How to Set Up Dropbox Cloud Storage

Introduction

Dropbox allows you to share your files easily between all your devices, as well as access them from anywhere in the world on any other computer you can access.

This guide will walk you through setting up the Dropbox client software on your devices, to make it easier to get to your files from everywhere.

Dropbox

1 Create Account

Setup Account

First, you will need an account with Dropbox to use their services.

  1. Open your preferred browser.
    Main Desktop Browsers.
  2. In the Address Bar at the top, type in dropbox.com and press return or enter.
    Browser address bar highlighted with address typed in.
  3. Select Sign up near the top.
    Top of Dropbox page with Sign Up highlighted.
  4. Follow the instructions on screen to sign up for a Dropbox account.
    Dropbox is a third-party provider of services, with both free and paid-for services. During setup you will be given choices and options that may change depending on Dropbox. Read and follow the instructions to complete the setup.
    Dropbox Sign up screen.
    Be sure to make special note of the username and password you've setup for Dropbox, you will need your username and password every time you wish to access your files remotely.
  5. Once setup, you'll be shown the Dropbox homepage.
    Dropbox homepage.

2 Type

For our next step, we need to determine what kind of device you are using.

? What kind of device do you have?

  1. Desktop
  2. Laptop
  3. Smartphone
  4. Tablet

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Dropbox allows you to share your files easily between all your devices, as well as access them from anywhere in the world on any other computer you can access.

This guide will walk you through setting up the Dropbox client software on your devices, to make it easier to get to your files from everywhere.

Dropbox

Setup Account

First, you will need an account with Dropbox to use their services.

  1. Open your preferred browser.
    Main Desktop Browsers.
  2. In the Address Bar at the top, type in dropbox.com and press return or enter.
    Browser address bar highlighted with address typed in.
  3. Select Sign up near the top.
    Top of Dropbox page with Sign Up highlighted.
  4. Follow the instructions on screen to sign up for a Dropbox account.
    Dropbox is a third-party provider of services, with both free and paid-for services. During setup you will be given choices and options that may change depending on Dropbox. Read and follow the instructions to complete the setup.
    Dropbox Sign up screen.
    Be sure to make special note of the username and password you've setup for Dropbox, you will need your username and password every time you wish to access your files remotely.
  5. Once setup, you'll be shown the Dropbox homepage.
    Dropbox homepage.
For our next step, we need to determine what kind of device you are using.

There are 2 main Operating Systems for personal computers currently available, Windows and macOS.

Windows
Windows runs on computers produced by multiple companies, such as Lenovo, Asus, Dell, Toshiba, Hewlett Packard, Acer, and Sony.Windows 10
macOS
Apple is the only company that makes macOS computers.macOS Mojave
  1. Open your preferred browser.
    Main Desktop Browsers.
  2. In the Address Bar at the top, type in dropbox.com/install and press return or enter.
    Browser Address Bar highlighted with address entered.
  3. Select Download Dropbox to begin.
    Dropbox Download page with Download Dropbox highlighted.
  4. Depending on your browser, you will be prompted to download the file, or the file will simply download. If prompted, select to Run the download. Otherwise, open the file once it has finished downloading.
    File download with Run highlighted.
  5. You'll be asked if the installer is allowed to run, select Yes.
    UAC for Dropbox with Yes highlighted.
  6. Dropbox will install, it may take a few moments to complete the install.
    Dropbox installer.
  7. Once installed, Dropbox will minimize to the System Tray. You may need to select the Show All arrow to see it.
    Dropbox in the System Tray highlighted.
  8. When you click on the Dropbox icon in your System Tray, it will show what it is currently working on syncing (if anything), as well as links to the folder on your computer, and the website at the top. Select the Folder icon.
    Dropbox notifications with folder highlighted.
  9. You'll be shown your local Dropbox folder.
    Dropbox folder.
  10. Simply copy any file you wish to store on Dropbox to this folder, and it will be made available on the Dropbox website, as well as copied automatically to any other computers you have the Dropbox program installed to with Internet access.
Once you have the Dropbox client setup on your home computer, any files you place into the Dropbox folder will be accessible from any other computer with an Internet connection, using the web browser.
  1. Open your preferred browser.
    Main Desktop Browsers.
  2. In the Address Bar at the top, type in dropbox.com and press return or enter.
    Browser address bar highlighted with address typed in.
  3. You already have an account now; select the menu, then select Sign in.
    Dropbox page with Menu highlighted.
    Dropbox homepage menu with Sign in highlighted.
  4. Sign in with your Dropbox username and password.
    Dropbox Sign in.
  5. You will see your files here, and you can open, download, work on, and upload them from the webpage.
    Dropbox homepage.
  6. When you are done, if the computer you are using is public; such as at work or a library, it's best to sign out. Select your user icon in the top right, and select Sign out.
    User menu with Sign out highlighted.
  1. Open your preferred browser.
    Main Desktop Browsers.
  2. In the Address Bar at the top, type in dropbox.com/install and press return or enter.
    Browser controls with address filled in and highlighted.
  3. Select Download Dropbox to begin.
    Dropbox Download page with Download Dropbox highlighted.
  4. Open the download once it has completed.
    Open downloaded installer.
  5. Double click the installer to begin.
    Dropbox installer with installer icon highlighted.
  6. Select Open.
    Installer permission prompt with Open highlighted.
  7. Dropbox will install, it may take a few minutes.
    Dropbox Installing.
  8. Dropbox may require you to sign in. Use the same username and password you setup before.
    Dropbox Sign In.
  9. Once complete, select Open my Dropbox.
    Install complete with Open my Dropbox highlighted.
  10. You will be asked to allow Dropbox to read and write to your computer for it to work properly. Enter your computer username and password, then select OK.

    This is your computer's username and password, not your Dropbox username and password. 

     Access prompt with User Name, Password, and OK button highlighted.
  11. Dropbox will show on the tray in the top-right of your screen. Here you will see any activity, such as uploads and downloads, going on with Dropbox. Select Dropbox, then select the file folder.
    Dropbox with Folder icon highlighted.
  12. You'll be shown your local Dropbox folder.
    Dropbox local folder.
  13. Simply copy any file you wish to store on Dropbox to this folder, and it will be made available on the Dropbox website, as well as copied automatically to any other computers you have the Dropbox program installed to with Internet access.

To continue, we need to know what Operating System your smartphone or tablet has.

There are 2 main Operating Systems for smartphones currently available, Android and iOS.

Android Smartphone
Android smartphones are produced by multiple companies, such as Samsung, LG, Motorola, Sony, Nokia, Lenovo, and HTC.Android Home Screen
iOS Smartphone
Apple is the only company that makes iOS smartphones.iOS Home Screen

Install Dropbox

  1. Open the App Store.
    iOS App Store
  2. Select Search in the bottom right corner.
    App Store Search Button.
  3. Search for the Dropbox App.
  4. Select Dropbox in the search results.
    iOS app store searching for dropbox with GET highlighted
  5. Download the App.
    iOS dropbox app page with GET highlighted

Configure Dropbox

  1. Launch Dropbox.
    Dropbox
  2. We've already created an account, select Sign in at the bottom.
    Sign-in options with Sign in highlighted.
  3. Sign in using the email address and password for your Dropbox account, then select Sign In.
    Sign in with email password and sign in highlighted.
  4. You will be offered an option to upgrade your account. For now, select Continue with Basic.
    Upgrade offer with Continue with Basic highlighted
  5. Dropbox will ask permission to notify you of updates to your files. Select Allow.
    File notification request with Allow highlighted.

Use Dropbox

  1. Launch Dropbox.
    Dropbox
  2. Here you'll be shown the recent files you've updated or created on Dropbox.
    Dropbox Home screen.
    You can access additional options from the icons at the bottom.
    • Home - Shows your recent and Starred items, the default view.
      Home
    • Files - Shows all the files you have stored in Dropbox.
      Files
    • Create - Creates a new document directly on Dropbox.
      Create
    • Photos - Show the photos you have stored on Dropbox.
      Photos
    • Personal - Shows additional settings for the program itself.
      Personal

Install Dropbox

  1. Launch the Play Store on your smartphone.
    Google Play Store.
  2. Select the search bar at the top.
    Google Play Store with Search bar highlighted.
  3. Type in Dropbox, then select Dropbox from the list.
    Search for Dropbox with Dropbox highlighted.
  4. Select Install.
    Dropbox store page with Install highlighted.

Configure Dropbox

The first time you launch Dropbox, you will be asked to sign into your account.

  1. Open Dropbox.
    Dropbox
  2. We setup an account before. Select Sign in.
    Dropbox welcome screen with Sign in highlighted.
  3. Enter the email address and password you used to create your Dropbox account, then select Sign In.
    Dropbox Sign in with email, password, and sign in button highlighted.
  4. Dropbox may request permission to allow offline access to your files. Select Allow.
    Dropbox permissions with Allow highlighted.
  5. If you are using a free Dropbox account, you will be offered to upgrade to a paid account. For now, select Continue with Basic.
    Offer to purchase higher-tier Dropbox service with Continue with Basic highlighted.

Use Dropbox

  1. Open Dropbox.
    Dropbox
  2. When you open Dropbox, you'll be shown a list of your most recent documents, as well as any starred items you have.
    Dropbox main screen.
  3. To access all your files, select menu on the top left.
    Menu
  4. Select Files.
    Dropbox menu with Files highlighted.
  5. Here you'll be shown all files you have stored in Dropbox.
    Dropbox Files list.
  6. Select an item to open it, or use the menu to the right of the file to download, delete, or otherwise modify that file.
    Menu
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