Dropbox is one of the popular cloud storage platforms with a loyal fan following and competes with industry heavyweights like Google and Microsoft. It is lauded for offering a stellar file and folder management capabilities. In this post, I will share some Dropbox tips and tricks that will help you manage files/folders better.
Another part of the file and folder management is permissions. They will allow you to control who can access what files/folder and how. We will discuss them in more detail below.
1. How to Delete Files in Dropbox
Simply select the files/folders you want to delete and press the delete key on your keyboard on Windows and macOS to delete it.
In the case of browser, click on the three-dot menu next to the file/folder you want to delete and select the Delete option. The same goes for mobile apps.
To delete the file permanently, click on Deleted files option in the right sidebar, select the file/folder you want to delete and click on Permanently delete on the right. You have up to 30 days to restore the deleted file but that number depends on your plan. You cannot delete files from a shared folder that were added by someone else.
2. How to Recover Deleted Files in Dropbox
Files/folders deleted in Dropbox are moved to the Deleted files area, as we saw above. There is a search and filter option there to locate the file you are trying to recover on the right.
You can search by date, name, email, and folder. Select the files/folders you want to recover and click on the Restore button on the right. It will be visible once you have selected something.
The Professional plan offers up to 180 days to restore or recover deleted files instead of the usual 30 that you get in the free plan.
3. How to Recover Deleted, Lost or Restore Edited Files
Dropbox comes with two very important features. One is Dropbox Rewind where you can restore your entire Dropbox account or a particular folder to a previous state or point in time. Useful in case of a hack or ransomware attack.
The second feature is Version History which tracks every change that you have made to a file. You can use it to restore the file to how it was before edits were made. Useful when someone else with access to the file makes some changes you don’t approve of.
4. How to Share Files/Link in Dropbox
Dropbox allows users to share files and folders with others, even if they don’t have a Dropbox account. That’s where permissions come in. Hover over the file or folder you want to share and click on the Share button that should be visible now.
You may see additional options based on apps you have connected your Dropbox account with. I see Trello (project management) and Slack (team communication). Click on Share with Dropbox.
Enter the name or email ID of the person you want to share it with and choose whether he/she can only view or edit the documents too. You can add instructions or message right below.
You can create a link at the bottom of the pop-up that you can share via social media or messaging apps. Click on Link settings for Link sharing settings in Dropbox.
You can choose who can access the file, view or edit also, download the file (or not), need a password, and set expiry date. The last one will auto-revoke access to the file shared via the link once the time has elapsed. So no more messing with the settings or unsharing later.
5. How to Unshare Files/Folders in Dropbox
Hover over the file/folder you want to unshare in Dropbox and click on the Share button. You will see a list of all the members. Click the permission button next to the member and select Remove him/her to unshare with him/her.
You will see a pop-up where you can choose to allow the member to continue using a copy of the folder if you want. The sync will stop immediately, which means no new content will be shared or sync.
6. How to View Folder/File Size in Dropbox
Click on the three-dot menu icon and select Version History.
Yup, the file size info is hidden in there.
In the case of folders, select the Modified column and sort it by Size.
Select the folder you want to know the size of, click on the menu icon next to share in the right sidebar and select Calculate size.
That may not be the most user-friendly way, but it does work.
7. How to Download Files/Folders in Dropbox
Select the file or folder that you want to download, click on the menu icon in the right, and select Download.
8. How to Enable Selective Sync in Dropbox
Dropbox will sync everything across all devices. That is the default setting, but not everyone wants this to happen. The reasons could be space or security or anything else. Right-click on the Dropbox icon in the System Tray and select Preferences under your profile icon.
Click on the Selective Sync button under the Sync tab.
You can now choose folders that you want to sync selectively in the next pop-up.
Think Outside the Box
Dropbox is a very robust cloud storage platform with some useful file and folder management options. You can easily manage different aspects of these files without having to worry about losing or compromising anything. While most features are available in the free plan, some are paid and for all the right reasons.
Next up: Want to use Dropbox from right inside Gmail? Click on the link below to learn how to access Dropbox from Gmail now.
Last updated on 03 February, 2022
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