A Node.js client module for the official Dropbox API
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An OAuth-enabled Node.js client for working with the Dropbox API.


The current Dropbox API is targeted for mobile applications, and thus web apps using it aren't "officially supported." Note that the way dropbox-node currently handles the OAuth dance will likely change when the Dropbox web app API becomes available. More info here.


dropbox-node depends on node-oauth.

To install via npm

npm install dropbox

To install by hand, download the module and create a symlink in ~/.node_libraries

$ ln -s /path/to/dropbox-node/ ~/.node_libraries/dropbox-node


To start, grab a consumer key and secret from dropbox.com/developers.

Object construction and access key pair retrieval

First construct a DropboxClient object, passing in the consumer key and secret.

var dropbox = new DropboxClient(consumer_key, consumer_secret)

Before calling any Dropbox API methods, an access token pair must be obtained. This can be done one of two ways:

  1. If the access token and secret are known a priori, they can be passed directly into the DropboxClient constructor.

    var dropbox = new DropboxClient(consumer_key, consumer_secret, access_token, access_token_secret)

  2. Otherwise, getAccessToken must be called in order to initialize the OAuth credentials.

    dropbox.getAccessToken(dropbox_email, dropbox_password, callback)

The callback given to getAccessToken takes an error object, an access token, and an access token secret (see example below).

Calling API methods

dropbox-node provides methods covering each of the Dropbox API methods. For example, to fetch and print the display name and email address associated with your account:

dropbox.getAccountInfo(function (err, data) {
  if (err) console.log('Error: ' + err)
  else console.log(data.display_name + ', ' + data.email)

Note that (at least at the start of a user's session) getAccessToken must be called prior to interacting with the rest of the Dropbox API. This means that the API methods must be invoked within the callback passed to getAccessToken unless it is guaranteed that getAccessToken was called previously. As an example of this latter case, if building a web app, one could call API methods directly in a route that can only be accessed after going through a sign-in phase in which a call to getAccessToken is made.

Here we upload a file and remotely move it around before deleting it.

dropbox.getAccessToken(email, pwd, function (err, token, secret) {
  // Upload foo.txt to the Dropbox root directory.
  dropbox.putFile('foo.txt', '', function (err, data) {
    if (err) return console.error(err)

    // Move it into the Public directory.
    dropbox.move('foo.txt', 'Public/foo.txt', function (err, data) {
      if (err) return console.error(err)

      // Delete the file.
      dropbox.deleteItem('Public/foo.txt', function (err, data) {
        if (err) console.error(err.stack)

For a more practical example, check out this walkthrough of building a simple Dropbox file browser.

API method optional argument

Optional arguments (as specified in the Dropbox API documentation) can be given to API methods via an argument object.

For example, here we call getAccountInfo and direct the API to include the HTTP status code in the response.

dropbox.getAccountInfo({ status_in_response: true }, callback)

Each API method (except getAccessToken) can take as optional arguments an access token and an access token secret as strings. This is the one way to get around having to call getAccessToken in cases where a valid key pair is known.

For example, here we fetch the metadata about the Dropbox root directory, passing in an explicit key pair stored in variables.

dropbox.getMetadata('', { token: token, secret: secret }, callback)


dropbox-node depends on jasmine-node for testing. Note that the currently-implemented tests are trivial at best.

Run specs with node specs.js from the root dropbox-node directory.


  • Rewrite getFile to use streams.
  • Improve test coverage.
  • Improve documentation.
  • Add ability to interact with application sandboxes.