How does Dropbox recognize Android phones

Samsung phones crammed with Dropbox data

My Samsung smartphone is filling itself with data: I can find a complete copy of my Dropbox data in the DocumentSync directory. If I delete files there, they also disappear from my Dropbox. How do I turn this off? I can't find anything about this in the Dropbox settings.

If you activate the document synchronization in “Cloud” (below), Samsung devices load the entire content of the Dropbox onto the device.

This is an extension of the Dropbox app that can only be found on Samsung smartphones and therefore cannot be switched off in the normal Dropbox account settings.

The menu item Cloud can be found in different places depending on the Samsung device and Android version, mostly near Backup and Reset.

Go to the settings and look for the point Cloud; on some Samsung it can be found under the Accounts tab at the bottom, on others under General. There you will find documents as the last point. Tap it and switch off document synchronization in the title bar at the top. Then delete the DocumentSync directory with a file manager (for example Samsung's "My Documents") - the Samsung service only deletes the data when it is switched off, but leaves the entire empty directory tree behind.

This synchronization is switched off by default, but you can activate it accidentally, as the description does not indicate that switching it on will download the entire Dropbox content. We are not aware of any way of restricting this to a specific subdirectory of the Dropbox or of relocating the DocumentSync directory from the internal device memory to the SD card. (yow)