Downloading Movies from Dropbox

When you upload a QuickTime or other movie file to Dropbox, and then get the “public link” to give to someone else, Dropbox does a really cool thing and redirects the original movie file link to deliver a very simple web page with the movie embedded in it instead. Which looks great in a browser if you just need to view a quick clip — but what if you actually intended for the link to be a download instead?

It turns out the trick is a little obscure, but fairly simple. All you need to do is add ?&dl=1 to the end of the “public link” URL. So:

becomes instead:

Once you do that, Dropbox forces the download link, and the movie will download instead of playing in your browser.

You should check out my podcast about movie magic and VFX: The Optical.