Use Power Query to Manage Dropbox Space - Excelerator BI

Use Power Query to Manage Dropbox Space

Level: Beginners

I got this dreaded Dropbox email recently as shown below.


I needed to clear out some of the files I have loaded in Dropbox so I didn’t have to upgrade my account.  It occurred to me that I could make this process a lot easier by using Power BI to quickly show me where my big files were located in Dropbox.  This post today explains how I did it. What I ended up with is a report like this that allowed me drill down on the large sub folders to easily find my big files.

dropbox size

Note, there is a great tool called WinDirStat that you can download here that does this too – I use WinDirStat all the time. But I never want to miss an opportunity to do something with Power BI.

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Process to Build the “File Space Usage” Tool

First I created a new Power BI report and connected it to my Dropbox folder.


You can of course use the same process on any other folder on your computer, or even the entire Hard Disk if you want.

I then imported the columns I thought would be of use, and loaded them into the data model.


I figured the Hidden flag and Date Accessed might be useful at some stage, so I brought those in too.

I then wrote some measures that I thought would be useful.


I encourage you to write your own measures rather than use the implicit measures created when you drag a column of values to the report.  By writing your own measures, you “Learn” how to write DAX and that will help you become a Power BI ninja.

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The last thing I did was to create a report that made it easy to see where my big files were located and find out what they were.


I have loaded a short 4 minute video that shows how quick and easy it is to do this from scratch.

What Obtuse uses have you found for Power BI?

I would love to hear from others about how they are using Power BI in ways that are not immediately obvious.


If you want a comprehensive lesson on how to use Power Query, checkout my training course here

6 thoughts on “Use Power Query to Manage Dropbox Space”

  1. Matt – EXCELLENT. I didn’t know you could use Folder like that. I’m going to share this with my team. I would think IT would love this too.

  2. Chapeau Matt….very nice indeed! I saw someone else talking about doing this with Outlook data files which may have similar potential.

  3. That is so handy. I didn’t realise that “Folder” allowed you to do that.
    To take it on step further, the next thing is to identify duplicate files.


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