How to Check File Sizes Before Downloading in Dropbox

Dropbox is a popular cloud storage service used by millions of people worldwide to store, access, and share files online. With storage limits on free and paid Dropbox accounts, it’s important to be able to check the size of files before downloading them to avoid running out of space. This article provides a step-by-step guide on how to check file sizes in Dropbox before downloading using both the desktop and web interfaces.

Checking File Sizes on the Dropbox Website

The easiest way to check file sizes is directly on the Dropbox website:

View File Sizes in List View

  1. Log into your Dropbox account online and navigate to the folder containing the file(s) you want to check.
  2. Make sure you are in List View by clicking the icon that looks like a grid in the top right and selecting “List” from the dropdown menu.
  3. Hover over any column header and click the dropdown arrow that appears. Select “Size” from the list to add the Size column if it is not already visible.

The size of each file will now be displayed next to the file name, showing how large each one is before downloading it.

Calculate Folder Sizes

Checking the size for an individual file is straightforward, but viewing the total size of a folder containing multiple files takes an extra step:

  1. Navigate to the parent folder that contains the subfolder you want to check.
  2. Hover over the name of the subfolder and click the “…” icon that appears to the right side.
  3. Select “Calculate size” from the dropdown menu.

It may take some time for Dropbox to calculate the total size if the folder contains a lot of files. Once finished, the combined size of all files in the folder will display in the Size column.

Checking File Properties from the Desktop App

For users who have the Dropbox desktop app installed, you can also check file sizes there:


  1. Open File Explorer and navigate to the Dropbox folder.
  2. Right-click on the file or subfolder you want to check.
  3. Select “Properties” from the context menu.

The general tab will show the size of that individual file or the total size of that folder and its contents.


  1. Open Finder and navigate to Dropbox in the sidebar.
  2. Right-click on the file or folder and select “Get Info” from the menu.
  3. View the size in the General section of the info window that pops up.

This method provides the exact same size information without having to first open the Dropbox website.

Tips for Managing Storage Space

Once you’ve checked how large your files are, here are some tips for freeing up room if you are getting close to your storage limit:

  • Sort by Size – List or calculate sizes for all files and folders, then sort by size to identify the largest space hogs.
  • Compress Files – Use compression software to shrink the size of files before uploading to Dropbox.
  • Delete Unneeded Files – Remove documents or media you no longer need.
  • Export Files – Download a permanent local copy, then delete the copy in Dropbox.
  • Upgrade Account – Consider upgrading to a paid Dropbox plan with more storage space.

Checking File Size Limits

In addition to storage quotas, Dropbox enforces maximum file size limits for uploads based on whether you are using desktop apps or the website:

  • Dropbox Desktop App: 2 TB per file
  • Dropbox Mobile App: 2 TB per file
  • Dropbox Website: 350 GB per file

Any files larger than these limits will need to be compressed or split into smaller parts before attempting to upload to Dropbox. Checking the size beforehand ensures the files will upload successfully.


Knowing the storage space used by your Dropbox files avoids surprises the next time you attempt to upload or download documents. Both the Dropbox website and desktop app make it easy to check file sizes and folder totals, allowing you to better manage your available cloud storage. Monitoring file sizes before transferring data also prevents failed uploads due to size restrictions. Following the best practices outlined here will keep your Dropbox productive and clutter-free.