I’m running Windows 8.1 and need to hook up DropBox so I can access some files my boss wants to share. Can you help me out?
I’m a big fan of Dropbox, actually, and use it to share photos and documents throughout my online world, whether it’s an Android tablet, an iPhone running iOS 7, a Mac OS X system or a Windows computer. One folder, magically synchronized across all the different platforms. What’s not to love?
What? You’re not on Dropbox yet? I suggest you check it out: Join Dropbox, share data across every platform.
Dropbox works really well. But Dropbox on Windows 8? It’s either not a priority for the company to implement, or they just don’t have as talented a team of developers as with the splendid Mac version. I’ll explain as we go, but don’t be surprised if it feels rather half-baked.
To start, jump onto your Windows 8 system and look for the “Store” icon:
Once there, you’ll see loooottts of stuff as it takes over the screen in that cheery Windows 8 sort of way:
Don’t get distracted. Disney Infinity: Toy Box will still be there in an hour.
Look instead on the top right:
Now just type in “dropbox” to search for the Win8 Dropbox app:
The first one’s what you seek. Click on it and you’ll again have the screen change (and get a chance to see that it ain’t a very highly rated app):
Again, let’s look a bit more closely, but this time at the top left:
Not such great ratings when it’s 3 stars out of 5. One way to think about that is that for every person who gives it a four or five star rating someone else gave it zero or 1. Still, closer examination of the ratings shows that a lot of the lower ones are from previous versions of the Dropbox app, and there is the standard “where are the menus in Metro apps?” problem too, as I’ll show in a minute.
Still, the boss is waiting, so click “Install”.
After a short period of time it’ll be downloaded and installed. Leading to the next standard Win8 question: where is it?
On your home page, scroll down / look for the down arrow on the lower left to get a listing of all apps. Somewhere in the mix you should see:
Ah, there it is! Sweet!
Right-click on it and you can “pin to start” so it’s more easily found next time. Or just launch the app!
Yes, that’s one BIG login page. Ah, the fun of Windows 8.1!
Log in, probably using the credentials your boss set up for you, or set up your own account and ask your boss to share her folders and files with you. Either way. Once you’re logged in, it’s a very austere screen:
What people new to Win8 don’t realize, however, is that if you right-click, stuff shows up. In this case, the lower right suddenly has these options:
Most of the comments people leave in the app store, btw, seem to be because they don’t know how to get to those four buttons. Now you do. Go team!
For any of these folders, simply click on it and you’ll get the contents displayed. Here, I’ve clicked on “Camera Uploads” and it’s showing me, frustratingly, oldest to newest, which is why all these pics are a year old:
That’s it. Click on a file to open it, or drag it to your Desktop, or right-click on it to see the options.
Done. Now, good luck with your work!