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How to get more Dropbox space for free (32GB the easy way)

David Ludlow
4 Jul 2016
Get more Dropbox space for free
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Want more Dropbox storage? Here's how to hack your way past 32GB of it

Dropbox is great, but the default free account comes with just 2GB of storage, which isn’t going to last anyone very long. While you may want to upgrade to Dropbox Pro to get 1TB of space, there are lots of ways that you can boost your storage space for free, and get more than 32GB of additional storage space. I’ll show you how in this article, so you can max out your storage the easy way. To check how much free storage space you’ve earned, just log in to the Dropbox site and go to Settings, Account. 

1. Complete the Get Started Tour – 250MB

This one’s easy and, to be honest, you’ve probably already done it. All you have to do is complete any five of the seven steps listed on the Dropbox Get Started page. It’s quick and easy to do, so if you haven’t done this yet, do it now.

2. Connect your Facebook account – 125MB

Go to https://www.dropbox.com/getspace and click the Connect your Facebook account link. This will pop up an authentication box, so follow the steps through to link your two accounts together. Once done, you’ll have 125MB of additional storage.

3. Connect your Twitter account – 125MB 

Similar to the Facebook step above, you can get more free storage if you connect your Twitter account to Dropbox. Go to https://www.dropbox.com/getspace and click the Connect your Twitter account link, follow the instructions in the pop-up Window and you’re away with 125MB extra storage.

4. Follow Dropbox on Twitter – 125MB

Once you’ve hooked up your Twitter account, all you have to do is follow Dropbox on Twitter. Again, go to https://www.dropbox.com/getspace and click the Follow Dropbox on Twitter link, follow the instructions in the pop-up window and you’ll have another 125MB of storage space to play with.

5. Tell Dropbox what you think – 125MB

Dropbox wants your feedback and it’ll give you 125MB for the privilege. Technically, it wants you to tell it why you Love it. To do this, go to https://www.dropbox.com/getspace and click the Tell us why you love Dropbox link. In the pop-up box, type up to 90 characters saying why you love the service and then click Send to Dropbox. 

6. Refer your friends – 32GB

The previous steps net you 750MB more storage, which is decent but hardly world changing. So, what about 32GB of additional space instead? You get this by referring a friend and, once they create a free Dropbox account, you get 1GB of free storage per referral, up to the 32GB maximum. You can do this for real friends by going to www.dropbox.com/referrals and sending them an email from the page. But, who’s got 32 friends without Dropbox accounts, who want the service?

Fortunately, there’s a workaround, and you can quickly max out your storage with a little effort, but signing up for a load of accounts yourself. Now, Dropbox has a little bit of protection, only letting one referral work per computer. You can bypass this easily with a virtual machine and a copy of Linux. 

1. Download Virtual Box and install Ubuntu

Download Virtual Box from Sun and install it on your computer. While you’re doing this, download Ubuntu. Run Virtual Box and click the New button to create a new machine, then type the name in as Ubuntu, which will set all the defaults you need. Follow the wizard through to create all of the defaults that you need. Once done, select your machine and click Start. You’ll be prompted to choose a virtual disc file, so navigate to the Ubuntu .iso file you downloaded earlier and choose this, then click Start. When prompted, click Install Ubuntu, then follow the wizard through to install the operating system on your virtual computer.

Create Ubuntu installation

2. Download and install Dropbox

Your virtual computer will restart. Mine crashed on restart, but closing the window down and restarting the computer fixed everything. Once you’re logged in, click the Software Center icon (looks like a file cabinet at the top left). Search for Dropbox and then click Install next to the Dropbox result. You’ll need to enter your password and, when prompted, click the Restart Nautilus button. You’ll then get another dialog box and should click Open Dropbox. You’ll be told that a proprietary daemon has to be installed, so click OK and let this download and install.

Install Dropbox on Linux

Now, create a snapshot of your virtual machine by clicking the Machine menu and selecting Take snapshot. A snapshot is like a backup, letting you jump back to this exact point on your computer. 

3. Register an account

You now need to sign up for additional accounts on Dropbox. The easiest way to do this is to register a free Gmail account. The beauty about Gmail is that you can put full-stops in-between letters, and they’re all recognised as valid emails, but crucially, Dropbox sees them as different ones. So, my.email1@gmail.com works, as does m.y.e.m.a.i.l1@gmail.com. You can only put one full-stop between each character, so you may need to go through a couple of Gmail addresses.

On your main computer go to www.dropbox.com/referrals and click Copy link. In the dialog box the pops up, copy and paste the link, and then paste it into an incognito browser window (for Chrome, it’s CTRL-SHIFT-N on Windows and APPLE-SHIFT-N on Mac). In this box, sign up for an account with any name you want. Enter your new Gmail address, type in a password, complete the Captcha test, agree to the terms and click Sign up for free. Your account will be created for you. Close down the incognito window.

Create Dropbox account

4. Login into Dropbox on Linux

Go back to your Linux machine and log in to Dropbox using the details you just signed up with. This will register your new account with the referral process, but you now need to verify your email address. So, fire up Firefox and log in to your Dropbox account online and click the big Verify my email button. Now, use Firefox to log in to your Gmail account, find the Dropbox email and click the link in it to verify your account. You’ve earned 1GB of storage space, which you can check for back in your main Dropbox account: Settings, Account.

Verify Dropbox email address

5. Reboot and start again

Shut down your virtual machine window by clicking the cross, and then choose Power off the machine (make sure Restore current Snapshot is not selected). You now need to fool Dropbox into thinking you have a different computer. So, in Virtual Box select your Linux machine and click Settings, Network. Click the Refresh button next to MAC address to change your computer’s Mac address. Now restart your computer and when it finishes loading, choose close it down and select Power off and select Restore current Snapshot. Now restart your virtual machine and you’ll be at the Desktop with a clean Dropbox waiting for you again. Repeat from Step 3 to register a new account, remembering to place a full-stop in a different place in your email address; repeat until you have 32GB of free storage.

Refresh MAC address in Virtual Box

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