Team Folders in U-M Dropbox

Table of Contents


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. Both files and folders inside a Team Folder can be shared externally. Content in the Team Folder is owned by the MCommunity group, where Team Folder membership is managed.

Request a Team Folder

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

Note: You will not receive a confirmation email after you submit the Dropbox Team Folder request form.

Tip: If you are a student, you cannot request a Dropbox Team Folder because you do not have a departmental affiliation with the university. We recommend creating a shared folder instead within your individual accounts and sharing it that way.

Caution: If you intend to use the Box Retirement self-service migration tool to migrate your existing U-M Box Shared Account into a U-M Dropbox Team Folder, do not request a Dropbox Team Folder that you intend to use for your Shared Account data. The self-service migration tool cannot move files into an existing Team Folder. It will create a new one during the migration process. However, if you would like a Team Folder for another reason, you are encouraged to request one!


Naming 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.

Outside of the naming conventions listed above, departments and teams have the freedom to customize Team Folder names.

Note: Punctuation in the Team Folder name is not allowed, except for dashes and underscores.

Use of MCommunity

All Team Folder access and membership are managed by an MCommunity group at the root level. This means that individuals cannot be the sole root-level managers. You must be an Owner of the MCommunity group to request to create a Team Folder. Members of an MCommunity group should reach out to their MCommunity group owner to request a Team Folder be created for that group.

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 it to see the group listed. If you continue to have issues after 24 hours, contact the ITS Service Center.


Dropbox Team Folders are managed by an MCommunity group at the root 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. See External users below for more information on sharing with users outside of U-M.


Subfolders in a Dropbox Team Folder can be shared 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 root 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. In the gray box, click Share with members.
  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".

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 there are special restrictions 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 root 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 root level.

Additional Information

Member count

When creating a new Team Folder, members of the MCommunity group who have not activated their U-M Dropbox account (i.e., logged in to U-M Dropbox with their UMICH credentials) will not be counted as members of the Team Folder. Once a user activates their U-M Dropbox account, they will be added to the Team Folder’s member list.

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. From the desktop app, click the three lines (hamburger) menu in the top left corner of the app.
  2. Hover over File and select Preferences.
  3. Click the Sync tab and under Selective sync, click Selective Sync….

File storage

Unlike individual U-M Dropbox accounts with a 5 TB storage limit, there is no storage limit within Dropbox Team Folders. 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.

Last Updated: 
Thursday, May 6, 2021