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[video tutorial] What’s the difference between team folders, private folders, and shared folders

Community Manager
Community Manager

Level: Intermediate 

Questions about different folder types? Leave it in the comments below



Ed G
Community Manager @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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Re: [video tutorial] What’s the difference between team folders, private folders, and shared folders

Level 4

The video is helpful, but it doesn't explain the difference between team and shared folders. Can a team folder also be a shared folder and vice vers.

Also, what is the concept of shared folders? If I share my personal folder with a member, then is that going to represent as shared folder on that other member's console.

With all due respect, Dropbox uses a lot of vague terms that further complicates things.

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Re: [video tutorial] What’s the difference between team folders, private folders, and shared folders

Dropboxer

Happy New Year and welcome to our Forums @rk90 - thanks for taking the time to express your sincere and constructive feedback here. Let me give you some additional information and we'll take it from there if needed; OK?

To begin with, note that your Dropbox account's quota (i.e. available space) is calculated based on the total contents of your Dropbox, which includes shared folders. A Dropbox account can't sync more than its quota, so a 2 GB account can't sync more than 2 GB, including the space taken up by shared folders. Because every member of a shared folder can add and modify the files in the shared folder, the shared folder takes up space in each member's account. This policy exists to prevent people from giving themselves unlimited space by stacking Basic accounts and shared folders.

Moreover, note that in both shared folders and team folders, any additions, edits, or deletions that a member of the folder makes will sync to everyone else who's a member of that folder (such changes are logged in your Events page as well normally).

Of course, there are a couple differences between shared and team folders. Team folders automatically give functional groups the correct access level (view or edit) to the content they need. Unlike team folders, shared folders can be shared with individual members.

Shared and team folders are also created differently. Only an Admin on a Dropbox for Business teams account can create a team folder, as team folders can only be made from within the Admin Console. This means that you can't convert an existing folder into a team folder. 

It's also quite important to note that you can't share a team folder outside of your team. In sub-folders of team folders individual team members and people outside the team can collaborate along with team members in groups.

To learn more about shared folders and team folders, check out our Help Center:

Shared folders - https://www.dropbox.com/help/files-folders/share-with-others 

Team folders - https://www.dropbox.com/help/business/team-folders 

At this point I also wanted to add that should you need to share a folder without impacting the recipient's quota, you can share a link to the folder, instead. A shared link allows users to view or download a one-way, read-only copy of the folder. You can read about this on our Help Center here: 

https://www.dropbox.com/help/files-folders/view-only-access

On the other hand, if you'd like others to just upload files to your Dropbox account without impacting their quota, you can send a file request. Our file requests feature enables a requester to have files uploaded to their Dropbox account by other individuals. You can read about this on our Help Center here:  

https://www.dropbox.com/help/files-folders/create-file-request

If, for any reason, you want to remove a shared folder from your account without affecting other members, you can remove your access to it as per:  

https://www.dropbox.com/help/files-folders/unshare-folder

If you or anyone from the people you'll be collaborating with needs a little more space, note that to earn free space, you can:

Finally, if you are interested in sharing a quota pool between multiple users, we do have a Dropbox Business subscription. You can read more about Dropbox Business on our website here:  https://www.dropbox.com/business

Apologies for the lengthy response but I sure hope I got everything covered. Please let me know if you have any further questions and I'll be happy to follow up on this thread if needed. 

Cheers!

 


Walter
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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Re: [video tutorial] What’s the difference between team folders, private folders, and shared folders

Level 4

Thanks for your response, Walter.

Please confirm if my understanding is correct:

- I have a top level team folder called 'Main'

- This 'Main' folder cannot be shared outside my team. I can can share it with my team by means of giving individual member or group access to it. This 'Main' folder will never be represented as a 'shared_folder' in any namespace (i.e. If I shared it my team member and use v2 API to list all folders in my team member's root namespace, the 'Main' folder will be listed but its type will still be team_folder and not shared_folder)

- Sub-folders of the top-level team folder can be shared (i.e. /Main/project). In this case, I can share project with people outside my team and the project folder will be listed as a shared_folder in their namespace.

 

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Re: [video tutorial] What’s the difference between team folders, private folders, and shared folders

Dropboxer

Thanks for the quick response @rk90 - much appreciated!

Your first point is spot on, yet, for more information about our API and how to use it I'd recommend posting your question under this section of our forums: 

https://www.dropboxforum.com/t5/Developer-API/ct-p/101000041

Now, as per your last query, all subfolders of a team folder have the team folder's “building icon”, because they are shared with the same users that the team folder is shared with by default. This includes shared folders that are nested inside a team folder. 

Nested shared folders also differ from normal shared folders in the following respects: 

1. Management: 

Nested shared folders can be managed through your admin console:

https://www.dropbox.com/team/admin/team_folders 

2. Unsharing: 

If you open the folder settings for these types of folders, you will find that there is no “unshare” button. This is because it isn’t possible to “unshare” those folders. If you have explicitly added any members who were not part of the team folder group, you can remove their access individually. If you don’t want the team folder group to have access any longer, you’ll have to copy the folder outside the team folder, then delete it.

3. Deleting: 

If you delete a subfolder of a team folder it will be deleted for all of its members. This includes team folder members as well as any other members you explicitly added to that folder.

4. Restoring/adding back:

If you deleted a subfolder of a team folder, even if it was shared with others, it won’t appear on www.dropbox.com/share. In order to add back the folder, please follow these steps: 

  • Sign into www.dropbox.com
  • Navigate through your file browser to the parent folder of the folder you would like to restore
  • Click the "Show deleted files" button
  • Select the folder in question
  • Choose “Restore”.

I hope this helps to some extent and please keep me posted on your progress.

 


Walter
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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[video tutorial] What’s the difference between team folders, private folders, and shared folders
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