The Dropbox API!

Posted by Brian Smith on October 20, 2011

Hey everyone,

We’re really excited to announce the launch of the Dropbox API for mobile and web apps! Even if you have no clue what the Dropbox API does, chances are you’ve already used it — it’s the engine that powers our iPhone and Android apps and thousands of third-party Dropbox-enabled apps. This is our first major update since releasing the API, and we’re stoked to share the improvements we’ve made:

Increased security
You’ll never have to enter your Dropbox account info into a third-party app on version 1. Instead, you’ll approve access using the official Dropbox app on mobile or via the web at

App folders
Version 1 adds support for apps that can only read or write to a single folder in your Dropbox. You can rename or move this App Folder wherever you want in your Dropbox, and the app will keep working normally.

Search, revisions, and more
We’ve added a lot of new calls to the API to make apps even more powerful. Developers can now build search and sharing right into their apps. Version 1 also exposes the full power of the Dropbox revision system. This includes undeleting files, reverting files to past versions, and not overwriting changes when two people update a file at the same time.

More supported platforms
Version 0 of the API was designed for mobile apps. While they’re still getting plenty of love, we’ve now added better support for web apps! This includes new tutorials, documentation, and SDKs for Python, Ruby, and Java developers.

Our new API is available to developers right now at, so look forward to these features in your favorite Dropbox-enabled apps in the coming months!

147 Comments to The Dropbox API!

Photos By Rikki
October 21, 2011

Wow! The possibilities are endless for this one! Great job guys!

Bert Van de Poel
October 21, 2011

I see there is no PHP support, I must say this makes me VERY SAD :(

October 21, 2011


October 21, 2011

Hi, great news. Does it mean that developers will be able to write read-only access to the folder through API? I am not a programmer, but waiting for this solution for almost a year.

Signum Design
October 21, 2011

I hope many developers will start to develop with this API! :)

October 21, 2011

You have to use the REST API, but yeah I wish there was PHP SDK.

Ron King
October 21, 2011

If you haven't checked out CloudAlbums for the iPhone …. you need to!

Chris Johnson
October 21, 2011

My real question is how will you keep the copyright hellhounds of lego away from this picture?  I have run into them before, and they are unpleasant and relentless.

October 21, 2011

Any word on when we will get a proper desktop API?  This has become a big problem for apps that use Dropbox and want to distribute through the Mac App Store with the new sandboxing requirements.  This was a MASSIVE pain point for Agile when they rolled out 1Password through the MAS.  If you read the comments for 1Password the biggest complaint is that the Dropbox integration is completely broken.  I suggested that Agile use the Dropbox API, but their response was that a desktop API didn't exist. 

Long story short, is a desktop API on the way, or is this new REST API also suitable for desktop application use?

Uncle Sam
October 21, 2011


October 21, 2011

Nice! That revision feature is impressive!

October 21, 2011

Whew – Those aren't Lego, Lego have the word Lego atop each peg. They are 'MegaBlocks'

Sean Coates
October 21, 2011

This is great. We've been using the API with Gimme Bar ( for a while, and we didn't ever want to have access to the users' full tree. App Folders looks like it solves this.

I guess we have work to do. (-:

October 21, 2011

This looks nice, I think being able to have app-specific folders is a good idea. I only have one question. iOS text editors usually are set to use a specific folder. However, I use multiple editors, some of which are actually hardcoded to a specific folder. This should solve the hardcoding issue (by building in support for renaming the app's folder) but what if I want two (or several) different apps both using that method to access the same folder of text files? I hope that will be supported.

October 21, 2011

sounds cool.  this could replace windows, amazon, AND google clouds because all those are proprietary to their own software.  but with this you could link to evernote, you could link to textmate, etc etc.

October 21, 2011

I think you should make app folders by default.

No app should be allowed full dropbox access without some kind of authorisation by Dropbox or special case. This would increase the security of using Dropbox.

Shehbaz Afzal
October 21, 2011

Now watch me build! hmm…what to build :s

Srini Kadamati
October 21, 2011

I'm a novice developer (still a student!) but have a few ideas for some side projects that integrate with Dropbox API.

Does anybody have any advice on how to get started? I've been digging into Rails a bit, and slowly want to integrate my Rails code to talk to the Dropbox API. Anybody try accessing it with Python? 

Lastly, how do I learn to manage the secure authentication to Dropbox's servers?

Cole Gleason
October 21, 2011

Grats, Brian! I'll be taking a look into this.

Roman Sanchez
October 21, 2011

Bout time!

October 21, 2011

I'm doing iCloud from now on. But thanks anyway.

October 21, 2011

Good luck!

October 21, 2011

your program is fantastic.Luigi from Italy

October 21, 2011

The solution is to write your own, or switch to a non awful programming language. =P

October 21, 2011

can anyone tell me how to fix or why drop box will not allow me to add a user to a new folder. I see the folder.  I have used dropbox for months. I created new folder and try to add user but the curser will not blink in that box but i can add and type in the comment box. I created new folder and that one did same thing but older folder i could add someone.

October 21, 2011

Is there a .NET SDK on the horizon?

October 22, 2011

What about SDK for it, Is there one out there ?

October 22, 2011

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October 22, 2011

Hi. Add pricing options for me to buy permanent space. I'd pay a good deal per gigabyte, and the price for you to support that much in the future drops pretty drastically over time (think about selling MBs for 10$ a pop in 1999). I would never, ever sign up for something on a monthly basis, but I would buy permanent space in a heartbeat.

Dropbox rocks. Let me buy some!

October 22, 2011

There is a neat Python SDK and the tutorial is really easy to follow too. There are some examples on the authentication process too.

October 22, 2011

Our Zeta Uploader e-mail tool ( also has OAuth Dropbox integration. Was nice working with the API.

Ben Atkin
October 22, 2011

Nobody asked for your opinion on programming languages.

October 22, 2011

Nice. I have plans to use it in my very own app.

October 22, 2011

Really fantastic job Dropbox!

October 22, 2011

A simple thanks can't express my feeling to dropbox.

October 22, 2011

Really superb job Dropbox with new featured web apps for us!

joshua hastings
October 22, 2011

Not sure exactly what your talking about but since you said i've probably already used it and i spend over 10 hours a day on the computer then i've probably used it a lot and a thank you is in order, haha, glad to hear improvements are continuing to be made, as great as everything was in the beginning it's really gotten even better lately.

October 22, 2011

I wonder if you can use IKVM to call the Dropbox API from .NET.

Angela Denby
October 22, 2011

Great work.  I just switched from iDisk to Dropbox, and I posted a review for you guys on hubpages:

Angela Denby

Christopher Campbell
October 26, 2011

Hi does anyone know if apple is in talks with purchasing a company and does that company have anything to do with dropbox?  I was at an arts forum that mentioned something about that company developing patented tools so people can manipulate digital files without disrupting the digital files contents.
Christopher Campbell

Mark Allen
October 27, 2011

Hey – there's a Perl interface for the API – I noticed it was missing on your SDK page -

It's awfully nice!

November 2, 2011

We ploughs dozens of millions that use smart phones NOKIA with Symbian V^3 and V5 SO and I dont undestand why does not exist dropbox for this SO, this that is? Simple It is to form to condemn to the ostracism and we let to pass for the hoop of apple and google?, the American polytics companies is sectarian

November 3, 2011

Why would someone show on my EVENTS log who I never invited to my shared folder? THat person deleted 33 pics. How?

November 5, 2011

Ruby and Python but no PHP ?  is that in the works?

Gamex Geek
November 5, 2011

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Income Diaries
November 5, 2011

wow really sounds great :)

November 6, 2011

Is there a Dropbox add-on that allows the user to save files from the internet directly to their dropbox account?  This would be useful when using a computer that does not have dropbox installed.  Another feature that would be useful is the ability to upload attachments directly from a dropbox account, rather than the physical memory on the computer. 


Blondebeard the Pirate
November 7, 2011

maybe this is just my logic, but the “add-on” you mentioned would be rather pointless. if you're going to install an add-on in order to use dropbox functions, you may aswell just install dropbox itself on the computer and use it that way (as you said it was for computers that dont have dropbox – well why bother installing some app when you can just get dropbox itself?)

just thinking out loud…

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November 15, 2011

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November 17, 2011

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Kate Swoboda
November 17, 2011

This update might be all well and good, but when is Dropbox going to implement the read-write permissions that THOUSANDS of its users have requested since back in 2009?

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November 20, 2011

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Développeur Web
November 25, 2011

The API is really a strong feature, expanding the use of Dropbox. Keep improving it !

November 30, 2011

yes it's very great i like it !

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December 2, 2011

nice tool

December 7, 2011

This is a very powerful addition. We are experimenting with dropbox for our mobile  apps and so far it seems the way to go

December 9, 2011

Always nice to see that new and improved apps are constantly being added to increase our overall options available online.

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December 12, 2011

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December 13, 2011

I just wanted to tell you guys I love what you've created!!! It's dead simple, and it works. That's all I ask, and DropBox delivers!!

December 15, 2011

Well, I love Dropbox and couldn't do without it. Trouble is that I have trouble opening it on my iphone sometimes. Does this mean I'll be able to access certain files more easily?

Dropbox Addict

December 21, 2011

what if i want to add files to dropbox but not ncessarily download the whole repository into my work PC?

December 29, 2011

what about a dropbox app for playbook?

December 31, 2011

Is that means drop box is open source tool?

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January 3, 2012

Is this exclusively for iPhone and Android? What about in notebook?

January 5, 2012

this is a great update for my android for sure :)

January 5, 2012

These additional features would mean more functionality for one's android. Great!

Xuan Nguyen
January 11, 2012

It is great post

January 12, 2012

Thanks for the information. At least, I would be able to upgrade my Android of this new features.


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March 2, 2012

When you will release an official Windows Phone app? I don't rely on third-party apps.

March 8, 2012

It is very nice blog that where you can share your photos docs and so many things.

March 9, 2012

90 % of my pictures and video are GONE!!!! HOW THE HELL DO GET THEM BACK? Dropbox sux can't get a hold of anyone so I am pretending to want to buy something so somebody will call me!!!!!
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March 17, 2012

Could I propose an idea here?

Does Dropbox (In a future release) could contains a Live chat with all people connected at this to share comments about live updates and files to share? it could be a great and interesting features in Dropbox!!!


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March 18, 2012

 You are the only person here who has lost files, maybe you did something wrong.  Why don't you go and look through your backups………… what do you mean “you don't keep backups”  well its your fault then, isn't it.  

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March 19, 2012

 Try the icon that looks like a trashcan that will show deleted files on your Dropbox account on the website.   Hope you'll find the files that you need.   For future reference, the cloud (i.e., Dropbox) is not 100%.  It's best practice to do redundant backups.  I regularly backup my Dropbox folder to an external hard drive before allowing the Dropbox account to connect online. “Just In Case.” 

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 Addendum: also, if you deleted a folder of said photos on your local drive, and then connect to Dropbox's servers, it will also delete the folder of said photos to sync with what was done on the local drive.  (Which is why I back up to an external HD before connecting to Dropbox's servers… protecting myself from… myself).    Still, look at the “Show Deleted Files” trashcan Icon on the website of your account. Hopefully you'll then see the folder/files that you need.  If found, download them and then copy them somewhere outside of your Dropbox folder, so you won't lose them again.

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March 21, 2012

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March 22, 2012

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June 26, 2012

This is our first major update since releasing the API, and we’re stoked to share the improvements we’ve made:

June 27, 2012

You can rename or move this App Folder wherever you want in your Dropbox, and the app will keep working normally.

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July 20, 2012

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Version 0 of the API was designed for mobile apps. While they’re still
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We’ve added a lot of new calls to the API to make apps even more powerful. Developers can now build search and sharing right into their apps. Version 1 also exposes the full power of the Dropbox revision system. This includes undeleting files, reverting files to past versions, and not overwriting changes when two people update a file at the same time.

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We’ve added a lot of new calls to the API to make apps even more powerful. Developers can now build search and sharing right into their apps. Version 1 also exposes the full power of the Dropbox revision system. This includes undeleting files, reverting files to past versions, and not overwriting changes when two people update a file at the same time.

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