DropCopy FAQ

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we get about DropCopy. If you don’t find the answers to your questions below try the DropCopy Tips page for more helpful solutions!

If you still need more help, head on over to the Support Forum or send us an email and we’ll be happy to help.

The files appear to be sending… but I don’t receive any files on any of my devices.

For starters, make sure to download the most recent version of DropCopy: /downloads/DropCopy_latest.zip

The next thing to try is to manually select a ‘save to’ destination in the DropCopy prefs on the receiving machine. The previous default location, Desktop, is possibly being blocked by the new sandbox rules enforced under 10.7.5 and later.

The machines don’t see each other. It says ‘no local destinations.’

This kind of problem is usually related to Bonjour (the auto-discovery technology we use). The problem is that some routers block this networking technology under the pretext of better security. Sometimes you can specifically re-enable Bonjour support (may also be referred to as ‘multicast’) in the router firewall, but if not you may have to go manual and enter each device’s IP number into DropCopy manually.

How do I configure my firewall to work with DropCopy?

Click here for configuration instructions.

The transfer fails with the message “remote host not available”.

If you’ve checked the firewall, then the problem probably has to do with the auto-discovery mechanism (called Bonjour). One way to debug this is to add the Mac that cannot receive files as a manual destination (using its current IP number) on the Mac you are sending from. You can find the current IP number of the target Mac by looking in the Network control panel in System Preferences on that machine, or by using the “troubleshooting” tool in the Help menu of DropCopy. Remember, you want the IP number of the machine that cannot RECEIVE files, and you are going to use that IP number to create a manual destination on the machine that is to SEND the files.

When I try to copy a file it says ‘no local destinations’; how can I add a manual destination?

Make sure both computers (the one you are sending FROM and the one you are sending TO) are on the same network and that DropCopy is launched on both machines. If the machine still does not show up automatically, you may try adding it as a manual destination. To add a manual destination, you need to find the receiving computer’s IP number. On the Mac, this can be done by selecting ‘Troubleshooting’ from the ‘Help’ menu in DropCopy, or by visiting the Network pane of System Preferences. On iOS, the IP number should appear at the top of the screen when you go to the DropCopy ‘Prefs’. Then choose ‘Add New Manual Destination’ from the DropCopy menu (Mac) or ‘Enter a custom destination’ from the destinations menu (iOS).

How do I stop “Do you want the application “DropCopy.app” to accept incoming network connections” from appearing every time I restart my computer?

This is your computer saying that it doesn’t recognize DropCopy’s ‘signature’. Since DropCopy receives data over the network, this makes it suspicious to the operating system. There are a variety of ways that DropCopy may lose its signature, including if you poke around inside the application bundle (e.g., to change the graphics). With Mountain Lion’s ‘sandbox’ feature, changing the pref to have DropCopy run ‘headless’ i.e. without showing up in the dock or app switcher, will invalidate the signature as well.

To accommodate this, we now offer a special “headless” version of DropCopy which has the ‘hide in dock’ preference set already so that it doesn’t need to be changed after the fact. Here’s the direct link:


You might see the “Do you want the application to accept…” message the first two times you restart, and after that it should be quiet.

My Mac doesn’t see the iPad or it sees the the iPad but transfers time out.

Most often this is because DropCopy is not launched or it is launched but the user has moved to a different app using the iPad’s multitasking ability. Unfortunately, Dropcopy cannot currently run in the background on iOS devices (yet). Make sure DropCopy is launched on the iPad and is the foreground app – you need to see its interface in front of you. If you are still having issues, then it’s time to try a variety of different things, starting with trying to send something from the iPad to Mac to see if at least transfers work in that direction.

DropCopy says it is “archiving” – what does this mean?

If you drop multiple files or folders, DropCopy first creates an archive of those files to insure data integrity during the transfer. We have found that this is the most successful way to make sure that the internal structure of folders is maintained, rather than just dumping a bunch of files on your desktop. Rest assured: DropCopy cleans up after itself and removes any temporary files or other cruft after the transfer is complete.

N.B.: “archiving” does not mean that DropCopy is re-compressing video or audio – it is merely putting an archival wrapper around the files as they are.

The machines see each other but DropCopy transfers are unpredictable.

This kind of problem is usually related to Bonjour (the auto-discovery technology we use). Try changing your Local-Link name to one continuous word: e.g., MikesPowerbook instead of Mike’s Powerbook. You can change this in the ‘Sharing’ tab of System Preferences. Where it says ‘Computer Name:’ at the top is where you should change the name to be one continuous word as described above. On iOS, go to ‘Prefs’ within DropCopy and change ‘My Identity’ in the same manner.

If I use DropCopy on two machines as the same user, how can I differentiate between them?

Use the option to display the machine name as well as the user name. This option is found in the normal prefs for the desktop version, and in the Settings app for the mobile version, in the area reserved for other app-specific prefs.

I accidentally removed DropCopy from the menu bar. How do I get it back?

To get access to the preferences in situations where the menu bar is hidden AND the app is hidden from the dock, click once on the drop-zone and hit command+comma (i.e., the apple key + the comma key and the same time.)

How do I use DropCopy if there is no wifi network?

By creating your own wifi network! It is a little-known fact that all Macs can create “ad-hoc” wifi networks. This enables you to transfer files between Mac and iOS devices even if you don’t have a standalone router. Here’s how.

Does DropCopy work long distance? Like from Brooklyn to Vermont?

Yes, but it requires that the destination machine have a “public” IP number, i.e., not be connected to a router that provides it with a “translated” or “private” address. If your destination machine fits that bill, then you still need to know its IP number and add it as a manual destination in DropCopy on the machine that you are sending from. Note: if the IP number starts with 10.0.x.x or 192.168.x.x it is probably NOT a public IP 🙁

I see that DropCopy supports SFTP on the Mac, how do I set this up?

Yes, we added this feature as a convenience for power users but the support is very basic; DropCopy is not designed to be a full-featured SFTP client! In particular, once you have validated a remote SFTP path, you cannot afterwards modify or edit it – you must delete it and recreate it. To get SFTP to work in DropCopy, the syntax must also follow precisely this schema:

If your sftp url is sftp://myserver.com/virtual/myuser

Choose ‘add SFTP destination’ from the tools menu. In the window that appears, put myserver.com in the host field, and /virtual/myuser/ in the remote path field. Hit the ‘validate’ button. If the path is valid you will be prompted for a username and password.

N.B., this feature is not available on the App Store version of DropCopy for reasons related to Apple’s sandbox rules. If you need this feature please download DropCopy directly from us at /downloads/DropCopy_latest.zip

Is there a Windows or Linux version of DropCopy?

Not yet, but if you are technically inclined you can make one yourself by creating an application that implements the DropCopy protocol, which is open. Contact us for more information if you want to have a go.

When someone transfers me a song, how do I get it into iTunes?

The song goes into your incoming files folder just like other documents. There is currently no published way to add outside songs to the iTunes database on your iPod from the iPod itself. You can listen to the song, however, using the ‘quicklook’ feature. Simply click on the quicktime icon next to the song in your incoming files folder.

How do I view files from mobile DropCopy with a different application (e.g., a Pages doc in Pages for the iPhone?

Tap to the right of an item where you see the “more options” icon (rectangle with an arrow) and then select ‘Open Other’.

Files are appearing on my iPhone as archives or folders that I can’t open.

Try changing the pref in DropCopy on the Mac to NOT preserve resource forks by default. Leaving this preference enabled causes DC to first make an archive of the file (to preserve the resource fork) which is then registering as a folder to mobile DropCopy.

How do I delete destinations I no longer want?

Mac: highlight the destination in the list and hit the delete key.
iOS: swipe the row and tap the delete key.

How do I uninstall DropCopy?

Mac: move the application into the trash and empty the trash.
iOS: press and hold the icon from the home page until it jiggles. Then tap the black X that appears above the app.

The dropzone is always obscured by other windows – how can I use DropCopy without moving windows all the time?

Drag your files to the menubar icon at the top of the screen instead of to the desktop drop zone.

I dragged a file to the icon and nothing happened – what’s going on?

You probably dragged to the dock icon or application icon instead of to the drop zone or menubar icon. When you launch DropCopy it puts a small, circular ring in the upper-left corner of your desktop – this is where you drag files to be copied. If the drop zone is obscured by open windows, you may also drag your files to the menubar icon at the top of the screen.

I dragged a file to the drop zone and let go of it and the file didn’t copy.

When you drag onto the drop zone, a list of destinations will pop up. You need to continue dragging the file until it is over the actual destination, even if there is only one destination listed. Simply dropping the file on the drop zone will not initiate a file transfer.

I would like to delete the prefs and start over. Where can I find the DropCopy preferences file?

With version 1.92 and later, simply hold down the command and option keys when launching the app.

For earlier versions you must manually delete the prefs file, found at (your user directory)/Library/Preferences. Then search for anything with the word DropCopy in it (depending on which version you have, it will be called DropCopy.plist or com.10baseT.DropCopyMac.plist or com.10baseT.DropCopyProMac.plist)

N.B.: from Lion onward, Apple has made it harder to access your user’s Library folder (it’s hidden by default). If you are not sure how to find it, please have at look at these exhaustive instructions from Macworld: http://www.macworld.com/article/1161156/view_library_folder_in_lion.html

N.B.B.: with the new sandbox rules on Mountain Lion, the prefs now live within the sandbox. Actually this is not so bad; the new path to the sandboxed prefs is simply: ~/Library/Containers/

Once you navigate to this directory, simply look for any folder that references DropCopy and delete that folder.

The file seems to copy fine but it lost its custom icon and/or the file doesn’t open correctly.

Some forms of custom icons that are stored in the ‘resource fork’ of a file are not transferred by default. If you need this data for specific file types, simply hold down the option key when dragging the file to the drop zone. DropCopy will then encapsulate this data into an archive and send that along with the file.

How do I get the dropzone to show up on all the desktops?

OS X versions 10.7 and later work differently with regard to multiple desktops than under Leopard or Tiger, and you have to specifically tell the system to put DropCopy on all of them. Here’s how (from MacRumors):

Right-click (control-click, two-finger-click) on an application icon in the Dock.
In the Options menu that appears, you’ll see three choices related to Spaces:

– Assign To All Desktops
– This Desktop
– None

Originally from: macrumors