Cloud storage has been around for a while now, and many people use it for extra space, collaborative work or sharing pictures. However, the main drawbacks are the limits that even the best cloud storage providers often place on users. In this article, we will be looking through Dropbox’s limitations when storing and transferring large files.
If you’re not familiar with Dropbox, you can read our explanation of what Dropbox is.
Does Dropbox Limit File Sizes?
Most of these limits are in place only when you upload to or download from Dropbox.com, to reduce the risk that the service gets overloaded. However, using the desktop UI or mobile apps either reduces or entirely removes restrictions on files uploaded to Dropbox.
What Is the Dropbox File Size Limit?
If you are uploading files through the website, each one must be smaller than 50GB. This upload limit has changed over time, but it will not affect you unless you’re dealing with large file sizes. The desktop UI and mobile apps are fully unlimited here, so you can use them with any file, even if it’s above these limits.
Dropbox doesn’t stop any files from being stored based on extensions, so you can also choose to compress any data before you upload it. This will decrease the total size, saving you storage space and making it easier to stay under 50GB.
Does Dropbox Compress Files?
Although it’s useful to store files you’ve compressed yourself, some cloud storage software will do it automatically. If done poorly, this can decrease quality or slow down transfer speeds, and even when compression is done right, it will limit your ability to manipulate files while they are in the cloud.
However, Dropbox does not compress your uploaded files. Sometimes the stated file size may be slightly different than what’s on your computer, but this is due to differences in how file size gets measured, rather than any compression to files uploaded to Dropbox.
How to View File Size in Dropbox
One of the most significant limits with Dropbox is the total size of your stored files. The free Basic plan gives only 2GB of space — much less than some Dropbox alternatives — so there may be times when you need to remove some of the files uploaded to your account. Luckily, it’s easy to find the size of individual files with both the website and the desktop UI.
In your account, there’s a list of every file, available either in a “files” tab online or a “Dropbox” tab in both apps. By clicking on the white space near the file you want to examine, a new section will open onto the right-hand side of the page. This will show information including the file size, who has access and when you edited it last.
What Is the File Size Limit for Dropbox Transfers?
Through Dropbox Transfer, you can send others a temporary, read-only version of a file. The other user doesn’t need to have space for it in a Dropbox account, but there is a file size limit based on the sender’s plan.
With the free Basic plan, Dropbox caps you at 100MB per transfer. The paid Plus plan increases it to 2GB, and the Professional plan goes further with a 100GB limit. So if you need to share many files larger than text or simple pictures, you will need to pay. Our article on using Dropbox for free goes through the other benefits of using a paid plan.
However, if you want users to have the ability to comment on or edit the files you’re sending, Dropbox also has a file-sharing feature. This allows many files stored in one account to be copied and synced to another account. The only file size limit here is the remaining space in the recipient’s account.
How Do I Send Large Files in Dropbox?
There is a simple three-step process if you need to send a large file from within either Dropbox.com or the app. First, select the file or folder you wish to transfer. Then choose the “share” option on the right-hand side.
A new tab will appear with options to share via email or directly with a link. You can also share through third-party software, such as Slack, when you’re in the Dropbox app. Here, you can choose to add more recipients or limit their ability to edit the file, but full editing is available by default.
If you want to restrict others to only view files, without options for downloading it or adding comments, you should use Dropbox Transfer. This can be done for free through the “transfer” tab online. It follows a similar process to sharing, but you can send many files at once.
Does Dropbox Limit File Sizes?
Although Dropbox does limit file uploads through the webpage or on a free plan, you can avoid most limits with compression tools or multiple transfers. Unless you are limited in storage, many large files can be moved around with relative ease. If you want to learn more, check out our full Dropbox review for a thorough overview of Dropbox’s features and tools.
Have you tried to transfer large files through Dropbox? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks for reading.