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Team space and member folders: an overview

This article discusses a feature that's only available for certain Dropbox Business teams. 

With the new Dropbox Business, your team shares a team space. Everyone on your team can access the team space, and everyone sees the same folder structure. In the team space, you have two different kids of folders.

  • Team folders: In a team folder, each folder can be shared with different people, including team members and people not on your team. You can choose to allow others to view the files in a team folder, edit them, or block access altogether.
  • Team member folder: The team member folder is your space, and you can choose to share the files and folders in your team member folder, or not.

Sections in this article:

Team member folder

Your team member folder is your space. You have the final say about how files and folders in this space are shared. Some of your files can be just yours, some can be shared with your whole team.

Your team member folder is named after you: if your name is Janey Smith, your folder is called “Janey Smith.” Your team member folder has a purple folder icon with one person on it.

Note: You can't change the name of your team member folder.

Inside your team member folder, shared folders are blue with two people on them. Folders that aren't shared are blue with no icon on the folder.

Note: While your team member folder is your space, your team admins can access your team member folder through the admin console or by signing-in as your account.

Sharing in a team member folder

You can share files and folders in your team member folder with shared folders and shared links. You decide who can access this content. 

If you're invited to a folder that isn't in the team space, you can Add this folder to your team member folder. When you receive a folder invite, the invite shows where you'll add the folder: either in your team member folder or a team folder. Adding the folder lets you access its contents in your Dropbox account.

Note: If you share a file or folder in your team member folder, only the file or folder that you select is shared. Nothing else in your team member folder is shared unless you choose to share it.

Joining a team with an existing Dropbox account

If you joined your Dropbox Business team with an existing Dropbox account, your team member folder contains all your existing files. If you had shared folder and shared links in your account, these files and folders are still shared in the same way. You can move any content that should be shared with your team into the team space.

Team space

The team space is shared with everyone on your team. The team space looks the same and has the same structure for all team members.

Example of the team space

Your name is Janey Smith, and you're in the design department of a company named Company. You just joined your Dropbox Business team. 

In your Dropbox account, you see a team space called Company. When you click this, you see several folders: 

  • Janey Smith: "Janey Smith" is your team member folder. 
  • Design: In the "Design" folder, you see files and folders for design projects. You can access and view all the files in this folder.
  • Marketing: There’s a grey minus signs on the "Marketing" folder icon. If you try to open “Marketing,” you see an error message: No access to the folder "Marketing."

Sharing in the team space

The team space is accessible to the entire team, but that doesn’t mean that all team members have access to all content. You can have different permissions to folders:

  • Can edit: You can view, edit, and manage access to the contents of this folder
  • Can view: You can view the contents of this folder
  • No access: You can't view the contents of this folder

By default, anyone with edit permissions to a folder has edit permissions to all folders inside that folder. For example, if you can edit “Design,” you can edit any folders inside “Design,” unless access to a folder is limited.

Change access to a folder in the team space

If you Can edit a folder, you can change who can access that folder. 

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com.
  2. Click Files.
  3. Navigate to the folder you want to manage access to.
  4. Hover over the folder and choose Share.
    • You can add users or groups you’d like to share with by entering their names or email addresses in the text box. After you add members and chose their access, click Share.
    • You can remove individual users or groups by clicking Remove next to their name.

From the Share window, you can see who can access the folder and what permissions they have. Next to a team member or group, you see Can edit or Can view

For example, the design team can have a “Design” folder in the team space that only the design group can access. The Design team could then invite specific users to folders in their “Design” folder.

No access to a folder error

Folders that you don’t have access to have a grey minus sign over the folder. If you try to open one of these folders, you see an error: No access to the folder “Folder name.”

Move files and folders in the team space

If you have edit access to a folder, you can move that folder without changing its sharing permissions. 

However, there are a few situations when you can’t move a folder:

  • You don't have edit access to the folder
  • You’re trying to move the folder into your member folder
  • You’re trying to move the folder outside of the team space
  • You don’t have edit access to the folder you’re trying to move the folder into

Copying folders in the team space

Copying a folder in the team space copies the contents of the folder, but doesn't copy the permissions to that folder. If you paste a folder into a part of the team space that you can edit, the folder has the same permissions as its new location.

For example: a small brand team can access the "New logo designs" folder. You copy the "New logo designs" folder and paste it into the "Marketing" folder that your entire team can access. Everyone on your team now can access the copy of "New logo designs" in the "Marketing" folder.

What do the icons on my folders mean?

The icons (or symbols) on the folders in your Dropbox account let you know what kind of folder you’re using. 

Blue folder with a building icon


A folder with a building icon has been shared with all or part of your Dropbox Business team. It is part of the team space. It may also be shared with people outside of your team.

Purple folder with a person icon


A purple folder with a person icon means that this folder is your team member folder. Your team member folder is visible only to you. The contents of your team member folder may be shared.

Blue folder


A blue folder with no icon is used for folders inside your team member folder that are not shared.

Note: The way these folder icons look varies depending on where you're viewing them. These icons are from dropbox.com.

My folder icons don't match these icons

If you had access to the team space before April 9th, 2018, you may still have some older icons. If your folders don’t have the same icons described in this article, then they may not have updated yet.

You can update to the new icons by re-syncing your Dropbox folder. To re-sync your folder, un-sync your folders on the desktop app using selective sync, then sync them again.

Administrating the team space

Admins can choose if all members or only admins can edit the top-level of the team space. The top-level is the first set of folder that you see in the Files section of your account on dropbox.com.

To change this setting:

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com with your admin account.
  2. Click Admin console.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Under Content, click Top-level editing.
  5. Click the drop-down and choose the right setting for your team:
    • Everyone: All team members can edit the top-level of the team space.
    • Only admins: Only admins can edit the top-level of the team space. Team members can’t add files or folders to this level of the space.
  6. Click Save.

If you choose Only admins, you can use the Content tab to add, delete, rename, or move content in the top-level of the team space. 

If you choose Everyone, you can either use the Content tab, dropbox.com, or the desktop app to edit the top-level of the team space.

The content manager

In the content manager, you can organize the folder structure in the team space. From the content manager, team admins can also manage membership of any shared content. 

Create a top-level folder in the team shared space:

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com with your admin account.
  2. Click Admin Console.
  3. Click Content.
  4. Click New folder.
  5. Choose if you want everyone on your team to have access to this folder or only specific members.
  6. Choose if members should have Can edit or  Can view access to the contents of the folder.

Manage access to a folder:

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com with your admin account.
  2. Click Admin Console.
  3. Click Content.
  4. Click Manage by the folder that you’re interested in.
  5. In the popup window that appears, find the group or individual you want to edit.
  6. Click the dropdown menu and select Can edit or Can view or Remove.

Team member folders

You can access team member folders using sign-in as user or in the Content tab under Members.

For help with the team space and member folders, or to cancel your Dropbox Business plan or trial, contact Dropbox Support.

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