Dropbox: Share Files/Folders Using Shared Links


U-M Dropbox


How do I share a file or folder using a shared link in Dropbox?


You can share any file or folder with anyone using a Dropbox shared link, including those who don't have a Dropbox account. (Some steps may differ slightly depending on the file type of content you're sharing, your access level/permissions, and where the content is located in Dropbox.)

For a more detailed overview of shared links with regard to folders, refer to Dropbox: Folder Settings and Permissions.

Note: Dropbox has moved to an updated shared link architecture where links are based on content rather than individual users. This will affect how links are created and shared. In the near future, only one edit link and one view link can exist per file or folder. (Legacy/previously created shared links will redirect to the new link automatically.)

Create a shared link

To create a shared link:

  1. Hover over the file or folder you wish to share and click the Share icon (rectangle with an up arrow).
  2. Select Can edit or Can view from the drop-down (depending on which link type you'd like to share).
    1. If a link hasn't been created, click Create.
    2. If a link has been created, then click Copy link.

Change shared link settings

To adjust the shared link settings:

  1. Hover over the file or folder you wish to adjust settings for and click the Share icon (rectangle with an up arrow).
  2. Click the gear icon (Settings) in the top right corner of the sharing dialog box.
  3. Click Link for editing or Link for viewing to select which shared link type you'd like to adjust (if you are given the option).
    1. You may only have a view link, as some file types in Dropbox don't allow for edit links.
  4. Adjust the settings as desired and click Save. (More details on adjusting specific settings can be found below.)

Who has access

To change who can access the file or folder with the shared link, click the Who has access drop-down menu found in the Settings under the Link for editing or Link for viewing tab.

Note: The type of access someone gains when using a shared link depends on the type of shared link (i.e., view or edit). Keep this in mind when adjusting your access settings.

The options available can include:

  • Anyone with link: Anyone with the shared link can access the file/folder.
  • Team members: Anyone at the University of Michigan with a U-M Dropbox account can access the file/folder using the shared link. (Choosing this option will require a user to sign in to their U-M Dropbox account to access the content.)

Tip: When sharing something in a Team Folder, it does not mean only Team Folder members.

  • People with password: Anyone with the password to the shared link can access the file/folder. This option is only available to select when adjusting the Link for viewing (Link for editing has this option as a separate setting to toggle on.)
  • Only people invited: Only the individuals with whom you have shared the file/folder can access it using the shared link. (They must be manually invited.) This is the default setting when a shared link is created.

Caution: Do not choose this option if the user you intend to invite does not have a Dropbox account.


To deactivate the shared link on a specific date, turn the toggle button beside Expiration to On and choose a date in the future for when the link will expire. This will revoke all access to the file/folder via the shared link.

Disable downloads

To prevent individuals from downloading the file/folder using the shared link, turn the toggle button beside Disable downloads to On. This option is not available for edit access links.

Use shared links to share files/folders with users who do not have a Dropbox account

If you intend to share a file/folder with someone who does not have a Dropbox account (U-M or non-UM), we recommend selecting Anyone with link or People with password beside Who has access in the shared link settings.

Warning: If the user you want to invite does not have a Dropbox account, do not enter the user's email address in the "Email, name, or group" field and click Share. This will require the invited user to sign in to a Dropbox account whenever they visit the shared link, which is not what you intended.

Additional Information

  • Dropbox Team Folders at the parent/root level cannot be shared via a link. Users will need to be added to the MCommunity group that owns the Team Folder. Only the subfolders within the Team Folder can be shared via links.
  • Additional Dropbox vendor documentation on shared links.

Need additional information or assistance? Contact the ITS Service Center.

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Article ID: 4900
Wed 4/21/21 7:20 PM
Mon 10/9/23 4:24 PM

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