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Your friends can now share files to your Dropbox, even if they don’t have an account

Dropbox rolled out a new feature today that will make it easier for those without an account to share important files with Dropbox users. The new feature — called File Requests — lets anyone upload files to your Dropbox account, and into a special folder of your choice. It’s an interesting alternative to attaching files to an email, or using complicated file transfer systems online, plus a potentially effective way for Dropbox to steal new users away from competing services.

Dropbox says that, unlike with email attachments, people can send files up to 2GB using File Requests. Simply send out a link, and watch the files show up in your Dropbox. Whether you’re collecting from an individual or a group, all of the files you receive will organized into one folder.

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To use Dropbox’s new File Requests feature, log into Dropbox.com, and find the File Requests button on the left hands side of the menu. From here, you will be able to view existing file requests and see how many files are held in each folder.  When it’s time to create a new File Request, add a description, and specify what folder you want them to appear in. Dropbox will then send out an email containing a link to the file to anyone given authorization to upload files.

ChenLi Wang, the product lead for File Requests, said early feature testers have used File Requests for collecting contract bids, collating weekly reports from colleagues, and collecting vacation photos from family members. The new File Request feature will also be a handy way to introduce Dropbox and its benefits to those who don’t already have an account.

The new feature is currently available to Dropbox Basic and Pro users, but if you use Dropbox through a business account, you’ll have to wait a few weeks before it’s introduced.