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Android app defaults apps to preview files

Android app defaults apps to preview files

Nick-B
Helpful | Level 6

I've noticed that the Android App (Android 12) appears to ignore the default app configured in it and always opens text files and images in Dropbox and not my preferred app, I've tried removing/resetting the apps via the "default apps" option in the app. Other Android apps, eg: file managers, Total Commander, etc pick up the correct app for viewing the file.
Has anyone else noticed this/have the same issue?

 

24 Replies 24

Hannah
Dropbox Staff

Hey @Nick-B, welcome to our Community!

 

Since most image files and text files are types of files that are supported for preview on the Dropbox app, the app will open them in Dropbox.

 

If you'd like to open a file through a third party app, you can follow the steps here.

 

Let me know if you have any questions.


Hannah
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Nick-B
Helpful | Level 6

I appreciate that DropBox can preview certain files but I would ask why there is an option with the DropBox app to associate extensions with a user defined default app when this is ignored. I have defined a default text and image apps in the DropBox app and DropBox still tries to "preview" them.

 

Also, the statement "For other types of files, the app will automatically search your device for an application that can open the file type you are attempting to view or edit." in your link is also inaccurate, DropBox does not do this. For example I have a KeePass file with a kdb extension which when I click on it DropBox says ".kdb files can't be previewed". In the DropBox app I have this extension associated with the KeePassDroid app. If I click on a .kdb file from a file manager and not DropBox it opens KeePassDroid, only DropBox fails to use the correct application to open the file.

Chris K.2
Helpful | Level 5

I had the same issue, whenever I wanted to open, say, a PDF file only the Dropbox app could be selected to open "only this time" resp. "always". The other apps were listed under "choose another app" but couldn't be made the default. The solution for me was, accept Dropbox once to "always" open, then follow this for the Dropbox app: https://pdfviewer.io/faq/android-how-to-clear-a-different-pdf-app-from-always-opening-my-pdf-documen...

After that whenever I opened a PDF I was presented with the full list of apps and could make another one the default. This may work for other file types, too.

Running Dropbox on a Google Pixel 6 Pro / Android 13.

Nick-B
Helpful | Level 6

Thanks for your reply, I only get the option to choose another app and select "always" or "just this once" using "open with", unfortunately, the next time I select the file it does back to the default DropBox app and not the one I selected. Also, the only DropBox app that I have installed is DropBox itself, there is no DropBox PDF viewer app (for example) on my phone, I use Microsoft 365 for PDFs and other documents.

Chris Beast
New member | Level 2

If you are experiencing an issue where the Android app (running on Android 12) ignores the default app configuration and always opens text files and images in Dropbox instead of your preferred app, you can try the following troubleshooting steps:

  1. Clear App Defaults: Go to your device's Settings and search for "Apps" or "Applications." Find the Dropbox app in the list of installed apps and tap on it. Look for the "Open by default" or "Default apps" option and tap on it. From there, choose "Clear defaults" or a similar option. This will reset any default app associations for Dropbox.

  2. Clear Cache and Data: While still in the Dropbox app settings, you can try clearing the app's cache and data. Look for the "Storage" or "Storage & cache" option and tap on it. Then, tap on "Clear cache" and "Clear data." This will remove any temporary data and potentially resolve any conflicting settings.

  3. Reinstall the App: If clearing defaults, cache, and data didn't resolve the issue, you can try uninstalling and reinstalling the Dropbox app. Go to your device's Settings, find the "Apps" or "Applications" section, locate Dropbox, and choose the "Uninstall" option. Once uninstalled, reinstall the app from the Google Play Store. This will give you a fresh installation and may fix any lingering issues.

  4. Check App Permissions: Ensure that the preferred app you want to use for opening text files and images has the necessary permissions on your Android device. Go to your device's Settings, find the "Apps" or "Applications" section, locate the preferred app, and check if the required permissions (such as accessing storage or opening files) are granted.

  5. Check File Associations: If the issue persists, it's possible that the file associations for text files and images have been set specifically within Dropbox. Open the Dropbox app, go to its settings, and look for any options related to file associations or default apps. Make sure that there are no conflicting settings within the Dropbox app that override the system's default app configuration.

  6. Report the Issue: If none of the above steps resolve the problem, consider reporting the issue to Dropbox support or posting on relevant community forums. Provide details about your Android version, Dropbox app version, and the specific behavior you are experiencing. Other users may have encountered a similar issue or Dropbox support may be able to provide further assistance.

Remember to keep your Android device and apps up to date with the latest software versions, as updates often include bug fixes and improvements.

Nick-B
Helpful | Level 6

Thanks for your troubleshooting tips Chris, I have unfortunately tried them all without success (for #6 I reported it here rather than raise a support ticket).

I am inclined to leave it for a short while as I'm planning on purchasing a new phone very soon, this will have Android 13 (as opposed to 12) and so I'll see if the problem persists with a new device, O/S version and fresh install. I'll report back here on the outcome.

Nick-B
Helpful | Level 6

Quick update. I bought a brand new phone which is running Android 13 and the issue still persists, Dropbox will always try to use its internal viewers even when another app is specified (within the DropBox app) and if the file format is not supported by DropBox it will throw an error, eg: .kdb files which should be opened by KeePass which I have installed. Selecting Open With will allow you to open the file with an app of your choosing but this does question why DropBox has the option to specify an app and then ignores it.

JSCSJSCS
New member | Level 2
I have an Samsung A71 running Android 13 and Dropbox keeps trying to preview the KeePass file instead of opening the default app set. I have to select "open with" and without needing to select it, KeePass opens the file. This did not used to happen. Dropbox did an update and it screwed it up.

Sniposaurus
Helpful | Level 5
I am having exactly the same problem. This used to work fine for me, but I believe it was a Dropbox update that has introduced this error. I would like to open txt files in Dropbox using the Jota+ app so that I can edit the txt files. Currently, when I click on a txt file from within Dropbox, it always opens it with the Dropbox viewer (even though I previously specified that txt files should always be opened with Jota+). The workaround is that I select "Open With" for each txt file and it automatically opens in Jota+ without even needing to specify which app to open it with! Please help. How can I get it so that simply clicking on a txt file from within Dropbox will open the txt file in Jota+ (like it used to do)? Thank you.
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