How to open files from the Dropbox website

The Open with button allows you to open your file from dropbox.com. The available applications are determined by Dropbox, your computer’s operating system, and the file type.

To open a file from dropbox.com, you can do either of the following:

  • Hover over a file, click Open with (or Open), and choose an application from the menu
  • Preview a file, click Open with (or Open) at the top of the screen, and choose an application from the menu

Paper files don’t offer an Open with option because they only open in Paper. You can export them instead.

What applications can I open my file in?

The options in the Open with dropdown menu depend on the kind of file you’re trying to open (.docx, .xlxs, .pdf, etc…).

For example, if you have a .docx file open on dropbox.com, the Open with dropdown menu may have options such as:

  • Copy to Paper
  • Show in Finder/Windows Explorer (or your computer’s default file manager)
  • Open in Microsoft Word (or your computer’s default application for opening .docx files)
  • Microsoft Word online (an online version of your computer’s default application)
  • DocuSign (or any third-party apps that are connected to your Dropbox account and can open .docx files)

If your file isn’t synced to your computer’s Dropbox folder, then you’ll only see online applications in this dropdown menu. For example, if a .docx file isn’t synced to your computer, you can only open it in online applications like Microsoft Word Online or Paper, but not in applications on your computer like Microsoft Word.

What if I don’t see Open with?

There are two reasons why you may not see an Open with button:

The file isn’t saved to your Dropbox account

This happens if someone shared the file with you, but you didn’t save it to your Dropbox account. To save it:

  1. Open the file on dropbox.com
  2. Click Download at the top of the page
  3. Click Save to my Dropbox

You’re a Dropbox Business user and your admin disabled Extensions

If you’re part of a Dropbox Business team, and your team admin has disabled Extensions for your team, you’ll see Open instead of Open with.

If you haven’t installed the Dropbox app for your computer before, you can do so here. This will create a Dropbox folder on your computer and all of your online files will automatically sync.

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