Dropbox Offering An Extra 5 GB of Free Storage Space to Beta Testers

Subject: General Tech | February 4, 2012 - 09:32 PM |
Tagged: storage space, share files, free storage, free space, free, dropbox 1.3.13, dropbox, cloud storage, backup files

Update: Dropbox is still running the beta testing extra space promotion.  The latest Experimental Forum Build is version 1.3.15 1.3.19. Dropbox is still running the promotion; however, users from here on out will be limited to 3 GB total extra space.  Anyone that got in before 1.3.19 and earned 5 GB will continue to keep the full 5 GB of extra space.  More information is available here.

I recently needed some video files from the PC Perspective office, and we decided to use the Dropbox file sharing service to get them to me.  i hit a bit of a snag; however, when I realized that I had nowhere near the amount of storage needed.  Fortunately, I was able to download the individual files from the shared folder on the Dropbox website.  It was sort of a nod at the idea that one can never have too much storage space, however.

That got me searching around the Internet for ideas on how to increase my available storage space for free, and fortunately came across a forum post on the Dropbox website for a beta version of the program wherein they were offering 5 GB of extra (and free!) storage space to those adventurous enough to test out the program by uploading 4.5 GB of photos or videos (which you can rename, move, or delete afterwards if you wish).  The extra free space you get will remain even if you move or delete the uploaded photos and after the beta period, barring any unforseen decision change on Dropbox's part.  Further, I found the process easy enough that it was worth sharing with our readers who may use the file sharing and backup service themselves.  

According to their latest forum post, the new Dropbox beta application is version 1.3.13 (though the beta started at version 1.3) which fixes a few bugs, but more importantly, adds a new feature that automatically uploads photos and videos from SD cards (and other storage devices that store photos and videos in a "DCIM" folder) and other storage devices on the PC application and your Android smart phone using a beta of the Dropbox Android app.  The first photo or video upload imported into Dropbox grants you a 500 MB "bonus," and then for every 500 MB of photos and videos that you allow Dropbox to import, they will give you an additional 500 MB of free additional storage space, up to a total of 5 GB (including the starting bonus).  Let's get into exactly how you go about auto-importing photos.

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On the Windows PC side of things, you will need to download the latest Dropbox beta build which is currently version 1.3.13.  Once download from the link in the previous sentence, install it (if you already have the program installed, just install over the previous install), and then log into your account (or create a new one*).  Next, make sure that you have AutoPlay enabled via Windows Control Panel (it should be by default).  You should be all set to import as many photos and videos as your internet connection can handle to get all your free space.  Pop in an SD card or other USB storage device into your computer via USB.  Windows should open up an AutoPlay dialog box in response.  There should further be a new option in the AutoPlay window titled "Import pictures and videos using Dropbox."  Select that and Dropbox will begin uploading them to their cloud storage servers in a new folder called "Camera Uploads."  Once the batch of photos are uploaded, Dropbox pops up a notification in notification area (lower right of the window) as seen in the photo above.

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You can also use a beta of the Dropbox client on your Android powered smartphone to upload photos and videos to the service, and to apply towards your free Dropbox space.  While not yet on the Android Market, you can download the beta application as a .apk file to your phone, and then install it from that downloaded file.  The apk package in question is the Dropbox Experimental Android Forum Build 2.0.9 and can be downloaded via a link at the bottom of this article.  All that's needed on the Android side of things (at least on my Samsung Infuse 4G), is to start up the application and log in.  After that, any photos or videos I take with my phone's camera are automatically uploaded to the dropbox service.  Although Google already has a similar automatic uploading service to its Google+ website, the Dropbox application is even a bit more useful because they are not only "in the cloud" but sitting on my desktop at home.

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The Android Dropbox beta application

Unfortunately, Linux and Macintosh users are out of luck on the extra free space; however, I'm sure they will get a chance at it when the beta Dropbox application is closer to completion.  Now that you know how to get your hands on some free space, go forth and beef up those Dropbox accounts!  Some other methods for free space include adding a .edu email account to your account (to make it a Student Account) for an extra 500 MB of storage space an an increase referral bonus of 500 MB per referral, completing the various tutorials and quests on the Dropbox website, and getting referral sign ups.  Do you use Dropbox, and if so what do you like (or hate) about it?  Community discussion engage!


*Speaking of referrals, this is a referral link that costs you nothing and will give me and you an extra 250 MB of storage space.  If; however, you're not into that sort of thing (for some odd reason), you can create a new account by heading over their main website at dropbox.com

Source: Dropbox

February 4, 2012 | 10:48 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

Sorry about the image errors, not sure what the deal was but fixed now :)

February 5, 2012 | 12:59 PM - Posted by 0156 (not verified)

We use this at work for product updates on bleeding edge solutions. It sure saves alot of time and email and it seems like we get the information much quicker this way.

February 5, 2012 | 02:15 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

Yeah, emailing files can get to be a pain, especially if you have a lot of files are really large files to send!

February 5, 2012 | 01:13 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Some added details now that all of the PCPer gang are uploading gobs of photos:

The unlocks occur in 500MB increments - on the lead end of them. This means that the first photo uploaded by this method unlocks the first 500MB. The first photo past that 500MB mark unlocks the next 500MB, and so on. Upload just over 4.5GB of photos and you'll unlock the entire 5GB.

February 5, 2012 | 01:30 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Also note - if you're importing pics from a USB drive, Dropbox may report "No new photos found" unless your pics are in / under a folder named "DCIM".

February 11, 2012 | 09:42 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

to Allyn Malventano: thanks a milion times! this is the solution for " no new Photos"

February 15, 2012 | 08:38 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

Have you guys gotten your free space yet? :) I'm sitting on a healthy 10.4 gigs :)

February 21, 2012 | 02:37 PM - Posted by Rob (not verified)

Hasn't worked for me to get more space. I installed the 1.3.4 version but I don't see that new directory and when I transferred a large video file it just ran out of space.

Is the beta still open?


February 24, 2012 | 09:30 AM - Posted by Tim Verry

Hi Rob, yes it looks like the beta is still going: http://forums.dropbox.com/topic.php?id=55007&replies=47

Install the 1.3.16 version, and then be sure to use the Autoplay prompt to Import to Dropbox when prompted for the storage to count. I'm not sure if video files count, only photos and some video files that Dropbox automatically pulls from the DCIM folder of the USB device.

February 24, 2012 | 09:36 AM - Posted by Tim Verry

EDIT: Actually, the latest version is 1.3.19 now, so I've fixed the link in the comment above and in the article update. Users from here on out will be limited to 3 GB of extra space.

August 17, 2012 | 02:30 PM - Posted by best serial (not verified)

I'm not sure if video files count, only photos and some video files that Drop box automatically pulls from the DCIM folder of the USB device.

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