Mathias Bynens

How to speedrun Dropbox’s Dropquest 2012

Published · tagged with Dropquest, JavaScript

Are you a Dropbox user? By completing this year’s Dropquest, you can get 1 GB of extra Dropbox storage space, for free. Dropquest 2012 ends June 2.

I had the feeling that the riddles were harder than last year. Also, the Dropbox team made it harder to share answers, by creating up to three variations of some riddles. As a result, even with the right answers, it takes much longer to complete this year’s Dropquest. (For comparison: Dropquest 2011 could easily be completed in just a few seconds.)

Just like last year, Dropquest walkthroughs aren’t hard to find. However, those guides aren’t as efficient as I’d like them to be.

While struggling to find the answer for chapter 4 — I like to believe I got to level 7 before the walkthroughs caught up with me — I found that you can advance to level 5 without knowing the correct answer, simply by changing the URL (replacing /chapter4 with /chapter5). This appears to be the only chapter that can effectively be skipped — I guess the Dropbox team forgot to add a check for this.

Later in the quest, there’s a puzzle that combines a sudoku with a slider puzzle. These things can take quite some time, even if you know the correct solutions. It turns out that under the hood, similar code as last year’s was used: there’s some JavaScript that redirects you to a new page as soon as you successfully solve the puzzle. The new URL is 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.

if (is_done()) {
location.href = "chapter14?moves=%s".format(moves.join(''));

The query string contains a list of numbers: one for every move you made to complete the test. This list is then processed server-side, to see if the moves form a truly valid solution. Only if this is the case, you’ll be redirected (again), this time to the next step in the quest.

I simply set a breakpoint on the line starting with location.href, so that I could inspect the value of the moves array. This allowed me to get the full URL before continuing to the next page.

That said, I’ve compiled this speed guide on how to complete Dropquest 2012 as fast as possible.

How to complete Dropquest 2012 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 500 MB. You’ll need to log in to your account before you can participate in Dropquest.

For one of the steps, your account needs to have a verified email address. Simply share a folder using the web interface to have Dropbox send the verification email if you haven’t done that already.

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.

Following these steps, you can easily complete Dropquest 2012 in two or three minutes. Enjoy!

About me

Hi there! I’m Mathias. I work on Chrome DevTools and the V8 JavaScript engine at Google. HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Unicode, performance, and security get me excited. Follow me on Twitter, Mastodon, and GitHub.


wrote on :

Joel: Only one of those three short URLs will work. Which one that is for you, I can’t say — it’s randomized. But simply opening all three URLs ensures that the correct page has been loaded (as well as two other pages that 404, but that doesn’t matter).

Debsel wrote on :

What did I miss, I got only 850 MB :S

  • step 9: 100 MB
  • step 13: 125 MB
  • step 16: 125 MB
  • step 18: 150 MB
  • step 20: 175 MB
  • step 24: 200 MB

Debsel wrote on :

Oops, never mind — I looked with eyes closed. XD

I oversaw step 2 (50 MB) and step 7 (75 MB).

wrote on :

Morgan: The “Spring Cleaning” folder gets created as soon as you enter “shanghai” in the previous chapter. If something went wrong, try repairing your Dropquest folder and start over from there.

David Levine wrote on :

This worked great. Thank you so much. I tried using something else yesterday and it was confusing at some parts. This made it really simple to just get 1 GB.

Pietje Puk wrote on :

Great, thanks Mathias. I did the first puzzle, but on the second ran into inconsistencies in the assignment, so thought: what the hell, this ain't right, so why do it right?

tony wrote on :

Thanks Mathias. Only prob was repairing the Dropquest folder during the Chapter 18 puzzle to create the Spring Cleaning folder.

matthew wrote on :

Hmmm… All three of the short URLs 404 for me :(

Thanks for this guide. Wish I could finish it.

Edit: Figured this out. Don’t forget to allow popups from Dropbox :)

Raimond wrote on :

I also have the problem that Dropbox says: the “Spring Cleaning” folder doesn’t exist. I also don’t know how to repair my Dropquest folder.

I started over, but now I can not invite 1 of the 3 email adresses, because these are already in my list as referral. All the 3 adresses, so Dropbox says: someone already has invited these addresses.

Raimond wrote on :

I started over, but now I can not invite 1 of the 3 emailadresses, because these are already in my list as referral. Al the 3 adresses, so dropbox says: someone already has invited thes adresses

Bob wrote on :

Looks like the step for the Spring Cleaning folder is no longer working. The short URLs are 404-ing and I do have pop-ups enabled. I’ve repaired my DQ folder twice now. Are they wise to this?

Edit: Ok… I take it back. The only way I was able to get it to work is to move each file one by one (Spring Cleaning) in the web interface. When I moved the files on my Mac using my Dropbox folder it didn’t work. Only one of the three short URLs worked for me. All is well now… Complete!

wrote on :

Bob: Yeah, you have to use the web interface to move the files, else it won’t work.

I just retested everything for the 12th time using a new test Dropbox account (that I deleted afterwards) and I found that if you follow the steps correctly, everything works fine.

Mike wrote on :

Worked a charm, thanks. I thought I was doing well, albeit cheating, until I placed well north of 100,000th place. :(

Tris wrote on :

FYI — for those getting all 404s, don’t use Internet Explorer. Worked perfectly in Chrome.

Jo wrote on :

Can you complete on an iPad? I was going well until I hit the Help page, and I can’t see the shield anywhere.

Hugo wrote on :

Hello Mathias!

I’ve been following your guide carefully, but I’m stuck in the rainbow step. I’ve created a folder inside Dropquest 2012, shared it with the given emails, however when I click the rainbow picture and nothing happens! I don’t understand what’s wrong. Hope you can help.

Thanks in advance.

Magne wrote on :

Thank you! This was awesome. And btw, repairing the folder worked for me Mathias. The repair button is at the bottom right screen on every chapter page. Go to one of those right before the rainbow picture step.

Hugo wrote on :

I made it to the end! Thanks a lot, now I got a total of 24.85 GB of Dropbox free space! Anyone got more?

Wai wrote on :

Done 5-6 puzzles, spent several hours. Enjoyed using your tips to earn the 1 GB extra storage.

Costis wrote on :

Mathias: I can't share the folder with the given emails. It states that they're already invited by others. I used the email function and invited them seperately. Stuck at the invite step. Already rebuilded the quest twice too.

Costis wrote on :

Mathias: I've got 21.4GB, any ideas how to reach 24.85? I've invited the max amount of refers as well as completed the dropquest 1+2, and the twitter stuff. what's left ?

Hugo wrote on :

Well, I've completed all referrals, I also participated in the "DCIM picture upload" beta, where I got 5GB, dropquest 2012, facebook, twitter and those basic ways to get more space provided in the official website.. I guess it was all.

Rion wrote on :

thank you =D, it was really useful, I wanted to do it by my self but I don't have the time

Fofer wrote on :

Thanks for this, I am now happily up to a total of 26 GB of free Dropbox space.

Roberto B. wrote on :

Moving JPGs into the Category_ folders did absolutely nothing, until I switched browser (from Firefox to Chrome, in my case, but it could be just due to different configurations). I hope this could be useful to somebody else.

Thanks for the help.

Leave a comment

Comment on “How to speedrun Dropbox’s Dropquest 2012”

Your input will be parsed as Markdown.