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Getting your account set up

Getting your account set up

Dropbox makes it easy for you to safely share and collaborate, no matter where you are, no matter your device.

13 minute read

Set yourself up for success

Now that you’ve created a Dropbox account, you’re one step away from accessing its collaborative and organizational powers.

Want to learn more about Dropbox? Read our guide about what Dropbox can do for you.

Make your Dropbox account your own

Let’s explore how you can make your Dropbox account your own by adjusting account settings. Take a look at a few common customizations.

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Perfect your profile

Your profile is where you can find your email address, password (if you aren’t using SSO), username, and optional profile photo. If you want to change any of that information, sign in on dropbox.com, click your avatar at the top of any page, and then click Settings.

Once you’re on the Settings page, you can change your email address, username, or profile photo under the Profile tab. To change your password, click the Security tab.

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Update notification settings

Dropbox sends email notifications to let you know what’s changing in your account, which can be really helpful. But sometimes, you just don’t want so many emails in your inbox, which is understandable.

You can review your email notification settings by clicking your avatar at the top of any page, selecting Settings, and then choosing Notifications.

From there, uncheck boxes next to the notifications you don’t want to receive anymore.

Don’t forget to click the Save settings button when you’re done, too!

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Link or unlink devices

We all use different devices for work and personal use and managing those devices with your Dropbox account can be done in one place.

To connect a device, just download the Dropbox app to that device and log in. Everything will then start syncing.

When you unlink a device to your account, files and folders won’t be synced. It’s as if you simply turn off Dropbox for that device.

If you want to unlink a device, sign in to dropbox.com, click your avatar at the top of the page, and select Settings. Then go to the security tab and scroll down to devices. From there, click the X next to the device you want to unlink.

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Practice good password hygiene

We know your files are important to you. Help keep them safe by creating a secure password.

The first step in keeping your items on Dropbox secure is choosing a password that is unique to Dropbox; reusing passwords across multiple sites and accounts makes you vulnerable. Tools like 1Password can help you manage strong passwords across multiple sites and help make your accounts safer.

It’s also important you choose a strong password for your Dropbox account. A strong password is one that is easy for you to remember but hard for a stranger to guess. You can do this by linking together uncommon words and creating a password that prioritizes length over complexity. The following are also helpful:

  • Non-standard uppercasing (for example, “uPPercasing”)
  • Non-standard word spelling (for example, “spellllllling”)
  • Using personal slang words
  • Non-obvious numbers and symbols (note: using “$” for “s” or “0” for “o” is fairly common and likely not enough of a security measure).
  • You can use the Dropbox password strength estimator to test your password here.
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Enable 2FA

Two-step verification, or 2FA, is an optional but recommended security feature. Two-step verification requires you to enter a six-digit security code along with your password.

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Sign-in with Google

If you use Google (for example, Gmail or Google Docs), you can use your Google account to access Dropbox. With Google Sign-In, you can access Dropbox without having to remember a Dropbox password.

You can access Dropbox with Google Sign-In on:

Note: Google Sign-In isn't available on Windows mobile devices.

Access your files from anywhere, anytime

Dropbox offers several different ways to conveniently access your files: the Dropbox mobile app, the Dropbox folder on your computer, and the Dropbox website. While you can always access your files from any internet connected device using dropbox.com, installing and using the apps on your devices will help you get the most from Dropbox.

Watch our helpful video tutorial to help with uploading and downloading files.

You can also securely back up your files and folders, watch our to use Dropbox Backup video guide.

The mobile app

The free Dropbox mobile app helps you keep projects moving from anywhere, so you can stay focused on what matters. Access work, collaborate with colleagues or friends, and quickly take care of tasks—all from your phone or tablet.

Dropbox apps are free and let you:

  • Access your entire Dropbox on-the-go
  • Browse and view files directly from your Dropbox
  • Use third-party apps to open and edit files
  • Take photos and videos using your built-in camera and save them directly to your Dropbox
  • Make important files available for offline access—we'll upload any changes once you’re back online
  • Share your files via links in an email, text messaging, or another app

Dropbox apps are available for Android, iPhone, iPad, and Windows mobile.

Dropbox with File Explorer or Finder

We like to make things easy. That’s why you can access Dropbox straight through a folder on your hard drive. It runs using File Explorer for Windows or Finder for Mac.

Using Dropbox on your computer is just like using any other folder on your hard drive, except the files you drag into your Dropbox folder automatically sync online and to any other computers or mobile devices linked to your account. It's like having the same folder on all of your computers and mobile devices at the same time.

Dropbox even works when you're offline. The next time you're online, Dropbox will sync changes just where it left off.

The desktop app

If it isn’t broke… make it better anyway. The desktop app not only lets you see folders and files in a clear tree structure, but also lets you see when people share them, keeping you up-to-date with version control, notifications and much, much more.

Common questions

Got a question about setting up your account? We’ve likely got an answer. If you have a question that’s not listed here, check out help.dropbox.com for more answers.

What is a 2FA backup code and how do I use it?

After enabling two-step verification, you'll receive ten backup codes. Each 8-digit code can be used once to access your Dropbox account in case of emergency or if you are having trouble receiving a 2FA code through the mobile app or via text message. To find your backup codes, access your account settings on dropbox.com. Navigate to the Security tab and scroll to Two-step verification. Select Show next to Recovery Codes. When entering a backup code, be careful to transcribe the code correctly. The number “1” can look like an “L,” a “0” (zero) can look like an “O,” etc.

Do I need to use the desktop app?

No, you don’t need to use the desktop app, but there are benefits to it! The desktop app watches your Dropbox folder and keeps any changes you make in sync. Any changes you do make while offline will sync once you’re connected to the internet.

Should I just copy files from My Documents into my Dropbox?

There’s no need to copy files from one folder to your Dropbox, which would create duplicate copies. Your Dropbox folder works like any other folder, so working on files directly from your Dropbox folder allows you to store that file both on your computer and on the Dropbox website without duplicating it. That saves you hard drive space, and you can never have enough hard drive space, right?

Try it out

Want to see how to set up your account as either a new or existing user? Look through the following tutorial and follow along with your own Dropbox account.

Setting up your account as a new user

If you're new to Dropbox, account setup is quick and easy.

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Sign up

Now that you’re in, create an account by entering your email, first name, and last name. Then click the blue “Create account” button.