How to force a shared link to download or render

Updated Nov 28, 2023

You can make simple modifications to Dropbox links to share files the way you want. You can append the link URL to force the content to download or render in your browser.

How to force a Dropbox link to download

To force a browser to download the contents of a link rather than display it, you can use “dl=1” as a query parameter in your URL. For example:


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Note: The original shared link URL may contain query string parameters already (for example, dl=0). App developers should be sure to properly parse the URL and add or modify parameters as needed. The links may also redirect to * 

How to force render a file in a browser

Some browsers aren't configured to correctly preview files. While certain file types can be downloaded instead of opened, others—like HTML—are not supported.

To bypass the preview page and allow your browser to directly render your files, use raw=1 as a query parameter in your URL. Adding "raw=1" to a URL will cause an HTTP redirect. If you're an app developer using such a URL in your own code, please make sure your app can follow redirects.

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Note: Shared links don’t render HTML content in a web browser. If you created a website that directly displays HTML content from your Dropbox, it won’t render in the browser. The HTML content itself remains in your Dropbox and can be shared. The links may also redirect to *

Dropbox is moving to an updated shared link architecture where links are based on content rather than on users. 

This will affect how links are created and shared. The new links can be identified by the presence of an ‘rlkey’ parameter in the URL. For these links, the above behavior will perform differently:

  • The entire ‘rlkey’ parameter must be retained for the URL to grant recipients permission rights to access the file or folder.

Still having trouble?

If you’re still having trouble and can’t force a shared link to download or render, contact the Dropbox support team.

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