Restrictions and limitations for team deployments of Dropbox

Dropbox offers resources and services such as storage, sync, sharing, and APIs. As a Dropbox admin, you can design your team's folder and file structures, as well as configure team-wide settings.

If your team is currently using or considering Dropbox, there are certain limitations you may want to keep in mind. This article makes recommendations around those limits.

Note: We regularly update Dropbox, which may change the default limits for your team.

Structure your folders to maximize clarity and efficiency

When designing your folder structure, and factoring in growth over time, the following limits should be considered:

  • The maximum number of members that can belong to a shared folder is 1,000.
  • The maximum number of members that can belong to a group is 1,000.
  • The maximum number of members that can belong to a team folder is 1,000. 
  • The maximum number of members that can belong to a single path in a team folder (the total number of members in all folders in the path) is 1,000. 
    • Note: A path is the sequence of subfolders that lead to a specific folder within a team folder. For example, the path to a folder may be Team Folder > Folder A > Folder B > Folder C, if Folder C is your destination.
  • The maximum number of members that can belong to a restricted folder is 250.
  • Teams should avoid having more than a total of 10,000 active shared and team folders.
  • Teams should avoid having more than a total of 250 nested shared folders inside team folders.

Staying within these limits will result in the best performance. You may need to break large teams down into sub-teams with their own team folders. Groups can be used to give people access to multiple team folders.

Sync files and folders via the Dropbox desktop app

For best performance, it’s recommended that users sync no more than 300,000 files and no more than 1,000 shared or team folders. This will also depend on the hardware specifications and operating system of the computer running the app. Specifically:

  • Users generally shouldn't sync more than 300,000 files.
    • This includes online-only files used with sync.
  • Users shouldn't sync more than 1,000 shared folders or team folders.

Optimize performance with team selective sync

Team selective sync allows team admins to define the default syncing settings for team folders and subfolders of team folders. Admins can use this setting for files that only need to be accessed online and don’t need to be stored on team members’ computers. Learn more about team selective sync.

Note: This is something you should do periodically to review and update as necessary.

Set files to online-only with selective sync

Selective sync can be used by individual team members to manage performance, especially if they have access to more than 300,000 files. For example, a team member may not want to download all files in a project folder to their computer. They could use selective sync to make those files online-only to save hard drive space. Learn more about selective sync.

Note: If you use selective sync to unsync a folder from the desktop that is not a namespace (team folder, shared folder, or folder with restrictions), the desktop app on your computer still manages the metadata of these files and folders. This will impact performance. The files and folders, however, are no longer visible in File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (macOS). Only folders that are namespaces are completely removed from the desktop when using selective sync.

For best performance, always use the Dropbox app on your computer when renaming, moving, copying, deleting, sharing, or unsharing folders, especially when they contain a very large number of files. We don’t recommend using dropbox.com or the Dropbox mobile apps when dealing with a very large number of files.

Set up and change Dropbox permission settings

Permission changes in Dropbox require all team folders and shared folders (namespaces) within the folder structure to be checked. This ensures the permission changes do not break any existing permissions set by admins. The more namespaces that exist within a structure, the more time it can take for a permission change to take place. 

For example, you may want to share a folder that is nested in another folder within a team folder. To do so, permission settings for all of the namespaces for the folder structure will need to be validated before the permission change can be applied. Learn about Dropbox shared folders.

FAQs: Dropbox features and limits for your team

What are the capacity limits for my team?

Dropbox has some limits that can’t be changed by admins:

  • Maximum single file upload sizes:
    • Dropbox desktop and mobile apps: individual files must be less than 2 TB
    • dropbox.com: individual files must be less than 50 GB
    • API: individual files must be less than 350 GB

What Dropbox features can my team access and what are their limits?

Your team can access a range of Dropbox features to simplify projects and enhance collaboration. Learn more about the following features and their limits:

Dropbox Transfer lets you easily send files that you don’t need to collaborate on. The size limit of your transfer depends on the plan you have. Learn about Dropbox Transfer limits.

Dropbox file requests let you request files from anyone and collect them right in your Dropbox account. For this feature, the size limit of your file request depends on your plan, but the maximum file request per team member is 4,000.

Legal holds allow admins to view and export all the content that’s been created or modified by a team member. Each legal hold has a limit of 100 users, and there’s a 300 hold limit per team. When exporting content from a legal hold, admins can exclude up to 100 folders from the export. 

Data retention lets admins create policies to help them meet compliance and regulatory requirements. Teams are limited to 100 active retention policies.

Note: Legal holds and data retention are part of the Dropbox Data Governance add-on.

What are the shared link limits?

To prevent abuse, Dropbox accounts have the following bandwidth limits:

  • Dropbox Standard: 1 TB and unlimited downloads per day 
  • Dropbox Advanced and Enterprise: 4 TB and unlimited downloads per day

What are the Dropbox API rate limits for my team?

Dropbox offers powerful APIs for applications built on the DBX Platform. The following API rate limits apply to Dropbox Standard, Advanced and Enterprise accounts:

  • Dropbox enforces a default API rate limit for all operations to prevent abuse and maintain availability and reliability. See our Error Handling Guide and Error documentation for more information.
  • Dropbox enforces a limit of 1,000,000 write operations per namespace in a 24 hour period.
  • Dropbox Standard, Advanced and Enterprise plans are limited to 1 billion upload operations per month. See the Data transport limits developer documentation for more information.
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