Smart Sync

With Dropbox, you can easily free up hard drive space by moving files and folders off your computer and into the cloud. With Dropbox Smart Sync, you can still see and access those files, folders, and Dropbox Spaces right from the desktop app or the Dropbox folder in Finder (Mac) or Explorer (Windows). Simply click the item when you need it and it will download to your hard drive—but only when you need it.

As an admin, you can choose whether new files automatically download to your team’s computers, or if they start as online-only. With Smart Sync, you can spend less time managing your team’s storage space and more time doing work that matters.

How to: Smart Sync

  1. Click the Dropbox icon from the system tray (Windows) or menu bar (Mac).

  2. Click the folder icon.

  3. Locate the content that you want to make online-only or local.

  4. Control-click or right-click the item.

  5. Choose Smart sync.

  6. Choose Online-only or Local.

Learn how to choose a default setting for new content with Smart Sync.

How do the system extension and driver work?

You can open a file as usual through its native application, Finder (Mac), or Windows Explorer. The file is instantly downloaded to your computer, and will continue to be synced to your Dropbox account (and use space on your hard drive).

  1. Sign in to with your admin account
  2. Click Admin Console.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Click Smart Sync.
  5. Select a default for Smart Sync:
    • Synced locally
    • Online-only

Note: You don’t need to set a default for team members to use Smart Sync. While the admin setting is the initial default, team members can change their device settings to a different default.

Selective sync

Selective sync is another Dropbox feature that allows you to choose which files to remove from your hard drive. You’ll still be able to access them on, but they won’t appear on your computer. Selective sync helps you free up hard drive space without deleting anything from your Dropbox account.

Learn how to set up team selective sync, a feature that allows admins to create a default sync setting for team folders.

Sharing with Dropbox

Admins set up and manage automatic sharing with team folders. You can also customize team-wide rules for all shared folders and Dropbox Spaces (created by your team). In the admin console, you have the option to prohibit users from sharing with, or joining folders and Spaces from, people outside your team.

Dropbox Paper

Create, share, and keep your team on the same page with the added benefit of admin controls in Dropbox Paper. Manage team-wide settings for Paper such as:

Learn more about Dropbox Paper in the Team User Guide.


Dropbox Paper and compliance with business standards and regulations.

Business application integrations

Working with our partners, we're powering a new era of collaboration. The robust Dropbox API is used by hundreds of third parties to develop applications that work seamlessly with Dropbox. From Google, Microsoft, and Adobe to Zoom, Slack, and Salesforce (among others), there’s likely a Dropbox integration to help your team stay in flow and avoid switching between tools. Connect third-party apps to your team’s business Dropbox accounts.

Dropbox supports a network of API endpoints to expedite your administrative workflow and help your apps integrate with Dropbox. Review APIs and build your apps.

Up next: Dropbox security

Now that we have seen how to share and collaborate with Dropbox, we will cover security settings and features like user authentication, storage locations and limits, default sharing settings, and adding or removing team members.


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