentation for Dropbox


Article ID: 111417
Wed 7/8/20 9:49 AM
Tue 12/12/23 10:36 AM

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