Dropbox is the most popular cloud storage service. That is why it is so popular among new users who want to back up their data. While it may appear difficult to use at first glance, it is not. But, for those who are still unsure, we’ll explain how to utilize your Dropbox account in detail.
Dropbox is an excellent choice for anyone searching for a simple, low-cost cloud storage solution. In our beginner’s guide to using Dropbox, we’ll go through Dropbox’s basic functions and simple ways to get started interacting with it across various devices.
- Our Dropbox lesson will give you a broad overview of the platform, which will be especially useful for first-time users.
- Many of the capabilities you’ll need to know to get started with the Windows File Explorer will be familiar to you if you’ve used it before.
- Dropbox has a free version that can be sufficient for casual users.
Although the free version of Dropbox will suffice for some users, those who require additional capacity and functionality should consider the subscription choices. If you’re on a budget, you might want to investigate other options like Sync.com or OneDrive (read our Sync.com review or OneDrive review).
Dropbox does, however, contain certain automated functions that are handy. When you make modifications to any files submitted through the desktop app, for example, they are automatically updated. You may also access those files across all your devices thanks to the syncing features.
This technique protects your files from technical difficulties with your machine. If your hard drive crashes, your images, and other vital documents, for example, will not be lost forever if they are stored in the cloud. Even if you believe your computer is safe, there’s always the risk of it being damaged, dying on its own, or being stolen.
File Transfer and Sharing
All Dropbox files, both mobile and desktop, can be downloaded to a different or new device. This makes getting set up on a new system a lot easier, especially if you’re starting from scratch due to a problem with your old device.
When it comes to exchanging files, Dropbox is a great option. It’s simple to share your files with others thanks to shareable links and a variety of user rights. Permissioned users can also leave comments and ideas on papers, images, and videos.
Dropbox can also be used as a standalone cloud storage service. If you use the browser client, you can add files to your Dropbox account and store them only in the cloud. (If Dropbox isn’t syncing properly, we have a guide that can help.
Dropbox Account Tiers and Pricing
Sign up for a basic account on Dropbox’s website to check it out for free. Basic offers only 2GB of free storage, which is plenty if you don’t plan on uploading many files. In the next section, we’ll go over how to sign up.
For personal accounts, Dropbox offers a variety of priced solutions. The greater the monthly charge, unsurprisingly, the more storage and features you have access to.
The Plus plan is $119.88 per year, or $9.99 per month (the cost is $11.99 per month if you prefer to pay monthly). Because of this, you will have access to 2 TB of storage space. You also receive access to features like Smart Sync, mobile offline folders, and account rewind that aren’t available on the free plan (to recover accidentally changed or deleted files).
You can upgrade to the Professional plan for 3 TB of storage. This plan costs $199 per year ($16.58 per month), and it includes features like file versioning and shared link expiration dates.
Installing Dropbox on All Your Devices
Once you’ve signed up, you should proceed to install Dropbox on all the devices you use regularly. This might be your desktop, laptop, and phone, for instance. However, note that Dropbox Basic limits you to three devices. If you need more, you’ll have to upgrade to a paid plan.
Use the below links to download Dropbox. You can also log into Dropbox’s website to access your account from anywhere.
What is the relationship between Dropbox and Smart Sync?
Another significant distinction between the free and paid Dropbox plans is that the latter enables “Smart Sync” (for more information, see our article on Dropbox Smart Sync).
To summarise, Smart Sync enables you to designate files created on your desktop as “online only.” You can access and edit them whenever you want on your computer, but unless you opt to download them, they will not be saved locally.
Users who don’t have Smart Sync won’t be able to completely save data in the cloud. This is unlikely to be an issue if you have lots of internal storage space. Paying more to have access to the Smart Sync feature will be money well spent for individuals who frequently exceed their local storage space.
How to Create a Dropbox Account
To use Dropbox, you’ll need to first establish an account. It simply takes a few minutes to do, and you can get started by following the steps below.
- On the website, look for the “Sign in” prompt.
Choose “sign-in” in the top right-hand corner once you’ve arrived at the Dropbox website.
- Select “Create an Account” from the drop-down menu.
- Fill in your personal information.
Your name, email address, and password will be requested. (Check out our list of the top password managers available if you want to keep your passwords safe.) You may also use your Google account to sign up for Dropbox, which will make the process go a little faster.
- Pick a strategy.
On the following page, you’ll be prompted to choose which plan you want to use. If you’d rather keep with the free plan, go to the bottom of the screen and select “or continue with the 2GB Dropbox Basic plan.”
Dropbox will send you an email to confirm your account. Before you can use the service, you must first validate your email address.
After you’ve completed the sign-up procedure, you’ll be asked to download Dropbox to your computer. If you want to automatically sync files from your PC to the service, this is a smart idea.
How to Use the Dropbox Desktop Folder
When you download Dropbox to your computer, it creates a Dropbox folder for you. To sync files to this folder, follow the instructions below.
- Go to Dropbox and look for the Dropbox folder.
Open “Finder” and look in the “favorites” tray for “Dropbox.”
- Add Files to Your Folder by Dragging and Dropping
Drag and drop files into your Dropbox folder to add them. All of the files you upload will be synchronized to your Dropbox account, allowing you to access them from numerous devices.
- Drag and drop files into your Dropbox folder.
When saving a file, you can opt to save it directly to your Dropbox folder. Dropbox will instantly sync all of your files to your account.
How to Use Dropbox on the Internet
You can upload files straight through the online application if you don’t want to download Dropbox to your computer. It’s simple; simply follow the steps below to start backing up your files.
Uploading files is the first thing you’ll want to do with Dropbox.
- Select “Upload Files/Folder” from the drop-down menu.
Use your web browser to access your Dropbox account. You’ll find the option to upload a file or folder on the right-hand side of the home screen. Choose the appropriate option.
- Choose a file.
Tap “open” after selecting the file you want to upload. Your Dropbox account will receive the file. You can upload a folder using the same method.
How to Use Dropbox to Navigate Files
Finding files on the online application is simple and takes very little effort.
- Select All Files
There are six options on the right-hand side of the home screen. Tap “all files” to find a file or folder. Then you can look through this section for the files you need.
- Alternatively, you can use the search bar.
You can also type the name of the file or folder you’re looking for into the search field if you know what it’s called.
Dropbox can be used to share a file or folder.
Dropbox allows you to share a file or folder in a variety of ways. For a more in-depth look, check out our guide on how to share files using Dropbox. Here’s a quick rundown of everything you’ll need to do in order to share a file from your computer.
- Go to your Dropbox folder and look for the file.
Go to your desktop and open the Dropbox folder. Right-click your mouse on the file you want to share and search for it. In the drop-down menu, look for “share” and pick it.
- Send the file via email.
Add the recipient’s contact information to the “to:” area if you want to email the file access directly. After that, click “share,” and the file will be emailed to the person you specified.
- Make a link to share.
You can create a shared link instead of emailing your work. “Create link” will appear at the bottom right-hand side of the window once you pick “share.”
- Make a copy of the link
Then, copy the link and send it to anybody who needs access to your data.
To Restore Files, Use Dropbox
If you accidentally delete a file or folder, don’t worry. You have 30 days to recover it (120 days on professional plans). Here’s how you can get your files back.
- Search for Deleted Files
“Deleted files” can be found on the left-hand side of the web application’s home screen. To move forward, select it.
- Choose the file you want to restore from the drop-down menu.
On the right-hand side of the screen, select the file you want to restore and tap “restore.”
Note: If you want to entirely remove the file, pick “delete permanently,” which is placed beneath the “restore” button.
To request files, use Dropbox.
You can send file requests to folks who don’t have a Dropbox account and encourage them to upload files to yours. This could come in handy if you need files from employees or family members who don’t use the platform. It’s also a good approach for teachers to gather student files.
- Go to “File Requests” and log in.
Log in to your Dropbox account to make a file request. “File requests” can be found on the left-hand side. To proceed to the next page, simply click on it.
- Select “New Request” from the drop-down menu.
Then, on the right-hand side of the screen, pick “new request.”
- Give the folder a name and include a description.
You’ll be prompted to name the files you’re requesting on the next page. You may label them “birthday photographs” or “tax records,” for example. Choose the folder you want Dropbox to place them in once you’ve settled on a name. To continue, tap “create.”
- Create a shared folder for your contacts.
You can add the contacts you want to have access to the folder on the next page. You can send the request via email or manually deliver it to them by copying and pasting the shareable link.
When you save files to Dropbox, you don’t have to worry about losing them if your computer fails. It’s also a fantastic platform for exchanging files and generating new ones. Its syncing capabilities make it a good choice for people who wish to access their data from any device.
If you’ve signed up for Dropbox and determined it’s not for you, follow our instructions for canceling the service and deleting your account.
This Dropbox tutorial should have helped you better grasp its capabilities and how to use them. Check out our top online backup guide if you’re still seeking the ideal cloud-based backup solution.
Was this guide useful to you? Do you think Dropbox is your best option? We’d love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts in the comments box below. Thank you for taking the time to read this.