Make work easier with the Dropbox desktop app

Yes, Dropbox is a secure home for your company’s most important stuff. But it’s also a great time saver for every team member—including you. Dropbox features reduce clutter and busy-work, and can make your job easier.

One of the most important of these features is the Dropbox desktop application.

The desktop app runs on Windows, Mac, or Linux computers (much like a mobile app runs on your phone). Among many other great features, the desktop app installs a Dropbox folder on your hard drive. This folder works like other folders on your computer, but with two important differences:

  • Files stored in the Dropbox folder are backed up to Dropbox
  • These files automatically become available on any computer, phone, or tablet you’ve linked to your Dropbox account

Ready to get started?

1. Create an account

You should have received an email invite to join your Dropbox Business team. To get started, click the link in this email and follow the prompts. If you didn’t receive an email, or you need it re-sent, ask your IT department or Dropbox Business admin for help.

Pro tips: Sync

You’ll see the word “sync” a lot when you use Dropbox. Sync means you see the same version of a file on any device where you’ve signed in to your Dropbox account. Files you drag into the Dropbox folder automatically sync to Dropbox online. Changes or edits to the files in this folder will also sync to Dropbox.

2. Open the Dropbox desktop app

Now that you’ve created an account, the next step is to start (or “launch”) the Dropbox desktop app. In some cases, the app may already be installed on your computer. If it’s not, you’ll need to download and install the app.

If the desktop app is already installed

If the desktop app is already installed on your computer, you’ll see it either in the Applications list on your computer, or as an icon on your computer’s desktop screen. If you see either of these options, double-click it to launch the app, and move on to step 3 in this guide.

If the desktop app isn’t yet installed

If the desktop app isn’t yet installed on your computer, you’ll need to download it. There are three ways to do this:

Once the app is downloaded, you’ll see it either in the Applications list on your computer or directly on your computer’s desktop screen. Double-click to launch, and then move on to step 3 in this guide.

Pro tips: Automatic action

The desktop app runs in the background, and automatically keeps your files in sync (as long as your computer is online). This means you don’t need to manually upload or download files.

3. Sign in

Once the app is downloaded, you’ll see a Dropbox folder on your hard drive (found in the Start menu, Finder view, or other file viewer). You should also see the Dropbox icon in the system tray or menu bar. Click the app to launch it; you’ll then be prompted to sign in.

Be sure to sign in with the same email address and password you used to join your Dropbox Business team. By signing in, you’ll “link” your computer directly to your Dropbox account. If you’re able to sign in, move on to step 4 of this guide.

  • Hint: You may also be prompted to enter a two-step verification code. Contact your IT team or Dropbox Business admin if you’re not sure what to do next.

Pro tips: Quick install

If you already use Dropbox, you can also complete the desktop setup using a QR code reader on your phone.

What to do if you don’t see the password box

If you don’t see the box to enter your password, it’s likely that your team admin enabled single sign-on (SSO). If this is true, follow the steps below to access Dropbox. You’ll use the same username and password you use to sign in to the company network or other company tools (like Active Directory).

  1. Open the Dropbox desktop app.
  2. Select I already have a Dropbox account, and click Continue.
  3. Enter your email address, but leave the password field blank.
  4. Click Continue.
  5. Click Get your link code.
  6. If you haven’t yet signed in to your company's SSO page, a web browser will open and you'll be prompted to sign in. Enter your email address, work password (not your Dropbox password), and any other information your company requires.
  7. You’ll see a Dropbox page displaying a special code. Click Copy link code.
  8. Go back to the Dropbox app and click Paste.
  9. Click Continue, and follow the prompts to finish linking your Dropbox account.

4. Add files

When you sign in to Dropbox on your computer, you might see some folders already in your account. They’ll have different icons to help you understand what each means. You can work with these folders just like you do with any other folder on your hard drive.

There are four different kinds of folders you might see:

Blue folder with a building icon

 

Team folder (or a folder in the team space). These folders are shared with all or part of your Dropbox Business team, and managed by your admin. They can also be shared with people outside of your team.

Purple folder with a person icon

 

Personal folder (or team member folder). By default, your team member folder isn't shared with anyone else. But you can share it if you choose.

Blue folder

 

Regular folder. A regular folder works just like any other folder on your computer: it's a good way to organize files, but not shared with anyone.

 

Blue folder with two people

 

Shared folder. You can turn a regular folder into a shared folder at any time. Members of a shared folder (those you share it with) can view, comment on, and edit the files in that folder.

  • Note: Shared folders inside a team folder have a building icon.

Note: The way these folder icons look varies depending on where you're viewing them. The icons above are from the Dropbox website (dropbox.com).

There are two ways to add files to these folders:

  • Drag-and-drop from another location on your computer (or from another folder within Dropbox)
  • Open a file, click "Save as," and save to Dropbox as the location

5. Download the mobile app, and link your account to your phone or tablet

Files in the Dropbox folder are available on any other computer, phone, or tablet that you’ve linked to your Dropbox account. If you already have the Dropbox app on your phone or tablet, simply sign in to it with your work account. If you don’t yet have the app on your other devices, you can download it:

Pro tips: Multi device access

Sync works across any device that you’ve linked to your account. Simply sign in to Dropbox with the same username and password on any computer, phone, or tablet, and you’ll always see the same files.

If you’re using the mobile app for the first time, launch it and sign in with the username and password for your work account. If you’re already a Dropbox user, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Dropbox app.
  2. Tap I'm Already a Dropbox User.
  3. Enter your email address but leave the password field blank. Tap Sign In to Dropbox.
  4. If you’ve already signed in to your company’s device management page, the app should launch automatically. If you haven't, a browser window will open and prompt you to continue. Enter your email address, work password (not your Dropbox password), and any other required info.
  5. If your company uses SSO, a new page will open in your browser, requesting approval for the app to use SSO. Tap Allow.
  6. Follow the remaining steps in the app setup flow to finish.

6. Link your personal account

The admin of your Dropbox Business team may allow you to connect a personal Dropbox account on your work computer. This means you can access both personal and work files on the same device.

  • Hint: If your admin doesn't allow this, you can always access both a work and personal account on the Dropbox website (dropbox.com).

Once you connect your personal and work accounts, you’ll see two separate Dropbox folders on your hard drive or in the mobile app. Your work account will appear as Dropbox (Company name), while the personal account will appear as Dropbox (Personal).

Pro tips: Offline access

You can access files in the Dropbox folder on your computer even when you’re offline. That's because copies of these files are also stored on your hard drive. If you edit a file while you're offline, Dropbox will sync these changes the next time you're online.

7. Start using Dropbox!

Okay. You finished installing Dropbox and signing in on all your devices, and you’ve added your most important files. You’re ready to start using Dropbox, and unleash your own creative energy.

Need anything else? The admin on your Dropbox Business team is your advocate, and the best place to bring ideas or questions.

Find the admin on your Dropbox Business team.

 

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