Dropbox Announces End of Windows XP Support

Plucky Windows XP managed to hang on to a substantial market share for years after it was supposed to be obsolete. But now that market share has eroded to about seven to eight percent and support for XP is being gradually dropped by company after company.

Dropbox announced today on the official Help Center website that it plans to end support for Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system in the coming months. Extended support for the Windows XP ended more than two years ago on April 8, 2014 which means that feature, fix or security updates are no longer released for devices running the system (There is a way to still get updates for XP, but it requires Registry changes).

Some companies — Google or Dropbox for instance — made the decision back then to continue supporting the XP operating system thanks to its large user base.

While XP is still listed with a sizable share of the market, around 10% currently as of April 2016, companies that supported XP previously have started to drop support. Google Chrome dropped support for XP recently for instance.

Dropbox end of Windows XP support

dropbox xp support end

Dropbox announced that it will drop support for Windows XP in two phases:

  1. June 26, 2016: the Dropbox desktop program for Windows XP will no longer be offered for download. Additionally, Dropbox will block the signing in to an existing account or the creation of a new account on Windows XP.
  2. August 29, 2016: Dropbox’s desktop program will no longer support Windows XP. Users will be signed out automatically of any Dropbox account linked to a Windows XP computer.

Dropbox suggests that XP users update their operating system to Windows Vista or newer to continue using the file synchronization service.

The wording of the support article is somewhat confusing as some passages don’t mention the desktop client explicitly when it comes to force sign outs or inability to sign in.

Dropbox ends support for its desktop client on systems running Windows XP. This means that XP users won’t be able to download the client or sign in to the client anew starting June 26, and that already signed in users will be logged out of the Dropbox desktop program automatically starting August 29, 2016.

XP users can still access all their files directly on the Dropbox website. While that may not be as comfortable as using an offline client, it at least gives them options to access files on XP systems.

There is also the change that third-party sync clients, odrive for instance, will continue to work on Windows XP machines. This is probably the best option for XP users if that is indeed the case as it ensures file sync support on XP systems even after Dropbox discontinues official support for the operating system.

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