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Created October 15, 2012 19:37
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Dropbox is cray

Hi Zach,

We’re working to make it easier for your Dropbox for Teams administrators to manage all the stuff you and your teammates have in your Teams account. Soon, we’ll be releasing new features for admins to manage the security of your team’s stuff and make it easier for them to help when things go wrong.

In some cases, your admin may need the flexibility to take some actions on your Teams account, such as helping to manage shared folders or restoring access if you get locked out of your account. In order to clarify that admins may have access to team member accounts when managing the team, we're updating our Dropbox for Teams Agreement and Privacy Policy.

You might have some personal files in your Teams account that you’d like to move to a personal account. For example, if you want to keep vacation pictures in a different account from your latest Excel spreadsheet, you can use this online guide to move your files:

View the new agreement and get started here

Keep in mind that you can only link one Dropbox account to a computer at a time. If you need to access your other account, you can log in to the Dropbox website.

The updated Dropbox for Teams Agreement takes effect on November 3, 2012. If you have any questions, check out our Help Center or email us at

Thanks and happy Dropboxing!

  • The Dropbox Team
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slant commented Oct 15, 2012

Yet another successful security "feature".

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gszauer commented Oct 15, 2012

Don't see the big deal in this, shouldn't be using a personal account for business.

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So you have personal files in an employer-paid account? And the employer can access them? What's the problem?

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criso commented Oct 15, 2012

No Bueno.

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holman commented Oct 15, 2012

The problem is that, with how Dropbox's set up, there's no way to really have separate accounts. You can log out and log in every time you want to switch, but that would be hair-pullingly maddening (and would wreck apps like 1Password, which would dutifully sync to both accounts).

It's also a bit uneasy that previously our accounts were separate, and now they're lumping them together.

I just dislike this from a privacy standpoint, and I particularly dislike this from a product standpoint. It just seems really baffling, and encourages people (at least people using personal accounts) to stop using Dropbox.

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shanez commented Oct 15, 2012


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So you're angry you have to go through the "maddening" process of logging in and out of personal/business accounts for personal/business matters?

That's a really horrible argument you have there. Maybe you should request they have fast user switching similar to Google instead of complaining about an actual useful feature for team and business management instead of crying about having to log off and in to separate accounts.

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loopj commented Oct 15, 2012

I've taken to using Dropbox Encore on my mac ( to run two copies of dropbox at all times. Clunky as hell though.

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That's a bad example, sevifives. With Google I can happily hook up to multiple GMail accounts and sync them all. No so with Dropbox. There's no practical way to use multiple Dropbox accounts on one computer. The fact that you technically could logout, login, and resync to switch contexts doesn't make it practical.

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As a fellow 1Password user, this is egregious.

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Absolute fail, moving off of Dropbox

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bronson commented Oct 15, 2012

Dropbox said the problem themselves: "Keep in mind that you can only link one Dropbox account to a computer at a time."

Apparently we're supposed to have separate work and personal computers? That's crazy -- most people will just comingle their files. It's funny to see Dropbox feigning surprise that anyone would do that.

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Plain stupid.

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I second Dropbox Encore. Using it on all my machines to run a separate Dropbox for work and home at the same time.

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I'm wondering if they're just trying to stop people from using one account so they have to pay for two. When we upgraded to teams most of our employees were able to stop paying personally... (might I be the only capitalist in the room?)

Either way, for mostly reasons outlined above, I agree that this blows.

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As I learnt recently, I prefer to have a work COMPUTER account different from the personal one, so I can happily sync my two dropbox accounts in that two accounts. It's also good that my work account works with LDAP so I can login from everywhere.

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ronnix commented Oct 15, 2012

@bronson maybe not two computers, but two different user accounts on the same computer: one for work, and another one for personal stuff

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heller commented Oct 15, 2012

The fact that anybody still trusts Dropbox with sensitive files is the real fail here.

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@heller The files don't have to be overly sensitive for you to not want your employer to see them.

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This is dropbox going more mainstream. When Jim over in accounting can't figure out how to manage a shared folder, you as an admin want the ability to login and fix it for him. If you can't you have to remote login or send a tech.

Dropbox is moving from a nerd tool to a mainstream tool.

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Agree with @wifelette, @fmartingr and especially @emperorcezar. This seems like a move that makes sense in the long run, even if it causes some short term annoyances.

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This is mostly fine. It's not a privacy issue at all. It's just a usability issue.

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There's a hacky way to have multiple accounts simultaneously:

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I'm commenting to be cool.

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I just separate them. I use Google Drive for work (because we use Google Docs) and Dropbox for my personal stuff.

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On OSX you can use Dropbox Encore. It will run a second Dropbox app on your Mac at the same time. I set one of the app icons to have color in the settings and the other to be black and white to differentiate the two on the top status bar. Works great.

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Dropbox Encore works great for me too :-)

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simaob commented Oct 16, 2012

I understand that Dropbox might not want employees to user the business account to have their personal stuff without paying for their own space.

IMHO it would be much better if instead of migrating my account to a Team Account I could have access to a Team Shared folder, which would have the business account allocated space. The rest of my dropbox would have it's regular space, that of my own user account.

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Given you can't have multiple accounts sync with a machine but hey you must now accept this new agreement is a big fail in my book. They should have released this change with the ability to sync multiple accounts on machine versus force an end user to choose which account to sync. Yet another reason to you GitHub in my mind.

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ghost commented Oct 16, 2012

I wonder how many people responding with "What's the problem?" actually use Dropbox for personal and work files? With and without Dropbox for Teams? Because I can't imagine anyone who has being a Dropbox apologist.

Dropbox has failed because they implemented teams at the user account level, not the shared folder level. Shared folders owned by my employer should be controlled by their admin, count against my employer's shared quota, and have the storage/bandwidth billed against my employer's account. All my other files, including those I've shared with family and friends, count against my quota. Dropbox has all the information necessary to have built their teams product that way.

Imagine if all of your personal GitHub repos ceased to be your personal repos and your GitHub account ceased to be a personal account when your employer added you to their organization in GitHub. That would be ridiculous, right? Right? That is analogous to what Dropbox is doing. Worse, because at least I can switch GitHub accounts without switching OS accounts or computers.

I use Dropbox on my phone. Am I supposed to have a personal phone and a work phone? The world used to work that way, but it's commonplace to have a single phone used for work and life. "Work and life". That's the outmoded thinking at play when Dropbox makes a product that forces you to choose one or the other.

Google got it wrong, too. If you have multiple Google App domains, Google Drive is a PITA, but at least you can switch drive accounts on the same OS login. I hope Copy aspires to be more than a Dropbox clone competing on price.

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