Team Folders in U-M Dropbox

Dropbox Team Folders are created by request for groups, teams, or departments. Team Folders are designed to share data that is automatically available to all group members. You can share both files and folders inside a Team Folder externally. Content in the Team Folder is owned by the MCommunity group, where Team Folder membership is managed. There is no storage limit for Team Folders.

Table of Contents

Request a Team Folder

Complete the Dropbox Team Folders request form to request a Dropbox Team Folder. For general information on sharing content inside Team Folders, refer to Dropbox’s Team folders: an overview. For UM-specific information, refer to below.

Notes:

  • MCommunity groups larger than 1,000 members will not sync to U-M Dropbox. Therefore, do not choose an MCommunity group with more than 1,000 members as the owner of Team Folder.
  • You will not receive a confirmation email after you submit the Dropbox Team Folder request form.
  • Students and sponsored affiliates cannot request a Dropbox Team Folder. We recommend creating a shared folder within your individual account and sharing it that way. Alternatively, you can ask another U-M faculty/staff member to create and own the Team Folder.
  • There is no storage limit for Team Folders.

Creating

Naming conventions

Outside of the naming conventions listed below, teams have the freedom to customize Team Folder names as they see fit. 

Prefixes

When creating a Team Folder, a prefix will automatically be attached to your Team Folder name. The prefix is based on the college or business division of which your department is a part. For example, the Chemistry department would have the auto-generated prefix of “LSA-.” To delineate your specific department with the college or business division, add the Active Directory abbreviation to the Team Folder name you provide. (E.g., “CHEM - folder name” would appear as “LSA - CHEM - folder name.”)

Note: This prefix cannot be removed. If you believe the prefix is incorrect (e.g., your department is not under that college or business division), please contact the ITS Service Center.

Limitations

Team Folder names cannot have any punctuation, except for dashes and underscores.

Note: The limitations may differ when scheduling your U-M Box Shared Account migration to a Dropbox Team Folder. The ITS Self-Service Migration tool does not allow for more than two spaces or underscores in the name of the Team Folder. Additionally, it will capitalize all names.

Use of MCommunity

An MCommunity group manages all Team Folder access and membership at the parent level. This means that individuals cannot be the sole parent-level managers. You must be an owner of the MCommunity group to request a Team Folder. Members of an MCommunity group should reach out to their MCommunity group owner(s) to request a Team Folder be created for that group.

Warning: MCommunity groups larger than 1000 members will not sync to U-M Dropbox. Therefore, do not choose an MCommunity group with more than 1000 members as the owner of your Team Folder.

Important: Individuals, including owners, must be members of the MCommunity group to view the Team Folder content. Individuals only assigned as owners will not see the Team Folder or its content.

Synchronization estimated times

Synchronization estimated times between Dropbox and MCommunity varies depending on the action taken. On average, most synchronizations take two hours to appear, but the processes may take up to 24 hours. Some of these processes include:

  • A new Team Folder appearing in an existing user’s Dropbox account.
  • A new Dropbox account in an existing MCommunity group to be added to an existing Team Folder.
  • A new MCommunity group member with a Dropbox account to be added to an existing Team Folder.
  • A new MCommunity group to sync with the request form.

Note: This process should happen instantly, but you may need to reopen the form in an incognito window to see the group listed. If you continue to have issues after 24 hours, contact the ITS Service Center.

Sharing

An MCommunity group manages Dropbox Team Folders at the parent level. Sharing files and subfolders within the Team Folder can be managed by using MCommunity groups or individual invitations.

​Important: External users and subgroups within an MCommunity group do not sync with U-M Dropbox. You will need to invite them individually at the file and subfolder level. Refer to External users below for more information on sharing with users outside of U-M.

Subfolders

You can share subfolders in a Dropbox Team Folder with users outside the Team Folder and external users (non-UM).

There are two options available when sharing subfolders in a Team Folder:

  • Members of the Team Folder

All Team Folder members (i.e., the members of the MCommunity group used at the parent level) will have access to the subfolder.

Note: This setting applies at the folder level. When sharing individual files within a folder in a Team Folder, the shared link permissions will default to "Team members." This means anyone with the link at the University of Michigan with a U-M Dropbox account can view the file. It does not mean only Team Folder members. If you would like that file's shared link to apply only for the Team Folder members, select "Only people invited."

  • Specific people

Only the individuals you invite to the subfolder will have access to it.

Important: If you do not invite the Team Folder MCommunity members to the subfolder, they will not have access to it. Choosing Specific people does not automatically give access to the whole team. If you would like to add the team to the subfolder:

  1. Click Share on the subfolder.
  2. Click Share with members in the gray box.
  3. Click Share to confirm.

Sharing dialog box in Dropbox, shows that the subfolder is shared with two people. Red box around "Share with members".

Note: If you are not an owner in the parent-level MCommunity group, you will not see the Team Folder in your Dropbox account. You will only see the individual subfolders from the Team Folder in your All files view. Refer to Team Folders and MCommunity Sharing in U-M Dropbox for more information.

External users

When creating and managing a Dropbox Team Folder, there are restrictions on sharing with external users. Since membership of the Team Folder is managed via an MCommunity group, anyone in that MCommunity should have access to all folders/files in the Team Folder (unless special restrictions are put in place by the owner on specific content). However, any external users you include in the MCommunity group will not have access to the Team Folder in its entirety like U-M users do.

You can only share subfolders/files in a Team Folder with external (non-UM) users. External members cannot be a "member" of the Team Folder at the parent level.

Note: External users in MCommunity groups do not sync with U-M Dropbox. If you have external users in your MCommunity group, subfolders/files will not be shared with them when sharing with the group. You will need to manually share the subfolder/file individually with each external user.

One workaround to this issue is to create a subfolder in the Team Folder, share it with the external users, and place your folder structure and content within that top-level subfolder. This will allow them to have access to all the content via the top-level subfolder. However, we caution users that this will essentially bypass the ability to manage the Team Folder access via the MCommunity group used at the parent level.

Additional Information

Member count

When creating a new Team Folder, members of the MCommunity group who have not created their U-M Dropbox account will not be counted as members of the Team Folder. Once a user creates their U-M Dropbox account, they will be added to the Team Folder’s member list.

Warning: Do not use an MCommunity group with more than 1000 members. Dropbox does not allow Team Folders to have more than 1000 members.

Desktop app sync

By default, syncing Team Folders to your desktop is deactivated in the U-M domain. This helps to protect any sensitive university data from being synced to personal devices.

If needed, you can adjust this setting using Selective Sync from the desktop app.

  1. Click the Dropbox icon in your system tray/toolbar (Windows) or menu bar (Mac).
  2. Click your avatar (i.e., profile picture or initials) in the top right corner.
  3. Select Preferences.
  4. Click the Sync tab.
  5. Click Choose folders (Mac) or Selective Sync… (Windows) under the Selective Sync section.
  6. Check the boxes beside the folders you’d like saved on your hard drive. Un-check the boxes beside folders you’d like removed. (Folders that aren't selected will be available online only on the Dropbox website.)
  7. Click Update.

File storage

Unlike individual U-M Dropbox accounts with a 5 TB storage limit, Dropbox Team Folders have no storage limit. Additionally, you can upload files directly to the Team Folder. You do not need to upload files to your individual account first and transfer them to the Team Folder, although that is an option if desired.

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Last Updated: 
Tuesday, February 15, 2022