Mathias Bynens

Completing Dropbox’s Dropquest 2011 in 60 seconds

· tagged with Dropquest, JavaScript

Update: There’s now a speedrun guide for Dropquest 2012 as well. Enjoy!

Dropbox organized a scavenger hunt named Dropquest the other day. The first 81 people to complete all steps won some nice prizes, but everyone participating in the quest can get 1 GB of extra Dropbox storage space. Dropquest ends January 29th 26th.

I placed 826th with a recorded time of 02:20:01. That’s quite a while, but given the circumstances I’m pretty happy about my ‘score’.

  • The timer starts as soon as you load the first step, and I could only really start doing the quest about 30 minutes after I did that.
  • The entire Dropbox website (including the blog and the forums, which were needed for the quest to solve clues) was under heavy traffic at the time. I wasted a lot of time reloading pages over and over again, hoping not to end up with another error message.
  • Also, I did take some breaks to investigate the HTML and JavaScript source code used in Dropquest.

After I finished, it didn’t take very long until people started writing up Dropquest walkthroughs and guides explaining all the different steps in detail.

However, those guides still require you to solve some of the puzzles manually. To complete step 6, you need to solve a click-and-drag puzzle, and step 10 is a 9×9 sudoku. These things can take quite some time, even if you know the correct solutions.

As I mentioned, during the quest I was constantly viewing the HTML source to look for possible exploits. I noticed that for both step 6 and 10, the Dropbox team had written a piece of JavaScript that would redirect you to a new page as soon as you’d successfully solve the puzzle. The new URL was the same as the URL of the current step, only with a query string containing information on how you solved the test appended to it.

For the click-and-drag puzzle in step 6, the query string contained a list of numbers: one for every move you made to complete the test.

location.href = 'r?moves=%s'.format(moves.join(''));

For step 10, the query string basically contains the solution to the sudoku.

location.href = 'b?board=%s'.format(answer.join(''));

These query strings are then processed server-side, to see if they are truly a valid solution. Only if this is the case, you’ll be redirected (again), this time to the next step in the quest.

Once I figured this out, I quickly created a local copy of the HTML and JavaScript files for steps 6 and 10, and made it so that it wouldn’t redirect after successful completion, but instead log the URL it would otherwise redirect to. Easy enough.

It seemed like a fun idea to create a list with only the minimum number of steps required to solve Dropquest 2011.

How to complete Dropquest 2011 using the minimum number of steps required

First, you’ll need a Dropbox account. If you don’t already have one, sign up through this referral link to start off with an extra 250 MB. You’ll need to log in to your account before you can participate in Dropquest.

After that, it’s simple. Just follow these steps in the correct order. If there’s a link, click it; if not, just do what it says.

  3. Clicking here will solve the puzzle in step 6 for you
  4. Enter “33739”
  5. Clicking here will solve the sudoku in step 10 for you
  8. Enter “baff1e”
  9. Enter “Drew Houston”
  10. Share a new folder named “1F75CC” with
  14. Enter “badcabbage”
  15. Enter “1133471056”
  16. Enter “Dr0pbox heaRts U”

Following these steps, it should be pretty easy to beat my score by a factor of 100. Enjoy!

About me

Hi there! I’m Mathias, a web standards enthusiast from Belgium. HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Unicode, performance, and security get me excited. If you managed to read this far without falling asleep, you should follow me on Twitter and GitHub.


Glenda Carl wrote on :

Thanks for your help! You've probably enabled me to keep my job, because Dropquest was a great way for me to procrastinate this weekend.

wrote on :

Toph: Just tried it. Can you get it to work with the Dropquest sudoku? I couldn’t. Seems like Google Goggles only recognizes numerical sudoku puzzles.

Jani Bee wrote on :

This is awesome for those of us who can’t afford to buy / upgrade to their paid package :) Other than earning max points by inviting others of course! Many thanks and hugs for passing these cool nopz super cool tips for us

Grace wrote on :


Thanks for making this accessible for us blind people. I am very glad that I can get my free extra space just like everyone else.

Richard wrote on :

I was pretty slow, but finished nonetheless :-) You placed #129576 with a time of 00:13:18

Thanks a lot for this post!

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