Online photo sites and Facebook albums have made it easier to share pictures and videos without having to upload and e-mail extremely large files. However, there are still instances where large image files, documents, PDFs, or other files need to be sent from one location to another. In many cases, e-mail servers dictate the maximum file size that can be sent or received, and large files often get caught in people’s spam folders or are otherwise never delivered. Dropbox is a free program that allows you to upload and share files with others using a mutual location on the Internet. You can use it as a web-based service, but it is most functional when you download the software to your hard drive.
1. Download the Dropbox software. Visit dropbox.com to get started. Follow the instructions that apply to your computer’s operating system. Once the software is downloaded, Dropbox will automatically create a new folder on your computer. You can create folders within the main Dropbox folder to keep files organized and to control who can see select files.
2. Add files to your Dropbox. The Dropbox folder functions the same as any other folder on your hard drive. You can copy and paste files from another location or drag and drop the files into the Dropbox folder. Anything added to your Dropbox folder will automatically sync to the web. If you have shared a particular folder with someone else, they will receive a pop-up notification on their desktop to let them know that you have added files. If you prefer to add files via the website, simply click on “Upload” and add the files you want to share.
3. Share files and folders with others. From your desktop folder, click on “Share this folder” in the left-hand pane.
If you haven’t downloaded the software, click on “Share a folder” on the website. You will be prompted to add the user’s e-mail address and they will receive an automatically generated message information them that you have shared files with them.
Whether you’re sending files for work or for personal reasons, Dropbox is an easily accessible and user-friendly option for sharing large pictures, documents, or other files.