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Dropbox Limits Free Accounts to Three Devices

The mobile technology site Liliputing has discovered that Dropbox is now limiting free accounts to just three devices. In a support article, Dropbox says that paid Plus, Professional, and Business users can still connect to their Dropbox accounts from as many devices as they like, but as of March 2019, free Basic account users may use only three devices at once. Happily, if you have more than three devices linked to your Dropbox Basic account currently, they’ll remain linked, but you won’t be able to add any more.

With this change, Dropbox is clearly trying to push more Basic users to the Plus plan, which costs $9.99 per month or $99 per year. If you don’t wish to upgrade, you can instead link and unlink devices to stay within the three-device limit. Those who want to sync between a desktop Mac, laptop Mac, iPhone, and iPad will now be forced to do this linking/unlinking dance—or will be as soon as they’re forced to unlink one of those devices for some reason.

The other alternative is to switch to a different file syncing service. Apple’s iCloud Drive offers 5 GB of storage for free, although that tends to be eaten up quickly by iOS backups, iCloud Photos, and iCloud Mail. Google Drive provides 15 GB for free, although that’s shared with Gmail and Google Photos. Microsoft’s OneDrive gives you 5 GB for free, and if you’re paying for Office 365, you get 1 TB of space.

What’s disappointing about this change is that Dropbox has historically provided the best combination of file syncing between your devices and collaborative file sharing with other people. But it’s hard to complain too much about a free service being burdened by additional limits. Dropbox’s free Basic accounts exist only as a marketing tool to encourage users to upgrade to a paid plan, and when you’re getting something for nothing, it’s not unreasonable for a company to want to reduce the amount of that something eventually.

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Comments About Dropbox Limits Free Accounts to Three Devices

Notable Replies

  1. DropBox needs a tier below the $10 a month level - I don’t need 1TB of DropBox storage, but more than 5GB sure would be handy!!

    I’m on the $1 a month 50GB iCloud account - if DropBox would match that I’d happily give them the $1 a month, but $10 a month is a bit rich for how I use DropBox currently.


  2. Yeah…me too. I have 9.2 GB through some of the image upload offers a couple years back…but a $2.99 per month 100GB or 200GB would work for my wife and I just fine. We’ve got the 200GB family account but for a lot of stuff DropBox just works better.

  3. Dropbox never really hit the family market. I have a 1Tb account which will need upgrading soon. My wife would be happy with 50 or 100Gb. My daughter could use about 10Gb tops. Seems crazy that I can’t offer them some of mine or that Dropbox don’t offer some form of overall family account.

  4. If there isn’t a sharing issue then just use the same login with your wife and daughter…it’s your 1 TB since you pay for it.

  5. The issue then lies with syncing and security. All our company files and accounts are on there. All my photography research too. Happier to keep it as is.

    Interesting that iCloud permits family sharing of my 2Tb there. I wish Apple did offer the level of control and selective syncing Dropbox do though.

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