If Gmail is the king of emails then Dropbox is the king of cloud storage. Yes, I know what you are thinking. But what about Google Drive and OneDrive? What about iCloud? Well, not for nothing did Steve Jobs wanted to buy Dropbox before Drew Houston refused politely.
Even with a measly 2 GB of free storage, Dropbox continues to be a favorite of developers and users alike. I myself prefer Dropbox over Google Drive for storing, accessing, and sharing important docs and what not. It simply works right out of the box, every time, while Google Drive still faces sync issues, occasionally.
So, it is only natural that you would like to access and use Dropbox from Gmail to make the most out of the two tools. You can then easily download and save important email attachments to Dropbox directly or attach links to large files before sending mail to your supplier.
Imagine all the time and bandwidth you could save if you were using this solution. This will really simplify life for a lot of people who are using Gmail and Dropbox on a daily basis.
There are two ways to achieve this and we will discuss both.
1. Dropbox for Gmail Chrome Extension
Dropbox for Gmail is a Chrome Extension that you can install in your browser easily. Go to Chrome store, click on Add to Chrome button, and confirm when asked. You will see a new icon near the address bar.
Clicking on the new Dropbox icon will directly launch Gmail in a new tab. Now, open Gmail and click on Compose to create a new mail. You will see a greyed out Dropbox icon next to the Send button. Click on it to sign in.
A new popup with a sign in option will appear. You can also create a new Dropbox account here if you don’t already have one. I am using my Google (Gmail) account to sign in to Dropbox because it makes everything much easier for me to manage.
Once you have logged in, a new popup will greet you with all the folders that you have created in Dropbox. You can easily select any file from Dropbox here while composing a new email in Gmail.
There is a handy search function available at the top so you can search for the files to attach by name.
Note that when you share any file using the Dropbox for Gmail Chrome extension, you are not uploading or attaching the file itself, but a shareable link to the file. This will reduce bandwidth, time, and help you send mails faster and more securely.
To save attachments from Gmail to Dropbox, follow the same process. Open the email and hover your mouse over the attachment. You will see Dropbox along with Google Drive option there. Click on the Dropbox button to reveal a popup and choose the file location to save the attachment directly to the cloud.
The above solution works fine for people who use Chrome but what about Gmail app for Android? What about those who are using Firefox or Safari or people who are working with a team?
Dropbox also offers business solutions where more than one person has access to the account. What about them?
To counter these common issues, you can use the Dropbox for Gmail addon. This will integrate Dropbox right into the Gmail app making it accessible everywhere.
Open Gmail in any browser you like and click on the Gear icon under which you will find the Get add-ons option.
This will open the G Suite Marketplace. You will find addons for a number of popular services here. Use the search bar to locate the Dropbox for Gmail addon.
Click on the addon once to open the description area and click on the blue Install button on the upper right.
Click on Confirm if asked and sign in to your Dropbox account in the next window. Gmail will ask for various permissions to access your Dropbox account. Click Allow at the bottom here and continue.
You will now see the Installation complete message. Let’s see how it works.
Open any email with attachment in a browser and you will see the Dropbox icon on the right. You will be asked to sign in to allow Gmail to access files stored on the Dropbox servers. You need to do it only once to grant necessary permissions.
Now, whenever you receive an email with an attachment, click on the Dropbox icon to save it directly in the cloud.
If you open the same email in your Gmail app on Android, you will see the Dropbox option at the bottom of the screen. Click on it once to save the attachment directly to Dropbox.
Dropbox for Gmail addon will work in all the browsers and OS including Android and iOS because it is directly integrated into Gmail. This is a far better solution in my opinion compared to the Chrome extension.
There are two ways to access and use Dropbox from Gmail and both of them work right out of the box. There is no learning curve involved as long as you follow the steps outlined above.
There is no need to worry about not being able to share large files due to email attachment restrictions anymore. Gmail and most other email service providers have attachment size limit capped at 25MB which is not too much in this day and age. You need better and smarter solutions.
Next up: Not sure which cloud storage platform to use? Confused whether you should use Google Drive, Dropbox or some other platform to store and share docs? Read the guide below to know the difference between them.