How To Reset Your Dropbox Password

If you need to reset your Dropbox password because you forgot it or otherwise can’t get into your account, then here’s what to do.

Steps to reset a Dropbox password

  1. Go to in your web browser and click Sign In in the top-right corner.

  2. Now, instead of logging in (because we’ll assume that you can’t), click Forgot Your Password? in the window that appears.

  3. Click in the box labelled “Email” and type in the email address that you used to sign up for Dropbox, and then click Submit.  This will cause Dropbox to send you an email containing information that will help you reset your account.

  4. Go to your email account and open the email titled “Dropbox Password Reset”.  Then, click Reset Password.

  5. When the new window appears, click in the boxes labelled “New Password” and “Retype Password”, and type a copy of a new password that you want to use for your account into each of them.  (Each copy will appear as bullet points to maintain its privacy).  Then click Submit.

Congratulations!  You can now get back into Dropbox with a new password!  Be sure to write it down so that you won’t forget it, and store it someplace safe!

How To Change Your Dropbox Password

If you want to change your Dropbox password to keep your account safe against would-be intruders, here’s what to do.

Steps to change your Dropbox password

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

  2. Click your name in the top-right corner, and select Settings from the drop-down menu.

  3. Click the Privacy tab, and then click Change Password.

  4. Click in the box that says “Old Password” and type in your current password, and then click in the box labelled “New Password” and type in the password that you want to use now.  (Both will appear as bullet points to keep anyone else from spying them.)  Then click Change Password.

That’s about all there is to changing your Dropbox password!  Don’t forget to write your new password down so that you’ll remember it, and be sure to store it in a safe place so that only you can get at it!

How Does Dropbox Work?

The ability to access, edit, save, and share your computer files on any computer or device certainly sounds like it involves some serious science-fiction magic, doesn’t it?  Well, not exactly, but it does involve a relatively new (or at least newly-termed) technological innovation known as “cloud computing”.

What is “cloud computing”?

“Cloud computing” is an approach to using digital technology that is, simply put, that computers work better when they’re connected in a way that allows them to share resources for doing jobs.  One of the major aspects of cloud computing in practice is moving the major working parts of computer programs to large and powerful server computers on the Internet.  This lets these server computers balance the work in running these programs, and allocate more computing power to the programs that need it.  Meanwhile, all people have to put on their own personal computers or mobile devices is a small access program.  This lets them use the main program without eating up their own computer’s processing power.  That’s how Dropbox works.

Here’s a basic example of a cloud computing system:

(Image source:

As you can see, the personal computers around the edge — desktops, laptops, tablets, smart phones, and so on — simply connect to the “cloud”, which represents a whole bunch of server computers on the Internet, when they want to complete certain tasks.  All of the actual storage and processing for these tasks takes place inside the “cloud”, so you’re free to use the storage and processing power of your personal computer for whatever you want: writing letters, storing cute pet photos, playing games… whatever you want!

Think about it in terms of building a house.  Trying to run certain big computer programs in their entirety on a personal computer or a mobile device is like trying to build a whole house by yourself.  If it’s possible at all, it’s still horribly inefficient.  Since you’re the only one doing the work, not only is it going to take a very long time, but you’re going to end up one very exhausted person by the time the work is done.

Now, what if you were to get a few friends to help you, or hired a contracting team to build your house for you?  Now, the construction gets done faster because more than one job is being worked on at a time.  This also puts less strain on each individual worker, because they don’t have to do so many tasks by themselves.  In addition, building your house becomes more efficient, since you can assign more people to work on the difficult parts, and leave fewer people doing the tasks that aren’t as strenuous or time-consuming.  That’s the idea behind cloud computing.

Dropbox is multi-platform

Dropbox takes advantage of cloud computing to make its services available through a client for desktop computers, as well as one for mobile devices such as tablet computers and smart phones.  Of course, you can also access Dropbox by going directly to their website.  As explained above, in all three of these places, you’re not storing every file that has been deposited on — or is needed to run — Dropbox on your own computer or mobile device in order to run it.  Again, that would take up way too much memory space, so that’s left to Dropbox’s heavy-duty server computers to handle.  You’re simply using a small access program to get to Dropbox, which frees up your computer or mobile device to store and do whatever else you need it to.

If you’re still a little lost, here’s a diagram so you can visualize how it all works:

(Image source:


Anyway, we hope that explanation helps you understand how cloud computing and Dropbox work!

Is Dropbox Private?

You may be wondering, “Can anyone else see the files and folders that I put on Dropbox?”  The answer is: only if you allow them to by sharing said files or folders.  Below is an explanation of what Dropbox does to keep your files private, as well as what you can do to protect your privacy while using Dropbox.

The Dropbox Privacy Policy

Generally, Dropbox only collects and uses information that you provide to it when you use the service, like your sign-up information (but not your password), file metadata (i.e. a file’s properties, but not what’s in the file itself), and information on what you’ve shared and with whom.  Also, Dropbox only gives this information to others when they need it to help you use Dropbox (such as your social media accounts, if you use them to log into Dropbox, though they probably have that information already).  The only real exception is if Dropbox is in legal trouble and is required to reveal information to law enforcement entities as a result.  Though, as long as you aren’t using Dropbox to conduct any illegal activities (which we’re guessing you probably won’t be), then you don’t really have to worry about this.

There are some digital security professionals who are worried that the fact that Dropbox holds the digital “keys” for locking and unlocking your files, as opposed to you, means that people at Dropbox might be able to look at what’s inside the files that you put on Dropbox.  There are two counter-arguments to this point.  First, having Dropbox hold the “keys” to your files is necessary to allow you to speedily access your files across multiple devices with Dropbox, without having to do an extra security check on your end every time you want to open one of your computer files (which would be a pain).  Second, as explained above, Dropbox has strict privacy policies that forbid its employees from personally unlocking and accessing people’s files, or sending people’s files (locked or unlocked) to anyone else, unless you explicitly tell them to, or they are required to do so by the law.

If it helps, think of Dropbox as a bank, and think of your computer files as money.  The bank lets you store your money and send it where it needs to go, and while the bank holds the keys to the vault where your money is stored, only you can tell them when to open the vault and move your money around.  Bank employees can’t arbitrarily open the vault and steal your money, and the only people with an exception are the police, who can only confiscate your money if you’re holding it unlawfully (e.g. it’s stolen, owed to creditors, or earned through illegal activity).

Tips for keeping Dropbox private

If you’re really worried about how private your actions are on Dropbox, here are some tips.

1. Use a strong password for your Dropbox account.

Though this one’s a bit of a no-brainer, it’s still worth mentioning.  Your account password is at least part of what keeps your files secure on Dropbox, so make sure that it’s a good one.  Use a combination of letters and numbers if you can, and even some symbols.  Also, try upper-case and lower-case variations of letters.  Try to make your password something that isn’t too hard to remember, but won’t be too easy to guess.  For example, instead of “baseball” as a password, try one like “B@5eb@11”.

2. Don’t put files with overly sensitive personal information on Dropbox.

This is really more of a common sense thing than anything.  If you put aside the whole thing about “cloud computing”, the simple truth is this: when you put files on Dropbox, you’re basically putting them on another person’s computer for safekeeping.  The question becomes, then: how much do you trust that other person to keep your information private?  Sure, certain things are relatively harmless, such as letters to friends, pictures of family or vacation highlights, and most work documents (heck, we use Dropbox all the time here at Techboomers).  But it’s probably not a good idea to use Dropbox for storing things like account passwords, credit card information, or government-issued documents.  Those things are probably best stored by you personally, either in physical form or on a dedicated backup disk.

3. Use the Dropbox website to manage the privacy of your folders.

You can use the settings available on the Dropbox website to remove yourself or others from a shared folder, so that you or other people can’t share files in that folder anymore.  You can also adjust the permissions of certain people with regards to a shared folder, so that they can see the files inside said folder, but can’t do anything with them.  However, this requires you to upgrade your Dropbox account (see the point below for more information).

See our How to Share Files and Folders in Dropbox tutorial for more information.

4. Upgrade your Dropbox account.

If you get a subscription to Dropbox Pro or Dropbox for Business, you get more than just an increase in the amount of computer memory that you can use to store your computer files.  You also get added security features, such as the ability to set passwords and expiry dates for direct links to your Dropbox files, and the ability to delete Dropbox and all related information from a device in case it gets lost, stolen, or otherwise compromised.  You can also make it so that people whom you share folders with can see the files inside those folders, but can’t change them in any way.

See our Dropbox Pricing article for a full list of benefits of upgrading your Dropbox account.

5. Use an alternative to Dropbox.

If all else fails, there are other file storage and sharing programs out there, such as SpiderOak and Wuala, with built-in features that allow you to lock files on your end before you send them into the cloud.  They may not have as powerful and easy-to-use sharing functions as Dropbox, but at least you’re in better control of who can do what with your files.

See our Dropbox Alternatives article to learn about these and other alternatives to Dropbox.

Dropbox Referrals

What is the Dropbox referral program?

“Referrals” are when you send invitations to other people to get them to start using Dropbox.  This usually involves sharing a link to sign up for Dropbox with a friend through an email, or on social media.  To complete the referral process, the friend has to click the link, then create an account on Dropbox, download and install the Dropbox program for their Windows or Apple desktop computer (the mobile device version of the program doesn’t count), and then sign into the program with the account that they created.

Why should I refer people to Dropbox?

Well, for one thing, it will allow them to join you in using all of the handy features of Dropbox.  In case you need a refresher, that includes storing their computer files for safe keeping, accessing those files from the Dropbox website or on any computer or mobile device that they install the Dropbox program on, and easily sharing their files and folders with you or any other of their friends who use Dropbox.

If that’s not reason enough, though, we have one more for you.  Check out these four words: FREE MEMORY CAPACITY UPGRADE.  That’s right, for each friend you successfully refer to Dropbox, the memory storage capacity of your Dropbox account increases, so you can use it to store more and/or larger files.

If you have a Dropbox Basic account, each referral gets you an extra 500 megabytes (that’s half a gigabyte) of memory storage space, while a referral from a Dropbox Pro account will get you a full extra gigabyte of memory storage space.  This bonus applies to the first 32 people whom you refer to Dropbox, so Dropbox Basic users can earn a total of 16 extra gigabytes of memory storage space, while Dropbox Pro users can earn a total of 32 extra gigabytes.  This is in addition to any other free memory storage space that you may have earned through methods outlined in the Get More Space on a Dropbox Basic Account help page on Dropbox’s website.

Oh, and we should mention one more thing.  If one of your friends successfully completes the Dropbox referral process, it counts as if they had referred someone to Dropbox themselves, so they get the memory storage capacity bonus, too!  This is, of course, based on which pricing plan they picked: an extra 500 megabytes for a Dropbox Basic account, or a full extra gigabyte for a Dropbox Pro account.

How to refer people to Dropbox

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

  2. Click your name in the top-right corner, and select Settings.

  3. Click the Account tab, and then click Invite Your Friends.

  4. Here, you will have a choice of how you want to refer your friends to Dropbox.


    If you signed up for Dropbox with an email address from Gmail or Yahoo Mail, you can click the button on the left to connect your Gmail or Yahoo Mail account to your Dropbox account, and then just easily check off which of your contacts you want to send referrals to.

    You can also click in the box on the right labelled “Add Names or Emails” and type in the email addresses that you want to send referrals to, separating each by a space.  Then click Send.

    You can also just click Copy Link and copy a referral link directly.  We’ll cover how to use this in the next step.

  5. If you copied the referral link in the previous step, you can sign into a social media website or other messaging service, and share the referral link by right-clicking inside a box where you can type in a message, and then left-clicking Paste.

  6. If you want to check how far along the people whom you’ve referred to Dropbox are in getting set up to use Dropbox, go back to the Account tab on your Settings page.  Once you’re there, under “Earn More Space”, click View All Earned Space.  (Once you click it, it will change to say Hide Earned Space.)

    Here, you will see Referral next to any person whom you’ve referred to Dropbox, along with their name or email address, how long it’s been since they took a step towards setting up Dropbox, and what point they’re at in the process of setting up Dropbox (if they have completed the setup process, this last part will be replaced by the amount of memory storage space that you’ve earned).

That’s a brief overview of how Dropbox’s referral system works!