IT Admin Guide

In the fall of 2019, Dropbox launched a new desktop experience, which consists of a new desktop app, improvements to Dropbox in the system tray/menu bar, and the Dropbox folder in File Explorer/Finder.

This guide provides an overview of the latest changes, to help IT admins transition their teams to the new desktop experience and stay up-to-date with the latest features and integrations.

The new Dropbox desktop experience

The new Dropbox desktop experience provides a smart workspace where users can bring traditional files, cloud content, Dropbox Paper docs, and web shortcuts together. 

The Dropbox desktop experience includes three components:

Dropbox desktop components

Sections in this article:

Dropbox desktop app

The new desktop app displays all of the files and folders in the Dropbox folder in File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac) and on dropbox.com, but in a more organized and powerful workspace.

Users can simply drag and drop files and folders to add them to the app. The content appears in the Dropbox folder and is synced to dropbox.com and anyone those files are shared with.

Dropbox desktop app

Desktop app features

The new Dropbox desktop application enables users to:

User access

The new Dropbox desktop application is already available to any users utilizing the latest Windows or Mac desktop client builds.

Users can also download the application at www.dropbox.com/downloading.

Initial user experience

When users start interacting with the new desktop experience, they will still see the Dropbox icon in the system tray (Windows) or menu bar (Mac).

The Dropbox folder will also exist in File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac), exactly as before.

Users can continue interacting with Dropbox via the system tray or menu bar. By default, clicking the folder icon there will open the Dropbox Folder in File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac).

Note: Admins can change defaults for the team and individual users can change their preferences to open folders in the desktop app instead of File Explorer or Finder.

Folder icon launch

User introduction

Upon first access of the new Dropbox desktop app, users will see the following introduction:

Features and changes

Dropbox in the system tray or menu bar

Dropbox in the system tray (Windows) and menu bar (Mac) is still home to the familiar Recent and Notifications tabs.

Now, users will also see the For you tab, which displays a personalized, intelligent list of files and folders, including Your highlights, Starred content, and calendar events and meetings.

Note: Users can teach Dropbox what files are least relevant by right-clicking a highlight and clicking Dismiss highlight.

Users can also:

  • Star, share, or create links when hovering over items in the Recent or For you tab
  • Click + (plus) to create new content with Dropbox Paper, G Suite, and Microsoft Office
  • Connect their calendar to access meetings created with Google Hangouts, Google Meet, or Zoom conferences
Dropbox in the system tray/menu bar

Dropbox Spaces

Dropbox Spaces provide an overview that helps users organize content and stay on top of things like file activity, comments, and to-dos.

Adding an overview or certain features to any folder in a Dropbox account turns it into a Dropbox Space. Once added to a folder, features like pins, notes, lists, to-dos, @mentions, and links will appear for any user who opens that Space on the Dropbox desktop app, mobile app, or dropbox.com.

Overview on Dropbox Spaces

Users can give people edit or view-only access to a Space the same way they would a folder, and when a folder is changed to a Space it’s shared with the same people, with the same permissions. Only people with edit access to a Space can edit its features.

Users can create a Dropbox space by adding:

Dropbox Transfer

Dropbox Transfer is a simple way for users to send files they don’t need to collaborate on, such as a finished product or contract to a client. 

With Dropbox Transfer, users can:

  • Send up to 100GB per transfer, depending on their plan
  • Password protect transfers
  • Set expiration dates on transfers
  • Receive notifications when transfers are downloaded
  • View stats on views and downloads of each transfer 
  • Add a custom logo and background to transfers

Enabling Dropbox Transfer

Team Admins can enable Dropbox Transfer for teams in the Admin console.

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com with your admin credentials.
  2. Click Admin console in the left-side column.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Click Sharing.
  5. Scroll to Sharing files using Dropbox Transfer and toggle this setting to On.
  6. Click Save to confirm changes.
Dropbox admin console

Slack and Zoom integrations

Dropbox integrations with Slack and Zoom help users bring content and conversations together. Admins can manage app integrations for their team in the Admin console.

Slack on Dropbox

With the Slack integration, users can share files and send Slack messages right from a Dropbox file. Users can see who has shared their files in Slack, and when and in what channels it was shared. Once connected, this information will appear in the Activity section of the file's preview.

Note: Slack activity will appear without specific details if the owner of the files doesn’t have access to the channel or message it was shared in.

Zoom on Dropbox

With the Zoom integration, users can present files in Zoom, message people in Zoom, and create and join Zoom meetings, directly from Dropbox. Users can access Zoom meetings from the new Dropbox desktop app without opening Zoom and, once a calendar is connected, can add Zoom meetings right from the desktop app. Users can see who else has presented their files in Zoom in the Activity section of a file preview.

Image search

With image search your team can find images faster based on the content within the image, regardless of the filename. 

Image search

Users can save time spent browsing locations and file names and find images right from the new desktop app or dropbox.com. Your team won’t have to add tags or rename files in order to find images in your Dropbox account.

Note: This feature is available in early access  

Dropbox mobile app

Many of the latest features of the new Dropbox desktop experience are also available in the Dropbox mobile app. Help your team organize content and stay in sync—from anywhere. 

Overview on mobile

Settings and defaults

Setting defaults for the new Dropbox desktop app

By default, clicking the Folder icon in Dropbox in the system tray (Windows) or menu bar (Mac) will open the Dropbox folder in File Explorer or Finder.

Team Admins are able to configure the Dropbox desktop app as the default file browser view for users. To change the default:

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com with your admin credentials.
  2. Click Admin console in the left-side column.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Click Dropbox desktop app defaults.
  5. Select Dropbox desktop app in the configuration settings dropdown.
  6. Click Save to confirm changes.
Setting desktop app defaults

User discovery of the Dropbox desktop app

If the Dropbox desktop app has not been set as the default file viewer by an admin, users can discover the app in several ways.

  • Selecting view in Dropbox from an entry in Dropbox in the system tray (Windows) or menu bar (Mac)
  • Re-launching Dropbox from their applications menu, while the client is running
  • Receiving an @mention from another user who is using the desktop application
  • Changing their default preferences to Open folders in the Dropbox desktop app

Note: Once discovered, the new Dropbox desktop app will become the default view. Admins can change the default back in their Admin console.

Dropbox preferences

Accessing the Dropbox desktop app

Once an admin enables files and folders to be opened in the Dropbox desktop app by default, instead of File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac), users can access the app in several ways. 

  • Open Dropbox in the system tray (Windows) or menu bar (Mac) and click the folder icon
  • Open any folder from Dropbox in the system tray or menu bar
Accessing desktop app

Note: Regardless of the default, users can choose where to open folders from Dropbox in the system tray (Windows) or menu bar (Mac):

  1. Click the Folder icon
  2. Select a folder
  3. Click (ellipsis) and select View in Dropbox, View in File Explorer/Finder, or View on dropbox.com.

User defaults for the Dropbox desktop app

Once the Dropbox desktop app has been set to open as the default file viewer by an admin, or discovered by a user, users can override this setting.

To return to opening Dropbox folders in File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac):

  1. Click the Dropbox icon in the system tray (Windows) or menu bar (Mac). 
  2. Click the profile picture or initials.
  3. Click Preferences…
  4. Click the dropdown next to Open folders in: and choose Finder/File Explorer

Resources

FAQ

Will the new desktop app change how files are synced?

No. The new Dropbox desktop app won’t change the way files sync to a computer in any way. Users can continue using the Dropbox folder in the Finder (Mac) or File Explorer (Windows) exactly as they did before.

Does the new Dropbox desktop app require any additional computer resources?

No. The system requirements for the Dropbox desktop app have not changed. To reduce memory and processor consumption, users can choose to open folders automatically in the Dropbox folder instead of the desktop app.

Is the new Dropbox desktop app supported on Linux?

No. The new Dropbox desktop app is not planned to be made available on Linux.

Can users go back to using the Dropbox folder in Finder/File Explorer?

Yes. The new desktop app doesn’t change the Dropbox folder in File Explorer/Finder. Users can keep using it exactly as they did before and can adjust their own preferences to open either the Dropbox folder or the desktop app by default.

Can admins disable the new Dropbox desktop app for individual or all users?

No. Currently, admins can configure the Dropbox folder in File Explorer/Finder as the default file browser view for users, but cannot disable the desktop app entirely. Users can change this default setting on an individual basis if they prefer to use the desktop app. Admin controls for disabling the app may exist in the future.

Can admins track which users are using the Dropbox desktop app?

No. Currently, there is no way to centrally track usage of the new Dropbox desktop app.

Can team folders be created in the new Dropbox desktop app?

No. Currently, team folders can only be created in the admin console.

Can admins disable integrations that are not used by their team?

Yes. Admins can manage app integrations like Trello, G Suite, Slack, and Zoom from the admin console. Admins can enable or disable integrations for the entire team or for individual users.

How are comments shown on various platforms?

Comments are synced between the Dropbox desktop app, mobile app, and dropbox.com. Comments appear to the right of a file when selected in the desktop app, to the right of the file’s preview on dropbox.com, and beneath the file’s preview on the Dropbox mobile app.

Can admins disable commenting on files in the Dropbox desktop app?

No. Currently, admins can't manage commenting from the desktop app.

How are files uploaded to the new Dropbox desktop app?

Users can simply drag and drop files into the folder or Dropbox Space where it is to be stored and synced. There is no “upload” button or process in the desktop app.

How is a Dropbox Space created?

Adding an overview to an existing folder converts it into a Space. Text descriptions, lists, @mentions, to-dos, and links can be created in the overview and are visible to anyone the Space is shared with. 

Can admins or users lock the overview of a Space so it cannot be edited?

No. Any user with edit permissions can change the overview of a Dropbox Space. To prevent others from editing the overview, the owner of the Space can set sharing permissions to Can view. Other users will be able to see the overview, but not edit it.

Can Spaces be seen in File Explorer/Finder?

No. The overview and features of a Dropbox Space can be viewed on dropbox.com, the Dropbox desktop app, and the Dropbox mobile app.

Can Spaces be reverted to folders?

Yes. Removing the overview, including any pinned content, will convert a Space back into a folder.

What types of files preview in Dropbox?

Dropbox is always working to expand previewing capabilities on all platforms. The list of currently supported files types is maintained in the help center. 

Can users migrate existing Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides from Google Drive to Dropbox?

No. Currently, users are not able to move existing G Suite content into Dropbox. However, they can copy and paste content into a new G Suite file that is created in Dropbox. 

Please contact your Customer Success Manager or support@dropbox.com if you have additional questions.

Help center resources

Find more resources and insights on equipping your team with a smart workspace from Dropbox.

How to transition to the new Dropbox

What’s changing with the new Dropbox?

Dropbox Desktop Application Overview

Dropbox Spaces

How to use Dropbox Transfer

Connect calendar and meetings to Dropbox

Third-party integrations

Dropbox Help Center

Dropbox Quick Start Guides

Dropbox Community 

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