How to monitor Dropbox team sharing activity

Updated Mar 25, 2024
person icon

The information in this article applies to certain types of admins on Dropbox Professional, Essentials, Standard, Business, Advanced, Business Plus, and Enterprise.

Certain types of admins can track how certain data is shared inside and outside your organization.

Learn how to set link restrictions across your team.

View sharing activity

  1. Log in to with your admin credentials.
  2. Click Admin console in the left sidebar.
  3. Click Security

The Member activity page shows a summary of the team’s most recent activity. It doesn’t show all actions taken by your team. You can generate a full activity report from a specific period by clicking on Download report.

highlighter icon

Note: An activity report only shows activity from within team folders or the team shared workspace.

You can also view the recent sharing activity for a specific team member by clicking Members in the sidebar on the left, then clicking on the member’s name in the list.

View and manage external sharing

You can view what files, folders, and shared links are shared with people outside your team and details about how they were shared, including:

  • Items shared—type, size, and path
  • Security—access level and whether they’re protected by password or expiration
  • Sharing—who shared the content, when, and with whom
  • Activity—whether content was viewed or edited

You can view these by downloading a report or viewing the external sharing tab. You can also manage access to those files and folders from a dedicated external sharing tab.

highlighter icon


  • 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.
  • If you share a file or folder with an external partner using a link, they can share it with other external parties with the same link. They can’t create their own shared link since each file or folder can only have one edit link and one view-only link.

highlighter icon

Note: Both the dedicated page and the report: 

  • Only include files and folders that are shared directly 
    • For example, if a folder is shared, the folder will be included, but the files within it won’t be
  • Include files and folders that a team member created a shared link for
  • Are only available to teams with fewer than five million external shares
  • Don’t contain Dropbox Paper docs

How to download an external sharing report

You can click Create report to create an external sharing report from the external sharing tab on the Security page. The report contains all external sharing data for the team and can’t be filtered.

You have access to a dedicated external sharing page in the admin console where you can view, filter, and manage externally shared files and folders.

highlighter icon

Note: While Dropbox will work to keep this page as updated as possible, the report will include the most up-to-date information.

To open the external sharing page:

  1. Log in to with your admin credentials.
  2. Click Admin console in the left sidebar.
  3. Click Security in the left sidebar.
  4. Click External sharing.

You can search and filter externally shared files by details like the names of the files, when they were shared, who shared them, and the file type. 

To manage an externally shared file or folder from the external sharing page:

  1. Follow the steps above to open the external sharing page. 
  2. Hover over the name of the file or folder you’d like to manage.
  3. Click the “” (ellipsis).
  4. Click Manage access.

If the file or folder is in a team folder, you’ll see the sharing window. If the file or folder, isn’t in a team folder, you’ll see the option to sign in as a team member. In either case, once you have the sharing window open for the file or folder, you can manage access to it the same way you would manage access to any shared file or folder in Dropbox.

FAQs about sharing activity

What if an unknown person joins a shared folder?

If an unknown person joins a shared folder, Admins will be able to see this and also see who sent the invite from the Member activity tab.

What types of events are recorded?

Shared folder events are recorded when someone:

  • Creates a shared folder
  • Invites a person to a folder
  • Joins a folder
  • Removes a person from a folder
  • Changes the role of another person in a folder
  • Transfers ownership of a folder to another person
  • Unshares a folder
  • Changes the sharing permissions on a folder
  • Changes the general sharing permissions for shared folders in the Admin Console
  • Moves a shared folder from a work Dropbox to a personal Dropbox (or vice versa), specifically when both folder-level settings and team-level settings permit sharing outside the team

Shared file events are recorded when files are:

  • Added
  • Downloaded
  • Edited
  • Previewed
  • Deleted
  • Permanently deleted
  • Restored (when a file deletion is undone, or moved back to its original location)
  • Reverted (when a file is reverted to a previous version, before a set of edits was made)
  • Renamed
  • Moved (when a file is moved from one folder to another)
  • Copied
  • Rollbacked (when someone's account is rolled back to a previous point in time, and the files that this rollback affects)

Shared link events are recorded when:

  • A team member creates or shares a link
  • A non-team member creates or shares a link from a shared folder that is owned by a team member
  • A link is shared or created through a third-party app
  • A team member removes a link
  • A team member changes the visibility of a link
  • A team member sets a password or expiration for a link
  • An admin changes the general sharing permissions for shared links in the admin console
  • Someone opens or saves files from a link to team-owned content

File requests events are recorded when:

  • A team member creates a file request
  • A team member receives an uploaded file to a file request

Paper sharing events are recorded when:

  • A Paper doc or folder is shared or unshared with a team member
  • A team-owned Paper doc or folder is shared or unshared with a person not on the team
  • A team member views a Paper doc
  • A person not on the team views a Paper doc
  • A team member is mentioned in a Paper doc
  • A person not on the team is mentioned in a team-owned Paper doc
  • The Paper doc default sharing setting changes
  • Permissions are changed for a member of a Paper doc
  • Paper doc access is requested by a team member or a person not on the team

Send and track activity* is recorded when:

  • A file is added to Send and track
  • A link is created in Send and track
  • A link is deleted in Send and track
  • A link is renamed in Send and track
  • A shared link is opened in Send and track
  • A link is edited in Send and track
  • Files and links are removed from Send and track
  • Files and links are renamed from Send and track

*These events are only available to customers on Dropbox Business or Dropbox Business Plus.

Signatures page activity† is recorded when:

  • A signature request is sent 
  • A signature request is opened 
  • A signature request is completed 
  • A signature request reminder is sent 
  • A signature request is canceled 
  • A signature request is declined

†These events are only available to customers on a paid Dropbox Sign plan, or Dropbox Standard, Advanced, Business, or Business Plus. 

Opening a link or adding files to a Dropbox account are only reported in the full activity report

An event will be recorded whether a team member or non-team member opens or adds the link to their Dropbox.

The sharing audit log does not track when a member leaves or adds a shared folder, because that member still has access to the folder and can add it at any time.

How do I view sharing activity in the insights dashboard?

If you'd like to get a high-level picture of your team's sharing activity over time, check out the insights dashboard. It provides overall usage stats, such as the number of shared links created and the number of active shared folders.

Learn more about the insights dashboard.

Was this article helpful?

We’re sorry to hear that.
Let us know how we can improve.

Thanks for your feedback!
Let us know how this article helped.

Thanks for your feedback!

Community answers

Other ways to get help