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Monday Mentorship: Using the Dropbox API Explorer

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

“If we always helped one another, no one would need luck.”

It’s Monday, and that means we’re back with another post aimed at helping you overcome some of the most commonly asked questions about the APIs we work with here at Kloudless. Every Monday, we will aim to help answer some of the more repeated inquiries into the world’s most popular APIs or cloud services. Today, we will be turning back to one of the industry’s top names when it comes to cloud storage: Dropbox.

Boasting more than 500 million users, DropBox has been a bona fide giant of the cloud-based file storage world since its release in 2008. DropBox became the first of the ‘folder sync’ storage applications to become a household name, having been originally conceived when one of its co-founders left his USB flash drive at home and was stuck with no way to access his necessary files for a college class. As a result, DropBox has become ubiquitous with users looking to manage their files and documents in the cloud, and heavily utilized by applications looking to provide their users with storage integrations.

Dropbox provides a wonderful UI tool to access their API called the Dropbox API Explorer. The API Explorer lets you easily learn about the cloud storage API and test your own calls without writing any code at all. For each endpoint, you can submit an API call with your own parameters and see the code for that call, as well as the API response. We here at Kloudless use a similar tool for our API called the Kloudless API Explorer. These tools are not for use in your application, as they are essentially an interactive means of documentation, but they can help you get started on learning the details of an API.

Let’s walk through getting set up and started with the Dropbox API Explorer!


First off, head over to the Dropbox developers portal and sign in to your account. You will have to create a new app to use under your account, but no additional work is required on your account’s side after that.

Next, head over to the list_folder endpoint so we can check that everything is working. At the very top, you’ll see a button that says Get Token. Click that and the explorer will auto-generate an access token for your connected account. That’s all you need, for now, so scroll down and click on Submit Call.

Just below, you’ll be given a visual of the JSON response from the successful call that looks like so:

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This is only a snippet of my JSON response, but you will be returned an object with associated data for every file and folder at the root of your Dropbox account.

Next, let’s see just how easy it is to create a folder on the fly. Navigate to the create_folder_v2 endpoint and give your new folder a pathname. This will create as many folders as necessary to get to the new folder you’ve specified a path for. In this case, I’m creating a new folder called newFolder at the root of my Dropbox account. The response of a successful call will be logged below with some associated metadata.

Head on over to your account in Dropbox and you should see the newly created folder waiting for you!

That’s all there is to it. There’s an astounding amount of endpoints to play around with to get you acquainted with how the Dropbox structures its calls and parameters. Good luck with your application and keep tuning in for helpful API tips!


We’d love to hear from you on any API questions you may want us to answer in the future, so please send any requests to hello@kloudless.com.

Published By

David Hallinan

David Hallinan is an Integration Strategist and Head of Content at Kloudless. He enjoys painting, JavaScript, vintage synths, drum machines and forcing his sports allegiances on his children.

View all posts by David Hallinan