Five top tips for getting more out of Dropbox

Turn the cloud storage service into a powerhouse.


Want to get more out of Dropbox's cloud-based storage? I've got five great tips to help you clean up storage, get previous versions of files, recover deleted files, and more.

Clean out storage to get more space

If you've been using Dropbox for a while, you've probably got loads of files there that you don't really need -- duplicates, big files clogging up things, and more. There's a great, free way to clean out your Dropbox storage -- use the free Android app Unclouded. It finds duplicates, tells you which files and folders use up most of your storage, and more. It works for Google Drive as well, with support for OneDrive and Box on the way.

Recover deleted files

Did you accidentally delete a file you didn't want to and now want to get it back? It's easy to do. Head to your Dropbox storage on the Web and click the "Show Deleted Files" icon on the upper right of the screen. (It looks like a trash can.) Deleted files will show up in gray. You can recover any by right-clicking and selecting "Restore." Note that you'll only be able to recover files you've deleted in the last 30 days.

Protect your files with two-step authentication

Keeping files in the cloud can be a scary thing if you're worried about keeping your information away from prying eyes. To help make sure that you're the only person who can get access to your Dropbox account, use its two-step authentication. With it, you'll need not just a password to get access to your Dropbox account --- when you log in, you'll also get a SMS text message sent to a device. To turn it on, go to Settings-->Security and in the Two-step verification area click Enable and follow the instructions.

Get offline access to your files

On a mobile device, but want access to your files when you're not connected to the Internet, for example, on an airplane without Wi-Fi, or somewhere else beyond the read of the Net? It's easy to do. In iOS or Android, add any file to your Favorites, and it gets downloaded for offline access.

Get previous versions of your files

One of Dropbox's best unused features is that with it, you can get previous versions of your files if you've been syncing them to Dropbox. To do it, head to Dropbox on the Web, right-click any file and select "Previous versions." You'll see a list of your previous versions. Click any to get it.

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