How to change the owner of a shared folder

Updated May 15, 2024
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 The information in this article applies to all Dropbox users, unless otherwise stated.

When you create shared folders, you automatically become the owner. If you create a folder within someone else's shared folder, they become the owner. However, you can transfer ownership to someone else by changing the parent folder's sharing permissions.

Transferring ownership of the folder won't transfer the ownership of the shared links. Shared links with view-only permissions are tied to the person who originally created the link. One of the remaining members will need to create a new link to share individual files in the folder.

Learn more about a shared folder owner’s permissions.

Not using Dropbox yet? See how Dropbox helps you effortlessly share files and folders.

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Notes:

  • View-only shared links for web-based files (online-only files like Paper docs or Google Sheets) will remain active.
  • 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:
    • When you transfer ownership of a shared folder, shared links will remain active and link ownership will transfer to the new owner. 
    • Users with view-only access can only create view-only links. Users with edit access can create both edit or view-only links if links have not been created already.
    • View-only and edit links are different. You‘re unable to change a view-only link into an edit link or vice versa.

How to make someone else the owner of a shared folder

You must be the owner of a shared folder to transfer ownership. To change the owner of a shared folder:

  1. Log in to dropbox.com.
  2. Hover over the folder you’d like to transfer ownership for and click Share.
  3. Click Who can access.
  4. Click the dropdown arrow next to the person you’d like to make the owner.
  5. Select Make owner.
  6. Click Make owner again.
  1. Open the Dropbox folder in File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac).
  2. Right-click the folder you’d like to transfer ownership for.
  3. Select Share… next to the Dropbox icon. 
  4. Click Who can access.
  5. Click the dropdown arrow next to the person you’d like to make the owner.
  6. Select Make owner
  7. Click Make owner again.
  1. Open the Dropbox mobile app.
  2. Tap the “ (vertical ellipsis on Android) or “” (ellipsis on iOS) next to the correct folder.
  3. Tap Manage access (Android) or Folder settings (iOS).
  4. Tap the area below [x] members.
  5. Tap the name of the person you’d like to make the owner.
  6. Tap Make owner.
  7. Tap Make owner again.
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Notes: 

  • You may not see Make owner if:
    • You’re not the owner of the shared folder
    • You’re trying to change the owner of a team folder (which don’t have owners)
    • You’re trying to change the owner of a nested shared folder
  • You can only transfer ownership of a parent folder. If you want to transfer ownership of a folder inside another folder, you must do so at the parent folder level.
  • If you change the owner of a parent folder with subfolders, the parent folder and all subfolders inside of it will be transferred to the new owner. Read more FAQs about shared folders.

FAQs about changing shared folder owners

Can you transfer a folder with no owner?

If the owner of a shared folder leaves your team without transferring ownership, the shared folder will have no owner. 

If you can contact the original owner and they still can access the folder, ask them to transfer ownership to you.

If you don’t know the original owner or can’t contact them, copy the files into a new folder and re-invite members.

Learn how to find the owner of a shared folder.

Who can I transfer a shared folder to?

You can transfer ownership of a shared folder to someone who:

  • Is a member of that shared folder
  • Has an active Dropbox account that hasn’t been suspended or deleted
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