Center For Practice Management, Cloud Computing, Email Management, Productivity, Search

Dropbox Dash – AI Driven Federated Search

Lawyers keep a lot of information – documents, emails, legal research, project plans, communications, and more – and often that information is spread out among different siloed repositories. There are few ways to search across all those separate properties or query it all to get the answer you need without wading through files and emails. If you are a Dropbox user, then the new AI-powered universal search tool in BETA called Dropbox Dash may be a game changer.

Dropbox has introduced a variety of tools that incorporate artificial intelligence and machine learning. Dropbox Dash, built on the product purchased in 2021 called Command E, is in BETA. You can search Dropbox, plus Microsoft tools, Salesforce, Asana, Google tools, and more in your cloud accounts all from one interface. Dropbox Dash consists of an installed application, plus a browser extension. The other entrée into AI, Dropbox AI, lets Dropbox users summarize and query individual documents. Dropbox AI is still in alpha stage and is available for Pro and select Teams users to test.

Privacy and Security

Dropbox, unsurprisingly, states that it is committed to your privacy and safety. By giving Dropbox Dash access to your email and files via an API you are not moving information into Dropbox, but you are allowing it to access them. This does invite further scrutiny from a security perspective. This article in The Verge says it best: “Especially with all your data in the cloud, there are still plenty of questions about how data is accessed, who can see what, how personalized various systems should be, and much more.”

The Dropbox Privacy Policy encompasses all Dropbox services and is not specific to the Dash BETA. Dropbox has an AI Principles commitment.

Getting Started

If you are interested in checking out this new offering you will need to sign up for the waiting list, which is typical for many of the BETA artificial intelligence products. You will get an email invitation once you can get in.

Once you are accepted you will need to download the Dropbox Dash Setup software. Then you will be prompted to get the browser extension for Chrome or Edge. To open the software on your desktop press Ctrl+E . This will open the Windows software.

First explore your settings by pressing the gear icon. When you click “Apps” it will take you to the browser and you can choose to connect to available apps, ranging from Microsoft Outlook and OneDrive, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Notion, Asana, Salesforce, and HubSpot. If you add the Chrome extension you can also search open tabs and bookmarks.

Because Dropbox bought an existing product you may notice other products are connected but not by a choice you made. Those include services you may or may not use like Microsoft SharePoint, Twitter, Spotify, and LinkedIn.


There are two ways to access Dropbox Dash – through the software or via the browser. They look and act a little differently. You can add a search query to the software and choose which repositories you want to search, or search across them all. While the introductory video suggests you can query your data and ask questions like the experience you have with ChatGPT, Claude, Bard and Bing, your mileage may vary. Additionally, the results are often not helpful, as the keywords are not highlighted.

Start Page

The browser extension creates a default to opening new browser pages in Dash. On that screen you will search a search box and suggestions regarding upcoming meetings and content you often access in the morning. If you connect to Microsoft Outlook or Google Calendar and there is a video conference, you can join the meeting directly from this screen. The search results through the browser are not as robust or useful as they could be, primarily because there is no real way of knowing where your keywords appear.


In the browser there is a tool called Stacks. You can add websites, online documents, emails, and other information to a Stack with a right click. You can then search a Stack or share it. It is a nifty way of collecting information from disparate sources. Stacks also suggests other content that you have that may be relevant as you build your Stack.


The hope and promise of a universal search that can dig through our emails, cloud files, social media, favorite websites and more and deliver succinct responses to questions that we ask of it seems closer than ever. However, this BETA project has a way to go before that reality is achieved.