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Offline Viewing of Dropbox Files on Your iPad

A client asked me a Dropbox question this week.  I should have known the answer but the question had never occurred to me before. I had to figure it out.  These types of questions make great blog posts.  If one person is asking the question, there are probably more.

The client was boarding a plane in a few hours.  For the first time, he planned to take his iPad rather than his laptop.  He had copied a number of documents tha

t he needed to Dropbox.  However, when he disconnected from his wireless network, he could not access the documents.  They were only available when connected to the Internet.  He wanted to review these documents while on the plane.  How, he asked, could he save a local copy of the documents on his iPad?

The answer is simple but I did not know it until I looked it up.  Dropbox files are not automatically saved to the iPad.  In order to save a file locally on your iPad, it must be indicated as a Favorite.  You indicate a file as a Favorite by highlighting it in Dropbox and tapping the star in the upper right of the screen.

One more thing.  In the Dropbox settings on your iPad, there is a Local Storage setting.  By default, this is set a 500MB.  If you need to store a lot of files locally on your iPad, you may need to adjust this setting.

For those of you who have never tried Dropbox, it is a useful tool.  It allows you to share files between your desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones.  If you sign up using this link, you can get 2GB of free storage and I get 250MB of additional storage for my account.

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2 Responses

  1. Jim Demers says:

    One downside of Dropbox for sharing documents is that your recipients have to sign up and install Dropbox on their own computers. For any number of reasons, this can be a deal killer.
    One alternative is Yousendit, which generates a simple link to the uploaded files. You (or Yousendit) can send the link via email, and anyone with a browser can click on the link and download the files. Premium services include encryption, and it’s available for PC, Mac, Android, and iPad.

  2. Jeff Krause says:

    Thanks for the comment Jim. I agree that YouSendIt is a great tool and have blogged on it in the past. http://www.krausepm.com/blog/?p=181 and http://www.krausepm.com/blog/?p=46

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