Troubleshooting shared links

Updated Oct 10, 2023
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The information in this article applies to all Dropbox users, unless otherwise stated.

If your shared link isn’t working or if it’s showing a 404 error, check the following possible reasons why:

Troubleshooting steps

Did you delete the file or folder?

Your shared link won’t work if the file or folder was deleted. If you restore the deleted file or folder, the shared link will work again.

Did you delete the link?

If you don't see the link in your list, you may have deleted it. You can create a new link to the file or folder you want to share.

Has the link expired?

If you’re on Dropbox Professional, Essentials, Standard, Advanced, Business, Business Plus, or Enterprise and you set an expiration for your shared link, it may have expired. In that case, you need to create a new link to the file or folder.

Is the file in a shared folder?

If you’re on a Dropbox team account and the file you’re trying to share is within a shared folder, the folder owner may have changed the settings so that links can only be shared with other team members. The team admin can also turn off the ability to share links with people outside the team.

Were you removed or deleted from a Dropbox team account?

When you’re removed or deleted from a Dropbox team account, you lose access to all team files and Paper docs. Shared links you create may also be deleted, depending on the permission settings:

  • Any shared links you create with view-only access are deleted, unless they’re web-based files, like Paper or Google docs.
  • Any shared links you create with edit access remain active.

Did the link creator leave the folder?

Shared links are tied to the person who originally created the link. This is true for all shared folders, regardless of if they are in a team or individual Dropbox account. If the link creator leaves the shared folder, the link will be broken. To get the shared links working again, the person who created the shared links will need to be added back to the shared folder.

Note: 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:

  • Links won’t break when the link creator leaves a shared folder.

Was your link banned?

Dropbox bans shared links when they're responsible for unusually large amounts of traffic, or when they violate the Acceptable Use Policy (for example, by hosting spam or malware). Learn more about banned links.

Did you rewind your Dropbox account?

If you recently rewound your Dropbox account, your shared link might not work as expected.

 We recommend you:

  1. Log in to 
  2. Click Shared in the left sidebar.
    • Click More in the left sidebar if you don’t see Shared.
  3. Click the “” (ellipsis) next to the folder you’re having issues with.
  4. Select Share
  5. Click either Link for editing or Link for viewing, depending on which link you’d like to remove.
  6. Click Delete link.
  7. Click Delete again.
  8. Create a new shared link to the file.

Does the shared link open in your browser?

If you click a shared link and it won’t open, you may be encountering a browser issue. To correct this, log out of Dropbox and click the shared link again.

Is the link still not working?

If you’re still having an issue with a shared link, we recommend you contact the person who created the shared link, or contact support if you’re the one who created the link. 

Not using Dropbox yet? See how Dropbox makes managing file permissions easy.

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