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.


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). Please note that users' passwords should never be stored. It is best to acquire a token once and then use it for all subsequent requests.

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) a valid access token pair must be obtained 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', '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.

Optional arguments

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 method (except getAccessToken) can optionally take 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)


new DropboxClient()

DropboxClient#getAccessToken(email, password, callback(err, access_token, access_token_secret))

Fetches an access token and secret based on the email and password given. Stores the token and secret in the DropboxClient instance and calls the callback them.

DropboxClient#getAccountInfo([optargs], callback(err, accountInfo))


Gets account information from the client.

DropboxClient#createAccount(email, first_name, last_name, password, [optargs], callback(err, accountInfo))

Creates a new Dropbox account.

DropboxClient#getFile(path, [optargs], [callback(err, body)])


Retrieves a file specified by the path. callback will be called with a possible error and the buffer of the contents of the file. This method also returns a readable stream that can be used to pipe the contents.


optargs can also have a rev field to specify the revision of the file to download, and range for HTTP Range Retrieval Requests.

// download the first 1024 byte
dropboxClient('file.zip', { range: 'bytes=0-1024'}, function(err, data) {
  console.log(data.length); // 1024. that is if the file is at least 1024 bytes

DropboxClient#putFile(filepath, remotepath, [optargs], callback(err, metadata))


Uploads a file specified by filepath to remotepath on Dropbox. Dropbox currently does not support streaming uploads, and the max upload is 150 MB. optargs can also take additional fields overwrite and parent_rev.

DropboxClient#put(contents, remotepath, [optargs], callback(err, metadata))

o Similar to putFile() but places contents into a created file at remotepath. contents can be a buffer or string.

DropboxClient#getMetadata(path, [optargs], callback(err, metadata))


Gets metadata of file/folder specified by path. optargs can have fields hash, list, include_deleted and rev.

DropboxClient#delta([cursor], [optargs], callback(err, changes))


Keeps up with changes from a client's Dropbox. changes is an array of arrays with first element as the path and second as metadata.

DropboxClient#changesStream([startingCursor], [optargs])

Convenient method that provides a more friendly API to delta(). Returns an event emitter that emits data events with path and metadata parameters on changes to the client's Dropbox. Also can emit reset and error events. The returned event emitter also has a pause() and resume() methods.

DropboxClient#search(folderpath, query, [optargs], callback(err, results))


Searches folderpath for files matching query. results is an array of metadata. optargs can take file_limit and include_deleted.

DropboxClient#getThumbnail(filepath, [optargs], [callback(err, body, metadata)])


Downloads a thumbnail image located at filepath. Like getFile(), the callback can get buffered data or the returned readable stream can be piped. optargs can take format and size fields.

DropboxClient#copy(from_path, to_path, [optargs], callback)


Copies a file. from_copy_ref field can be given in optargs to use it instead of from_path.

DropboxClient#createFolder(path, [optargs], callback(err, metadata))


Creates a folder at the given path.

DropboxClient#deleteItem(path, [optargs], callback(err, metadata))


Deletes file or folder from path.

DropboxClient#move(from_path, to_path, [optargs], callback(err, metadata))


Moves a file to another path.


dropbox-node depends on jasmine-node for testing. Note that the currently-implemented tests are trivial, due to a lack of a way to effectively mock the Dropbox API.

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


  • Improve test coverage.
  • Improve documentation.
  • Add ability to interact with application sandboxes.