Office 365 help series – Dropbox and Office 365

Dropbox and Office 365

Office 365 users can link to Dropbox accounts to browse, open and edit Word, Excel, and other MS Office files. Users can also create new files in Office Online and save them directly to their Dropbox account using Windows, iOS, and Android devices.

Watch the video for a quick tour and browse the tutorial below to understand how Dropbox and OneDrive work together.

Dropbox and Office 365

Managing files in the Cloud

The most important consideration when planning Cloud storage is the bandwidth you rely on for your Internet access. Users often have several gigabytes of files which can be difficult to manage online with minimum cost broadband subscriptions. It is important to manage data. Files which are no longer necessary cause “bloat” which impedes network performance, and poorly optimimized files which users cannot access with mobile telephony can reduce productivity. Bear in mind these guidelines to help facilitate network performance:

  • Bandwidth availability vs user needs
  • File retention policies to manage redundant data
  • File naming conventions and keywording
  • Plan for document sharing, custody, and versioning
  • File size optimization
  • File synchronisation policy

Lastly, consider your legal obligations to protect data when sharing and distributing files. When you share files with others, you may not be able to control what happens to that data, and you may be liable at law for consequential data leakage or data loss. For instance, if employees use their own mobile devices for storing business files consider if you sufficient services to manage devices which you would not normally consider to be part of your conventional computer network.

Using Dropbox with Office 365

Toggle through the notes below by clicking open the headings to find out how you can improve your experience with Office 365 and Dropbox.

Dropbox Desktop App

Dropbox provides desktop apps for Windows, Android, and iOS to synchronise files locally. Dropbox is useful for simple file storage.

The easiest way to manage documents stored in Dropbox from using desktop versions of Office – Word, Excel, etc. – is to open documents from your local Dropbox folder. You can drag locally saved documents to your Dropbox folder, too.

dropbox desktops for windows, iosDocument Sharing

Dropbox provides tools for users to share documents and folders. However, for collaborative work where users need to manage document custody or manage versions, Office 365 provides tools in OneDrive and Sharepoint. Also, Office 365 document storage provides antivirus control, telemetry, mobile device management, and litigation lock.

Getting Started with Dropbox

To find out more about Dropbox’ desktop client, download Getting Started with Dropbox.

Save new Office 2016 documents to Dropbox

One way to save new documents to Dropbox is to save them to a file location like Desktop, and then drag the document to your Dropbox bin. There is a more efficient option. Dropbox users who have installed the Dropbox synch tool for Windows can pin their local Dropbox file store in Office 2016’s file location “favourites”. This section explains how to pin Dropbox as a Favourite file location in your Office desktop apps.

Configure Dropbox as a file location in Office 2016

To save the Dropbox folder as a target in file locations, Dropbox needs to be configured in one desktop app. Office 2016 will update other apps in the software wuite to include Dropbox.

Open Word, Excel, or Powerpoint, and create a new document

Click Save As, and then click Browse, and use Windows file finder to locate Dropbox – the Dropbox folder is usually stored at the same directory level as Desktop and Documents. Click on Dropbox, name the document, and then click Save.

saving a document

Next, in the document, go back to Save As, and under recent file locations, find Dropbox and scroll your cursor over it. Look for the icon of the pin, and click the pin.

pinning dropbox to favourites

In future, when you want to save a new document to Dropbox, open Save As, click on This PC, and then find and select Dropbox in the Favourites list:

dropbox in favourites

When you configure Dropbox as a file location in on Office 2016 app, the file location will be included in your other Office 2016 apps.

Configure Office Online to save to Dropbox

To use a Dropbox account with Word Online, Excel Online, or PowerPoint Online, add Dropbox to your places list. Once it is saved as a storage location you can open, create, edit, and save files to Dropbox.

  1. From, open Word, Excel, or PowerPoint Online.
  2. Under Open from OneDrive, click Add a place.
  3. Click Dropbox. You will see Open from Dropbox appear in your places list.

office online dropbox file location

Tips for using Dropbox with Office Online
  • Whenever you select Open from Dropbox to open a file from your Dropbox account, the file will be saved to Dropbox.
  • To create a new file in Dropbox once you’ve added Dropbox to your places list, choose New in Dropbox. (Dropbox will already be selected if it is the last place you used.)

opening Dropbox files from O365

  • To open Dropbox files you have recently worked on, select them in your Recent list.
  • To edit files in a Dropbox for Business account using Office Online, you need an Office 365 account that includes Office applications (the desktop versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.). If you are not already signed into your Office 365 account, you will be prompted to sign in before you use your files.
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