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Workaround to use Windows shortcuts on iOS?

Workaround to use Windows shortcuts on iOS?

TomMunch
Explorer | Level 4

Is there a way to get DropBox on iOS to follow Windows shortcut links to another DropBox file in another folder on DropBox?  

 

I am a musician and have a very large number of Word song files in one master folder that I use a number of shortcuts in other folders to access.  This way I don't have multiple copies of a song file which would make editing a mess.  These other folders are basically for categories like genre and artist or types like summer songs, western songs, songs of the '60's etc.  I normally use these on a Windows laptop or desktop which works very well, but when I am on my iPhone or iPad I cannot follow these shortcut links.  

 

I've thought of trying to set up a Workflow or IFTTT solution, but I haven't figured that out yet.  

 

I've also contacted DropBox with a request for an up date to DropBox for iOS to allow following shortcut links to other files in DropBox, but I haven't had a response.

 

Does anyone know of a clever workaround or way to accomplish what I'm after?

 

Thanks in advance for your help!

2 Accepted Solutions

Accepted Solutions

Re: Workaround to use Windows shortcuts on iOS?

Rich
Super User II
That's not possible with Dropbox and I know of no workaround that would make it possible. Remember that Dropbox on mobile devices does not sync files like it does on your computer. It just shows you a lit of the files in your account and downloads them to the device as you access them. Links, shortcuts, etc. will not work.

View solution in original post

Re: Thread closed? Looking for solution to use Windows shortcuts with DropBox on iOS

Maple
Dropboxer
Hi TomMunch,

You could create a .url file with the shared link of the file. It wouldn't be the same thing but you would be able to navigate to the original file from another folder. Search for "URL File Extension" to see how to create one. Other files we support in this way are webloc (Apple thing) and website files. When you open these types of files in Dropbox iOS, we show a link to the url, and if you tap a shared link to a file in your Dropbox account we open that file directly.

The gotcha with this potential work-around is once you create a shared link, it is possible for other people to access the file if they somehow get the link as well. If you're on a business account you can change permissions to prevent this though.

Again, this is a super janky work-around. I can't comment on whether shortcuts is something we want to support but I will ask around for you.

------------------------------
iOS Engineer @ Dropbox

View solution in original post

10 Replies 10

Re: Workaround to use Windows shortcuts on iOS?

Rich
Super User II
That's not possible with Dropbox and I know of no workaround that would make it possible. Remember that Dropbox on mobile devices does not sync files like it does on your computer. It just shows you a lit of the files in your account and downloads them to the device as you access them. Links, shortcuts, etc. will not work.

Re: Workaround to use Windows shortcuts on iOS?

TomMunch
Explorer | Level 4

I know it's not possible currently with DropBox.  It would not seem that difficult though if the shortcut destination is in the link description to point to the file on DropBox.  I'll keep looking for a workaround. 

 

[This thread is now closed. If you have a similar or new question, you can ask here]

Thread closed? Looking for solution to use Windows shortcuts with DropBox on iOS

TomMunch
Explorer | Level 4

I asked this question 4 days ago and had one response that didn't offer a solution.  I just received a notification that "A reply to a topic you are following has been accepted as a solution!"  I didn't accept the reply as a solution, so I don't know why it was marked as that.  Maybe there's a timeout if no further replies are added that automatically makrs the thread as solved and closed.  I'm still looking htough, so I'll pose the question again:

 

Is there a way to get DropBox on iOS to follow Windows shortcut links to another DropBox file in another folder on DropBox?

I am a musician and have a very large number of Word song files in one master folder that I use a number of shortcuts in other folders to access. This way I don't have multiple copies of a song file which would make editing a mess. These other folders are basically for categories like genre and artist or types like summer songs, western songs, songs of the '60's etc. I normally use these on a Windows laptop or desktop which works very well, but when I am on my iPhone or iPad I cannot follow these shortcut links.

I've thought of trying to set up a Workflow or IFTTT solution, but I haven't figured that out yet. I also thought maybe I could create DropBox links to all my 3000 files that I could use in other folders instead of shortcuts, but I haven't found a way to create multiple links. 

I've also contacted DropBox with a request for an up date to DropBox for iOS to allow following shortcut links to other files in DropBox, but I haven't had a response.

Does anyone know of a clever workaround or way to accomplish what I'm after?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Re: Thread closed? Looking for solution to use Windows shortcuts with DropBox on iOS

Mark
Super User II
No there isnt.

Thats because shortcuts are files and while iOS does support shortcuts in the fact it will allow it to be a file on the device you cannot 'follow' it because there is no folder structure on iOS devices. Everything is in the cloud.

Also, shortcuts are computer specific which is another reason they wont work.

 


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Heart Did this post help you? If so please mark it for some Kudos below. 


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Re: Thread closed? Looking for solution to use Windows shortcuts with DropBox on iOS

Mark
Super User II
Edit: and I agree, threads should not be getting closed this quickly, I've no idea why they are but its unhelpful and makes the forums less welcoming.

I do know, however, that Rich wont have been the one to close it!

 


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Heart Did this post help you? If so please mark it for some Kudos below. 


:white_check_mark: Did this post fix your issue/answer your question? If so please press the 'Accept as Solution' button to help others find it.


:arrows_counterclockwise: Did this post not resolve your issue? If so please give us some more information so we can try and help - please remember we cannot see over your shoulder so be as descriptive as possible! 


 

Re: Thread closed? Looking for solution to use Windows shortcuts with DropBox on iOS

Rich
Super User II
Agreed. Threads are being closed way too early lately. I've merged the two and reopened this one.

That being said, you will not find a workaround. As Mark stated, there is no file structure on an iOS device, and even if there were, it would differ from anything on a Windows system.

What you're looking for just isn't possible.

Re: Thread closed? Looking for solution to use Windows shortcuts with DropBox on iOS

TomMunch
Explorer | Level 4

I understand that there is not a file structure on iOS like on Windows, but there should be some mechanism that could see that the file is a .lnk file and then would look for the linked file in a user-specified folder.  It's a very simple problem.  I guess I'd better put on my thinking cap to figure out a workaround.  I figured someone here on the forum would have experience with apps that access DropBox that might be able to do what I'm looking for.  Right now I have two apps open - one to see the folders with links and one to open them in the DropBox master folder where the linked files are.

 

I have been an administrator on other forums, so I understand the ins and outs of administrating posts.

 

Thanks for your attention.

Re: Thread closed? Looking for solution to use Windows shortcuts with DropBox on iOS

Mark
Super User II
I think the biggest thing is that the two systems are genuinely like chalk and cheese. The .lnk files are Windows specific (i.e. they are simply not made for Mac operating systems of any type) and then factoring in the whole no file system etc. on the mobile just complicates things.

The only thought I have would be if you created a shared link to all of the files (which, yes, will take time) and put those in a document which you could use as a central repository.

 


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Heart Did this post help you? If so please mark it for some Kudos below. 


:white_check_mark: Did this post fix your issue/answer your question? If so please press the 'Accept as Solution' button to help others find it.


:arrows_counterclockwise: Did this post not resolve your issue? If so please give us some more information so we can try and help - please remember we cannot see over your shoulder so be as descriptive as possible! 


 

Re: Thread closed? Looking for solution to use Windows shortcuts with DropBox on iOS

Maple
Dropboxer
Hi TomMunch,

You could create a .url file with the shared link of the file. It wouldn't be the same thing but you would be able to navigate to the original file from another folder. Search for "URL File Extension" to see how to create one. Other files we support in this way are webloc (Apple thing) and website files. When you open these types of files in Dropbox iOS, we show a link to the url, and if you tap a shared link to a file in your Dropbox account we open that file directly.

The gotcha with this potential work-around is once you create a shared link, it is possible for other people to access the file if they somehow get the link as well. If you're on a business account you can change permissions to prevent this though.

Again, this is a super janky work-around. I can't comment on whether shortcuts is something we want to support but I will ask around for you.

------------------------------
iOS Engineer @ Dropbox
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