September 22, 2012, 7:03 AM — Reader Dwayne Norris has a problem with Dropbox links. He writes:
A friend sent me a link to a movie file they'd like to share with me on Dropbox. The link appears in this form: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1234567/test.mov. When I click on the link, Safari launches and the movie starts playing. I'd like to download the file directly but can't find a way. Do you have any advice?
Starting the week with one of this column's shortest answers, I do indeed.
There are a couple of ways to tackle this. First, you can click the link, wait for your web browser to start loading the file, click in the location bar, hold down the Option key, and then press Return. The file will download.
Alternatively you can append ?dl=1 to the end of the link, so http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1234567/test.mov?dl=1. This will force your browser to download rather than preview the file.