Skip to main content

File permissions for increased security

Safeguard the work you share

A user entering a password that will be used to access a file
Manage granular file permissions

It’s important to have control over what people can—and can’t—do with the data you share with them. Dropbox granular file permissions give you the power to control who can access folders and files, and what kind of access permissions they have for each one.

For example, Dropbox lets you set group permissions, so you can share a specific image file with your team—without giving them read or write permission for the more comprehensive or private folder it lives in.

A user setting a view vs edit access level for a file
Send view-only files

Email can make it difficult to attach large file types like videos or CAD drawings, and it’s also virtually impossible to control what happens to file attachments once you’ve sent them.

Dropbox changes all that. When you use Dropbox as your cloud file system , you’re in control of the attachments you send from the start. You can share view-only links—these allow recipients granular permissions to view, comment on, and download—but not edit—the original files. You can also set a password and an expiration date for your links so they’re off-limits once you’ve completed your project.

A user sending a view only file that requires a password to access
Track file access and changes in real time

Tracking changes to your content is a crucial part of any project. With Dropbox, you can get notified when someone has viewed, edited, deleted, or moved files between folders. Don’t like a change someone’s made? With file recovery and version history , you can easily recover an old version of your file.You’ll also receive a notification when anyone has commented on a file, making it easier to gather feedback in one central location without exchanging comments over email or in separate documents.

tracking file changes in real time

Frequently asked questions

Yes, you can make Dropbox files and folders public by creating a shared link to your file or folder. Then, set permissions to “Anyone with the link”. Anyone with this shared link can view your content without being able to edit the original file.

It’s possible to change permissions and remove access to a shared Dropbox folder . If you’ve shared a Dropbox folder by creating a shared link, you can change folder permissions or disable the link to remove access to the previously shared folder. If you’ve invited someone to join a shared folder, you can remove read or write access by changing permissions or by removing a collaborator—or even yourself—from the list of invited users. You’ll also have the option to delete the folder from their devices the next time they’re connected to the internet.

Yes, Dropbox shared links can expire. Dropbox Professional and Business users can create a shared link with an expiration date. When creating a shared link, select Expiration and choose when you’d like the link to expire. For Dropbox Basic and Plus users, you can’t set an expiration date on your shared links, but you can always change permissions or delete links at your discretion.

The notifications you get from Dropbox shared folders are up to you. To stay aware of changes made in your shared folder, you can turn on desktop notifications and select or modify what notification you’ll receive. You can be notified when someone @mentions you, comments on or edits your file, assigns a task to you, opens a file or folder, or shares a file or folder with you.

File permissions let you collaborate safely

Please note: Not all content is available in all languages

Collaborators writing on a piece of paper with an over-sized pencil

Collaboration needs strategy

Getting the most out of teamwork requires building a culture of collaboration.

Download report
Green, black and blue app icons on a maroon background

Permission granted

File access should never be a roadblock. Dropbox takes the strain so you don’t have to.

Download ebook
Someone working on a laptop while sitting at an outdoor table

Learn from the experts

Learn from the experts how better collaboration can plug the productivity gap.

Download ebook

See more features

A user sharing a file from the Dropbox menu

File sharing

Share any file or folder easily with anyone, hassle free

Explore file sharing
A file folder icon with a “Request Access” button

Cloud security

Control who can access your files and what rights they have

Explore cloud security
A mobile device with a “no” icon in the middle of the screen

Remote wipe

Remote wipe your device to keep your data safe

Explore remote wipe
A green elephant image file

Send large files

Send large files of any type to anybody, worry-free

Explore sending large files