Just a little something I encountered, had trouble with, then solved. So I thought I’d share.
We recently had a family vacation, and I wanted to make some photos available to others in my family. I didn’t want to email them all (obnoxious), and I didn’t necessarily want to post them all publicly on Facebook. I’m a Dropbox user, so this seemed like a nice cloud solution for sharing photos.
For Dropbox users that want to make certain folders available for others to see, but not necessarily be able to modify contents of the folder as a Dropbox user…. That is, to “share” a Dropbox folder with people who are not Dropbox users, here’s what the trick.
When you drill down your list of folders until you see the folder you’d like to show others, like in the screenshot below, you might be tempted to click on “Share this folder.”
That’s what I did first, and everyone got an email from Dropbox saying that they had to signup for the service before viewing. Not what I wanted.
The “Share” concept in Dropbox is for an active kind of share. Only other Dropbox users can do this, because it becomes part of THEIR dropbox folders. The benefit of this is that all share users can add things to the folder, make changes, etc. For some situations, this is great. For my situation, I didn’t want my non-Dropbox family members to have to signup for anything.
So…when “sharing” something with people that might not be Dropbox users, instead, what you want is to click the link icon, which will give you a unique URL link of a public page that you can send to others, like I sent the link to whomever I’d like.
When you click the “Share link” icon, a new page opens (screenshot below). You can use the “Add names or emails” box to have Dropbox send invites to this link, or click the “Get link” button, and the URL will be copied to your clipboard, ready for pasting into an email or anything else.
(And when I say its a “public” page, it isn’t like its posted publicly anywhere. It’s a page, at a particular URL, that does not require an account to access. You can be discreet with how you share it (like I did by email with family) or you can post it for all the world to see. Up to you.)