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The Open button on dropbox.com

The Open button makes it easier to access files from dropbox.com. You can use it to open and edit files on your computer without creating new copies.

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com.
  2. Click the Open button to open the local version of the file that's already on your computer.

Why isn't the Open button working for my file?

The Open button displays different options, depending on whether a file is already synced to your computer or mobile device.

If a file is password protected through another application (like Microsoft Word), you can't open it with the Open button. To open the file, download it to your computer.

For .xlsx, .docx, and .pptx files

  • If a file is already downloaded to your computer or mobile device, you have three options:
    • Open it with an application on your desktop (the default option)
    • Open it in Office Online
    • Show it in Finder/Windows Explorer
Options when a file is already downloaded
  • If a file is not already downloaded to your computer or mobile device, the Open button will open it in Office Online. To download the file to your desktop, click (ellipsis) and then select Download.
Options when a file has not been downloaded

For all other files

  • If a file is already downloaded to your computer or mobile device, you have two options:
    • Open it with an application on your desktop (the default option)
    • Show it in Finder/Windows Explorer
    • Note: If no application is detected for your file type, the Open button will automatically show it in Finder/Windows Explorer
Other file types that have already been downloaded
  • When a file is not already downloaded to your device's hard drive, you can download it to the desktop.
Download to desktop

Why is my file being opened with a specific application?

The Open button will open files using whichever application is set as the default for viewing files of that type on your operating system.

Can I still download the file?

If you see an Open button instead of a Download button, there's no need to download—it's already synced to the Dropbox folder on your computer. Clicking Show in File Explorer (or Show in Finder on OS X) will open the file in your system file browser.

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