Dropbox has been sending e-mails to its users informing them about a new change that will be made to their Public folder which is all set to become a Private folder.
With the latest change, the Dropbox Public folder will become Private and the links related to all these files will be deactivated. However, the popular file hosting service has mentioned that the files will not be deleted and will remain in the Dropbox. Dropbox mentioned in its official blog post that all its accounts that have been created after October 4, 2012, will no more be having a Public folder. But the users will be allowed to quickly share anything with their friends and colleagues by a shared link, even if they do not have a Dropbox account.
Free Users of Dropbox
Dropbox had mentioned in its e-mail to its users that it has ended lending its support for the Public folder. However, the free users of basic Dropbox will be able to access their public folders till March 15, 2017, after which the public folders will be converted to standard Dropbox folders that will be private to their account and the links to these files will be deactivated. If the users still wish to share their files on their public folders then will have to create new links for sharing. The users have to make sure that these URLs be sent to their collaborators. The transition will be made automatically and the users will not have to put in extra effort to make this change. After the transition has been done, the existing Public folder will be shown as an error page when a user visits it by clicking on the link. The users will have to start using other sharing methods if they wish to share their content from the Public folder.
Starting from October 3, 2016, the users will no longer be able to use the shared links which will be rendering all the HTML content in a web browser. If the user has created a website which displays all the HTML content directly from the Dropbox, then it will no longer be rendered in the browser. The HTML content will still stay in the Dropbox account and it can also be shared.
For Users of Dropbox Pro and Dropbox Business
Starting from September 1, 2017, the users of Dropbox Pro and also the users of Dropbox Business will no longer be able to render all the HTML content since the Public folder and the function to sharing it will be disabled. The users of Dropbox Pro and Dropbox Business will be allowed to create links to the files that are present in their Dropbox accounts by just dragging and dropping them into the Public folder. Their colleagues and friends can later choose to view the files on their browser or just download the file. Any edits made by them will not be affecting the original version of the file. However, if the user of the Dropbox account makes any changes to the original file, the edits that have been made will be updated within the link. The users will also be able to send the links to others by pasting them onto the web pages, emails, and instant messages.
The first step the users will have to follow is to make the file, which they want to share, available to others by moving the file to the Public folder that is located in their Dropbox.
Copy Public Links
Once the users have uploaded their files or moved them to the Public folders, they will be able to select the file by clicking on the icon for that file. There will be a blue bar displayed at the top of the window which will have an option for ‘Copy Public link’ from the resulting menu and clicking on it will allow the users to copy the public link.
If the Dropbox app has been installed on the computer, the users will have to push the file into the public folder, then right-click on it, and then Copy the Public link from the menu.
Remove the Public Link
Once the user is done with sharing the folder or a file, the users will be able to move the file out of the Public folder by either dragging them or by dropping the file somewhere else on the web or on the desktop. On the other hand, the users can also select files and click on Move that is present on the top blue bar of the file browser and drop it at a location that has been chosen outside the Public folder. Any visitors who will visit this public link will encounter an error message informing them that the file is not available anymore.
A public link can also be removed when the file has been renamed. So, if the user wants to rename an already existing file, then they will have to create a new public link so that the sharing of this link can be resumed.
For the Advanced Users
Dropbox, in its blog post, had mentioned a couple of advanced topics regarding these public links. It is not necessary for the users to stay online so that others can use these links in order to view or download the files of the users. While the users will not be able to link to the folders in the Public folder, they can link to the files within the subfolders.
The links for basic accounts will have a bandwidth limit of 20 GB per day and for the Dropbox Pro and Dropbox Business accounts, the bandwidth limit will be about 200 GB per day. If the account of the user hits the limit, then the links will be suspended automatically and temporarily. The company will be sending an e-mail notification to the email address of the user that has been registered with their Dropbox account. Anyone who tries accessing these links will come across an error page instead of the file.