The 5 Most Useful Dropbox for Business Features You Never Knew Existed There is no shortage of reasons to celebrate the recent release of the Dropbox for Business API. With the ramp up in…

The 5 Most Useful Dropbox for Business Features You Never Knew Existed

Michael Gleason

I spend my days (and nights) explaining how the strengths of the cloud - high availability, scalability, and interoperability - can help us overcome what is often considered its greatest weakness: security.


CloudLock-Dropbox-Tips-TricksThere is no shortage of reasons to celebrate the recent release of the Dropbox for Business API. With the ramp up in adoption, we decided it might be helpful to share some of our favorite Dropbox for Business features, tips, and tricks with our readers.

Selective Sync

With a generous storage allocation of 1TB for Dropbox for Business users, some of you might wonder why a selective sync functionality would be useful. Consider the following scenarios:

  • You want more control over what is synced with Dropbox
  • You want to save space in your Dropbox account
  • You want to save space on the computer you’re syncing with Dropbox

If you’re looking to enable Selective Sync, you’ll find it under Preferences > Account > Change Settings, at which point you’ll be able to select and deselect specific folders to sync. Voila.

The Security Angle. By ensuring you know what is and isn’t syncing with Dropbox, you’ll be able to prevent the unintentional distribution of content you want to keep to yourself.

Improved Collaboration

Sharing couldn’t be simpler in Dropbox for Business. Users can invite people to shared folders via a new sharing button in the web-based application or from the desktop application.

If you’re looking to provide others with accessibility to information without allowing the viewer to modify the original content, be sure to take advantage of view-only permissions via a shareable link.

The best part? The recipient doesn’t have to be a Dropbox user. Bye bye, email attachments. For even more fun, you can provide view-only links for both files and folders – a great way to allow viewers to have ongoing access to up to date information.

Security Angle. Use the native Dropbox password functionality or the ability to set expirations for links to files and folders for an even more secure approach.

Microsoft Integration

Are you both a Microsoft Office and a Dropbox user? Good news: if you choose to sync up Dropbox and Office, you’ll be able to open Office files within Dropbox on your mobile device and, with a tap of the “edit” button, modify the file. The updates will automatically sync with Dropbox.

And it works the other way around, too. After connecting your Office mobile application with Dropbox, you’ll be able to create new files in Office and save to Dropbox from within the Office application itself. You can also open Dropbox files from within the Office application easily, and can even share Word, Excel, and Powerpoint files via a Dropbox link from within Office.

Security Angle. No security spin here, just good old fashioned life-improving functionality.

Offline File Access

For the Dropbox veterans among us, this is old hat, but for the uninitiated, this feature can be a true lifesaver. To access files within Dropbox on your mobile device without a cellular or wifi connection, simply mark them as a “favorite.” Bonus: Dropbox will regularly sync any edits made offline across your account.

Security Angle. You don’t have to hop on that questionable wifi hotspot at the local discotheque to access your critical files.

Remote Wipe

This feature is exclusive to Dropbox for Business and Dropbox Pro users. It allows smartphone-, tablet-, and computer-based users to unlink the device from your account.

For phone and tablet users, the Dropbox folder will be deleted automatically, including files stored offline. For computer users, you’ll be able to empower Dropbox to delete the Dropbox folder the next time it connects to the web.

Security Angle. Misplacing your device no longer means the security integrity of your most critical files are compromised – good news for the absent-minded (including yours truly) among us.

The Next Step

Be sure to check out our free eBook – Cloud Security: The Dropbox for Business Edition to:

  • Understand data security considerations relevant to Dropbox
  • Walk away with a series of actionable recommendations to build a cloud security program
  • Master security-conscious best practices to share with your users
  • Obtain sample cloud data protection policies to ensure strong data security and compliance


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