Fix: Dropbox Zip file is too large to download

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
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Are you getting a “Zip file is too large” error when downloading a Zip file from a shared Dropbox link? Or perhaps somebody you’re sending the Zip file to via a shared link is getting that message when pressing the Download button. If that’s the case, the Zip probably exceeds the Dropbox download file limit.

Dropbox has a one GB download limit for its folder/file downloads. As such, Dropbox users can’t download Zip files that exceed one GB directly from their web accounts. This maximum one GB limit also applies to shared links whether the person downloading the Zip has a Dropbox account or not. So that’s probably why the Zip file is too large, and these are a few ways to fix it.

What to do if Dropbox ZIP files won’t open

Table of contents: 

  1. Check Your Hard Disk Storage Space
  2. Add the Dropbox Desktop Software Client to Windows
  3. Split the Zip Into Smaller Parts

Fix: “The ZIP file is too large to download” Dropbox error

Solution 1 – Check Your Hard Disk Storage Space

  • If the Zip file you’re trying to download from Dropbox doesn’t eclipse one GB, then your hard disk might not have sufficient space for it. You can check hard disk storage space by pressing the File Explorer button on the Windows 10 taskbar.
  • Click This PC in File Explorer to open an overview of devices and drives as below. The C: drive has a bar beside it that shows you your storage space.

zip file won't open dropbox

  • So there you can check if there’s enough HDD storage space for the Zip. If not, then you should uninstall a few programs or clear up some free space with utility software such as CCleaner.
  • Then download the Zip when you have enough free storage space for it.

Solution 2 – Add the Dropbox Desktop Software Client to Windows

The Dropbox desktop client software doesn’t have the same download limit restrictions as With that you, or whoever you’re sharing the Zip with, can select an Add to my Dropbox option on the shared file preview. Once you’ve added the Zip to a Dropbox account, it will automatically sync with the Dropbox folder on PC from which you can open it.

zip file too large to download

  • Once you’ve got the client software up and running, open the shared Dropbox folder link again and press the Add to my Dropbox option.
  • Now you can press an Open, instead of a Download, button for the shared Zip in Click that button to open the Zip in File Explorer.

Solution 3 – Split the Zip Into Smaller Parts

If it’s somebody else who can’t download the shared Dropbox Zip, you could also split the Zip up into smaller parts so that they can download each of the smaller files instead. 7-Zip is a freeware file compression utility that includes a Split file option to split Zips into smaller volumes with. This is how you can split a Zip with that software.

  • Click Download on this website page to save a 32 or 64-bit 7-Zip version to Windows. Then you can run through its installer to add 7-Zip to your desktop or laptop.
  • Open the 7-Zip software, and then right-click the Zip you need to split.
  • Then select the Split file option to open the Split File dialog window below.

dropbox zip file too large

    • Enter a size volume for the split files. For example, 250 MB would split a 1 GB Zip into four smaller files.
    • Press the button and select to split the file to your My Dropbox desktop folder if you’ve installed the client software. If you haven’t, you can upload them to instead.
    • Press the OK button to split the Zip file.
  • Now you can set up shared links for each of the split files so the recipient can download them.
  • 7-Zip can also piece the split files together again into a single Zip. Save the files in the same folder, open 7-Zip, right-click one of the split files and select the Combine files option.

So that’s how you can download a Dropbox Zip that exceeds the maximum download limit. Splitting the Zip into smaller parts is a great way to cut it down to size for somebody to download from a Dropbox link, and that might also come in handy for uploading files to cloud storage. Alternatively, adding the client software to Windows will enable you to open the Zip via the synced desktop Dropbox folder.