Getting started

How to get started, Part 6: File Drop Folders

This is the sixth post in a series meant to get you up to speed. You'll learn how to create public upload folders for outside contacts to save files and folders to.

By Dirk Stascheit

ownCloud a guide on getting started

About this guide

This is the sixth post in a series meant to get you up to speed. You’ll learn how to create public upload folders for outside contacts to save files and folders to.

All posts on Getting started:

1. How to personalize your account
2. How to use the Web App
3. How to use the Desktop App
4. How to use the Mobile App
4a. Special features on iPhone and iPad
5. How to create Public Links
6. How to create Public Upload Folders
7. How to install the Appliance
8. Mail links instead of attachments

How to create Public Upload Folders

Congratulations! Your organization is now using ownCloud to sync and share files – and do so much more.

You might want to collect files or folders from people not logged in to your ownCloud. It is handy to collect bids, proposals, homework assignments or anonymous feedback.

With ownCloud, you can just create a new folder and make it writable for the public. Unregistered users can upload, but only you and people you share the folder with can view what’s inside. You can also choose to set an expiration date or protect the folder with a password, or both.

Screenshot showing the Drop Folder creation dialogue in the ownCloud Web App
Create a Drop Folder in the ownCloud Web App

In the Web App, click on the icon for sharing and then on “public links” and then “create public link”. Then from the list of sharing options select Upload only (File Drop) to create your Drop Folder. Right below you can set a password or an expiration date.

Screenshot showing the Drop Folder creation dialogue in the file manager
Create a Drop Folder in your file manager

If you have the Desktop App installed on your device, open the file manager and right-click on the folder within your ownCloud home directory that you want the uploads to be saved in to open the context menu. In the ownCloud submenu of the context menu, select “Share…” to open the sharing dialogue. There, open the “Public Links” tab, and select the option “Upload only (File Drop)”. Optionally set a password or an expiration date or both, and name the Drop Folder. Then, click “create” to save your settings.

Screenshot of the Drop Folder creation in the macOS finder
Copy the URL to share your new File Drop Folder
Now, you’ll see an entry in the list of public links above. Then, copy the link by selecting the three-dots menu on the right of your new Drop Folders’ title and clicking “Copy link to keyboard”.
Screenshot of the Drop Folder creation form on iOSCreate a File Drop Folder in the iOS App

To create a File Drop Folder in the Apps on iOS or Android, tap on the three-dots menu on the right of the folder you want to make publicly writeable. Then, select “Links” and then “Create Public Link”. Now, optionally assign a name for your drop folder and in the permissions field choose “Upload only (File Drop)”. Optionally set a password or an expiration date or both. Then on the top right click “create” to save your settings. Now, click on the freshly created public link and scroll down to tap on “Copy Public Link”, so you get the URL of your drop folder to share it with the intended audience.

For actual anonymous uploads, we suggest you talk to your administrator about how to prevent logging of potentially identifying data that might endanger your sources

Dirk Stascheit

July 30, 2020

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