How to Manually Download High Resolution Pictures through Dropbox?

Shreyas Patil
Shreyas PatilUpdated :
How to Manually Download High Resolution Pictures through Dropbox?

Dropbox is a popular cloud storage service that lets you store, sync, and share files across devices. With a free Dropbox account, you get 2GB of storage space. One very useful feature of Dropbox is the ability to preview photos and images stored in your Dropbox folders.

When you view an image file in your Dropbox folder, it will display a thumbnail preview of that image. However, that preview is typically low resolution - meaning the image will appear blurry or pixelated if you try to download and use the thumbnail.

Fortunately, there is a way to manually download the high resolution version of an image stored in your Dropbox, even if only a low-res thumbnail is displayed. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it:


Before downloading high resolution images from Dropbox, make sure:

  • You have a Dropbox account and are logged in.

    Visit the official Dropbox website

  • The high resolution image files are already stored in your Dropbox cloud folders.
  • You have a computer or mobile device with an internet connection.
  • You have enough free storage space to save the high resolution images after download.

Locate Image Thumbnail in Dropbox Folder

The first step is to locate the image file you want to download in high resolution within your Dropbox folders:

  • Open the Dropbox website or mobile app.
  • Navigate to the folder containing the image file.
  • Locate the image thumbnail you want. Hover over it to preview the low resolution version.

Remember the name of the image file, as you'll need it in the next step.

Construct Direct File Link

Now that you've found the image file in your Dropbox, you need to manually construct a direct file link to that image:

  • The link should start with
  • After that, add the path to the file inside your Dropbox. For example:
    • /Folder/Subfolder/image.jpg
  • So the full file link would be:

Essentially, you are creating a direct URL to the image file that skips the Dropbox thumbnail previews.

Download High Resolution Image

With the direct file link constructed, you can now download the high resolution version of the image:

  • On your computer, right click on the file link and choose "Save Link As..." to download the image.
  • On mobile, tap and hold the link, then choose "Download" option.
  • You can also open the file link in a new browser tab and then save/download from there.

The image will download in its original high resolution format, not the low quality preview thumbnail!

Troubleshooting Tips

  • Make sure the file link is constructed correctly pointing to the image file.
  • Check that the image file is not set to "Viewers can't download" in Dropbox sharing settings.
  • If the image is inside a shared folder, be sure you have permission to view/download items in that folder.
  • Disable any ad blockers as they may interfere with downloading from Dropbox file links.

Additional Options to Download High Res Images

The manual file link method above is the most direct way to download high resolution files from Dropbox. Here are a couple other options:

Use Desktop or Mobile App

The Dropbox desktop app for Mac/Windows as well as the mobile app typically will sync the full high resolution versions of images, not just thumbnails.

Once synced locally, you can access the high res images on your device storage outside of the Dropbox preview:

  • Desktop app stores files in your Users/Dropbox folder
  • Mobile app saves files in Phone/Dropbox folder

So if you don't want to mess with file links, just use the app to sync then locate the images on your device.

Shared Links with Direct Download

If the image you want to download is in a shared album or folder, the owner can provide a direct download link by changing settings:

  • They right click the file, select Share, and change to Allow viewers to download.
  • This generates a shared link with ?dl=0 at the end for direct download.

However, the owner must intentionally enable the download setting first. Otherwise, you still need to construct the file link manually.

Storing Downloaded High Resolution Images

Once you've downloaded the high res images from Dropbox, you can then save and store them wherever you like:

  • Save to a folder on your local hard drive or external storage.
  • Upload to another cloud storage service like Google Drive or iCloud.
  • Import into a photo editing or management app like Lightroom.
  • Post or share them online, use in documents, or print them out.

The key is that you now have the full high resolution version of the image, so you can utilize it at maximum quality instead of just a low resolution preview.

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Why Download High Res Images from Dropbox?

There are a number of reasons you may want or need to download the high resolution version of an image stored in Dropbox:

  • Editing - Editing images requires using the original high res file to maintain quality.
  • Printing - Pixelated low res previews don't print well. Need the high res for quality prints.
  • Sharing - Don't want to share an inferior low quality image preview from Dropbox.
  • Offline access - If you won't have internet access, download images to view and use offline.
  • Back up originals - Downloading serves as another backup of your master image files.

The bottom line is that while Dropbox thumbnails are useful previews, most actual image usage requires the full high resolution originals.


While Dropbox offers great convenience in previewing image files right in your cloud storage, most real-world usage requires the full high resolution originals. Thankfully, with the simple manual process outlined above, you can easily download high res versions of any images stored in your Dropbox cloud folders.

Just remember to construct the direct file link carefully using the web file path and manually save the images to your local device or desired storage. This gives you full access to your master image files anytime, with the high quality needed for editing, printing, sharing and more.

So next time you need to use an image previewed in your Dropbox, skip the low resolution thumbnail and follow these steps to download the high res file. Your images and projects will thank you for the improved quality!

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions about manually downloading high resolution images from Dropbox:

How do I find the direct link to an image in my Dropbox?

Navigate to the image file in the Dropbox web or mobile app. Copy the folder path and file name, then construct a link starting with followed by the path inside Dropbox.

Does this work for any file type, or just images?

This manual download technique works for any file type - documents, videos, archives, etc. As long as the file is stored in your Dropbox, you can construct a direct download link.

Do I have to be a paid Dropbox user to download high res files?

No, this will work with any free or paid Dropbox account. As long as you have permission to view the file, you can download it through a direct link.

What if I only see thumbnail previews, not the actual high res images?

If only thumbnails are visible, then you likely need to sync that folder on your desktop or mobile app, where Dropbox will download the original high resolution image files.

If I delete the images from Dropbox will they disappear from my computer?

Yes, any images downloaded directly from Dropbox and not saved locally will be deleted if removed from the cloud storage. Always be sure to save a permanent backup of important high res images.

Can I upload my own high resolution images and share them in Dropbox?

Absolutely. Upload your high res image files to Dropbox as usual from desktop or mobile apps. Then share the folder/album and provide direct download links as needed.

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