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Create and Upload Your Files to a Dropbox Account in 10 Minutes

By Snap Agency September 20, 2013

At Snap, we use Dropbox to easily transfer large numbers of files from our clients to the appropriate account manager and web developer. Sometimes our clients have 100 pictures for their online portfolio, but it’s time consuming to attach them all to multiple emails. Even if you just have a few files you want to share with us, Dropbox is a commons area for specific team members working on your project, so when you drop the files in, everyone will have immediate access to the most recent versions of your files. Dropbox simplifies the transfer process to an easy drag-n-drop, instead of a flurry of emails back and forth between you, the account manager and the web developer.

This is a tutorial on how to sign up for Dropbox account, and how to upload files. It should address all questions and concerns you might have on the process of uploading files. If at the end of this tutorial, you feel we have left something out or have any further questions, please leave a comment at the end!

This tutorial should take you a total of 10 minutes to follow, with a break in the middle while you await word from your account manager.

There are three parts:

  • How to sign up for Dropbox.
  • How to upload files to your new Dropbox account.
  • Answers to frequently asked questions about Dropbox.

How to sign up for Dropbox (5 minutes):

  1. Navigate to https://www.dropbox.com/
  2. Click the “Sign up” button and fill out the required fields.
  3. Dropbox immediately signs you up, and you are redirected to a page where the Dropbox application can be downloaded.Tip: In my opinion, you don’t need to install the application. Dropbox can be used exclusively through your favorite browser (e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, iExplorer), and for that reason, this tutorial is skipping over the installation of the Dropbox to your computer. However, if you’re the savvy type and you want to try it out, we encourage you to do so! It’s a very simple application to learn.
  4. Click on the blue box at the top left of the screen. You are now looking at Dropbox’s orientation page. You can peruse at your leisure.
  5. Next, email your account manager and let them know that you have signed up for Dropbox. Be sure to tell them which email address you used for the account. While you’re in your email account, you’ll notice that Dropbox sent you a message—again, they prompt you to install Dropbox. Feel free to ignore this.
  6. Now go about your business for a while. Your account manager will get back to you soon with an invitation to join a folder. You will get this notification via email.

How to upload files to Dropbox (5 minutes):

  1. You’re ready to begin again when you receive an email like this one. Click “View folder”.
  2. You will be automatically redirected to the Dropbox website, and it will prompt you to accept the shared folder invitation.Tip: If you accidentally click decline, let your account manager know, and they will share the folder with you again.
  3. To begin uploading files, click on the icon of a paper with a blue “up” arrow. Navigate through your files to find the ones you would like to share with us. You can select more than one file at a time, and you can also drag and drop files anywhere onto the page to start uploading.Tip: If you are uploading large files, it can take a while to copy all that data to the new space. (Sometimes 30 minutes or more!) You need to start this process at a time when you can wait for the transfer to complete. You don’t have to actively watch it the whole time, but if you were to close your laptop, or turn off your computer the transfer will be interrupted and you will have to start over. You may find that it easier to upload multiple images or files in smaller batches (say, 20 at a time).If you are having further problems with Dropbox, please refer to the last section of this post, “Frequently Asked Questions”. Click here to jump to that section

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Is Dropbox free?Yes, to a point. You start out with 2 GB of free storage space, and you would have to pay if you want more space. However, we are simply using Dropbox as a transfer tool, rather than a storage space, so we can always remove older files to make room for new ones.
  • Is Dropbox safe?Yes. You can read Dropbox’s policy on security. Other Dropbox users can’t see your files in Dropbox unless you deliberately share links to files or share folders.
  • Can I use Dropbox as a permanent storage space?Yes and no. You can make a new folder that is not shared with Snap and use that for permanent storage. However, the folder that is shared with us is simply a transfer tool. If Snap’s Dropbox account gets too full, we will copy your files to an external hard drive and delete the contents of the Dropbox folder to make room for new files on our other accounts. We will leave recovery instructions in the folder in case you need to get something back. Generally, we will keep the relocated files for six months and then permanently delete them from our hard drive as well.
  • I know I uploaded files, but my account manager can’t see them.This likely means that our Dropbox account has reached its capacity. We try to keep about 1 GB of space available at any given time. However, since our account managers are not logged in to our Dropbox account directly, and it is used by multiple clients, it can be easy reach our storage limit without realizing it. Let your account manager know that you’ve uploaded files, and that they should check the Snap Dropbox account.

Do you have any further questions about the sign-up and uploading process? Please let us know in the comments section below. We’re here to help! Our Minneapolis web developers and account managers will appreciate it!