How To Retrieve Files from Dropbox on the Web

Okay, so now you have your files on Dropbox.  That means you can get at them from all of your different devices, and recover them or revert to past versions if they get deleted or changed, respectively.  But what if you’re taking your device somewhere where you don’t have Internet access, but you still want to work with your files while you’re there?  Or what if you want to safeguard a copy of a file that you’ve shared with someone, or that they’ve shared with you, in case it gets changed or deleted on Dropbox and you miss the 30-day deadline for recovering it (with a free account)?

If you want to take your files off Dropbox and put them back on your computer, you can open them on the Dropbox website and then save them somewhere on your computer.

You can also download files from Dropbox more easily if you install a special Dropbox program on your computer.  See our How to Download Files from Dropbox in Windows tutorial to see how it works!

How to download files from the Dropbox website

  1. Go to in your web browser and log in.

  2. Use the main screen on Dropbox to find the file that you want to download from Dropbox.  It works similarly to the file explorer system on your Windows desktop; if your file’s inside a folder on Dropbox, simply click on the folder’s name or icon to open it.

    Once you find the file that you want, click on it anywhere that ISN’T its icon, its name, or the Share button that appears, in order to select it.  Then, click Open.

  3. This will open the file in a program that you have installed that can open it, and you can use that program to save the file as you would normally.

  4. Make sure that the place that you’re saving the file ISN’T in your “Dropbox” folder (if you have the Dropbox access program installed), rename the file or change its type (if you wish), and then click Save.

There… you now have a copy of the file separate from Dropbox!


For more on downloading files off of Dropbox, as well as other things that you can do with Dropbox, our brand ambassador, Abby Stokes, has this how-to video on YouTube that you can watch!