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#8695 Dropbox plugin

Parent Category:
Image Services
Last Updated:
Allon Moritz, Tuesday, 02 May 2023 16:29
Thursday, 12 August 2021 05:45

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The Dropbox plugin integrates media data from your Dropbox storage into the Joomla core media manager. It allows the admin to select images in articles and any other extension which uses the core media manager. Beside that it is possible to create folders, upload images, rename and delete the data directly from within Joomla on your Dropbox storage. It's possible to add unlimited different Dropbox accounts in the plugin.

The ONLY way to make your Dropbox media data accessible in the media manager is to import them, because the Dropbox API requires a refresh token which is obtained during the import process. To whole import process is described below.

Please read the Concept of image service provider integration article to get more information how to get started with the image service provider plugins from DPMedia.

Dropbox integration into Joomla

Client ID and Client Secret

To be able to import your Dropbox data you need a client ID and client secret from the Dropbox apps console. This credentials are used to make authenticated requests against the Dropbox API endpoint. It is OAuth authentication and allows you to revoke the credentials at any time without exposing your private username and password.

Create an app

Log in into the Dropbox apps console. Click on the "Create app" button.

Dropbox create app

App wizard

In the app wizard select "Scoped access" in step 1. In step 2 choose "Full Dropbox" to get access to all folders. As last step fill in the name of the app and click on "Create app".

Dropbox app wizard

Redirect uri

Once the app is created you get redirected to the app details page. In the "Redirect URIs" field you have to put an url with the following parameters:

Replace with your web site url! You will find the correct url also later in the import modal dialog in Joomla. This url is important, if it is wrong you can't import your account, you will get a redirect_uri_mismatch error! Yo need also to use HTTPS as scheme as HTTP is not supported.
Here you get access to the client ID and secret which will be later used during the import process.

Dropbox enable API

Configure permissions

If you want to allow write operatons on your Dropbox folders, then you need to enable certain permissions in the app details page. To do so, click on the "Permissions" tab and click on the following permissions checkboxes:

  • files.content.write
  • sharing.write
Dropbox permissions

Import Dropbox account

After you have setup the credentials in the Dropbox app console it's time to import it into Joomla.

Start the import process

Open the filesystem Dropbox plugin in the plugin manager in the back end of your Joomla site. Click on the green "+" button in the plugin edit form. A modal dialog will open with instructions. Additionally you will get here the correct url for the Authorized redirect origin.

Copy client ID and secret

Copy paste the client ID and client secret from the Dropbox app console to the dialog. Make sure you are logged in with the Dropbox account you want to import.

On the top of the dialog you will see a link with the url which must be used as "Authorized redirect URI" in the Dropbox app console. If this doesn't match, Dropbox will throw a warning.

Dropbox import

Import wizard

Click the "Import" button. You will get then redirected to Dropbox. Click on "Continue" when Dropbox asks you to trust the developer. Review the permissions and make sure that you can a least view the Dropbox content. Then click on "Allow"

Imported account

You should see now the imported account with your client ID and secret. Additionally should the refresh token field be filled. This key is needed to authenticate against Dropbox when doing the API requests. If this isn't the case, then something went wrong along the line and you should start the process again.

Dropbox folder

Media files locally

Per imported account the admin can define that media files should be served locally. This helps to ensure that the site is compliant with the sites privacy policy and that the visitors are only fetching media data from the web site.

If activated, then the files are copied from Dropbox to the local filesystem on a path the admin defines. This happens when a media file is selected in an article or everywhere else from a media field. During the media list fetch, the files and thumbs are not stored locally. Each file will be saved with the last modification timestamp to ensure that the updates are immediately reflected locally.

If the file is an image it is also possible to define a custom width and height, so the local drive will not fill up quickly.

Dropbox local images params


As Dropbox doesn't support public links for thumbnails, DPMedia creates them on the fly for the media list, the thumbnails are not used anywhere else. It does it by downloading the original file and creates a thumbnail out of it while fetching the images list. In the options the admin can define per account where the thumbnails should be stored on the local filesystem.

DPMedia is fetching only 10 thumbnails per request, otherwise it can reach the execution time on large Dropbox folders. So if an image has no local thumbnail a default placeholder will be shown instead.

Automatic resize

The plugin supports automatic resize when images are uploaded. The images are only scaled down, but not up. The admin can choose between the following four options when resizing should be applied:

  • No
    No resizing is performed.
  • On upload
    Images are resized on upload only. Existing images do keep their dimensions.

When only a width or height is set, then a resize is performed and the aspect ratio is kept. Like that will all images have the same width or height. When both dimensions are set, then an option is shown which lets you define if the aspect ratio should be kept or not. If it is not kept, then each image has the same dimensions but the smaller side gets cropped. Here are some examples listed for a better understanding:

Image dimensions Force width Force Height Keep aspect ratio Resized image dimensions Crop
2000 x 3000 0 400 267 x 400 No
2000 x 3000 400 0 400 x 750 No
2000 x 3000 400 100 No 400 x 100 Height is cropped from 750 to 100
2000 x 3000 400 100 Yes 67 x 100 No
2000 x 3000 100 400 No 100 x 400 Width is cropped from 267 to 100
2000 x 3000 100 400 Yes 267 x 400 No


Per imported account the site administrator can define caching so images will be loaded much faster in the media manager. DPMedia uses the core Joomla cache, so it can be revoked at any time in the core Maintenance Manager. Additionally the admin can define a cache time so images will downloaded after a certain time automatically again from Dropbox.

Dropbox cache

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