How to Share Dropbox Folders With Other Users

By Kevin Lee

Sharing files and folders over the Internet often requires sending emails, logging on to file sharing services or even installing FTP clients. The Dropbox application simplifies file sharing. When you place a Dropbox on your desktop and drag items into it, the software will automatically upload the items to a Web-based replica of your desktop Dropbox. This makes it possible for you to access your data from anywhere by logging onto the Internet. It also lets you share files and folders with others on the Web.

Set Up Dropbox

Step 1

Skip to the next section if you already have a Dropbox account. Otherwise, visit the Dropbox website and click "Download Dropbox." When prompted, click the "Save" button to save the file to your hard drive.

Step 2

Double-click the installation file after it downloads to start the setup wizard.

Step 3

Click "I don't have a Dropbox account" on the final setup screen and enter your name and email address in the requested text boxes. Think of a secure logon password and enter it in the "Password" text box.

Step 4

Click "Next" to review the subscription plans. You can choose the free plan that gives you 2 GB of data storage or two other plans that offer 50 GB and 100 GB for the monthly fees listed in the window.

Step 5

Click one of the plans, then click "Next" and "Install." The setup wizard displays five screens of help information that explain how to use the service. Click "Next" five times to proceed through the tour.

Step 6

Click your Windows Start button and type "Dropbox" (without the quotes) in the search box. Click the "Dropbox" icon when you see it in the search results. Windows Explorer will open and display your new Dropbox.

Add a Folder to Dropbox

Step 1

Click your Windows Start button and type "Dropbox" (without the quotes) in the search box. Click the "Dropbox" icon when you see it in the search results. Windows Explorer will open and display your new Dropbox.

Step 2

Drag a folder from your desktop into your Dropbox. The software will upload a copy of that folder to your Dropbox on the Web.

Step 3

Click the "Dropbox" icon located in your system tray in the bottom right corner of the screen. A menu appears. Click "Launch Dropbox Website." The software will launch your browser and connect you to a Web page containing your online Dropbox.

Step 4

Click the "Files" button at the top of the Web page. You will see the folder that you added to your desktop Dropbox.

Share a Folder

Step 1

Click the "Sharing" tab at the top of the page, then click "Share."

Step 2

Click "I'd like to share an existing folder." Click "Next." A list of your existing Dropbox folders appears. The only folder in the list will be the one you added in the previous section. Click that folder to highlight it.

Step 3

Click "Next." An "Email" text box appears. Enter the email addresses of people with whom you would like to share the folder into the "Email" text box.

Step 4

Type an optional message to the recipients in the "Message" text box.

Step 5

Click "Share Folder." The site sends email messages to the email addresses you specified. These messages contain a special Dropbox link. When recipients click that link, they can access your shared folder.

Tips & Warnings

  • After clicking the "Sharing" tab on your Dropbox Web page, you can also create a new shared folder instead of sharing an existing one. To do that, click "Create a New Shared Folder" and enter a name for the folder.