Penn Dropbox

The University of Pennsylvania has partnered with Dropbox to provide Dropbox Business for faculty and supporting staff members.

  • Penn Dropbox accounts are managed by Penn ISC. Dropbox runs the service.
  • You can log in to your Penn Dropbox account using your PennKey credentials.
  • It’s possible to link to a personal account from your Penn Dropbox account so you can access both simultaneously. Personal and business accounts require separate email addresses. Even though they are linked, the data in each account is completely separate, and Penn Dropbox admins cannot view or manage personal Dropbox accounts.
  • Was your Dropbox invitation sent to your personal address?  Request a new one to be sent to your Penn email address before continuing.

Get Started

If you just want to dive in, use Dropbox’s Get Started Guide.

To get started with Dropbox, follow these detailed step-by-step instructions.

Need Help?

If you need help with your Penn Dropbox account, don’t hesitate to contact your departmental IT representative.

If you’re a Wharton faculty or staff member, find your rep’s contact information.

Activate Your Account

Penn Dropbox accounts are provided by your school or center. Look for the invitation email with directions on how to set up a new account and/or manage any existing Dropbox accounts you may have.

You can also refer to Join Penn Dropbox for answers to the following questions:

  • What if I don’t have a Dropbox account?
  • What if I already have a Dropbox account?
  • What if I’m not sure if I have a Dropbox account or not?

Logging in to Dropbox

Penn Dropbox offers Single Sign-on (SSO) access, which means you can log in using your PennKey credentials.

When you’re ready to sign in, enter your Penn email address in the “Email” box. Then Dropbox will prompt you to continue with your PennKey credentials.

Installation and Setup

Now that you have an account and you’re logged in, just a few more steps will get you up and running.

Using Dropbox at Penn

Dropbox provides easy-to-follow directions for many of the features that the Penn community will find attractive. Here are ways you can use Dropbox at Penn.

Accounts and Passwords

Which password should I use: school/center or PennKey?

Use your PennKey password.

How do I enable two-factor authentication on my account?

To enable two-factor authentication on your Dropbox account, you need to set it up on your PennKey account. Instructions and more information about two-factor are available on ISC’s website.

How do I connect or disconnect my personal account to my Penn Dropbox?

Dropbox provides instructions for connecting your personal and business accounts here:

How do I sign in to a personal and work account on all my devices?

Instructions for downloading and using Dropbox across your devices can be found here:

Should I use my email address or my address for Dropbox?

Use your Wharton email. You should sign up with <yourPennKey>

I can't add my Penn Dropbox account to my mobile devices, which are already linked to my pre-existing personal Dropbox account.

Log in to your Penn Dropbox account on the web (not on a mobile device). Click on your name and then “Settings”. From there, you can link your personal and Penn accounts. All of your devices should instantly recognize the change and give you the option of selecting your personal or Penn Dropbox. If you continue to have issues with this, reach out to your LSP or let us know.

Logistics and Rollout

I have a pre-existing Dropbox account with my Wharton email address. What will happen?

If you want your pre-existing account to be a business account, you can merge it with your new Penn account. If you’d rather your pre-existing account remain personal, you can assign a personal email address to it instead of your Penn address. Dropbox will walk you through this process when you accept the invitation to join Penn Dropbox.

I have a pre-existing Dropbox account with a Penn (non-Wharton) address. What will happen?

If you receive an invite to join the Penn Dropbox team, then you will create a separate Dropbox account with your Wharton email address.

I have a pre-existing Dropbox account with my Wharton email address and I have several shared folders. Will the sharing permissions automatically update when I switch emails?

At this point, it looks as though sharing settings should be smoothly converted from your Wharton email to your personal email. If you experience issues with this, please let us know.

Should I wait for the Dropbox rollout to be finished before I move all of my files from another repository, like Box, to Dropbox?

Dropbox has been vetted, and we are confident that your files will be safe in Dropbox as soon as you decide to migrate them. One note, though: Dropbox syncs changes faster than Box, so if you have the expectation of that syncing delay built into your workflow, you should consider adjusting it.

Data Management and Permissions

If I connect my personal Dropbox account to my Penn account, will my personal account be visible to the Penn admins?

The short answer is no. The long (and more informational) answer can be found in the Dropbox Help Center:

Can I restore deleted files? How?

Yes! You can recover deleted files from your Dropbox version history. Dropbox provides step-by-step instructions in their Help Center:

What happens if I leave Penn and I want to take my Dropbox data with me?

If the data belongs to you, then you can copy it into a personal Dropbox account and take it with you. If the size of your data exceeds 1 TB, then you should work with your Strategic Partner to develop a plan.

I’m a faculty member and I want to use Dropbox to store data for my research, which I suspect will take me over the 1 TB quota. Can I get more space?

We evaluate requests for more space on a case-by-case basis. Reach out to your Strategic Partner and we will work with you toward a solution.

Features and Usage

Why should I sign up for a Penn Dropbox account?

There are a number of great features you can enjoy if you sign up for a Penn Dropbox account: 1 TB of storage, unlimited version history, and single sign-on (SSO) access.

How much space do the shared folders take up? Do they count against my quota?

The folders will take up the amount of space that they normally would. Dropbox will create a new “shared folder” type that will not count against quotas.

Which is a better solution: Dropbox or OneDrive?

The Emerging Solutions collaborative team are currently discussing this very question. They are working on a framework to help you decide which product to use in the space. When ubiquity is the central point for Penn users: OneDrive. But Dropbox is everywhere else.

When you link your Penn and personal accounts, does the 1TB quota from the Penn account leak over to the personal account?

No, you will get 1 TB of storage space for your Penn account that’s separate from the space associated with your personal account.

Backup and Security

Is there concern about password breaches for PennKey credentials?

Sib protects us against this.

Is Dropbox a good backup tool?

Dropbox is for collaboration; it’s not meant to be used for backing up files.

Will Dropbox prompt me to sign in again multiple times while I’m working? Box does this now.

This has not yet been reported as an issue, and we don’t anticipate it will be a problem. If you do experience regular forced re-authentication in Dropbox, please let us know.