We’ve come across Dropbox giving users a Public folder by default, but this was not continued anymore since the 4th of October, 2012. The Public folder’s design was to help users share files publicly by simply dragging or moving these files to that folder, and those files will get public links that they can share.
It sounded nice, of course, but Dropbox removed the feature, and rather, made its essential function available virtually anywhere in Dropbox—in your account, most especially. This means that if you are worried about sharing files to the public, you can still do it even without a special folder for the feature; all you have to do is share the link and the recipient will enjoy the content.
Making a file or folder available for the public is as easy as 1-2-3. Let’s try to check this out:
- On your Dropbox account online, click on the row of the file or folder that which you want to share link to. Note that you be careful not to click on the title of the file or folder itself as it will open the contents of the folder, or execute the file.
- On the appearing options on top, click Share link (the one which two chain links as an icon). This should lead you to another page.
- Enter the names, or better, the e-mail addresses of the recipient. You may include a message to indicate what the file is all about.
- Click Send. The recipient will get a link directly from their inbox together with the message that you may have included.
- Click Get link found on the bottom right of the small window.
Paste the link to a notepad for future reference, or you may want to paste it directly to your Instant messaging app or e-mail.
Remember that the link will stay ‘alive’ as long as you do not remove it from your list of public links on your account.
Alternatively, you can share the links of a file or folder directly through the desktop app:
- Go to your Dropbox folder.
- Right-click on the file or folder you want to get a link to. This should give you a context menu.
- Under Dropbox, select Share Dropbox link. It will put the link on the temporary clipboard.
- Paste the link to an editor, or directly with your message.
If you still have a Public folder, the task would be a lot easier:
- If you have not yet moved or copied the file to your Public folder, make a copy now by dragging it.
- Open the Public folder.
- Click on the row of the file or folder you want to get the public link to. Remember that when you select a folder, its subfolders will also take the same effect.
- On the appearing options above the list, select Copy public link. This should give you a pop-up window with an URL.
You can copy to clipboard, or drag the highlighted URL directly to your word processor or e-mail client.
If the URL feels too long or obvious to you, you can click on Shorten link which appears to the above right area of the URL.
- If you want to re-enable your Public folder, you may go to https://www.dropbox.com/enable_public_folder.
- Public files (those which you are sharing links to) will be accessible with or without you getting online.
- If you want to exclude some subfolders for sharing, the best way is to relocate them outside of the folder you have a link to.