The fast, simple alternative to ZIP compression

With Dropbox, you can quickly and easily send different types of files to anyone, without the hassle of emailing ZIP and RAR files.

Say goodbye to file compressor apps

If you’re trying to compress a large file or folder to email, there’s always waiting: waiting for the original file to compress, for the upload to your email, for your recipient to download, and then unzip it. And that’s not to mention any of the problems that can get in the way, such as duplicated files, corruption, and ZIP and RAR file size limits—and don't even ask about how to condense a video. Sending a large file, without sacrificing file quality, shouldn’t be so hard.

Dropbox makes it easy

With Dropbox, sending a file or folder in its original size is as simple as clicking Share. No multi-step process needed to compress files to fit in an email. Getting files in Dropbox is a cinch:

  • Windows, Mac, and Linux: Move files to the Dropbox folder on your computer, and they’ll upload in the background.
  • Web: Drag and drop files from your desktop right into your browser.
  • iOS and Android: Upload files with just a few taps—or set up automatic camera uploads for photos and videos—in the Dropbox mobile app for iOS and Android operating systems.

(Not all features are available on all Dropbox plans; compare our plans to find the version right for you.)

Dropbox file compression

Dropbox helps secure files

The second you email a ZIP or RAR file from a file compressor app, anything could happen to your data. All that stands between you and your file getting into the wrong hands is a forwarded email. But with Dropbox, you’re still in control, even after you’ve sent a file, thanks to these and other security features:

  • Access control: Easily disable a link after you’ve sent it to prevent anyone from accessing a shared file or folder. You can also invite specific people through our apps or dropbox.com to limit access.
  • File permissions: Give people only the access they need. Dropbox lets you give recipients the ability to download shared links or just preview them on the web.
  • Password protected and expiring links: Worried your link might end somewhere it shouldn’t? Dropbox lets you add password protection and expiration dates to shared links to help keep access in your control.
Sharing files securely

Dropbox moves fast

It takes precious time to compress a file using file compression software. And who wants to wait around for ZIP files to be created? Dropbox gives you a fast, reliable way to send files with these advanced technologies:

  • Auto-resuming transfers: No need to start over if your internet goes down. We’ll resume interrupted transfers when your connection’s back up.
  • Delta, LAN, and streaming sync: This trio of technologies help you send large files quickly by reducing transfer sizes, downloading locally when possible, and starting syncing to other devices faster.
  • Deduplication: If someone on your team has already uploaded your file to Dropbox, we’ll copy it to your account, making it available to share even faster.
fast file transfer with Dropbox

Dropbox simplifies sharing

Compressing a file is only half the battle. Once you’ve got your ZIP or RAR file, you still have to put it somewhere. Whether it’s an email, FTP, or file server, your compressed file needs to live somewhere before you can send it. Dropbox takes care of everything in one place, saving you and your recipients the extra steps:

  • Copy and paste: Since all you need to do is send a link, you can easily share Dropbox files via email, chat, or text message.
  • Spare your inbox: No worrying about eating up inbox storage. Shared links mean you—and recipients—won’t have to beg for more storage space in your email account.
  • Save disk space: With Dropbox Smart Sync, you can even save hard drive space. Mark a file as online-only, and large files will only take up a fraction of the space on your computer.
spare your inbox when sharing files

Compressed files on Dropbox

Even if you still need to work with compressed files, Dropbox makes the perfect companion:

  • ZIP and RAR preview support: Sharing a link to a compressed folder or file? Recipients can browse the contents on dropbox.com or through or mobile app—and even preview over 150 file formats—without having to decompress the ZIP or RAR.
  • Post-upload compression: If you ever need to compress a file or folder after it uploads to Dropbox, it’s easy. Just create a ZIP or RAR file on Windows, Mac, or Linux, and our desktop app will sync the new compressed file.
  • Support for editing: If you need to make changes to your compressed file after it uploads, they’ll sync to Dropbox quickly. With our delta sync feature, we’ll only transfer the portion of the file that's changed since you last synced.
Using compressed files with Dropbox

File compression—sometimes referred to as data compression—is a way to reduce overall file size to make large files more manageable. It can make large files easier to share or download, and take up less space on your hard drive. Compressed file types are ZIP and RAR most commonly, but can also be ARC, ARJ, or CAB.

File compression works by encoding information into fewer bits than the original by removing redundant data in the file. Most file compression methods are lossless, which means that you won’t lose any data or quality during the compression. Both Mac and Windows devices have file compression features built in to their OS, so you can easily compress your files into zipped folders on your desktop.

Yes, you can upload compressed files—including ZIP or RAR files—to Dropbox. You can:

  • Drag and drop the compressed file to dropbox.com
  • Use the "Upload files” on dropbox.com
  • Move or copy the file into the Dropbox folder on your computer using our desktop app

To unzip files or open RAR files, download them from your Dropbox account to your desktop computer. Since Mac and Windows devices both have built-in file compression features, when you open a ZIP or RAR file for the first time it will automatically uncompress—or unzip—your file.

It’s simple to share or email large files with Dropbox—no need to compress files. Upload the file to Dropbox, create a shared link, and send that link via chat, email, or text to whomever you want. Anyone with the link can view or download the file you’ve shared, even if they don’t have a Dropbox account.