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How to download and install the Dropbox desktop app

How to use the the Dropbox Enterprise Installer. If you are a Dropbox Business team admin and would like to use the enterprise installer, first download the offline installer. The installer file should be named “Dropbox x.y.z Offline Installer.exe” (where “x.y.z” represents the three-digit designation of the latest installer version). Oct 22, 2020 Download Dropbox for Mac to transform folders into connected workspace and keep team collaboration in sync with intelligent content solutions. Dropbox has had 14 updates within the past 6 months.

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Once installed, you’ll be prompted to either sign in or create a new account.

How to install the desktop app with admin privileges

The Dropbox desktop app requires admin privileges to run with full functionality on your computer. This enables multiple different core features of Dropbox, including:

  • Sync icons that show the sync status of files and folders
  • Right-click context menus for taking quick actions in Dropbox
  • Access to Smart Sync

For the vast majority of users, the desktop app is automatically installed with admin privileges. However, if you didn't install with admin privileges you can follow the instructions below to do so.

Note: If you don't have admin rights on your computer (for example if you're using a work computer), you may need to ask your IT department for help.

Install the Dropbox desktop app with admin privileges

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  1. If you already have Dropbox installed, uninstall the application.
  2. Open the installer.
    • Do not right-click, and do not command-click Run as an Administrator
  3. Follow the instructions in the install wizard.
    • If you’re asked for an administrative username and password, enter them or contact your administrator to sign in.
    • If you’re not asked for an administrative username and password, you’re already an admin on your computer.
  4. Complete the installation and sign in to Dropbox.

Smart Sync and admin privileges

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Some Dropbox users will have access to Smart Sync. If you have access to this feature, check that Dropbox is installed with admin privileges on each computer where the feature will be used.

Depending on the policies at your organization, your team members may be able to install Dropbox with admin privileges on their own. If not, they may need the assistance of your IT team.

Why does the Dropbox desktop app for Mac require Keychain access?

Keychain is a password management system for Mac. Dropbox requires access to your Keychain to help verify your account and to provide another layer of security over the Dropbox app preferences.

  • To grant Keychain access to Dropbox, click Allow or Always Allow (recommended for seamless access) when prompted to do so from Mac.
  • Clicking Deny will result in a 'Couldn't start Dropbox' error message. For security reasons, Dropbox will not start without access to your Keychain.

What is the Dropbox Web Helper for macOS?

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Dropbox Web Helper supports the Dropbox user interface on Mac computers. It only runs when the desktop app is running. Dropbox Web Helper is an independent process, so it may start and stop at different times than the desktop app. If you adjust your firewall or antivirus software for Dropbox, we recommend similar adjustments for Dropbox Web Helper.

Reader Dwayne Norris has a problem with Dropbox links. He writes:

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A friend sent me a link to a movie file they’d like to share with me on Dropbox. The link appears in this form: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1234567/test.mov. When I click on the link, Safari launches and the movie starts playing. I’d like to download the file directly but can’t find a way. Do you have any advice?

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Starting the week with one of this column’s shortest answers, I do indeed.

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There are a couple of ways to tackle this. First, you can click the link, wait for your web browser to start loading the file, click in the location bar, hold down the Option key, and then press Return. The file will download.

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Alternatively you can append ?dl=1 to the end of the link, so http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1234567/test.mov?dl=1. This will force your browser to download rather than preview the file.