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Allow a way to hide the sidebar when sharing a link to a file

Allow a way to hide the sidebar when sharing a link to a file

Paul S
Helpful | Level 6

Currently, the sidebar is open by default, even when comments are disabled. In my example, I'm sharing a 16:9 ratio PDF of a slide set, and it makes it too small. 

There is a thread allready miss-marked as solved here that covers the need:

But, in further summary, here are some ideas contained there. 

As per the OP: "" would be nice, at least for us "advanced" users using links share via a website. 

As another poster: The "signup for dropbox" is horribly intrusive. There's got to be a better way... say, a smaller window in the lower left corner that can be closed. 

And, additional ideas from me:

A) If comments are already defaulted to off, then the sidebar should simply already be closed. I'd say that's by far the most logical and easy UX solution.

B ) The sidebar itself might actually just be plain unneeded. Unless there are already comments, it's a huge waste of space. It's likely that it should be a fixed toolbar at the top of the page. I mean, it's a whopping 5 buttons when closed. Why not just include those in the top toolbar that already exists, then if the comments button is enabled, allow the viewer to open up comments.

New member | Level 2

I love Dropbox's simple integration across platforms, but not being able to share links with the sidebar closed is a deal-breaker. I am building a new website and will simply use Google Drive if there is no way around this issue.


Your idea will need a little more support before we share it with the team.

We've updated the status to encourage others to share their support too!

Thanks for sharing!

Status changed to: Needs more votes
Paul S
Helpful | Level 6
If the design team was smart, and they should be (just noticed 3 from the same snobby world-class design school I went to work there), they should find this on their own and realize how obvious it is. But, if I had to guess product managers hold power over designers - i.e. business case first, not customer needs. But, hey... that how it seems to be at most places.
Helpful | Level 5

I use Dropbox heavily to share files and images with friends and family and the odd professional client.  The sidebar interferes with the basic function of displaying a photo or pdf in a browser in a minimalistic way.


I can't see any use case for this, but I guess it might be needed for Teams collaborating,  NOT for individual users "sharing" a file. 

The obvious way to solve this would be to allow creation of two types of links. 

1) Share to view (download)

2) Share for discussion (collaboration)

Helpful | Level 6

Agree with this, especially for sharing photos/videos! Voted.


I also posted a separate suggestion for the Sign-Up screen if anyone feels inclined to vote on getting that removed when sharing links! 


Vote here:


Explorer | Level 3

I am actually about to switch my apps because my clients do not like this defaulting to open 😞

Lee F
Explorer | Level 4

This is what's killing our ability to use Paper instead of Google Docs. GDocs just opens your document, not a ton of clutter and promotion. Paper on the other hand has a huge unnecessary sidebar and a huge unnecessary promotional footer. I can't share these docs with people outside the team. 

New member | Level 2

literally can't believe this is considered a

feature. just let us have an option to turn off all commenting AND the sidebar 

New member | Level 2

Where is there a left sidebar with my administrative credentials ? No sidebar that I can see at all. 

Have had a Dropbox account for YEARS.....Gave up trying to access my "files" after first few months and hours each time I tried. Back at it again with wanting to extricate myself from the app, with more frustration. " how to contact Dropbox by phone ?" 1]Sign in to with my administrative credentials....2].click Administrative console inthe left shoulder left sidebar with my administrative credentials  3]not able to find a left sidebar...can not go further.

Questions to "help" indicate no such questions similar apply.

Trying to download/retrieve my "files" to put on my iMac is my first and ultimate goal. sure if I can even get back to this forum w/o more frustration

Paul S
Helpful | Level 6

I just noticed this has ZERO votes suddenly. Did the DB staff remove the votes? I can't believe there are 9 commets yet zero votes? I swear last time I looked there were votes. Has everyone who commented at least voted?


On top of everything else wrong with the sidebar and massive "sign up now" popup, now they hide download (likely the most popular feature when you share the link) in the "..." button when the sidebar is minimized. I can only assume these are purposeful "dark pattern" UX design measures... kinda sad to see product managers forcing designers to do their work unethically. 


EDIT: I noticed, my actual post on the left says 10 "votes," but for the "idea" in the top right it says zero votes... and,  the vote button is disabled for me (but maybe that's because I'm the orignial poster). 

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17 votes received Status: Needs more votes