Dropbox confuses the heck out of what I call “normal” computer users.
Often, when I am creating content for businesses, I ask the owner or rep I am working with to supply me with as many images as possible. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is with a shared Dropbox folder. This is a how to guide on how to share dropbox folders.
- Go to www.dropbox.com/login and create an account. Remember this password, you are going to need it several times during the setup and then not again for a long time.
- Now that your account is created on the dropbox website, you can install dropbox on your computer. Go to the install page (www.dropox.com/install) to install dropbox on your COMPUTER. The software is free for Windows, Mac, & Linux.
- Once Dropbox is properly installed, you will see a little box in the taskbar (near the clock on Windows machines).
- Make some folders in your dropbox folder
- On your computer, upon entering your dropbox folder, create a new folder. If you are making it for me, please called it “Len – Company Name”. If your company name is ACME, please call it “Len-ACME”. This helps keep MY dropbox folder organized as I have access to several dropbox accounts. If you are making the shared folder for someone else, call it whatever you’d like, such as “John’s Shared Dropbox”.
Note: If you right click on a folder you will see a “share dropbox link”. Don’t click that.
Sharing your dropbox folder
There is more than one way to share a dropbox folder. I am going to have you do it via the website.
- Go to www.dropbox.com/home. If you are logged in, this will take you to an area of the site that shows you all of your dropbox files and folders.
- Hover your mouse over the folder you wish to share- in the example below, the folder name is “Julie”.
- Click “Share”.
- A window appears which has an option called “Invite people to collaborate”. Click that.
- You will now see this window below.
Enter the person’s email address you are inviting to have access to your shared dropbox folder. NOTE: People have a hundred email addresses these days, be sure you are entering the email address they use for Dropbox. They may have a different email associated with dropbox than they use to communicate with you in email. Type up a friendly message, and click “Share folder”.
- This person will now have access to your shared Dropbox folder. They can not see the other contents of your Dropbox.
Congratulations, now, anything you add to the shared folder, the invited guests will have access to. When you change something in this folder, it will automatically sync with the folder in their Dropbox.
This is what the shared folders look like on my end on desktop:
Install the Dropbox App on your phone and tablet.
- Andorid users, go here www.dropbox.com/android
- Apple users, go here: www.dropbox.com/iphoneapp
Installing the app is easy. Be sure to use the same username and password to LOG IN to the app. DO NOT create another account or the Dropbox genie will slap you (he has very large genie hands, too).
Syncing and Sharing
Anything you add to Dropbox will sync across all devices. That means if you add a photo into your desktop’s C:\dropbox folder, it will show up on your phone, tablet, etc. You will likely never need the dropbox website again.
If you want the person you shared your shared dropbox folder to be able to see things you are adding, add the images to the shared folder.
How to share pictures on an Android device
I just snapped this picture of my dog using my Android phone:
If I scroll to the image of my dog on my phone, I can swipe down from the top of the screen to bring up sharing options:
I can share the image with Twitter, Textra, Instagram, or any other app that allows image sharing. In this case, I am going to choose Dropbox. Select the appropriate folder and tap “add”.
The file is now in the dropbox folder.
Wait, where did it go?
Once synced, the dog picture now resides in several places:
- On your computer’s hard drive
- In the cloud on Dropbox.com
- On your phone in your Dropbox folder
- On any other tablets or devices with dropbox
- If you added the image to a shared folder that I have access to, it is is now on my hard drive, phone, laptop, and tablet. It is synced.
I wrote this because every Dropbox user I have ever encountered can’t figure out how to share folders using Dropbox’s instructions.
Dropbox Pro / Dropbox for business users have slightly different screens.
You can share from Windows but most people get confused- the above method works best.
If this helped you feel free to comment below.
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