Create an activity audit for a Dropbox Business team

This article discusses features that are only available to Dropbox Business teams:

  • Teams on the Standard plan can filter and report how data is shared inside and outside of their company. Specifically, they can track more than 200 types of account and member activity.
  • Teams on the Advanced or Enterprise plans have additional types of tracking available. For example, they can monitor the file-level activity for their teams.

Learn more about the new Dropbox Business plans.

The activity logs are an audit of the actions taken by your team. Activity logs are available to admins of Dropbox Business teams on an Advanced or Enterprise plan; they can be created in the Admin Console. The activity logs help admins:

  • See how often Dropbox Business is being used, who's using it, and for what
  • Investigate and fix issues (like accidental file deletions)

Sections in this article:

What can I see in activity logs?

Activity logs show you several pieces of information about member actions. Each entry in the log shows:

  • Date and time: The exact date and time that an action took place
  • Member: The member that initiated the action
  • Activity: The details of the action itself
  • Location: The location from which the user initiated the action, and the IP address of the machine they were on

Which activities appear in activity logs?

Depending on your Dropbox Business plan, you may have some or all of the following available on activity logs:

  • Files: All file-related actions, including adding, editing, moving, and deleting files
  • Sharing: All sharing-related actions, including sending a link to a file or joining a folder, or sharing a file or folder owned by a team member
  • Passwords: A team member changes their password or two-step verification settings
  • Groups: An admin creates a group or adjusts the membership of a group
  • Membership: Someone joins the team or is removed from the team
  • Sign-ins: A team member signs in or fails to sign in to dropbox.com
  • Admin actions: You or another admin change settings in the admin console, such as shared folder permissions
  • Apps: A team member links a third-party app to their Dropbox account
  • Devices: A team member links a computer or mobile device to their Dropbox account
  • Paper: All Paper-related actions, including sharing Paper docs owned by team members and team-wide Paper settings.

Access and filter the activity log

You can filter the activity on your team to see the types of activity you're interested in.

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com using your admin account.
  2. Click Admin Console.
  3. Click the Activity tab.
  4. Enter any relevant information to filter results.
  5. Click Create report.

Notes on filtering:

  • By activity: Use the Browse activities pull-down menu to filter the list by a specific activity type
  • By specific period: Enter a specific date range in the Date field to see activity that took place during a specific time period
  • By member: To view recent activity of a specific team member, click Members and then enter the team member's name
  • By file or folder: Searching by keyword will scan file or folder names, or the location where they were saved

Exporting

You can export the results of a filtered view. Specifically, you can:

  • Copy-and-paste filtered results into Excel
  • Send a URL of the filtered results to another admin
  • Click on a specific activity and add it as a filter for future use

Note: Filtered results are not truncated in your browser. This means that you can continually scroll in your browser to see older activities.

How long does it take for actions to appear in the activity logs?

Generally, team member actions appear in activity logs in a few hours. At most, actions appear within twenty-four hours.

Who can create activity audits?

Activity audits are available to team admins and user management admins.

Learn more about Dropbox Business tiered admins.

How do I use activity logs to find deleted files?

There are two things to consider when searching for a deleted file:

  • The name of the file
  • The folder in which the file was located

If an individual file is deleted, simply search for that file's name. If you've tried searching for an individual file but can't find it, consider if the file was located in a deleted folder.

Deleting a folder will also delete all of the files in it. However, the names of these individual deleted files won't appear in activity audits—only the folder name will.

To find a file that had been located in a deleted folder, search for the folder path name in the activity audit. For example: /Marketing/2016/03/01/Project_1.docx.

View activity in the admin dashboard

The admin dashboard provides overall usage stats, such as the number of active members, the number of shared links created, and the number of active devices.

Learn more about the admin dashboard.

Sign in to the accounts of your team members

Dropbox Business team admins can sign in to the accounts of team members with the sign in as user feature. If you're a team admin, you can access the Business accounts of team members to do the following:

  • View a team member's folder structure
  • Share files and folders with others
  • View, open, and download files
  • Delete files, or restore deleted files

Note: For team members who have connected personal and work Dropbox accounts, sign in as user does not allow team admins to access Dropbox personal accounts in any way. Only Business accounts are accessible to admins.

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