Sunday, April 3, 2011

Make a public download link for a file in your Dropbox

I could have phrased the title above in several ways, like:
  • Use Dropbox to transfer files to another person
  • What is the Public folder in your Dropbox?
Because I am going to explain everything in a really quick tutorial.
First of all, if you don't have a Dropbox account, consider making one. It is one of the most useful things I've found on the web when talking utility. If you use this referral link, you get an extra 250MB of free space for life over the 2GB. 500MB for a .edu email address. You will also help me get some extra space.

That done, let's move on to the tutorial.

You can use Dropbox to share files. Because there is no limit on the type or maximum size of the files, Dropbox could be an incredibly useful tool to transfer files.

To create a public link to any file, you need to first move (or copy) it to the Public folder. Then, you can do one of the following:
  • Right-click the file (in the Dropbox folder on your computer), and choose Dropbox; Copy Public Link.
  • Click the little arrow (in the web app) on the right for any file in your Public folder and click Copy public link.

You can share that link with anyone you like. And they can download it. Note that the link is public, and anyone can download your file if they have the link. You can 'unshare' the file by simply removing it from the Public folder. You can NOT share folders. Just single files.

When someone uses the link, the file opens in their web browser. If you want to have them download the file automatically, you can use this tip from Lifehacker.

And again, here's my Dropbox referral link for newbies.