Edit shared Microsoft Office documents in Dropbox

You can now co-author Office Online documents with others.

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com.
  2. Preview a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file that's saved in a shared folder.
  3. Click the arrow next to the Open button.
  4. Select Microsoft [Excel/PowerPoint/Word] Online.
  5. Ask the colleague(s) you'd like to collaborate with to follow the same steps.
  6. The file will open in your web browser in Office Online; you can then edit it.
  7. When you're done editing, click Save and return to Dropbox.


  • At the top of the page you can see your name, and the names of other people who have the same file open.
  • Changes you make will be saved automatically to your Dropbox.
  • The co-authoring feature will only work if the person you'd like to collaborate with is a member of the shared folder in which the Office document is stored.

Not using Dropbox yet? See how Dropbox helps you effortlessly share files and folders.

Can I co-author documents on desktop or mobile?

No, co-authoring does not work on Office documents accessed from your desktop, or from Office mobile. To co-author an Office Online file, two things must be true:

  • The Office file must have been accessed from dropbox.com
  • The file must be saved in a shared folder

Additionally, all others must access the Office files from dropbox.com as well. The co-authoring feature will not work if one user is accessing from dropbox.com, while the other is accessing from desktop or mobile.

People who access the Office file through a shared folder must visit dropbox.com and follow the steps outlined earlier in this article.

Who can use the co-authoring feature?

  • Dropbox Basic and Pro: You need a Microsoft account to co-author their files online, but will not need an Office 365 license.
  • Dropbox Business: You need an enterprise Microsoft account, and a license that allows editing in Office Online.

What file types will co-authoring work with?

  • .xlsx
  • .docx
  • .pptx

How do I create new Office Online files from Dropbox?

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com.
  2. Click My files.
  3. Click Create a new file.
  4. Select Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint.
  5. Sign in to Office Online and create a new file. 

Important notes on creating Office Online files from Dropbox:

  • When you click Create a new file and select a file type, you'll be redirected to Office Online
  • When you create a new file through Office Online, a link to this file is automatically saved to Dropbox for easy access
  • You must have an Office Online subscription to use this feature
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