Make your Dropbox files available offline

Whatever device you’re using with Dropbox, whether it’s a computer, tablet, or phone, you can make your files available offline. This is similar to downloading your files, except it also keeps them in Dropbox, so they’re saved offline on your device as well as online on dropbox.com.

This means that you can open them from Dropbox and use or edit them in applications on your device, without being connected to the internet.

Note: While you’re offline, changes made to your offline files won’t “sync”. This means that the changes you make offline won’t sync between your offline device and everywhere else you access your files in Dropbox. Once you’re back online, Dropbox will sync the changes you made to your offline files everywhere you access them in Dropbox.

Learn more about how Dropbox syncs your files.

Make a file available offline on a computer

  1. Download the Dropbox desktop app, if you haven’t already.
  2. Make sure there’s an application on your computer that can open your files offline. For example, to view a PDF, you need a PDF viewer installed on your computer. 
  3. Open File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac) and navigate to the file or folder.
    • If you don’t see the file or folder you’d like to save offline, open your desktop app preferences, click the Sync tab, and check the box next to the folder you’d like to make available offline. If you’re trying to make a file available offline, check the box next to the folder that file is stored in. Learn more about selective sync.
  4. Right-click the file or folder, hover over Smart Sync, and click Local. (If the file already has a checkmark next to Local, it’s already available offline and there’s no need to do anything).
  5. Wait a few minutes, while the file or folder updates. Once you see a solid green checkmark on the file or folder, that means it’s available offline. Learn about the different sync icons and what they mean.

The file is now available offline, from the Dropbox folder in File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac).

  • Make files available offline on a phone or tablet

Files in the Dropbox mobile app aren’t stored on your phone or tablet, so they aren’t available offline by default. 

To make files available offline on your phone or tablet:

  1. Download and sign into the Dropbox mobile app, if you haven’t already.
  2. Next to or under the file you’d like to make available offline, tap the “” (ellipsis).
    • Note: The ability to make an entire folder available offline is only available to customers on Dropbox Plus, Family, Professional, and Business plans. The ability to make individual files available offline is available to all Dropbox users.
  3. Toggle on (Android) or tap (iPhone/iPad) Make Available Offline. To make your file only available online again, toggle off Make Available Offline (Android) or tap Remove from device (iPhone/iPad).

Find your offline files

Once a file has been made available offline, it will have an offline icon (white downward-facing arrow in a green circle) next to or under it in your file list. To see a list of your offline files:

  1. Open the Dropbox mobile app.
  2. Open your app settings.
  • On Android, tap the menu icon (horizontal lines) in the top left and then Settings.
  • On iPhone/iPad, tap the account icon (person) in the bottom right and then the gear icon in the top left.

3.Tap Offline (Android) or Manage Offline Files (iPhone/iPad).

Keep your offline files updated

By default, your offline files don’t stay continuously updated, or “synced”, if you’re only connected to data. You must be connected to Wi-Fi with your list of offline files open for them to update.

To update an offline file while you’re connected to data, go to your list of offline files and tap the yellow “!” (exclamation point) next to the file you’d like to update. To update all of your offline files while you’re connected to data, go to your list of offline files and tap the refresh icon (circular arrow in the top right).

To set your offline files to update all the time, whether you’re connected to Wi-Fi or only data:

  1. Open the Dropbox mobile app.
  2. Open your app settings.
  • On Android, tap the menu icon (horizontal lines) in the top left and then Settings.
  • On iPhone/iPad, tap the account icon (person) in the bottom right and then the gear icon in the top left.

3. Toggle Use data for offline files (Android) or Use Cellular Data (iPhone/iPad) to on.

See info about your offline files

  1. Open the Dropbox mobile app.
  2. Open your app settings.
  • On Android, tap the menu icon (horizontal lines) in the top left and then Settings.
  • On iPhone/iPad, tap the account icon (person) in the bottom right and then the gear icon in the top left.

There, you can see:

  • Available Space — How much storage space is available on your phone or tablet for offline files.
  • Space Used — How much storage space your offline files are currently using on your phone or tablet.

 

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