Collaborating with Dropbox: Shared Folders vs. Links

Posted by Sheila Vashee on October 31, 2012

We love hearing from people about how sharing folders and links helps them collaborate more effectively with their team members. Since there are different advantages to sharing a folder versus sending a link, below are a few tips that will help you choose the best way to share.

When to share a folder:

Let’s say your group has a big client meeting next week and everyone is working together to prepare. Several team members are making edits to the presentation, working on different spreadsheets, and saving large video files. Rather than managing multiple versions of your files and emailing attachments back and forth—share a folder!


When you share a folder with your colleagues, it feels like you’re sharing a computer. All of your project files will be in one central place and any member of the folder can save changes directly to the shared copy in an instant.

When to send a link:

It’s the night before the big meeting and you’re ready to send the client a preview of the work you’ve done. The files are very large, so rather than try to zip and send as an email attachment—send a read-only link!


With a Dropbox link, your clients can view or download the latest version in seconds, even if they don’t have a Dropbox account. And you don’t need to worry about re-sending the file if you notice a typo. Just update your file and the latest version is available at the original link, automatically.

Whether you want to share folders to collaborate or send links to show your stuff to others, Dropbox has you covered at work, from start to finish!


  • O2967448

    How about adding better sharing options for deeper levels other than the root. Businesses might be able to take Dropbox seriously then.

    • California SEO Pros

      This is exactly what I am talking about. It would be cool if you could set up permissions in the Windows interface too, but then it might not translate well to the web, and vice versa. It is all in the works I’m sure, can’t wait!

  • StartupTony

    Dropbox, I have been dedicated to DropBox for a couple of years now. As an entrepreneur coming into an existing corporation, I have experienced some technology changes that you do not get when functioning from your garage. How do you combat the concerns that there are security and safety issues with using dropbox in business settings?

  • rockhill04

    We need file permissions. Otherwise is a no no for my business. We are a Civil Engineer firm and we like dropbox, but we use it to share some simple files. We rely on our server for file permissions. Not everybody at the company can have access to the entire database.

  • numpty

    Have never worked for a company that would even dream of allowing employees to share data outside the firewall, on Dropbox or any other service. Bizarre to think there are some that do.

    • Túlio

      On your case, Dropbox doesn’t work inside your company firewall – which is not the premise of the article/blog.

  • Túlio Barros

    Dropbox sharing folders may be an easy solution for small teams. To share a folder with 20+ people is a headache for sure. There is always someone deleting or or modifying a file that isn’t supposed to modify/delete and your have to recover from Dropbox website.

    It would be nice to set read-only files within a shared folder.
    It would be nice to add a restriction to limit access the read-only links (password, e-mail, number of access, for example).

  • f41lurizer

    It was a lot more professional looking back in the time of public links — I still use mine because they were grandfathered in, but for new dropboxers, this is definitely a feature that a lot of people are missing. Would it be too much trouble to at least include it as an option?

  • Ritesh Banglani

    Is there a selective sync/view-only feature for teams? We have 1 TB of data to be shared across 15 users. All users need access to all the data, but obviously it is wasteful for every file to sit on everyone’s computer.

    Is it possible for a user to select which folder syncs with their computer, and which folder appears only as a list of files to be downloaded on a click (like in their mobile app)? Also when a new file gets added to a folder like this, will it get synced automatically?

  • Aaron

    I had a situation yesterday come up where some corporate users were confused with the difference between “Share This Folder” and “Invite Others to this Folder” – ending up in a mis-sync of files in each person’s dropboxes and a whole lot of questions “why didn’t the files I put in your folder show up for you?”. Basically this situation arose because the difference between “Share” and “invite” is not clear enough. Perhaps something to think about in future brainstorming sessions

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