Why Make Dropbox Files Online Only?

Why Save Dropbox Files Online
Why Save Dropbox Files Online

Effective file management is essential for access and productivity in the modern digital world. If you save your files using Dropbox, you might wonder if you can only access your files online. By storing your data only in the cloud and ensuring that this information is only available online when needed, you can save space on your device. But why do you want your Dropbox files to be accessible only online? Let's see some probable reasons here.

  • Save local storage space: By storing your data online only, you can reduce significant space on your computer or mobile device.
  • Enhanced security: Files that are only accessible online may help prevent data loss or unauthorized access in case your device is lost or stolen.
  • Access from anywhere: If you can access your Dropbox files from any Internet-connected device, you will have more flexibility and convenience when you need those files.
  • Sharing: Online file sharing can guarantee every user has access to the most recent version without taking up extra space on their local disks.
  • Direct sync: Dropbox eliminates the need for manual file version management by storing your files online and enabling seamless device syncing.
  • Robust Workflow: To fully utilize Dropbox's capability, use online files to enhance performance and streamline work procedures.
  • Automatic backup: Only your online files can be automatically backed up to the cloud to prevent data loss.

3 Ways to Create Online-only Dropbox Files

Solution 1: Using the Dropbox Desktop App

This is the most recommended way to create specific files or folders that only computers can access online. Here's how to do this:

Step 1: Find the Dropbox folder on your computer. It's usually found in the user directory (such as C:\Users\YourUsername\Dropbox in Windows).

Step 2: Find specific files or folders that you can only access online.

Step 3: Right-click on the file or folder.

Step 4: Drag the cursor to the "Smart Sync" option in the dropdown menu shown.

Step 5: Select "Online Only" from the submenu to make these files or folders online only. Storing files online in Dropbox allows you to access your files or folders even if they are deleted from local storage.

Tip: To select multiple files or folders, hold down the "Ctrl" (Windows) or "Command" (Mac) button, right-click on the selected list and proceed with the same steps.

Solution 2: Use the Dropbox Site

You can also make your files accessible only online through the Dropbox website:

Step 1: Access and log in to your Dropbox account at https://www.dropbox.com/.

Step 2: Find the files or folders in your Dropbox online storage that you want to create only online.

Step 3: To select a file or folder, click the selection box behind it.

Step 4: Select the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the window. Then, a dropdown menu will appear.

Step 5: Select “Online Only” from the dropdown menu.

Step 6: A pop-up verification window will appear. Click on "Create online only" to verify the selection. After that, you cannot view files or folders locally but they can still be used online.

Tip: If you want to create multiple files or folders at once online only, select all before clicking the gear icon and proceeding with steps 4-6. To save as much space as possible, classify files by size to make larger files available online.

Solution 3: Set New File Defaults

If you are not interested in the constant trade-off between offline and online file access, you can set default values for all files you newly add to Dropbox.

Step 1: Right-click the Dropbox icon in your menu bar (Mac) or system bar (Windows).

Step 2: Select “Suggestions” from the displayed menu.

Step 3: In the Settings window, select the option “Sync”

Step 4: A down menu will display in the “New File” section. Click on this scroll menu and select “Online Only”.

Step 5: Click “OK” to make changes. This will save you time and ensure your local storage space is used as efficiently as possible in the future. All new files added to Dropbox are available online by default.

Bonus Tip

Are you worried about making significant files and not realizing they would only be available online? Not a problem! Dropbox provides easy access to files that are only available online. Follow steps 1 and 2, but choose "Make available offline" as a substitute.


You can get the most of the features by following these easy steps. With Dropbox's "Online Only" function, you can view your files from anywhere at any time and save a significant amount of space locally. Store your data now and take advantage of the cloud file management independence.

  • Cloud Transfer: Move one cloud data to another without download and re-upload.
  • Cloud SyncSync data across clouds seamlessly in real time.
  • Cloud Backup: Dynamically backup and restore files between clouds.
  • Automatic: Set up a schedule to make task automatically run as preferred.
  • Offline: Transfer, sync or backup cloud data online without going through local.
  • Efficient: Access and manage all your clouds with a single login.
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