Collaborate or sync files with a free personal Dropbox account

If you work with other people or on multiple devices you should have a common space to share files that syncs to multiple device.  This way you always have the current way copy of the files.  Dropbox is also popular because it has a free version.  Free, easy and compatible helped make Dropbox the industry leader.  There are dozens of good ways to share and sync filed but the most common is Dropbox.  It works on any device.  (except that some bank, governmental  and institutional employees have their devices locked down to limit access to file sharing etc).

What if you get an invite to share a file or folder but you do not have a Dropbox account?

Where do you start?  1st create an account by going to on your home computer.  Create a password.  Probably do no use your work email address as it may be limited or not private.  Personal email is normally the best place to start.  (If your office  uses a paid Dropbox for work then create a second Dropbox account and install that on your work computer).  Creating a free account you will get 2GB of space.  Please do the 2-4 minute tutorial at  that will give you the basic overview.  Once you understand the what and why you might endure a few more minutes to figure out the how.

3 ways to access Dropbox files.  Once you create your password you can get to the files as follows:

  1. Install the Dropbox software on your computer.   The folder you were invited to share  will then sync to your new Dropbox folder on your computer.  This is the easy way.  Just change a file and it is live shared and syncs to the other people or devices logged in.
  2. Install the app on your phone or tablet.   The files are then available on that device.  Your free personal Dropbox size in increased to 5GB just for installing it on your phone.  (you can remove the app if you want but still keep the extra 5GB
  3. The hard way is to download the file from Edit the file and then re-upload.  It sounds easy but low trech people forget to upload and then get confused.

Please do the 2-4 minute tutorial at

Other popular tools for collaboration include,  Google Calendars, Google Drive, Microsoft One Drive, Box, SugarSync, and a dozen others.  For most Dropbox is the simplest.  For others they feel that piad versions including Sugarsync etc offers more administrative controls.

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