The Public folder

Important changes to the Dropbox public folder

Dropbox accounts created after October 4, 2012 won't have a Public folder. If you'd like to quickly share files you can use a shared link. Shared links work even if the person you're sharing with doesn't have a Dropbox account.

Dropbox Basic (free) users

As of March 15, 2017 the Public folder in your Dropbox account has been converted into a standard folder. By default this folder is private to your account. This transition will occur automatically.

Here's what you need to know:

  • All of the files in your Public folder will remain safe, but public links to those files will stop working
  • If someone visits a link to a file in your Public folder, they'll see an error page
  • To see a list of your public links, visit the Public folder—any file in this folder will have previously had a public link associated with it
  • Dropbox can't convert existing public links into Dropbox shared links
  • If you'd like to re-share any of the files in your Public folder, please use a shared folder or shared link

Using the public folder to render HTML content

As of October 3, 2016 Dropbox Basic (free) users can no longer use public links to render HTML content in a web browser. If you're a Basic user, and you created a website that directly displays HTML content from your Dropbox account, it will no longer render in the browser. The HTML content itself remains safe in Dropbox, and you can share it using any of our other sharing methods.

Effective September 1, 2017, Dropbox Plus and Business users will no longer be able to render HTML content, and the Public folder and its sharing functionality will be disabled. Until that date, Dropbox Plus and Business users can continue to use public links to render HTML content.

Dropbox Plus and Business users can create links to files in your Dropbox by dragging and dropping them into the Public folder. Your friends and colleagues can choose to download the file or view it in their browser, and any edits they make will not affect the original version. If you make any changes to the file, however, your edits will be updated within the link. You can also send the links to anyone by pasting them into your emails, instant messages, and web pages.

First, you'll have to make the file available to anyone by moving the file you want to share to the Public folder located in Dropbox.

Copy public links on dropbox.com

  1. Move the file to your Public folder.
  2. Click the (ellipsis) icon next to the file name.
  3. Click Copy public link in the menu that appears.

Copy public links on the desktop app

Linux

On Linux

If you have the Dropbox application installed on your computer: once the file is in your Public folder, simply right-click it once to open a menu. Choose Dropbox and then Copy public link.

Macintosh

On Mac OS X

If you have the Dropbox application installed on your computer: once the file is in your Public folder, simply Ctrl-click it and choose Copy public link from the menu.

Vista/Win7/Win8/Win10

On Windows

If you have the Dropbox application installed on your computer: once the file is in your Public folder, simply right-click it and choose Copy public link from the menu.

Remove a Public link

If you're done sharing the file or folder, move the file out of the Public folder either by dragging and dropping the file elsewhere (on your desktop and on the web). Alternatively, you can select the file and press Move from the blue bar at the top of the file browser and choose a location outside of the Public folder. Any future visitors to the public link will receive an error informing them that the file is no longer available.

Renaming a file will also remove a public link. If you need to rename a file, simply create a new public link to resume sharing it.

Learn more

As of October 3, 2016 Dropbox Basic (free) users can no longer use public links to render HTML content in a web browser. If you're a Basic user, and you created a website that directly displays HTML content from your Dropbox account, it will no longer render in the browser. The HTML content itself remains safe in Dropbox, and you can share it using any of our other sharing methods.

Effective September 1, 2017 Dropbox Pro, Plus, and Business users will no longer be able to render HTML content, and the Public folder and its sharing functionality will be disabled. Until that date, Dropbox Pro, Plus, and Business users can continue to use public links to render HTML content.

Learn more

Now you have the basics down, here are some advanced topics on public links:

  • You don't have to be online for others to use these links and see and download your files.
  • While you can't link to folders in your Public folder, you can link to files within sub-folders.
  • Files in your Public folder are public and can be viewed or downloaded by anyone who uses the link. If at any point you want to stop sharing a file, all you need to do is move it out of your Public folder and it will no longer be shared.
  • Dropbox no longer renders HTML content in browser via Dropbox shared links. This means that if you’ve created a website that directly displays HTML content from your public folder, the website will no longer be accessible in the browser. However, the HTML content will remain in your Dropbox.
  • Links have a bandwidth limit of 20 GB/day for Basic accounts and about 200 GB/day for Plus and Business accounts. If your account hits our limit, your links will be automatically and temporarily suspended, and we'll send an email notification to the email address registered with your account. Anyone who tries to access the links will see an error page instead of your file.
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