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Password protect folders and files

Dropbox makes it easy to secure and control all your sensitive information

An image being shared after password protection is enabled and downloads are disabled
Password protect a folder or file to add another layer of security

Dropbox is already designed with multiple layers of protection so you can relax knowing that your most sensitive data is stored safe in the cloud. And when you add password protection, it helps make sure that only the people you want to access your files through Dropbox can access them. Before anyone can view or download a document, they will need to have the password you protected the document with.

Password protected folder being shared with a specific user
Dropbox password protection lets you control who sees what

Dropbox makes it easy to password protect PDFs and other files without the need for third-party software. Before you share a link to a PDF, Word Doc, or other file or folder in your Dropbox account, just set a password for the link so the recipient can only open it with the password you set. If you’re a Dropbox Business user, you can limit who has access to the sensitive files you password protect. And if someone outside of your team happens to get their hands on the link to a password protected folder or file, don’t worry: They can’t do anything with it unless they have the password.

A user accessing a file using a password
Control file access by setting shared link expiration dates

Keep your files in your control even after you send them. When you set an expiration date for your shared links on or the mobile app, your recipients will only be able to access the shared link until it expires. After the expiration date, the link is disabled and no one will be able to view it. Another way to protect your work from being readily downloaded is to disable downloads for a shared link. Your recipients will be able to preview the file on, but they won’t be able to download the file to their computer.

A user setting a link expiration date using a calendar view
Set up 2FA for extra security

Password protection is a great tool for controlling and securing the files and folders you share with others and helps prevent your confidential property from ending up in the wrong hands. Another security feature we recommend to all Dropbox users is setting up two-step verification . It’s not only easy, it’s critical to protecting your Dropbox account and everything in it.

When you enable two-step verification, Dropbox requires a second form of authentication like a six-digit code or security key (in addition to your password) when you sign in to your account or link a new computer, phone, or tablet. This makes it that much harder for anyone to access your account.

A user setting a password for a shared file as well as enabling 2 factor authentication

Frequently asked questions

Encrypting files ensures that if anyone were to try and intercept the files or take the disks they are stored on, the data will not be readable. Password protection, on the other hand, is a feature that can be enabled when sharing files within the Dropbox service to add additional layer of sharing protection. Your data is always encrypted when uploaded to Dropbox and you have the option of password protecting your files when you share them.

Passwords help make sure that only the intended recipients of a file can access it. If an unintended person gets a shared link, they won’t be able to access your files unless you also share the password with them. Adding expiration dates to password linked files further helps ensure that the link you send is only available for your intended recipients and only for the time period you determine.

Password protection helps make sure that only the people you want to access your Word files through Dropbox can access them. Before anyone can view or download the Word document, they will need to have the password that you protected the document with.

It’s easy to add passwords to PDFs with Dropbox. You can add a password to a shared PDF link by signing in to, clicking the ‘Share’ button beside the file name, and connecting to the Link settings. Only people with the password you choose will be able to view or download the PDF you send.

Currently, Dropbox Professional and Business customers can password protect files with a shared link on or on the Dropbox mobile app. Be sure to compare our plans to find the right Dropbox plan for you.

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