Sharing with Dropbox

You can share anything you store in Dropbox—and decide whether you want people to be able to edit your stuff, or just view it.

Get more done every day with easy, secure sharing. Rather than send files back and forth as email attachments, share work instantly from your Dropbox account. Any file changes you make automatically update in real time for everyone you’ve given access to the file. Use Dropbox to simplify your workflow, from collaborating with colleagues to sharing that favorite vacation photo.

In this chapter, we’ll show you how to share content and request specific files from anyone, even if they don’t have a Dropbox account.

Share view-only

If you need someone to be able to see your files, but not edit them, you can use Dropbox to share in two ways. You can invite people directly from a file, folder, or Dropbox Space, or create a unique link to send via email or your favorite messaging app.

When you invite someone directly with view-only permissions, the recipient will receive an email with a link to your content. They will have access to the file, folder, or Space in their own Dropbox account, but they can’t edit the content. For added security, you can change permissions or make the item private again.

When you share with a view-only link, recipients can see a preview of the file, folder, or Space on dropbox.com, and can view or download the content. They don’t need to have a Dropbox account to view and download, but they’ll need an account to see the overview and use the features of a Dropbox Space.

Dropbox Mobile App Sharing Links

How to share a file, folder, or Dropbox Space with view-only permissions

The desktop app

To share with an email invitation:
1. Select the item you’d like to share.
2. Click Share on the right side of the desktop app window
3. Click Invite via email.
4. After To, type the email or name of the person (or people) you’d like to share with.
5. Select Can view from the dropdown menu on the right.
6. Click Share. Recipients will then receive an email with a link to the file or folder.

To share with a link:
1. Select the item you’d like to share.
2. Click Share on the right side of the desktop app window
3. Click Copy link.
4. The link will be copied to your clipboard. You can then paste it to an email, chat, or any other communication channel.

dropbox.com

To share with an email invitation:
1. Sign in to dropbox.com.
2. Click All files in the left sidebar.
3. Hover over the item you’d like to share.
4. Click Share.
5. After To, type the email or name of the person (or people) you’d like to share with.
6. Select Can view from the dropdown menu on the right.
7. Click Share. Recipients will then receive an email with a link to the content you shared.

To share with a link:
1. Sign in to dropbox.com.
2. Click All files in the left sidebar.
3. Hover over the item you’d like to share.
4. Click Share. (If a link hasn't been created, click Create a link)
5. Click Link settings to customize who has access or disable downloads.
6. Click Copy link.
7. The link will be copied to your clipboard. You can then paste it into an email, chat, or any other communication channel.

The Dropbox folder on your computer

1. Right-click (or control-click) the file and click Copy Dropbox Link.
2. The link will be copied to your clipboard. You can then paste it to an email, chat, or any other communication channel.

The mobile app

1. Navigate to the file, folder, or Space you want to share.
2. Tap “” (ellipsis).
3. Tap Share.
4. Tap Create a link.
5. If a link was already created for this content, tap Share next to Anyone with the link can view.
6. Select the way you'd like to share the link from the options.

A Dropbox link never “breaks,” even if you rename or move files, folders, or Spaces in your Dropbox account. If the recipient of a shared link downloads the content to their local computer and then make changes, it won’t be updated on your Dropbox account.

You can set a password or expiration date, and disable downloads for a shared link at any time.

Sharing with edit permissions

If you want others to be able to edit the content you share with them, you can invite them directly from a file, folder, or Dropbox Space.

  • Select Can edit when sharing the item.
  • Recipients must be signed into a Dropbox account to access and edit your content.
  • When folders and Spaces are shared, the recipients become its members.
  • Changes to the contents inside a shared folder or Space are synced with its members.
  • Share with a group of people at once.

Learn more about Dropbox shared folders and Spaces.

How to: share with a direct invitation

Share from the desktop app

1. Select the item you’d like to share.
2. Click Share on the right side of the desktop app window
3. Click Invite via email.
4. After To, type the email or name of the person (or people) you’d like to share with.
5. Select Can edit from the dropdown menu on the right.
6. Click Share. Recipients will then receive an email with a link to the file or folder.

Share on dropbox.com

1. Sign in to dropbox.com.
2. Click All Files in the left column.
3. Hover over the item you’d like to share.
4. Click Share.
5. After To, type the email or name of the person (or people) you’d like to share with.
6. Select Can edit from the dropdown menu on the right.
7. Click Share. Recipients will then receive an email with a link to the content you shared.

File requests

Use file requests to collect and receive files (up to 20 GB) from anyone, right in your Dropbox account. When someone clicks your file request link, all they have to do is choose files from their computer, enter their name and email, and click Upload. That’s it—there’s no need to sign in, so anyone can add files, even if they don’t have a Dropbox account. It’s an easy way to get files—like vacation photos, student assignments, or proposals from vendors—without having to walk people through the process.

All the files you collect are automatically organized into a single Dropbox folder or Space. Only you can view files uploaded by others, although, you could then decide to share all or some of the files in this folder.

How to: create a file request

 

1. Sign in to dropbox.com.
3. Click File requests.
4. Click Create a new file request
.5. Under What are you requesting?, enter a name for the folder that will store all collected files.
6. Under Where should these files go in your Dropbox?, you’ll see the path to the new folder. If you’d like to change the folder’s location, click Change folder. You can also click Add a deadline to set a deadline for the file request. Or select Allow late uploads and choose a timeframe.
7. Click Next.
8. Copy the file-request link or send invitations directly from your Dropbox account.
- Click Copy link to copy the file-request link and send it to anyone you’d like to collect files from.
- Or, enter the email addresses of the people you’d like to request files from, and send directly from your Dropbox account. Click Done to send the email invitations and return to the File requests screen.

You’ll receive an email whenever people upload files to your file request.

Dropbox Transfer

Dropbox Transfer lets you easily send large files for final delivery, even if recipients don’t have a Dropbox account. In addition to sending individual files, you can include multiple files and folders in a single transfer, customize transfers with an expiration date, password, or logo, and monitor download activity for any transfer you create.

Dropbox Transfer provides a simple way to securely deliver proposals, contracts, and finished work. 

Get started with Dropbox Transfer

How to: Dropbox Transfer

Create a transfer

1. Sign in to dropbox.com.
2. Click Transfer in the left sidebar.
3. Click Create transfer.
4. Choose files or folders from your computer or Dropbox account.
5. Click the gear icon to customize your expiration date or add a password.
6. Click Next.
7. Click Copy link or Send via email.

Note: The options to add passwords and extend expiration dates are only available on Dropbox Professional, Business Advanced, Enterprise, and Education plans.

Customize a transfer

1. Sign in to dropbox.com.
2. Click Transfer in the left  sidebar.
3. Click Customize design.
4. Click the dropdown menu next to Choose background or Choose logo to add a background color, background image, or logo.
5. Click Save.

Note: The option to customize a transfer is only available on Dropbox Professional, Business Advanced, Enterprise, and Education plans.

Change the expiration date after a transfer has been sent

1. Sign in to dropbox.com.
2. Click Transfer in the left sidebar.
3. Click the transfer you want to change.
4. Under Settings, click the arrow below Expiration and choose an expiration date.
5. Click Save.

Note: Transfers automatically expire after 7 days. The option to extend the expiration date is only available on Dropbox Professional, Business Advanced, Enterprise, and Education plans.

See how many times a transfer was viewed or downloaded

1. Sign in to dropbox.com.
2. Click Transfer in the left sidebar.
3. See Views and Downloads next to each transfer.

Comment & collaborate

Collaborate with ease knowing important feedback isn’t buried in your inbox. Instead of sending comments back and forth over email, make suggestions right in the file you’re working on. Share feedback on text, images, and videos, or tag someone to let them know you’ve left comments. Depending on your permissions, you may even be able to edit text right inside the document.

How to: comment & collaborate

Anyone who has access to a Dropbox file can leave a comment and view other comments, unless the file owner or admin has turned off this feature.

Note: When you leave a comment, the file owner and anyone who has subscribed to the file, commented on the comment thread, or been @mentioned in the comment thread will be notified.

Learn more about how to edit or delete a comment, hide the comment pane, and change notification preferences.

On dropbox.com

1. Open the file you want to comment on.
2. To comment on the entire page or image, click or tap the text box that says Write a comment.
- You can type your comment, @ mention someone, or even add an emoji.
3. Click Post.

You can also comment on a specific part of a file, as long as you’re on dropbox.com and working with a supported file type.

From the desktop app

1. Navigate to the file you want to comment on.
2. Click in the text box on the right side of the screen that says Write a comment
- You can type your comment, @ mention someone, or even add an emoji.
3. Click Post.

Up next: Dropbox security

Now that we have seen how to share and collaborate with Dropbox, we will cover how to adjust settings, easily monitor linked devices, active web sessions, and third-party apps with access to your account, set up strong passwords and 2FA, and restore and recover files.