HomeInternet4 Dropbox URL Tricks to Make You Look Like a Master

Everyone knows what is Dropbox and how to use the service. As its native function, most people use Dropbox to put their files online with the aim of flexibility because putting our files on the net meaning that we can access them from anywhere.

Recently, one of my friends asked me if he could use Dropbox as an image hosting for a WordPress-based blog he is running. “Sure” I said.

WordPress doesn’t prohibit us to store image files to its service so we can make use of it as an image hosting provider. Not only for blog. You can also put a Dropbox image URL anywhere on the internet like online forum, static website etc. But, you need a bit trick to do this. Normally — when you create a link for a certain image in Dropbox — you will get a link with the structure like this.


If you put that link on, for instance, a blog post, Dropbox won’t give a preview of the image as you might expected. Instead, all you will see is just a link. Nothing more. You need to change the structure of the URL to get the preview of the image behind the URL.

In this post, I will show some tricks that you can do with a certain Dropbox URL, including how to embed Dropbox image on a blog post which is will be useful if you want to take advantage Dropbox as image hosting provider for your blog (or any site).

1. Embed Dropbox image on a blog post from URL

As I described before. Normally, when you create a link for a certain image on your Dropbox account you will get a URL with the structure like the one above. And, when you put this URL on your blog post just the way it is you won’t see the preview of the image as you might expected. Although it will look like a link to an image, it will really link to the interstitial non-embeddable Dropbox page that frames the image.

If you want to embed a Dropbox image on your blog post, you need to change the default URL structure of the image. Replace the last three letters of the URL (dl=0) with “raw=1”. This will force Dropbox to preview the image behind the URL when you put it on your CMS editor (read here for more).

Before: https://www.dropbox.com/s/z9wk8sldb1nnumt/DSC_0704.JPG?dl=0

After: https://www.dropbox.com/s/z9wk8sldb1nnumt/DSC_0704.JPG?raw=1

2. Force Dropbox to directly download the image behind the URL

Say you want to offer a digital content to your blog readers, i.g e-book in a PDF format or high-res photos. Since your hosting storage is limited, you want to make use of Dropbox as the hosting provider for your digital files. In your scenario, you want your readers to directly download the items you offer after they clicking a download button. Without having to transit to the Dropbox site first.

If so, you need to activate the download mode on the URL by replacing the number of zero “0” with “1”. So, your new URL should looks like.

Before: https://www.dropbox.com/s/z9wk8sldb1nnumt/DSC_0704.JPG?dl=0

After: https://www.dropbox.com/s/z9wk8sldb1nnumt/DSC_0704.JPG?dl=1

This won’t only apply for files but also folders. Your folders will be downloaded as zip file.

3. View file without Dropbox interface

You can also view a file (well, more specifically image) behind a certain Dropbox URL without involving the Dropbox interface. You can do this by replacing the www portion of the URL with dl.

Before: https://www.dropbox.com/s/z9wk8sldb1nnumt/DSC_0704.JPG?dl=0

After: https://dl.dropbox.com/s/z9wk8sldb1nnumt/DSC_0704.JPG?dl=0

This will be useful if you want to share a certain image on your Dropbox account without forcing them to neither visit the Dropbox site nor see the Dropbox attribute.

4. Set the expiry date of the URL

For some reasons, you may don’t want your Dropbox URL you have shared to last forever. So, you decide to set the expiry date of the URL to prevent anyone to access the file once expired. Dropbox allows you to set the expiry date of the URL you want to share through the Link settings. Unfortunately, this options only apply for the Plus members.

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