When you want to share cherished photos, important documents or adorable videos with others, Dropbox can be an extremely useful tool. By using Dropbox to share you can give multiple people access to files and allow them to edit and share the updates.
Uses for Shared Dropbox Folders
When you want to share files, photos, documents, videos and other data, using a shared Dropbox folder has many advantages.
When you’re working on a document with someone else or a group of people, using a shared Dropbox folder helps ensure that everyone is working on the same document. By using Dropbox you can save a document and know that everyone has access to the same version of the file.
Transfer Large Files
Using Dropbox you can share your large files with others easily. Attachments in email are often limited by the size of the file. You can quickly set up a shared Dropbox folder and add a large file such as a video, so others can access the file instantly.
Share Photos with Others
If you have a group of people you regularly share photos with you can set up a shared Dropbox folder so everyone can have access to the photos. If someone edits the photos or creates a collage, they can share their creations with others using the same shared folder.
After the Deadline
A major advantage of using Dropbox instead of an email attachment to share a document is your ability to make changes after you’ve added it to the shared Dropbox folder. Let’s say you’ve promised to send an essay to some people by a certain time. You finish the essay and save it to your shared Dropbox folder. Five seconds later you realize that you forgot to include an important paragraph, photo, link or other vital piece of information in the document.
You can open the document and make the changes so everyone can see the edited document. No need to send an embarrassing email to everyone with the second version of the document. Your revised version will be the one that everyone sees when they open the file.
How to Create a Shared Dropbox Folder in 3 Easy Steps
To create a shared Dropbox folder:
1. Log into your account at dropbox.com and view your files and folders. You can choose an existing folder to share or create a new folder by clicking on the New Folder icon at the top of the page.
2. Right-click on the folder you wish to share with others and a drop-down menu will appear. Click on Invite to folder:
3. A box will appear where you can enter the email addresses of the people who will be sharing access to the folder:
You have just created a shared Dropbox folder!
The people you wish to share your Dropbox folder with will receive an email invitation from Dropbox they can accept to join the folder.
Sharing from a Mac Computer in 3 Easy Steps
If you have a Mac and have the Dropbox app downloaded, you can share a folder directly from your computer.
1. Open Finder => Dropbox and right-click on the folder you wish to share.
2. A drop-down menu will appear, click “Share This Folder.”
3. A box will appear where you can enter the email addresses of the people who will be sharing access to the folder. (See Step 3 above)
Using the Shared Dropbox Folder
Your shared Dropbox folder will appear with other Dropbox folders in your account and the account of anyone else sharing the folder. You can move and save files into your shared Dropbox folder just as you would a regular Dropbox folder. Any person sharing the folder can add, delete and edit files in the shared folder.
After you have invited at least one person to share the folder, that folder will appear as a shared folder:
Right-click on the shared folder to show who has joined the folder and control the settings for the folder:
Shared Dropbox folders are accessible anywhere you can access your Dropbox files. You can open them using a mobile app, on your computer or on a different computer by going to Dropbox.com and logging in to your account.
Leaving a Shared Folder
You may want to leave a shared folder if you don’t have a need for it anymore and want to free up space in your Dropbox account. You can leave a shared folder by logging into your account at Dropbox.com, right-clicking on the shared folder and clicking on the Leave this folder button on the menu. If you created the shared folder, you can unshare the folder by clicking on the Unshare Folder button.
You can find more information at: How to Leave a Shared Dropbox Folder.
Think Before You Sync
When you create a shared Dropbox folder, be sure to follow Dropbox Shared Folder Netiquette. Sharing a Dropbox folder means that you’re taking up valuable space in someone’s Dropbox account. Use the space in your shared folders wisely. Make sure that others who share the folder have sufficient space in their accounts before you upload a large file.
See, Don’t Be A Dropbox Jerk: Cloud File Sharing Etiquette You Should Know from Make Use Of.
To conserve space, remove any files from your shared Dropbox folder after you’re done sharing. You can move the files to another folder on your computer or delete the files if you don’t need them any more.
Check with the other people to make sure that they don’t need the file any more and give them the opportunity to copy that file into another folder. A quick way to get someone very upset with you is to delete a file from a shared Dropbox folder without asking first.
See, Friends don’t let friends delete shared Dropbox items from Macworld.
What Else You Need to Know
Files in shared Dropbox folders use up the allotted Dropbox data for everyone who shares the folder. For example, if you want to share a 2 GB video in a shared folder, make sure that all of the people you’re sharing with have enough Dropbox space available.
Signing Up for Dropbox
Everyone who shares the Dropbox folder must have their own Dropbox account. Signing up for Dropbox is free and comes with 2 GB of free space.
If someone isn’t signed up for Dropbox yet, this is an opportune time for you to add to your free Dropbox space by inviting them to Dropbox. Each person who joins from your email invitation or link gives you 250 MB (1/4 GB) of free Dropbox space.
If you don’t have a Dropbox account yet, be sure to sign up through a current Dropbox user to give that person free Dropbox space. You can sign up through my Dropbox link: Dropbox sign up or through the link from a reader in the Comments section below. I have plenty of Dropbox space so please help out a Wonder of Tech reader by signing up for Dropbox through a link in the Comments section.
If you already have a Dropbox account, I invite you to leave your referral link in the Comments section for others to use.
Have you ever used a shared Dropbox folder? Do you have any tips for using shared Dropbox folders? Let us know in the Comments section below!
Please leave your Dropbox referral link in your comment. Note that only meaningful comments will be approved, with or without a Dropbox link.
*Technology Sharing photo courtesy of David Duarte