Dropbox Paper: admin settings for Dropbox Business teams

Dropbox Business team admins can control Dropbox Paper privacy and sharing settings for their team.

Note: If your team is using the 2020 release of Dropbox Paper, follow the instructions in the first box below. If your team is using the old release of Paper, follow the instructions in the second box below.

To find out which release your team is using:

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com with your admin credentials.
  2. Click Create new file.
  • If you don’t see Dropbox Paper in the dropdown menu, then you’re using the old release of Paper.
  • If you do see Dropbox Paper in the dropdown menu, then you’re using the new 2020 release of Dropbox Paper.

The 2020 release will be rolling out to all Dropbox customers over the coming months. Look for an email from Dropbox that lets you know when you’ll be getting the release.

Learn more in the 2020 release of Paper FAQs for team admins.

Admins on the 2020 release of Dropbox Paper

This box is for Dropbox Business team admins whose teams are on the 2020 release of Dropbox Paper. Follow the instructions at the top of this article to find out what release you’re using.

On the 2020 release of Paper, Paper docs act like regular Dropbox files so the admin settings for Paper docs are the same as for regular Dropbox files. Here’s how to manage the sharing and privacy controls for regular Dropbox files, that now apply to your Paper docs as well:

Some admin controls for Paper haven’t changed with the 2020 release, including:

2020 release: Turn off the ability to create and edit Paper docs

You can’t disable Paper docs entirely for your team on the 2020 release, like you could on the old release, but you can turn off the ability for team members to create and edit Paper docs. However, they’ll still be able to open and view existing Paper docs.

To turn off your team’s ability to create and edit Paper docs:

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com with your admin credentials.
  2. Click Admin console.
  3. Click Settings
  4. Click File editing apps.
  5. Next to Dropbox Paper, choose Create and edit or View only.

Additional resources

Learn more about the 2020 release of Dropbox Paper:

Admins on the old release of Dropbox Paper

This box is for Dropbox Business team admins on the old release of Dropbox Paper. Follow the instructions at the top of this article to find out which release you’re using.

Enable or disable Paper

To enable or disable Dropbox Paper for your team:

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com with your admin account.
  2. Open the Admin Console.
  3. Open the Settings tab.
  4. Choose Paper under Additional settings.
  5. Toggle Enable Paper on or off.
  6. Agree to the Dropbox terms before turning on Paper.
  7. Click Apply changes.

Note: Paper is enabled by default for all Standard and Advanced Dropbox Business teams created after August 7, 2017. 

Export all Paper docs

When you disable Paper, you can export your Paper docs to Word or Markdown files. To export your docs:

  1. After you disable Paper, click Export # docs
  2. Choose a file format and click Download.
  3. Once the export is complete, you'll receive an email with your Paper docs in your chosen format. In this email, click Download docs.

All active docs owned by team members are exported. Deleted docs aren't exported.

Team-only sharing

Admins of a Dropbox Business team can choose who team members can share Paper docs with. Admins can choose to enable sharing outside the team or to within the Dropbox team only. To restrict sharing to within your team:

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com with your admin account.
  2. Open the Admin Console.
  3. Open the Settings tab.
  4. Choose Paper under Additional settings.
  5. Toggle Sharing Paper docs externally on or off.
  6. Click Apply changes.

This setting is not retroactive and only applies to docs shared once the setting is changed. You can see docs that have been shared with people outside of your team in the activity report.

Note: Changing this setting to Off also prevents team members from creating docs in external folders shared with them.

Default Paper doc privacy

Admins can choose the default privacy setting for links to Paper docs. To toggle default Paper doc privacy:

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com with your admin account.
  2. Open the Admin console.
  3. Open the Settings tab.
  4. Choose Paper under Additional settings.
  5. Next to Default sharing settings, choose from Anyone with link, Members with link, or Disable external sharing.
    • Anyone with link allows anyone with the link—whether they are a team member or not—to open the doc
    • Members with link allows only team members with the link to open the doc. Non-team members will not be able to open the doc even if they have the link
    • Disable external sharing prevents team members from sharing docs with non-team members

Permanent deletion controls

By default the creator can permanently delete a doc or folder after it is archived.

Team admins of a Dropbox Business team can limit permanent deletions of Paper docs to team admins only. To prevent permanent deletions, team admins can turn the team deletion setting to Off.

Note: If Deletions are set to Off, team admins can permanently delete files by signing in as a user. Learn how to sign in as a user in the section below.

Note: The setting applies to Dropbox files and Paper docs.

Sign in as user

Team admins of a Dropbox Business team can sign in as a team member. When using sign-in as, admins can:

  • View Paper docs and folders
  • Share docs and folders with other users
  • Move Paper docs and folders
  • Restore archived Paper docs
  • Archive and permanently delete Paper docs

Admins can’t create, edit, or comment on docs.

To sign in as a team member and access their Paper account:

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com with your admin account.
  2. Open the Admin Console.
  3. Open the Members page.
  4. Click the gear icon beside the name of the team member you would like to sign in as.
  5. Click Sign in as user.
  6. Click Sign in to confirm that you would like to sign in as the selected user.
  7. Click the Paper tab.
  8. When you’re done, click Sign out.

Note: All actions performed by the admin are recorded in the activity log.

View team activity on Paper docs

The Activity page shows a summary of the most recent activity on a team. Admins can select a type of Paper activity on the Activity page or download a full activity report.

Paper events are recorded for:

  • Doc creation and editing
  • Doc commenting and resolution of comments
  • Doc sharing with team members and non-team members
  • Doc archiving and permanent deletion of docs
  • Doc access requests from team members and non-team members
  • Doc viewed by team members and non-team members
  • Changes to sharing policy

Learn how to view your team’s activity.

Limitations on Paper security for Dropbox Business teams

Some security options for Dropbox Business teams don’t yet include Dropbox Paper. Read on to learn which options are not available for teams using Dropbox Paper.

Standards and regulations unavailable for Dropbox Paper

Dropbox Paper isn’t included in the scope of these standards and regulations:

  • Germany BSI C5

Learn more about Dropbox compliance with these standards.

Device approvals isn’t included for the Paper mobile app

Device approvals is a security and access feature for Dropbox Business teams on the Advanced and Enterprise plans. With device approvals, admins can manage the devices that team members use to access their Dropbox Business accounts. The Dropbox Paper mobile app is not included in device approvals.

Enterprise mobility management isn’t included for the Paper mobile app

Enterprise mobility management (EMM) helps Dropbox Business teams on the Enterprise plan manage mobile device usage on company apps, networks, and devices. The Dropbox Paper mobile app is not manageable by EMM.

Network control isn’t included for Paper

Network control is a security and access feature available to Dropbox Business teams on the Enterprise plan. With this feature, IT admins can manage which Dropbox accounts can be used on their corporate network. Dropbox Paper is not currently managed through network control.

Remotely unlink team member accounts from the Paper mobile app

Team admins can remotely unlink team members’ devices from their Paper team member accounts so they can’t access team files anymore.

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com with your admin account.
  2. Click Admin Console.
  3. Click Members.
  4. Click the name of the member whose device you want to unlink.
  5. Under Paper mobile devices, click to unlink all the mobile devices from Paper.
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