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Updates Coming to the Folder Link Sharing Experience

Updates Coming to the Folder Link Sharing Experience

Dropbox Product Manager
Dropbox is moving to an updated shared link architecture where links are based on the content being shared rather than on the user doing the sharing.  This new content-based link architecture is already in place for edit access links to folders and newly created links to files, and can be identified by the presence of an ‘rlkey’ parameter in the URL.  
Over the next few months, we’ll round out the shared link portfolio by bringing this new architecture to newly created view-only access folder links, or view folder links for short.
With this transition we’re maintaining all the core functionality our users love about sharing with links, while making it even easier for content owners, collaborators, and team admins to manage their shared content easily and with confidence.

New Features Coming to View Folder Links

Recipients will now be able to Join Folder as a view-only member by visiting the link.  While the previous link types only allowed recipients to view and save static copies of shared folders, users that Join Folder will be able to see live changes and updates as they happen, all from their own Dropbox.
Shared link controls allow Dropbox Professional, Standard, Advanced, and Enterprise customers to disable this capability in link settings.

Updates to Link Sharing


Only Two Centralized Links per Item

Securing your content and managing your shared links is now easier and simpler than ever.  Basing links on the content being shared means there will never be more than one single edit and one single view link for each file or folder.  Changing the settings on these links will universally apply to everyone with link access to that content.  Because all collaborators on a piece of content share the same link, a change is that only content members with edit access are able to modify shared link settings or delete a shared link.

URL Format Change

Part of the new link architecture is the addition of an rlkey parameter.  Query parameters are anything following “?” in a URL.  It is this rlkey parameter which grants access to the content, and removing it will require visitors to sign in and request access.  Visit this forum to read more about the new format, or this Help Center Article for details on forced downloads.

Third Party Application Dependencies

Due to the change in URL format you may notice some third party applications, websites, and custom programs that rely on pasting in a Dropbox link no longer function as expected.  We have limited insight or influence on these third party use cases, but if you do experience issues, please contact Dropbox support or visit this community forum thread on this subject.

Enhancing the Link Sharing Experience

Quick, simple, stress-free file sharing is core to the Dropbox experience.  Content-based links makes it even easier to share files securely and effortlessly in real-time, and we are excited to bring these benefits to all users across our full portfolio of shared links.   
If you have more questions, or find yourself needing support during this transition, please visit our Community Forums, reference our Help Center, or contact Dropbox Support.
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