How to use Dropbox

Dropbox is a home for all your work. You can store and share files, collaborate on projects, and bring your best ideas to life—whether you’re working alone or with colleagues and clients.

With Dropbox, all your files are backed up to the cloud and available online. You can save, access, and share your important stuff from anywhere, at any time, on any device.

Let’s get started setting up Dropbox.

Access your account

There are 3 ways to access your new account: the Dropbox desktop experience, dropbox.com, and the Dropbox mobile app. To get the most from Dropbox, install the apps on your computer, tablet, and phone.

View your files and activity in one place with the desktop app and on dropbox.com. You can manage account preferences, add and share your stuff, get shared updates, and access Dropbox features like Paper and Dropbox Spaces.

Learn more

Keep an eye out for extra info on specific features. Just click wherever you see Learn More and you’ll find more details, step-by-step instructions, and help center resources, right on the same page.

How to: Get started in your account

1. Open a web browser.
2. Type in https://www.dropbox.com.
3. Select one of the following sign-in options:
- Click Sign in, and enter your email address and password
- Click Sign in with Google.

How to sign into your Dropbox account using Google Sign-in
I'm having trouble signing in to my Dropbox account

Note: You can link your personal and work accounts on your computer or mobile device and still keep each account independent. This allows you to separate personal and work stuff, but easily switch between accounts without having to sign in and out every time. Keep those cat photos in your personal account for easy viewing, even at work.

1. Create an account on dropbox.com.
2. Type your name and email address (your email address is the username for your Dropbox account).
3. Enter a strong, unique password.
4. Click the box to agree to the Dropbox terms.
5. Click Create an account.

What’s the email address on my Dropbox account?
Troubleshoot why Dropbox might say an email address is already in use.
Change or reset a Dropbox password.

Your Dropbox storage quota is calculated by adding up the total amount of data stored in your Dropbox account. This includes all shared folders and Dropbox Spaces that you are a member of and files collected from file requests. If someone invites you to a shared file, folder, or Space with a link, it does not take up space in your account (unless you save it to your Dropbox account). Learn more about how shared content counts towards storage space.

What’s my current Dropbox plan?  
Learn how to earn free storage space.
Upgrade to Dropbox Plus or Professional.
Find out how to cancel a free Dropbox trial or subscription.
Is there a limit to the number of devices I can link to my account?
Find answers to all your questions about payments and billing.

The Dropbox mobile app

The Dropbox mobile app makes it easy to access files from any phone or tablet you link to your account. See comments, scan receipts and other documents using your phone’s camera, or even make files available for offline access.

If you already have the Dropbox app on your phone or tablet, simply sign in with your email and password, or using SSO with your Google or Apple account. If you don't have the app yet on your other devices, download it from dropbox.com/mobile, or your preferred app store.

How to: mobile app

1. Open the Dropbox app.
2. Open the folder where you’d like to store your files.
3. Tap the + (plus) icon.
4. Tap Create or Upload File.
5. Tap Upload File.
6. Tap Browse and find the file you’d like to upload.
7. Select the location where you’d like to save the file in your Dropbox account.
8. Tap Upload.

1. Open the Dropbox app.
2. Open the folder where you’d like to store your files.
3. Tap the + (plus) icon.
4. Tap Upload files.
5. Find the files you want to upload, and tap to select them for upload.
6. Tap Upload.

Find instructions for your specific device (Android, iPad, iPhone, Windows Mobile and Windows Tablet).

How to upload other types of files or files from your device’s storage and external SD card.

Dropbox Plus and Professional users can turn on camera uploads to automatically save photos and videos from a mobile device to Dropbox.

Save screenshots to your Dropbox account.

Save, organize, and share your work with the Dropbox doc scanner. With the doc scanner you can easily upload and organize scans from whiteboards, receipts, sketches, and more, right from the Dropbox mobile app.

The Dropbox desktop experience

The Dropbox desktop experience provides one organized place that brings work into focus and keeps you in sync—right from your desktop.

With features like overviews, descriptions, to-dos, comments, pins, and sharing tools, the desktop app lets you turn any folder into a connected workspace with Dropbox Spaces. Spaces help you track your work and collaborate even better.

With Dropbox, your desktop is also a place to organize your files, folders, and Spaces, create cloud content, share and collaborate with others, and see your file activity and notifications.

How to: desktop app

Follow these simple steps to download and install Dropbox on your computer.

1. Download the desktop app on your computer.
2. Once installed, you’ll be prompted to sign in with your Dropbox Business account credentials. You should use the same email address and password that you use on dropbox.com (this will be the same for all your devices).
3. Once Dropbox is installed on your computer, you’ll see the desktop app as well as a Dropbox icon in the system tray (Windows) or menu bar (Mac) and a Dropbox folder on your hard drive.

The Dropbox desktop app is available for Linux, macOS, and Windows operating systems.

Visit this article if you are running Windows 10 in S mode.
Find more information on Dropbox compatibility with your operating system.
How to change desktop app preferences on your computer.
What to do if Dropbox won't install.

You can add nearly any kind of file to your Dropbox account in several ways. From the desktop app:

1. Drag and drop the file into the desktop app or the Dropbox folder on your hard drive.
2. Select the Dropbox folder when using the Save As option in most applications.

Note: If you add lots of files at once, it may take a while for the initial upload to complete.

The Dropbox icon in the system tray (Windows) or menu bar (Mac) gives you quick access to recent files, notifications, and app preferences. Simply click the icon to see updates or change settings.

1. The For you tab shows a personalized list of your file, folders, and Dropbox Spaces including Your highlights, your Starred files and folders, and your calendar events and meetings.
2. The Recent tab shows files that were recently opened and/or edited. 
3. The Notifications tab shows recent activity on your Dropbox files and files that have been shared with you. Notifications are also available as pop-ups on your desktop.
4. From the Dropbox icon, you can also:
- Search for content in your Dropbox account
- Create a web-based file in Dropbox Paper, Microsoft Office, or G Suite
- Open Dropbox Paper on your computer
- Open dropbox.com in your web browser
- Open the desktop app or Dropbox folder on your computer, depending on your settings
- Review and update your app settings and preferences

 

When you install the desktop app, a Dropbox folder is created on your hard drive. It works like any other folder on your file system, but any files you move or create here will be uploaded to the Dropbox cloud. 

To use the Dropbox folder in Finder or File Explorer instead of the desktop app:
1. Click the Dropbox icon in your system tray or menu bar
2. Click your profile picture or initials in the upper right corner.
3. Click Preferences….
4. Click the dropdown next to Open folders in: and choose Finder or File Explorer.

dropbox.com

You can manage your account preferences and view your files and activity in one place on dropbox.com. You can also add and share your stuff and access features like Paper and Showcase.

How to: dropbox.com

Once you’ve signed in at dropbox.com, adding files to your account is as easy as dragging and dropping from your computer’s file system. Or, just follow these steps to upload a file or folder from your computer:

1. Sign in at www.dropbox.com.
2. Navigate to the folder where you’d like to save your file or folder.
3. Click Upload files or Upload folder.
4. Navigate to the correct file or folder in your computer’s file system.
5. Click Open.

You can view and update your profile and account settings from any device at dropbox.com.

1. Sign in at www.dropbox.com
2. Click your avatar or profile picture at the top-right corner of the page.
3. Click Settings.
- The General tab is where you can can view and change your user information and email address, and set preferences for language, date, and time. 
- The Plan tab shows you the type of Dropbox account you’re using, its status, and the amount of storage space you have available.
- The Security tab gives you options to run a security checkup on your account, change your password, and set up two-step verification. You can also see and manage the devices that are associated with your account.
- The Notifications tab lets you customize the email notifications you receive. You can choose whether or not you’re notified about things like file activity, devices and browsers, changes to Dropbox Paper docs, and news or tips from Dropbox.
- The Connected apps tab shows you which apps you have integrated with Dropbox and which apps are used to open files and have access to your Dropbox files. You can also see contacts imported from your mobile devices and set defaults for opening Paper docs on your computer. 

Up next: Sync

With Dropbox, you can access the latest versions of your files on any computer, phone, or tablet you’ve connected to your account. This is thanks to a core feature called sync.