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Shared folder permissions

Shared folders are great for groups of people who need to work on the same files together because Dropbox will keep the files up to date for everyone as changes are made. By default, members of a shared folder have edit permissions—they can can add, edit, or delete files.

Sometimes you may want to let people view the files in your folder without being able to change them. Dropbox offers two ways to do this:

  • You can send a link to a file or folder, which allows recipients to view and download a copy of it. It’s a great replacement for sending email attachments.
  • If you're a Dropbox Pro or Dropbox Business user, you can set view-only permissions for some or all members of your shared folder. View-only permissions enables members to always see the latest versions of the files without having the ability to edit them. It’s great for keeping collaborators continuously up to date.

What do I do if I want to edit the files in a shared folder, but currently have view-only permissions?

Only a shared folder owner or editor can change permissions. If you need to have a different role within a shared folder, contact the owner or any current editor and ask to have your permissions updated.

Haven’t found your answer here? Ask our Community experts!

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

Many Dropbox 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?

Team folders are represented by this icon:

team 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:

Learn more about setting shared folder permissions below.