How to use Dropbox AI

Updated Dec 21, 2023
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This article describes alpha features available to customers:

  • On Dropbox Professional, Essentials, Business, Business Plus, and some customers on Dropbox Basic, Plus, Family, Standard and Advanced.
  • In countries with the preferred language set to English*.
    • Excluding Canada, the UK (United Kingdom), and countries within the EEA (European Economic Area).
  • Customers enrolled in Dropbox Studio alpha.


Dropbox AI is subject to additional terms


*Some exceptions apply.

You can use Dropbox AI to quickly find what you’re looking for, summarize long content, and more. 

How to turn on Dropbox AI

If you have access to Dropbox AI-powered features, you can enable and disable the use of third-party AI models to search and summarize your Dropbox files from your Settings.

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Note: If you’re outside the EEA or the UK, third-party AI is turned on by default. In all cases, you have the option to manage the use of third-party AI from your Settings. Learn more about AI on Dropbox and your privacy.

To manage the use of third-party AI in your Dropbox account:

  1. Log in to dropbox.com
  2. Click your initials or avatar in the upper right. 
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Navigate to the Third-Party AI features tab.
    • Toggle On to enable third-party AI.
    • Toggle Off to disable third-party AI.

Dropbox AI features are currently available to select teams signed up for our early access program. Learn how to sign up for early access to Dropbox team features.
 

Team admins can control the use of third-party AI for your team from the Settings tab in the admin console.


To manage the use of third-party AI for your team:

  1. Log in to dropbox.com with your admin credentials. 
  2. Click Admin console
  3. Click Settings in the left sidebar. 
  4. Navigate to the Third-Party AI features tab.
    • Toggle On to enable third-party AI.
    • Toggle Off to disable third-party AI.

How to use Dropbox AI in a file preview

You can use Dropbox AI when you preview text-based, audio, or video files. To use this feature with a file that someone has shared with you, you’ll need to add it to your Dropbox account.
 

To use Dropbox AI in a file preview:

  1. Log in to dropbox.com.
  2. Click the name of a file to open a preview.
    • The file must be  compatible with Dropbox AI. See the FAQs below for more information.
  3. Click the Dropbox icon in the top bar. 
  4. Type your question in the Ask something about this file bar.
  5. Press enter or click Ask.
    • Or, select one of the pre-generated prompts in the sidebar for specific actions.
    • Specific pages will show under the answer to tell you which sections of the file contain the answer.

 

How to use Dropbox AI for search

If you’re eligible and selected to participate in the alpha experience for Dropbox AI for search, you’ll see a banner which reads, “Quickly find what you need with Dropbox AI for search” when you click into your search bar.
 

To make sure third-party AI is on:

  1. Log in to dropbox.com.
  2. Click Manage from the Dropbox AI for search banner under your search bar.
  3. You’ll be redirected to the Third-party AI features tab. From there:
    • Toggle On to enable third-party AI.
    • Toggle Off to disable third-party AI.
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Note: If you or your team is enrolled in the Dropbox AI alpha and the Third-party AI toggle is set to On, only the content relevant to an explicit request or command is sent to our third-party AI partners to generate an answer, summary, or transcript.

You can type a question or command about your files in the search bar on dropbox.com, and Dropbox AI will provide a response based on the content in your account. Dropbox AI will provide an answer based on your most relevant files and provide the source for that answer.

To ask a question in the search bar and get answers from the content of your files:

  1. Log in to dropbox.com.
  2. Click the search bar at the top.
  3. Ask a question about your files.

How to frame questions or commands

There are a few things to keep in mind when prompting Dropbox AI to get the best results:

  • Be specific. 
  • Use clear, simple language.

For questions:

  • Begin your question with “Who…”, “What…”, “Where…”, “How…”, etc. 
  • Finish your question with a question mark “?”.
  • Use “is/are there” or “summarize” to trigger an AI-generated response.

Examples: “What is my recipe for chocolate chip cookies?” or “What are our company goals for Q2?”
 

For commands:

  • Begin your command with “Show…”, “Find…”, “Look for…”, “Search for…”, “Give me…”, “Do I have…”, etc.

 

Example: “Show me photos from my photoshoot yesterday”

FAQs about using Dropbox AI

What types of files work with Dropbox AI for previews?

You can use Dropbox AI in file previews with the following types of files:

  • Video files that contain speech or voice
  • Audio files that contain speech or voice
    • Note: Dropbox will generate a transcript for video and audio files if one doesn’t already exist. It may take a while to generate a transcript before you can ask questions about your file. Answers to questions about video or audio files will be based on the file’s transcript. Dropbox AI does not yet use the visuals or content of videos to answer questions.
  • Text and text-adjacent files
    • Raw text files
    • PDFs with selectable text

Notes: 

  • Your PDFs are automatically converted into scannable text when you upload your file on Dropbox Professional, Standard, Advanced, or Enterprise. 
  • If you’re on a different plan, you can use an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) converter to turn your PDFs into scannable text. Once converted and uploaded to Dropbox, they can be included in AI searches.
    • Microsoft Office documents
    • eBooks

What types of files work for Dropbox AI for search?

Dropbox AI for search will scan the following types of files for answers: 

  • Raw text files
  • Microsoft Office documents
  • Audio and video files that contain speech or voice, and have a transcript
  • PDFs with selectable text

 Notes:

  • Your PDFs are automatically converted into scannable text when you upload your file on Dropbox Professional, Standard, Advanced, or Enterprise.
  • If you’re on a different plan, you can use an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) converter to turn your PDFs into scannable text. Once converted and uploaded to Dropbox, they can be included in AI searches.

Which languages does Dropbox AI work with?

The Dropbox AI alpha experience is available in English.

How is my data used with Dropbox AI?

Dropbox uses third-party generative AI models to provide answers to your search queries. These machine learning models will provide a response to your prompts using the provided files. Your data is never used to train their internal models, and is deleted from third-party servers within 30 days.

Your data is never passively shared with any third-party generative AI partners. Only when you engage with features labeled with "Will use third-party AI", the data relevant to your explicit request or command is sent to third-party generative AI partners. 

Learn more about Dropbox AI and your privacy.

How can I share feedback on Dropbox AI?

We welcome your feedback, questions, or suggestions on how we can improve this experience. Join or create a discussion about Dropbox AI on our Community page.

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