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How do I share folders with other people?

Dropbox offers easy ways to share files or folders. Shared folders are ideal for groups of people who would like to collaborate on the same files together. When you create a shared folder and add other people to it, its files will appear in their Dropbox just as they do in yours. Any member of the folder can add, delete, or edit files within that folder.

See below for step-by-step instructions on how to share folders from the Dropbox website or from any device (phone, tablet, or desktop).

If you're having trouble with sharing, here are quick links to some helpful troubleshooting tips and FAQs at the bottom of this article:

Dropbox Pro and Dropbox for Business users: As the owner of the folder, you can decide who in the folder is an editor and who is a viewer. Editors have the ability add, remove, and edit files in the folder, while viewers are only allowed to view the folder contents. Learn more about shared folder permissions.

Collaborate with others by sharing a folder from the iPhone app

  1. Open the Dropbox iPhone app
  2. Tap the folder you'd like to share
  3. Tap the sharing icon
  4. Share from the iPhone app
  5. Tap Invite to folder
  6. Invite from the iPhone app
  7. Enter the email addresses of the people you'd like to invite
  8. Add a personal message (optional), and then tap Invite in the top right corner of the screen to send the invitation

Collaborate with others by sharing a folder from the iPad app

  1. Open the Dropbox iPad app
  2. Tap the folder you'd like to share
  3. Tap the sharing icon
  4. Share from the iPad app
  5. Tap Invite to folder
  6. Invite from the iPad app
  7. Enter the email addresses of the people you'd like to invite
  8. Add a personal message (optional), and then tap Invite in the top right corner of the screen to send the invitation

Collaborate with others by sharing a folder from the Android app

  1. Open the Dropbox Android app on your Android device
  2. Tap the quick-action button to the right of the folder you'd like to share
  3. Tap the Share icon
  4. Android share
  5. Tap Invite to folder
  6. Android invite
  7. Enter the email addresses of the people you'd like to invite
  8. Add a personal message (optional), and then tap the Send icon in the top right corner of the screen to send the invitation

Collaborate with others by sharing a folder from the Windows Phone app

  1. Tap and hold the folder you'd like to share
  2. Select Share and then Invite to Folder
  3. Share from the Windows Phone app
  4. Enter the email addresses of the people you'd like to invite
  5. Invite from the Windows Phone app
  6. Add a personal message (optional), adjust membership settings (optional), and then tap the Confirm checkmark at the bottom of the screen to send the invitation

Share a folder from the Dropbox website on Windows

  1. Sign in to the Dropbox website.
  2. Go to your list of files and folders and select the folder you want to share by hovering the cursor over the folder's name. (Clicking on the folder name or icon will open the folder instead.)
  3. Click Invite people to collaborate to give others access to the files in your folder.
  4. Enter the email addresses of the people you want to invite. If you're a Pro or Business user, you can choose whether each person has edit or view-only permissions in the folder.
  5. Add a personal message if you'd like and click Share folder.

You can also invite people to folders from the Sharing page. To create a new shared folder, click the New shared folder button at the top of the page. To invite more people to an existing shared folder, find it in the list and click its Options link.

Once someone accepts your invitation, the shared folder will appear in the person's Dropbox.

Share a folder on Windows

You can share a folder right from your computer if you've installed the Dropbox desktop application.

  1. Open your Dropbox folder.
  2. Right-click on the folder you want to share to bring up a menu.
  3. Select the Share This Folder... option. This will open a new window where you can invite people to collaborate.
    Share this folder option Select Share This Folder... from the contextual menu

Share a folder from the Dropbox website on a Mac

  1. Sign in to the Dropbox website.
  2. Go to your list of files and folders and select the folder you want to share by hovering the cursor over the folder's name. (Clicking on the folder name or icon will open the folder instead.)
  3. Click Invite people to collaborate to give others access to the files in your folder.
  4. Enter the email addresses of the people you want to invite. If you're a Pro or Business user, you can choose whether each person has edit or view-only permissions in the folder.
  5. Add a personal message if you'd like and click Share folder.

You can also invite people to folders from the Sharing page. To create a new shared folder, click the New shared folder button at the top of the page. To invite more people to an existing shared folder, find it in the list and click its Options link.

Once someone accepts your invitation, the shared folder will appear in the person's Dropbox.

Share a folder on Mac OS X

You can share a folder right from your computer if you've installed the Dropbox desktop application.

  1. Open your Dropbox folder.
  2. Right-click or Control-click on the folder you want to share to bring up a menu.
  3. Select Share This Folder.... This will open the Sharing page on the Dropbox website, and you can follow the steps described above.
    Share this folder option Select Share This Folder... from the contextual menu

Share a folder from the Dropbox website on Linux

  1. Sign in to the Dropbox website.
  2. Go to your list of files and folders and select the folder you want to share by hovering the cursor over the folder's name. (Clicking on the folder name or icon will open the folder instead.)
  3. Click Invite people to collaborate to give others access to the files in your folder.
  4. Enter the email addresses of the people you want to invite. If you're a Pro or Business user, you can choose whether each person has edit or view-only permissions in the folder.
  5. Add a personal message if you'd like and click Share folder.

You can also invite people to folders from the Sharing page. To create a new shared folder, click the New shared folder button at the top of the page. To invite more people to an existing shared folder, find it in the list and click its Options link.

Once someone accepts your invitation, the shared folder will appear in the person's Dropbox.

Share a folder on Linux

You can share a folder right from your computer if you've installed the Dropbox desktop application.

  1. Open your Dropbox folder.
  2. Right-click on the folder you want to share to bring up a menu.
  3. Select Share This Folder.... This will open the Sharing page on the Dropbox website, and you can follow the steps described above.
    Share this folder option Select Share This Folder... from the contextual menu

Share a folder from the Dropbox website on Windows XP

  1. Sign in to the Dropbox website.
  2. Go to your list of files and folders and select the folder you want to share by hovering the cursor over the folder's name. (Clicking on the folder name or icon will open the folder instead.)
  3. Click Invite people to collaborate to give others access to the files in your folder.
  4. Enter the email addresses of the people you want to invite. If you're a Pro or Business user, you can choose whether each person has edit or view-only permissions in the folder.
  5. Add a personal message if you'd like and click Share folder.

You can also invite people to folders from the Sharing page. To create a new shared folder, click the New shared folder button at the top of the page. To invite more people to an existing shared folder, find it in the list and click its Options link.

Once someone accepts your invitation, the shared folder will appear in the person's Dropbox.

Share a folder on Windows XP

You can share a folder right from your computer if you've installed the Dropbox desktop application.

  1. Open your Dropbox folder.
  2. Right-click on the folder you want to share to bring up a menu.
  3. Select the Share This Folder... option. This will open a new window where you can invite people to collaborate.
    Share this folder option Select Share This Folder... from the contextual menu

Dropbox for Business users: Some important distinctions between shared folders and team folders

Many Dropbox for Business users will use team folders and regular shared folders interchangeably. However, there are some important distinctions, and specific cases where one is a better option than the other. In both shared folders and team folders, any additions, edits, or deletions will sync for every member of the folder. But with team folders:

  • The files in the folder are shared with the entire team by default (with shared folders you'll need to manually invite new members)
  • New team members automatically see team folders in their Dropbox upon joining the team
  • Only team admins can create a team folder, and team folders can't be managed with individual permissions settings
  • Team folders can't be shared with anyone outside of your team

Can I manage team folder settings like I can with shared folders?

No. By default, team folders are shared with your entire team. If you've created a team folder by mistake you can simply create a new folder, drag over files from the team folder, and then share it individually with those you'd like to have access.

With regular shared folders you will have more granular control over folder permissions and settings.

How can I tell if I'm in a team folder or a shared folder?

For those accessing a team folder, if you see "Shared with all members of..." above the files then you're viewing a team folder.

For team admins, you can create team folders only through the Admin Console (under Team folder). The pop-up that prompts you to name your new folder details that the folder will be shared with all members of your team.

  • You won't see the "Invite people to collaborate" prompt on a team folder, whereas with a shared folder you will

To learn more, check out these other helpful articles:

Shared folder FAQs and troubleshooting tips:

Can I share a folder that's inside of another shared folder?

You can't share a folder inside of another shared folder. If you try to do this from your computer, the application will automatically send you to the sharing options of the top-level shared folder.

One workaround for this is to share a link to the parent folder of the shared subfolder. While this would give recipients of the link access to all folders in that path, any changes they make to files in that folder won't sync with your Dropbox. If you'd like to give them read-write access to the parent folder instead, you can unshare the subfolder, share the parent folder, and then share a link to the subfolder.

What happens if two people edit a file at the same time?

If two people both open and edit a file in a shared folder at the same time, Dropbox will save both of their changes, but in separate files. It does not try to automatically combine or merge changes. See our article on conflicted copies to learn more about how this works.

Can I reuse an invitation message after I've sent it?

Unfortunately if an invitation to a Shared Folder has already been sent, there is no way to go back and copy the initial shared folder message.

Is there a limit to the number of files that can be in a shared folder?

Creating a shared folder from a folder that already contains a very large number of files will often result in an error. This error only affects the creation of a shared folder and won't affect future invitations to the folder.

The simple workaround is to create and share a new empty folder in your Dropbox and then move all of the files from the existing folder into the new shared folder.

  • Note: Make sure you pick a good name for the shared folder as the name of a shared folder can't be changed once it is created (you can change it locally but new and existing members will see the original name).

Dropbox says I have too many pending invitations—what should I do?

To prevent abuse, Dropbox accounts have a limited number of pending invitations for shared folders. If you are receiving a message that you have too many pending invitations, try canceling some of your pending shared folder invitations:

  1. Log in to your Dropbox account
  2. Click the "Sharing" tab
  3. Next to the shared folder with pending invitations that you would like to cancel, click "Options"
  4. In the pop-up window that appears, select the email address and choose "Uninvite"

Important note on copyrighted material

You should only use shared folders and public folders for files that you have the legal right to share with others (for example, documents, software, music, and videos that you personally created). You do not have the right to share files unless you own the copyright in them or have been given permission by the copyright owner to share them. Purchasing or legally acquiring video, music, or software does not give you the right to share that material with third parties over the Internet.

If you have any doubts about whether you have the legal right to share certain files, you should not share them. By using the shared folder or public folder features you represent that files placed in those folders do not violate Dropbox’s Terms of Service and that you own all copyrights to them or have been given permission by the copyright owner to share them. Dropbox has adopted a policy of terminating the accounts of users who repeatedly infringe copyright or whose accounts are subject to multiple infringement allegations. If you repeatedly place files in shared folders or public folders that infringe others’ copyrights, your account will be terminated.

For more information on Dropbox’s copyright policy, please visit Dropbox’s DMCA page.