How to Open a Local Computer File from Dropbox using ‘Open from Web’ Feature?


Dropbox has proved to be a reliable companion for you in terms of storing all stuff and being able to access it just about from anywhere (phones, computers or tablets). All you need to do is get your files synced in Dropbox and then stop worrying about losing it. This is an ideal data backup or data storage option for computer users. In fact, “Dropbox for Business” has proved to be a major success too because of the secured encryption and two-step verification process offered.

With the release of Dropbox 3.0 version, users got many new features in the form of new Windows notification area icons, new Mac menu bar icons, rewritten UI for Linux and Windows to resolve several issues, file explorer integration, etc.

Dropbox Website

As always, experiments for new features keep getting conducted by the Dropbox team. From the Dropbox forum, we could make out that there is a new Dropbox 3.1 series experimental build (3.1.265) already available. The highlight of this new build is the innovative “Open from Web” Dropbox feature i.e. ability to locally open a file from computer or PC via Dropbox web version. Earlier, we never used to get the option to open a local file. Instead, we had to use the download option to be able to later open it locally. Now, this new experimental build promises a high-utility feature for all Dropbox users.


In this article, we shall under the steps to open a file from computer via Dropbox i.e. tips to open a local computer file from Dropbox web version.

Locally Opening a File on our PC from Dropbox.com


The first step we need to take is to download the Dropbox 3.1.265 experimental build version (or higher). The download link for this experimental Dropbox 3.1 series build is available at: Dropbox experimental desktop client.

Dropbox 3.1 series download option

Then, you need to open the website Dropbox.com in your browser (any recent versions of Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox) and log-in.

Dropbox SignIn

You can then choose any file to preview after ensuring that the file has been synced locally to your Dropbox folder. For example, you can opt to preview a Word document synced locally. Now, you will be pleasantly surprised to see the “Open” option appear in place of the “Download” option.

Dropbox.com with Open button

Click on this “Open” button and the file will open up on your computer with the relevant application depending on the file extension.

Dropbox document in Edit mode after click on Open

Alternatively, it could open your Operating System’s file browser to the folder containing the file. For this experimental build, it is learnt that Windows OS may not bring the application automatically to the foreground.

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