Classic Hacks: Automatically Start Torrent Downloads Remotely With Dropbox

Classic Hacks: Automatically Start Torrent Downloads Remotely With Dropbox

Sometimes when you’re on the go, you want to start your home PC downloading a torrent to be ready for you when you get home. Thanks to cloud storage powerhouse Dropbox, the solution is simpler than you may think.

We first ran this story back in 2009, and though some BitTorrent clients have since added inbuilt remote access and mobile apps, the Dropbox solution is still the simplest and most elegant — especially if you already have Dropbox set up across multiple devices.

First, you’ll need to create a Dropbox folder to drop all your .torrent files into. Then, go into your torrent client (this should work on all but the most basic) and under preferences, tick the box that forces the client to automatically access all .torrent files found in a certain folder. Then, simply select the folder you’ve just set up in Dropbox for that field. Your home PC will have to be powered on already, of course, but otherwise it’s a very simple process.

Does this method not work in your torrent client, or do you have a different method of starting remote torrent downloads? Let us know in the comments!

Lifehacker’s Classic Hacks is a regular segment where we dig up the most popular, useful and offbeat advice from our archives and update it for your modern lifestyle.


  • I use the Remote Torrent Adder plugin for chrome because it supports magnet links. The setup is a bit more complicated as you need to enable the web front end of your torrent client.

  • Is there a way of doing this via a secure synced folder on your work and home computers that access each other directly without going via a cloud storage service like Dropbox?

    • I’d imagine any service that will automatically share files between folders will work the same!

      • @hayleywilliams Can I ask what you mean by “any service”? This is something I’d like to do, but I don’t want to go via another service if possible, I’d like to do it directly between 2 computers over the internet.

  • I used to use this method, but then I switched to using the TeamViewer app which allows remote access to your home PC from your mobile device.
    I think its better because you with remote access you have full control of the PC. Being able to use magnet links, see download progress, remove completed downloads etc is just much better.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!