A Guide to Dropbox

By Xin Zhang

Once again, Dropbox is open to most platforms, with dedicated apps for major OS’s and accessible for anything that has access to the internet.


Dropbox in the App Store

A 4-star rating on an app means it’s worth it if you’ve got a use for it:

  1. Tap “install”
  2. Give it time for it to download and install
  3. Boom, you’re done.

The Intro Screen

Now, this is the screen you’ll first see upon opening the app for the first time. If you’ve already got a Dropbox account, sign right in. If not, create one, it’ll take under a minute before you’re all set.


Dropbox in the Play Store

Perhaps a version with even more features than the iOS Dropbox, the Android version is just as easy to get. It’s right there in the Play Store, tap “install”, and it’ll download right onto your phone.

Again, same process, just a matter of logging into your Dropbox account, and if you don’t have one, make one.

Camera Uploads

This is an incredibly useful function of Dropbox: it’ll upload pictures taken on your phone or tablet to Dropbox, so if 1. anything happens to your phone, you won’t lose the pictures, and 2. if you have your devices all hooked up to this function, you’ll have a single folder of pictures taken from all of your devices, saving you a ton of headache.

There is a catch though: on phones it’ll ask you if you want Dropbox to upload pictures in a wi-fi only setting, or use the mobile network. Do not use the mobile network unless 1. you have an unlimited data plan or 2. you feel hardcore enough to do it without one.


This is where it all begins. A Dropbox doesn’t need to have a PC to work well, but having your computer hooked up to Dropbox is incredibly useful.

There are two versions of Dropbox for the computer: web and desktop.


Web Login Screen

No setting up. Really simple. Username and password. Login. You’re done.


On the bottom half of that page you’ll see a blue “Download Dropbox” button. This is for people who wants easier and offline access to their files. After all, we’re not always connected to the internet…r-right?

1. Choose your version of Dropbox to download (Windows, OS X, Linux, etc.)

2. Open the installation file. It’s a really easy install for all platforms.

3. You’ll see this window:

The Welcome Screen

If you’ve got an account, sign in, if you haven’t, sign up.

4. It will ask you whether or not you want all of your folders or some of your folder synced, as well as where you want them saved on your computer. Remember, this is a syncing service, it’s supposed to save the files on your computer.

5. You’ll find a Dropbox icon in the menu bar of your Mac or the taskbar of your PC. This indicates Dropbox is running quietly in the background keeping your files synced. A indicates Dropbox is syncing your files, and is Dropbox telling you it’s done.

Your Dropbox Folder

Asides from offline access, the general usage of Dropbox becomes easier with the desktop app. You can edit your files directly from it and have it synced automatically, and the general syncing process is much easier: no more of that upload button stuff to deal with.



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