If you’re considering downloading the Dropbox app to your phone, it’s important to understand how much storage space Dropbox requires, so you don’t end up hampering your phone’s speed and getting a low storage warning.
The Dropbox application data is the only data you are required to have downloaded when using Dropbox on your phone. However, If you select the “Make Available Offline” or “Export” options on any of your files then those files will be stored locally, taking up more space.
Read on to learn how to find out how you can stop Dropbox from using so much space on your phone.
How Much Space Does Dropbox Need On Your Phone?
There are two ways that Dropbox can take up space on your phone:
1. The data from the actual app
2. The data from any files you have downloaded.
According to the Google Play Store, the Dropbox app will take up 142MB of space on an Android phone, while the Apple App Store tells us the Dropbox app will use 223.8MB of space on an iPhone.
However, if you have exported files or made them available offline, then the Dropbox app will take up considerably more space than this. Exported files are downloaded to your phone’s storage and can be found in your Downloads folder. When you make a file available offline, you are creating a copy of that file that will be stored locally in your phone’s “cache”. Files stored locally can take up a lot of space, especially if you are storing high-quality images or videos.
How To Stop Dropbox Taking Up Space On Your Phone
There are two main ways you can stop Dropbox from taking up so much space on your phone:
1. Delete Any Downloaded Files
Deleting any files you exported is an easy process. Here are the steps for Android and iPhone.
How to delete downloaded Dropbox files on Android
- Open the Files app.
- Select the folder you saved the file to when exporting. If you did not save the file to a specific folder, it can be found in the Downloads folder.
- Click the ellipsis next to the file and select “Move To Trash”.
- Go back to the files home page and click the three lines in the top left-hand corner.
- Click “Trash”.
- Select the file you want permanently deleted and then click the “Delete” button on the bottom right of the screen.
- Click Delete again on the pop-up screen.
- Your file has been permanently deleted from your device and will no longer take up storage space.
How to delete downloaded Dropbox files on iPhone:
- Open the Files app.
- When you exported the file, you may have selected a specific folder to download the file to. If you did, navigate to this folder. If you did not select a specific folder when downloading, files are automatically downloaded to your Downloads folder.
- Press and hold the file you want to be deleted.
- On the pop-up menu select the “Delete” option.
- Your file has been deleted and will no longer take up storage space.
2. Ensure “Make Available Offline” Is Turned Off And Delete Your Cache
Turning off the “Make Available Offline” setting and deleting your cache is an easy way to free up space. To remove any files that you have made available for offline viewing on either iPhone or Android, follow these steps:
- Click the ellipsis next to the file you want to remove from your device.
- Find “Make Available Offline” and make sure you toggle the slider off.
- Check that the green check has disappeared next to the file. If it has then you have removed the “Make Available Online” setting and local versions will no longer save to your phone’s cache.
How To delete your cache on Android:
- Open the Dropbox app and click the three horizontal lines in the top right-hand corner to open the Menu.
- Tap the gear icon to open Settings.
- Scroll all the way to the bottom and select “Clear Cache” and confirm.
How To delete your cache on your iPhone:
- Open Dropbox and click the gear icon on the top left of your screen to open Settings.
- Scroll down until you see “Clear Cache”.
- Tap “Clear Cache” and then confirm your choice in the pop-up.
Where Do Dropbox Downloads Go On Your Phone?
Dropbox downloads are either stored in your phone’s “cache” or in the Downloads folder of your phone depending on how they were downloaded. Let’s take a look at how to locate your downloads.
If you have enabled the “Make Available Offline” setting, as soon as you open the file a local version will be saved directly to your phone’s memory in what is called a “cache”. Selecting the “Make Available Offline” option on both iPhone and Android will make it accessible from your Dropbox app even if you do not have an internet connection. To find files made available offline:
- Open the Dropbox app and your home screen will pop up.
- Click the three lines on the top left of your screen.
- Click Offline and you will find all files available for offline viewing.
Files that you have downloaded directly to your phone using Dropbox’s Export function can be found in your phone’s Downloads folder. If you exported a file on Android, it is automatically saved to Downloads. Here’s how you can find it after it has been exported:
- Open your Files app.
- Click on Downloads.
- Any file you have downloaded will be in this folder with the most recent downloads at the top. Even if you saved the file to a different file when you downloaded it, you will still be able to find it under Downloads.
If you are having trouble finding your exported file on Android, try this video:
On iPhone your file will automatically be saved to Downloads, here’s how you can find it:
- Open your Files app. If you are having trouble finding the Files app, open Spotlight Search and type in Files and it should pop up.
- Click “Browse” on the bottom right.
- Select the Downloads folder.
- Access your downloaded file. If you saved the file to a specific folder when you exported it, access it in that folder.
If you are having trouble finding your Downloads on your iPhone, try this video: