Have you ever tried to embed a “public URL” Dropbox link in an <IMG> tag—as you might for a blog post, forum post, or any HTML file? If so, you’ve experienced the problem that Dropbox “public links” are not direct links to the image file itself, but rather to an interstitial page that frames the image and gives you options for downloading the file, etc. Not embeddable at all.

Here’s the solution:

After you copy the public Dropbox link to your clipboard, just change ?dl=0 to ?raw=1 at the end of the URL.

If you leave the link as ?dl=0, although it will look like a link to an image, it will really link to the interstitial non-embeddable Dropbox page that frames the image or invites people to signup for Dropbox.

For example, the screenshot you see above is in fact hosted on Dropbox like this:

<img src="https://www.dropbox.com/s/mn5smjgwtlbndqu/dropbox-dropdown.png?raw=1" />

If I had left the link as ?dl=0, although it would have looked like a link to an image, it would really have been the link to the interstitial non-embeddable Dropbox page that frames the image or invites people to signup for Dropbox.

Pro Tip

Did you know Dropbox will let you automatically share screen captures? Just look in your Dropbox settings / preferences:

On a Mac, type shift+command+4 to screen capture any portion of your screen. Dropbox will then automatically add the screen capture to your dropbox, and copy the Public Link to your clipboard. This puts you one step away from pasting the link (don’t forget the ?raw=1) into a forum post or email.