How to Send Your First Dropbox File Request

One of the best reasons to make use of Dropbox is so you can share files with other people with as little hassle as possible. An easy way to share your files using Dropbox is through a feature called Dropbox file request.

When you use this feature, you can request to have files sent to you by anyone, regardless of whether he or she is a Dropbox user. When someone acknowledges your file request and sends you the file, it becomes part of your Dropbox account.

As an added advantage, someone sending you a file through this Dropbox file request feature will not be able to access your Dropbox account or any of your files. The file that the other person sends to you is only accessible by you and no one else, unless you choose to share it with others.

We’ll help you learn how to use this feature with your Dropbox account.

What Is a Dropbox File Request?

One of the best reasons to make use of Dropbox file requests is to have an easier way to collect the files that other people send to you.

If you normally use email to send and receive files, it can be difficult to keep track of these files and organize them. Through Dropbox file request, though, organizing these files is far easier. Whether your files are photographs from family and friends, key business documents from colleagues, or anything in between, this feature is an ideal option.

Some examples for using Dropbox file request include:

  • Collecting related files: If you are seeking samples of photographs from freelancers whom you are thinking of hiring for a job, asking them to send a sample photo through Dropbox file request will keep all of the samples organized in the same area of Dropbox, making it easy to access them when you’re ready to study and compare them.
  • Submitting newsletter contributions: If you are in charge of putting together a newsletter for your volunteer organization or your employer, and you are asking people to send in stories as contributions, using Dropbox file requests ensures they’re all in the same location, which is far easier than searching through multiple emails to find them.
  • Receiving large files: Sometimes, an email client will place a limit on the size of files you can attach to your messages. This can be a significant problem if you are sharing videos or photographs. Using Dropbox file request simplifies this process, as it can accept file sizes up to 50 GB in size (with advanced subscription levels like Business and Professional) or 2 GB in size (with basic subscription levels like Family, Basic, or Plus).

Keep in mind that any files you accept through Dropbox file request will count toward your storage capacity. If you do not have enough storage space available to accommodate the file that the other person is sending to you, the other person will receive an error message.

This means it is important that you not send out Dropbox file requests without considering how much space you have remaining. If you plan to use this feature regularly, it may be advantageous for you to upgrade your Dropbox subscription to a higher level that contains unlimited storage space.

How to Send a File Request

If you would like to set up and create a file request for someone, this is an easy process. Here are steps to follow.

  1. Sign in: Start by signing in to your Dropbox account. (The person from whom you are requesting a file does not have to have a Dropbox account, but the person originating the request does need one.)
  2. Make a request: Click on File Request along the left side of the window, followed by New Request, which should appear along the right side of the window.
  3. Create the request: In the window for the new request, you will need to create a title. Make the title something that the recipient will immediately comprehend. You will be able to add more information about your Dropbox file request in the Description area.
  4. Pick a folder: Next, select the folder within Dropbox where you would like to store all of the files you receive. You can set up a new folder, or you can select a folder that you already have set up and are using.
  5. Set deadlines: If you want to set up a deadline for receiving the files, you can specify a certain day and time to have your requests met. (Without a deadline, you may find that recipients will procrastinate about sending you the files, so we recommend always setting a deadline.) Understand that when you set a deadline, the time shown will match to your time zone, not the recipient’s time zone.
  6. Allow late submissions: If you are subscribing to an advanced level of Dropbox, such as the Business or Professional level, you will have the ability to allow late submissions (without letting the users know that they can send files a day or two late, as they may, again, choose to procrastinate). If someone submits a file that is past the deadline when you are allowing late submissions, Dropbox will accept the submission, but it will mark it as late.
  7. Create your request: Once you’ve completed these steps, click Create to finalize the Dropbox file request. You then will need to enter the email address for the person who will be receiving the request.
  8. Share your request: Finally, click Share, and Dropbox will send your request to the recipients. Those who are receiving the request to send the file will receive an email message explaining how the process works.

Other Dropbox File Request Usage Tips

Here are a few more tips to simplify how you use this feature.

  • Using multiple emails at once: If you are making similar file requests to multiple people, where the title and description you created would make sense for everyone, just add multiple email addresses in the Create step, rather than creating a new file request for each individual person, which will save you time.
  • Give a heads-up: For someone who is not familiar with how Dropbox file request works, receiving this email message regarding the request for a file may be a little confusing. If you are sending someone this request, you may want to give them advanced warning about the file request the first time you use this service.
  • Confirming the process: You will receive a confirmation message from Dropbox about each request you have created. Once each recipient sends you the file and completes the file request, you will receive a notification email, so you do not have to keep checking your Dropbox account to see who sent in their files.

Altering a Dropbox File Request

If required, you can make a few changes to your file request after you have created it. You may want to avoid making too many changes to your Dropbox file requests, as this may end up being extremely confusing for your recipients. But if you have no choice other than to edit your request because your needs changed or because you made an error in the initial request, go ahead and make the editing change.

Change a File Request

After you have signed in to your Dropbox account, you can make an editing change to a file request you created previously.

Click on File Requests on the left side of your Dropbox window. Find the request that you would like to change and then click on the ellipsis (or three dots) to the right of the request name.

If you are a Business or Professional level subscriber to Dropbox, you will have the ability to change any deadline you have set to receive the files, or you can add a deadline to a request that you made previously that did not have a deadline.

Any level of subscriber to Dropbox can edit the title and description of the request through this editing window. Once you’ve made the desired changes, click Save.

Close or Reopen a File Request

If you would like to stop a request for files that you had made earlier, click on File Requests from your main Dropbox account window. Find the request you would like to close and click on the ellipsis to the right of the name. Then click Close Request.

Should you want to reopen a request that you closed earlier, click on the Closed Requests tab from the File Requests window. Click the ellipsis to the right of the name of the request that you had closed and click Reopen.

How to Complete a File Request You’ve Received

If you have received a Dropbox file request, fulfilling the request is an easy process. Here are the steps you should follow to send the file to the person who requested the file.

  • Open the invitation: Once you receive an email message with a Dropbox file request, you can simply click the link or button to open a screen where you can upload the requested files.
  • Add your files: Click Add Files and then select the location from which you will be uploading the files. You can upload files either from a computer or mobile device, or, if you are a Dropbox user, you will have the option of selecting files from your Dropbox account. Add as many files as you need to fulfill the request.
  • Add your information: Depending on the way the person who originated the request set up the process, you may need to enter your name and email address on the next screen. Otherwise, if Dropbox does not need to have this information to complete the request, you’ll go directly to the Upload screen.
  • Upload your files: Finally, click the Upload button. Dropbox will show you a green checkmark icon once it has completed the process successfully.

Troubleshooting Sending a File Request

Here are a few things to help you with sending the file request, should you be having issues.

  • No request received: If you expected to receive an email about a Dropbox file request, but nothing showed up in your Inbox, check your spam folder. Your email client may aggressively sort these emails from Dropbox into a spam folder, especially if it is your first time receiving this type of file request.
  • Error regarding file size: If the recipient does not have an advanced level of Dropbox subscription, such as Professional or Business, you cannot submit files larger than 2 GB in size. Alert the person who generated the request about this problem if the requested files are larger than 2 GB.
  • Error regarding Dropbox space: If you receive an error message about the recipient not having enough free Dropbox space to receive your files, you should alert the person who generated the request about this problem. He or she then will have to upgrade to a higher level of Dropbox with more storage space or will have to delete some files to make room for the new requests.

Ways to Upload a File to Someone Else’s Dropbox

Here are two different ways to upload a file to another person’s Dropbox account.

1. Use Dropbox File Request

Follow the steps we laid out earlier to submit a file through a Dropbox file request.

2. Share Your Dropbox Files and Folders

You can share folders and files stored in your Dropbox account with others, giving them access to these items.

After logging in to your Dropbox account, click Files on the left side. Access any file or folder that you would like to share and click Share.

Enter the email address for the people with whom you want to share the file or folder. Then click the Share button. The recipient will receive a link in an email address that gives them access to the file or folder you have selected.

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Bryan Wise
Bryan Wise,
Former VP of IT at GitLab

Incredible companies use Nira