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 as part of a team.

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. We’ll dive into how sync works in a minute.

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.

Take a minute to sign in to your Dropbox account and get started.

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. 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. Tap the + (plus) icon.

  3. Tap Upload photos.

  4. Find the files you want to upload, and tap to select them for upload.
    - A check mark indicates the file has been selected

  5. Tap Next to enter the Save Settings screen. Choose which folder or Dropbox Space your photos will upload to, or rename all photos at once:
    - To rename all photos at once, tap Rename All and enter the new name for your photos. Photos are then automatically numbered in the order in which they were added. You can tap and hold the three horizontal lines to the right of an image to reorder it.
    - Tap Confirm to return to the Save Settings screen.

  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.

  1. Open the Dropbox app.

  2. Open the Dropbox folder or Space where you'd like to store your photos.

  3. Tap the + (plus) icon.

  4. Choose Upload photos or videos.

  5. Find the files you want to upload, and tap to select them for upload.
    - A check mark indicates the file has been selected
    - If you didn’t already select a folder or Space, tap the folder icon, select where you'd like the files to be added, and tap Set location.

  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 keep 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 helps you track your work and collaborate even better.

Organize your content

The Dropbox desktop app is also where you can organize your files, folders, and Spaces, create content, share and collaborate with others, and see your file activity and notifications. 

You’ll also see the Dropbox icon in your computer’s system tray (Windows) or menu bar (Mac). There you can see notifications, recent activity, and content suggestions, and get quick access to all your files.

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. Sign in to your personal account if you plan to connect it to your Dropbox Business account.
  4. 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.

  • On your computer, you can drag and drop files into the desktop app or the Dropbox folder on your hard drive.
    • You can also use the Save As… menu option in most applications to save files directly to your Dropbox account.
  • On dropbox.com, add files with the Upload button or by dragging and dropping.
  • On a phone or tablet, open the Dropbox app and click the + (plus) icon to upload files.

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

Adding an overview to any folder in your Dropbox account turns it into a Dropbox Space. This overview makes it easy to organize your content and stay on top of things like activity, comments, and to-dos.

To add an overview to a folder and create a Space:

  1. Open the Dropbox desktop app.
  2. Locate the folder that you want to turn into a Space.
  3. Open the folder.
  4. Click in the area beneath the folder’s name and type a description.

When you install the desktop app, a Dropbox folder is created on your hard drive. Any files you move or create here will be uploaded to the Dropbox cloud. 

To use Dropbox in Finder or File Explorer as your default setting:

  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.

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.

 

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