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Your guide to being a Dropbox admin

Your guide to being a Dropbox admin

30 minute read

A Dropbox team account is a home for all your team’s work. With an intuitive admin console, team space, and advanced security features, Dropbox gives you the tools you need to get your team up and running.

This guide introduces you to the features, permissions, and security controls you’ll manage as a new admin. To learn more about Dropbox foundations (like how to sync and share), take a look at the team member guide.

Let’s get started with how to set up your team.

How to log in to your Dropbox account as admin

First, download Dropbox. You can access your Dropbox account three different ways: on dropbox.com, from the Dropbox desktop app, and with the Dropbox mobile app.

How to log in to your Dropbox admin account on dropbox.com

When you sign up for a Dropbox team account, you'll be prompted to set up an account on dropbox.com as an admin. To use Dropbox, you need to log in to your account with the credentials you selected during this initial setup.

  1. Open a web browser.

  2. Go to www.dropbox.com.

  3. Select one of the following log in options:

    • Click Continue with Google.

    • Click Continue with Apple.

  4. Enter your email address and password.

Then, install the Dropbox app on your computer, tablet, and phone to get the most out of your account. 

You can learn more about the apps in the team member guide.

How to log in to your Dropbox account using Google Sign-in

How to log in to your Dropbox account using Sign in with Apple

How to log in to your Dropbox account using SSO

Having trouble logging in to your Dropbox account?

How to access the admin console

The admin console is your central hub for visibility and control. You can access it in just two simple steps:

  1. Log in to dropbox.com using your admin credentials.

  2. Click Admin console in the left sidebar.

Depending on your admin role, you’ll see different tabs that help you oversee members, review your team’s workflow, and invite team members to create accounts.

Want to take a tour of the Admin Console? Watch our Admin Console tutorial.

How to set up a folder structure for your team

With a Dropbox team account, your team has a workspace that functions like a shared drive. Dropbox works best when the structure of the team space reflects the structure of your organization. 

Before inviting colleagues to join their team, admins usually set up a folder structure and create the user groups they plan to assign to those folders.

Creating a team folder

Think of a team folder as your online filing cabinet—without the paper clutter. You set the folder structure and organization system, making it easy to find what you need, when you need it. 

In the content page, you can organize the folder structure in your new team space. From the content page, certain types of admins can also manage membership of shared content.

How to create a team folder

  1. Log in to dropbox.com with your admin account.

  2. Click Admin console in the left sidebar.

  3. Click Content in the left sidebar.

  4. Click New folder.

  5. Choose if you want everyone on your team to have access to this folder or only specific people.

  6. Choose if members should have Can view or Can edit access to the contents of the folder.

    • Can view: Members can only view

      (and download) the contents of this folder.

    • Can edit: Members can view, edit, and manage access to the contents of the folder.

  7. Click Create.

Note: By default, anyone with edit permissions to a folder has edit permissions to all of its subfolders inside it. For example, if members of a group can edit “Design”, they can also edit any folders inside “Design”.

Creating a group

A group is a group of teammates who need access to the same information, whether they’re split by team, department, or even project. You’ll use these groups to assign access to team folders. Only certain types of admins can create a company-managed group.


How to create a group

  1. Log in to dropbox.com with your admin credentials.

  2. Click Admin console in the left sidebar.

  3. Click Groups in the left sidebar.

  4. Click Create group.

  5. Enter a name for your group.

  6. Choose whether the group will be company-managed or user-managed.

  7. Click Create.

Add members to a group

Only admins can add members to a company-managed group. Team members cannot ask to join a company-managed group.

  1. Log in to dropbox.com with your admin credentials.

  2. Click Admin console in the left sidebar.

  3. Click Groups in the left sidebar.

  4. Select the name of the group you'd like to add members to.

  5. Click Add members.

  6. Enter the name of the person you'd like to invite.

  7. Click Add members.

Learn more about how to add and remove members from a group. 

Learn more about folders in the team space

Find out what the icons on your folders mean

Learn how to move files and folders into and out of the team space

How to download Dropbox for your computer and mobile devices

Whether you’re working from home, from the office, or traveling to a business meeting, Dropbox makes it easy to access all your files, photos and videos on the go. 

You can easily do this by visiting dropbox.com, or by downloading Dropbox for your devices.

How to download the Dropbox desktop app

  1. Download the Dropbox desktop app.

  2. Once Dropbox is installed on your computer, you’ll see a Dropbox icon in the taskbar (Windows) or menu bar (Mac) and a Dropbox folder on your hard drive.

  3. You’ll be prompted to log in with your Dropbox team account credentials. You should use the same email address and password that you logged in with on dropbox.com (this will be the same for all your devices). 

The Dropbox desktop app is available for Linux, Windows, and macOS operating systems. Find out more about using the Dropbox with Windows 10 in S mode or on Linux.

Find more information on Dropbox compatibility with your operating system

What to do if Dropbox won't install

How to download the Dropbox mobile app

Download it from dropbox.com/mobile, or your preferred app store.

If you already have the Dropbox mobile app on your phone or tablet, simply log in with your email and password. You can also log in using SSO with your Google or Apple account. 

How to add files and folders to your Dropbox account

Once you’ve downloaded the mobile and desktop apps, it’s time to put Dropbox to work by adding your files, pictures, and videos.

Add a file or folder to your account via dropbox.com

Once you’ve signed in at dropbox.com, adding files to your account is as easy as dragging and dropping from your computer’s file system. Or, just follow these steps to upload a file or folder from your computer:

  1. Log in to dropbox.com.

  2. Click Upload under the search bar at the top.

  3. Click Files or Folder:

    • If you choose Files, select as many files as you like and click Open.

    • If you choose Folder, select a folder and click Upload.

Add files or folders to Dropbox from your computer

Drag and drop files or folders into the Dropbox folder on your desktop. Or, use the Save As menu option in most applications to save files directly to your Dropbox folder.

Files and folders in your Dropbox folder will automatically sync to dropbox.com, and to the Dropbox desktop or mobile apps on any other devices you’ve connected to your account.

Add a file or folder from your desktop to your Dropbox account

Like with File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac), you can drag and drop into the desktop app:

  1. Drag and drop the file or folder into the Dropbox folder on your hard drive.

  2. Select the Dropbox folder when using the Save As option in most applications.

Like to use Microsoft Office? Dive into the “General” area of “Preferences” and you can make Dropbox a default “Save As” location. Just a little time-saver.

Add a file or folder using the Dropbox mobile app

You can manually upload files, photos and videos to your Dropbox account using the mobile app. The steps you take to manually upload files on your mobile device will vary slightly depending on the type of device you use.


Find instructions for your specific device (Android, iPad, iPhone, Windows Mobile and Windows Tablet)

How to upload other types of files or files from your device’s storage and external SD card

Android phone or tablet

  1. Open the Dropbox mobile app.
  2. Open the folder where you’d like to save your files.
  3. Tap "+" (plus).
  4. Tap Upload files.
  5. Find the files you want to upload, and tap to select them for upload.
  6. Tap Upload.

iOS phone or tablet

  1. Open the Dropbox mobile app.
  2. Open the folder where you’d like to save your files.
  3. Tap "+" (plus).
  4. Tap Create or Upload File.
  5. Tap Upload File.
  6. Tap Browse and find the file you’d like to upload.
  7. Select the location where you’d like to save the file in your Dropbox account.
  8. Tap Upload.

How to set up sharing settings for your Dropbox team account

Admins set up and manage automatic sharing with team folders. You can also customize team-wide rules for all shared folders created by your team.

  1.  Log in to dropbox.com with your admin credentials.

  2. Click Admin console in the left sidebar.

  3. Click Settings.

  4. Click Sharing.

Note: Changes to these settings do not apply retroactively.

How to keep members from sharing content outside the team

Depending on how your team needs to use Dropbox, you may want to restrict what can be shared externally.

  1. Go to the Settings tab and scroll down to Content.

  2. Select Sharing.

  3. Next to Sharing links externally, select Off.

    • This ensures team members can only share files and folders with other members of your team.

You can learn more about setting team-wide sharing permissions in our admin training course.

How to share a file or folder from your Dropbox account

Share a file or folder from dropbox.com

  1. Log in to dropbox.com.

  2. Hover over the item you’d like to share.

  3. Click the Share icon that appears.

  4. Type the email or name of the person, people, or group you’d like to share with.

  5. Select Can edit or Can view from the dropdown menu.

  6. Click Settings to customize who has access or disable downloads. You can require a password and set an expiry date too.

  7. Click Share file or Share folder. Recipients will receive an email invitation to the content you shared.

  8. You can also click Copy link (If a link hasn't been created yet, click Create and copy link).

  9. The link will be copied to your clipboard. You can then paste it into an email, chat, or other message.

Share a file or folder from the Dropbox folder from the Dropbox desktop app

  1. Open the Dropbox folder on your computer.

  2. Click Share

  3. Type the Email, name, or group of the person (or people) you’d like to share with.

  4. Select Can edit or Can view from the dropdown menu.

  5. Click Share. They’ll receive an email with a link to the file or folder.

Share a file or folder using the Dropbox mobile app

  1. Navigate to the file or folder you want to share.

  2. Tap "" (ellipsis).

  3. Tap Share.

  4. Tap Create a link.

  5. If a link was already created for this content, tap Share link next to Anyone with the link can view.

  6. Select the way you'd like to share the link from the options Can edit or Can view. Either option will allow them to comment.

How to set up Dropbox Paper for your team

Dropbox Paper is a great way for your team to write up thoughts, collaborate, and share ideas.

How to invite team members to your Dropbox team account

Unless you’ve given invite permission to members, only certain types of admins can invite members to your teams account. Each invited member uses one of your plan’s licenses.

You can invite members through the admin console or the Dropbox Active Directory Connector. We recommend you use the admin console to invite members.

Inviting team members through the admin console

  1. Log in to dropbox.com with your admin credentials.

  2. Click Admin console in the left sidebar.

  3. Click Members in the left sidebar.

  4. Click Invite members.

  5. Enter the email addresses of people you want to invite.

  6. Click Send invites.

    • Note: You can also import a CSV file if you’d like to invite members to your team in bulk.

If a team member already has a Dropbox account that they use for work, they can convert an existing personal account to a Dropbox team account. Alternatively, they can create a new account altogether.

Inviting team members through an integration

If you already have SSO or are planning to implement one, we recommend inviting team members using active directory connector.

How to add another admin to your Dropbox team account

We recommend that all teams have at least two admins who can help with specific tasks like managing account security or onboarding new members. 

To add new admins through the Admin console:

  1. Log in to dropbox.com with your admin credentials.

  2. Click Admin console in the left sidebar.

  3. Click Members in the left sidebar.

  4. Find the member you want to make an admin.

  5. Select the gear to the right of their name.

  6. Select Add admin role.


You can change these permissions at any time. There are eight pre-built admin roles, each with a different set of permissions. 

  • Team admins can access all permissions.

  • User management admins can add, remove, and manage team member accounts.

  • Support admins can help team members with limited tasks, including resetting passwords.

  • Billing admins can make payments and renew contracts.

  • Content admins can set content permissions and manage content.

  • Compliance admins* can manage retention policies and legal holds. *This admin role is only available to teams that have purchased the Data Governance Add-On.

  • Reporting admins

    can create reports on team activity and member data.

  • Security admins

    can manage security alerts, external sharing, and security risks.

To learn more about what each admin can do, explore our admin training course

How to log in as one of your Dropbox team members

By using the “log in as user” feature, you can log in to the account of anyone on your team. 

How certain types of admins can “log in as user”

  1. Log in to dropbox.com with your admin credentials.

  2. Click Admin console.

  3. Open the Members page.

  4. Click the gear icon beside the name of the team member you would like to sign in as.

  5. Click Log in as user.

  6. Click Log in to confirm that you would like to sign in as the selected user.

You'll be taken to the account of the user you selected, where you can act on this user's behalf.

This access allows you to do any of the following:

  • View a team member's folder structure.

  • Share files and folders with others.

  • View, open, and download files.

  • Delete files or restore deleted files.

When you're done, be sure to click Log out on the red banner at the top of the page. This will help you avoid accidentally making changes to the wrong account later.

Note: This feature is only available to Dropbox team accounts on an Advanced or Enterprise plan.

Learn more about the “log in as user” feature

How to suspend or delete a team member from a Dropbox team account

Whether you’re suspending or removing someone on your team, you can do it all from the admin console.

How to suspend a Dropbox team member

  1. Log in to dropbox.com with your admin credentials.

  2. Click Admin console in the left sidebar.

  3. Select the Members tab.

  4. Find the member you want to suspend.

  5. Select the gear icon. 

  6. From the menu, select Suspend member.

If you want to unsuspend a suspended member

  1. Log in to dropbox.com with your admin credentials.

  2. Click Admin console in the left sidebar.

  3. Select the Members tab.

  4. Find the member you want to unsuspend.

  5. Select the gear icon. 

  6. From the menu, select Unsuspend member.

How to delete a Dropbox team member

  1. Log in to dropbox.com with your admin credentials.

  2. Click Admin console in the left sidebar.

  3. Select the Members tab.

  4. Find the member you want to delete.

  5. Select the gear icon. 

  6. From the menu, select Delete.

The deleted member will immediately lose access to their Dropbox team account and everything in it. Admins can reuse the license of the deleted member and invite another person to the team. 

How to transfer Dropbox team accounts to new team members

If someone’s stepping into a former employee’s role, you may want to easily and quickly get that new employee everything they need. Account transfer lets you do one of two things: 

  • Transfer everything from the old account to a new member (including files, folders, and sharing relationships).

  • Transfer the content to your admin account and pick and choose what goes to the new employee.

Discover how to transfer a deleted member’s files

How to train your team to use Dropbox

Educating and supporting members throughout their transition to Dropbox is critical to the success of your deployment. 

We recommend you invite your team to complete the Dropbox quick start guide designed for team members. This guide helps new team members add and share files, find troubleshooting resources, and more.

Further training

In our self-guided learning library, your team can pick and choose topics, as well as explore Dropbox features at their own pace and with their own work in mind. As an admin, you can create the optimal learning journey for your team by assigning specific topics in the training.

Virtual classes

Your team could also join a free Dropbox learning live session. These walk new members through core Dropbox functions with the interactivity of a virtual classroom.

How to use app integrations with Dropbox

Admins can manage app integrations from the admin console and team members can connect and manage third-party apps in their account settings unless admins block the ability to connect.

Team members can also use the Dropbox App Center to discover and connect apps.

Get started with the Dropbox App Center

  1. Log in to dropbox.com

  2. Click the grid icon in the top-left corner and select App Center.

  3. Browse or search for an app you’d like to connect or learn about.

Present with Zoom

With Dropbox and Zoom, your team members can have real-time conversations around shared content. The Zoom integration allows your team to present files in Zoom, and create and join Zoom meetings, directly from Dropbox.

  1. Log in to dropbox.com.

  2. Click All files in the left sidebar.

  3. Hover over the file you'd like to present and click the check box that appears on the left.

  4. Click the arrow next to Share in the upper-right.

  5. Click Zoom

  6. Click Enter Zoom Meeting ID and enter your meeting ID.

  7. Click Present.

Learn more about using Zoom with Dropbox

Share with Slack

Dropbox and Slack bring your content and conversations together seamlessly. The Slack integration allows your team to share files and message people in Slack directly from Dropbox. They can see who shared their file in Slack, when they shared it, and what channels they shared it in.

  1. Log in to dropbox.com.

  2. Click All files in the left sidebar.

  3. Hover over the name of the file and click the check box that appears on the left.

  4. Click the arrow next to Share in the upper-right.

  5. Click Slack.

    • You have the option to add a message.

  6. Click Send next to the channel or person you'd like to share it with.

Learn more about using Slack with Dropbox

Connect your calendar

When team members connect their Google or Outlook calendar to their Dropbox account they can easily find what they need, when they need it. The calendar integration allows your team to view upcoming meetings, join meetings, and attach files to meetings right from their desktop.

To connect to your calendar in the App Center:

  1. Log in to dropbox.com.

  2. Click the grid icon in the top-right corner and select App Center.

  3. Click Google Calendar or Outlook Calendar and Contacts.

    Note: If you don’t see Google Calendar or Outlook Calendar and Contacts, use the App Center search bar.

  4. Click Connect, and follow the prompts.

Find out how to attach files and join meetings from Dropbox

Set up your team for success with a Dropbox team account

Keeping your team in sync is just as important as ensuring all their files and folders are in sync. Learn how to control your team’s access to Dropbox, set team-wide permissions, and much more.

Continue learning

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