How to Copy Files from Dropbox: Q&A
Imagine the following: your friend or colleague shared a Dropbox file with you, and you want to copy it to your computer or another cloud storage like Google Drive. At first glance, it’s a very plain case that an experienced Dropbox user can explain in a few seconds. On the other hand, the conditions concerned with this case can differ, therefore there may be several answers to such a plain request. So, we collected the most obvious ones and provided instructions – enjoy!
How do I copy files from Dropbox to my computer?
Basically, there are two ways to copy files from Dropbox to a computer:
- Download them manually
- Synchronize the Dropbox cloud folder with a computer via the desktop app
The first option is pretty straightforward and can be done with just a few clicks. The second option allows you to automate copying files/folders and always have them on your computer.
Download the Dropbox files
The simplest way to copy files from Dropbox is to download them. Select a file or files or folder by checking the box to their left, then click Download. An archive (.zip file) with the selected items will be downloaded to your computer’s default Downloads folder unless you changed it.
Dropbox download limits
|Subscription plan||Download limits|
|Basic and a trial of Dropbox Business||20 GB of bandwidth 100,000 downloads per day|
|Plus, Family, and Professional||400 GB of bandwidth and unlimited downloads per day|
|Dropbox Business Standard||1 TB of bandwidth and unlimited downloads per day|
|Dropbox Business Advanced||4 TB of bandwidth and unlimited downloads per day|
Automatically copy files to your desktop using a Dropbox desktop app
This is the most actionable way to copy your Dropbox files to your computer. Dropbox provides a desktop application that will automatically synchronize your files between the cloud and your desktop. So, you actually won’t need to copy files since the app will do this for you.
- Download and install the Dropbox desktop app.
- Launch the app and sign in to your Dropbox account.
- Choose how to sync your files – Make files local
This will create a Dropbox folder on your desktop, and all files and folders from the Dropbox cloud folder will be copied to it.
How to copy files from Dropbox to a flash drive
If you read the options that we’ve described before, you’ll have no issues with copying files to a flash drive. Again, you can go in two ways:
- Download Dropbox files manually to your desktop, then transfer them to the required folder
- Synchronize your Dropbox cloud folder with your desktop, then transfer the files to the required folder
To transfer your files to a USB drive:
- Right-click on the file(s) you’ve copied from the cloud folder, then choose the Copy option from the menu (or use the Ctrl/Cmd+C shortcut).
- Go to the folder of your flash drive, right-click and select ‘Paste’ (or use the Ctrl/Cmd+V shortcut).
Copy data from CSV and Excel files from Dropbox to Google Sheets on GDrive
You can copy records directly from CSV and Excel files stored on Dropbox to Google Sheets on Google Drive. In addition, you can automate this process on schedule, meaning that data will be refreshed, for example, every day or every hour. This is possible thanks to the Dropbox integration by Coupler.io.
Coupler.io is a solution for automating the imports of data into Google Sheets, Excel, and BigQuery from multiple sources including Dropbox, Airtable, and more.
Sign up to Coupler.io and click +Add importer. Select source and destination applications: Dropbox and Google Sheets. Then click Proceed.
Configure Dropbox as a source
- Connect your Dropbox account.
- Select a CSV or Excel file from your Dropbox folder. If you’re copying an Excel file, you’ll also need to select a worksheet.
Note: You can select multiple worksheets of your Excel file, but they will be merged into one view in Google Sheets. If you need to copy an Excel file that contains multiple worksheets, then you’ll need to set up separate importers for each sheet. After you set up the first importer, you can copy and edit it very quickly so you don’t have to spend time adding new importers from scratch.
Configure Google Sheets as a destination
- Connect your Google account.
- Select a Google Sheets file on your Google Drive, and select a sheet. You can create a new sheet by typing in a new name.
Note: Optionally, you can change the first cell where the data will be loaded and the import mode. Read Coupler.io documentation for more on this.
Click Save and Run to run the importer and export Dropbox data to Google Drive. At the same time, you can proceed to the Schedule section to set up a frequency for automatic data refresh.
Configure a schedule
- Toggle on the Automatic data refresh and configure the following parameters:
- Days of week
- Time preferences
- Time zone
You can always check out the copied data by clicking the View Results button.
In a similar manner, you can copy CSV and Excel files from Dropbox to OneDrive.
Copy data from CSV and Excel files from Dropbox to OneDrive
Coupler.io provides another integration, which allows you to connect Dropbox to Excel to copy data from CSV and Excel files on Dropbox to an Excel workbook on OneDrive.
Sign up to Coupler.io, click +Add importer, and select Dropbox as a source and Microsoft Excel as a destination. Then click Proceed.
Configure the Dropbox as a source in the way that we did when we copied files from Dropbox to Google Sheets on GDrive. Then proceed to the destination settings.
Configure Excel on Onedrive as a destination
- Connect your Microsoft account.
- Select an Excel workbook on OneDrive and a worksheet to load data. You can create a new sheet by typing in a new name.
You already know the rest – click Save and Run to run the importer and copy data from Dropbox to OneDrive. If you want to automate the data flow on a schedule, toggle on the automatic data refresh and configure the desired frequency.
How to copy different files from Dropbox to Google Drive
If you need to quickly copy one file from Dropbox to Google Drive, you can:
- Download the file to your computer from Dropbox.
You can skip this step if you have a Dropbox desktop app, as all your files from the Dropbox cloud are already copied to your Dropbox desktop folder.
- Upload the life to Google Drive by clicking +New => File Upload
However, if you need to copy multiple files between these two cloud storage drives and you plan to do this frequently, it’s better to synchronize both folders. You can do this without any additional integrations but with just native apps: Dropbox desktop app and Google Drive desktop app.
The main idea of this method is to synchronize Dropbox and Google Drive using your computer as a connector. Check out our blog post to learn more about this.
How to copy files from Google Drive to Dropbox
The simplest way to copy files from GDrive to Dropbox is:
- To download files from Google Drive to your computer.
- Then unzip the archive and upload the files to Dropbox.
You can also synchronize Google Drive and Dropbox – this will allow you to automatically copy all the files from Google Drive to Dropbox and vice versa.
How to copy files from Dropbox to OneDrive
Copying files from Dropbox to OneDrive is the same as doing this from Dropbox to Google Drive.
- Select the files and download them to your computer from Dropbox.
- Unzip the archive with the files and upload them to OneDrive by clicking Upload => Files.
Can you synchronize Dropbox with OneDrive via the desktop apps?
Above we explained how you can automate copying files from Dropbox to Google Drive and vice versa by synchronizing the folders. Under that logic, we could do the same with Dropbox and OneDrive.
Install the desktop apps for Dropbox and OneDrive. FYI, users of Windows 10 and above already have this app built-in. After the installation, you will have a folder Dropbox that is synced with Dropbox in the cloud, and a folder OneDrive that is synced with OneDrive in the cloud.
- After the installation, go to the Dropbox preferences.
- Go to the Sync tab and click Move… to change the Dropbox folder location.
- Select your OneDrive folder as a place where to locate your Dropbox folder. Then click Apply.
Now files from Dropbox will be automatically copied to OneDrive. However, this does not work the other way around since OneDrive files won’t get to Dropbox unless you put them in the Dropbox folder.
Which way is the best to copy files from Dropbox?
From our biased perspective :), automated dataflows are the best you can have. If you don’t need to share a file from Dropbox, but want to have a copy of it, the desktop app will let you make sure your computer always has the latest version of your Dropbox files. For other destinations, including GDrive and OneDrive, you can always use a third-party connector such as Dropbox integration by Coupler.io.Back to Blog