It’s always fun to use Dropbox not only because it seamlessly sync your files between different registered devices, but because it can also share files to recipients who may or may not have a Dropbox account.
Being an owner of a file or folder, for example, you are given the option to share it via an URL to link to that particular material, or you can directly share the material to your collaborator via a regular invitation.
If somebody shared a folder to you in Dropbox, you’re actually notified in either or both ways, i.e., via e-mail or directly on your Dropbox account. On the first end, whether you have a Dropbox account or not, you will still receive the invitation via e-mail because that’s how the sender would and should address you by.
If you already have a Dropbox account, opening your account online will immediately let you know that there is a pending request.
If you received an invitation via e-mail, you may click directly on the link provided (usually, it’s a button with a title View folder).
- If you already have an account and is currently signed in, clicking the link will directly open the invitation to you and awaits your consent. Click on Accept or Decline to consider the invitation, or you may click cancel to ignore this request.
- If you have an account but are not yet signed it, you will be asked to sign in first.
- If you don’t have an account yet, you will be asked to sign up first. Unlike sending URLs or direct links to files which are read-only, sharing folder actually allows real time file modification from within the Dropbox, hence an account is required to gain access to the invitation or to the folder in general.
To accept the invitation right from the Dropbox web interface:
- Notice the red marker on the Sharing tab on the left panel. It indicates the number of invitation/s you have for sharing folders.
- Clicking the Sharing tab.
- To the right, look for the new shared folder invitation which is highlighted in a faint green color.
Upon clicking, you are greeted with the list of folder invitations if there are multiple, and to each folder, click Accept or Decline to consider the invitation for each of the folders. The title of the folder is in blue color.
To ignore the request or save the request for future actions, you can click cancel.
Clicking on Accept will immediately lead you to the contents of the folder being shared.
Note that each file or folder you are currently sharing with is actually taking your Dropbox space or quota as ordinary files and folders do.
This has been setup by Dropbox to avoid abuses in spaces allotted for individual accounts. For business accounts, the space is consumed only from one account even when shared to collaborators.
Note also that you cannot view or join any other folder from outside of your Dropbox account, which later means that you cannot join to another account’s folder without you being invited for. If you happen to decide to get back to a folder you once shared (whether you are the owner or not), you can rejoin by:
- Click on the Sharing tab from the left panel.
- Locate the drop-down menu on the right side of the page. From the menu, select Past folders.
- On the list of the folders that you have shared or have been shared with before, click on Rejoin found at the right of the row.
- Confirm your action by clicking on the Rejoin folder button on the pop-up window.
- Go back to your main Dropbox page to view the folder.