Sharing with Dropbox

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 with everyone who shares the file. Use Dropbox to simplify your workflow, from collaborating with colleagues to sharing with clients.

In this chapter, we’ll show you how to share files with anyone, invite a group to a shared folder or Dropbox Space, and request feedback in Dropbox or Dropbox Paper.

View-only permissions

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

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.

View-only: Direct share

How to share a file, folder, or Space via a direct invitation in Dropbox

To share with an email invitation:

  1. Select the item you’d like to share.
  2. Click (ellipsis).
  3. Click Share.
  4. After To, type the email or name of the person (or people) you’d like to share with.
  5. If you’re sharing a folder or Space, you can control how people interact with the files inside. To do so, select Can edit or 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 Slack or Zoom:

  1. Select the file you’d like to share.
  2. Click (ellipsis).
  3. Click Share in.
  4. Click Slack or Zoom.
  5. Choose the person, channel, or meeting you’d like to share with.
  1. Sign in to

  2. Click My 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. If you’re sharing a folder or Space, you can control how people interact with the files inside. To do so, select Can edit or 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.

  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.
  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.

Direct share a folder or Dropbox Space

If you want the people you share with to be able to edit your content, you can use Dropbox to directly share a folder or Space with them.

  • Select Can edit when sharing

  • 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

  • You can share with a group of people at once

Learn more about shared folders and Dropbox Spaces.

How to: create a group

Team members can create user-managed groups if their admin allows it:

  1. Sign in to with your Dropbox Business credentials.

  2. Click your team name at the bottom left of the page.

  3. Click the button by your team name: Groups and members.

  4. Click Create group.

  5. Enter a name for your group.

    - This is the name all team members will see. As the group manager, you can change the group's name at any time.

  6. Click Create group.

Learn more about how to add and remove members from a group.

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 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, unless you decide to share them.

How to: create a file request

  1. Sign in to

  2. Click Files.

  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 Paper

Share ideas with Dropbox Paper, a feature that comes with every Dropbox account. Paper is more than a doc—it’s an online document workspace that brings creation and coordination together in one place. With Paper, you can write, organize the work with teammates, give and receive feedback, review designs, run meetings, and co-edit to your heart’s content. You can choose whether to share your doc, and whether others you share it with can edit, view, or comment on your work.

Paper can get your team in sync from your favorite web browser. Or, download the Paper desktop and mobile apps to work without distractions. Although Paper stores documents in the cloud, it doesn't use hard drive space on your computer or storage space on your Dropbox account.

How to: Dropbox Paper

    1. Sign in to

    2. Click Paper on the left side.

    3. Click Create new doc.

Note: If you don’t see Paper on the left-side column, click Create new file, click Dropbox Paper, click the folder you’d like to store your Paper doc in, and click Create

You can use a Paper template for regularly-used doc formats. Check out tips for using templates to get project moving quickly:

You can also turn any doc into a shareable template. Customize the format that works for your team’s workflow.

Learn more about how to create, use, and share a template in Dropbox Paper.

  1. Open the Paper doc you want to share.

  2. Click the blue Invite (or Share) button at the top of the doc.

  3. Type the email addresses of the people you want to share with, and include a message if you'd like.

  4. Click Can edit to choose the permissions access you'd like invitees to have:

    - Can comment allows others to leave comments on your content.

    - Can edit allows others to add to, edit, or delete your content, and to invite others to the doc

  5. Click Send.

By default, whoever has the link you share will be able to edit your file. Learn how to change that setting.

  1. Open the Paper doc you want to share.

  2. Click the Copy link button (chain icon) at the top of the doc.

  3. Paste the link into an email, chat message, or text.

Note: If you create a private, unfiled doc (one that’s not inside of a folder or Dropbox Space), you’ll be the only person who can search for and edit it. This will stay true until you decide to share it. If you create a doc within a folder or Space, all of its members can open, search for, and edit the doc.

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.

To comment on a file from the Dropbox desktop app:

  1. In the desktop app, select the file you want to comment on.
  2. Click the box that says Write a comment.
    -You can type your comment and @mention someone.
  3. Click Post.

To comment on a file from or the mobile app:

  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 and working with a supported file type.

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.

In Dropbox Paper, you can collaborate with people by:

  • Mentioning them in-line and in comments. Mention a colleague or friend anywhere in your Paper doc or comment by typing @ (at) and then their name. Dropbox sends a notification so they can follow up right away.

  • Creating to-do lists of stuff that needs to be accomplished. You can then assign things to a friend or coworker and add due dates.

Comment on text and images:

  1. Highlight a line of text to bring up the formatting toolbar.

  2. Click the comment icon (a speech bubble) in the menu that appears.

To comment on a part of an image:

  1. Click the image that you'd like to comment on.

  2. Click the circle icon with the plus sign to comment on a specific area of an image.

  3. Click the section of the image you'd like to comment on.

  4. Type your comment and click Post.

Learn more about content collaboration with Dropbox Paper.

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.


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