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Files have disappeared from several folders

Files have disappeared from several folders

IH81
Explorer | Level 3
Go to solution

I have just discovered that all of the files in several of my Dropbox folders have completely disappeared.

 

There is no way that I could have accidentally deleted them as this would have involved going into each subfolder, removing all files and leaving the folder structure intact. The modified date appears to be 9 February 2023 10:30am for the majority of these folders. I have checked on various devices as well as dropbox.com and the files are all gone. I still have 1.5TB of storage so I have not hit my usage limit. I am worried I have permanently lost a lot of critical data.

 

Can anyone help?

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

Megan
Dropbox Staff

Hi @IH81, sorry to hear about this! 

 

As a first step, I'd suggest that you have a closer look into this thread, which can give you an insight as to what might have happened, and caused these deletions. 

 

With that being said, can you clarify the type of plan you're currently using? 

 

I'm not sure these files can be recovered, since they date back on February, but depending on your plan, I'd personally suggest that you contact our Support team, and ask them to take a look and see what and if they can recover some of the content. 

 

I hope this clarifies! 


Megan
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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View solution in original post

6 Replies 6

IH81
Explorer | Level 3
Go to solution

… I've just checked on dropbox.com in the Activity panel of some of the affected folders. It appears that I deleted the contents of all of them at precisely 9:46 am on 9 Feb 2023. Again, I don't know how this would be possible without also deleting all of the nested folders. That's a lot of files in a lot of different folders and subfolders to delete in the exact same minute!

Megan
Dropbox Staff

Hi @IH81, sorry to hear about this! 

 

As a first step, I'd suggest that you have a closer look into this thread, which can give you an insight as to what might have happened, and caused these deletions. 

 

With that being said, can you clarify the type of plan you're currently using? 

 

I'm not sure these files can be recovered, since they date back on February, but depending on your plan, I'd personally suggest that you contact our Support team, and ask them to take a look and see what and if they can recover some of the content. 

 

I hope this clarifies! 


Megan
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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IH81
Explorer | Level 3

Hi Megan,

 

Thanks for your response. Unfortunately the thread that you shared seems to be full of other Dropbox users describing experiences very much the same as mine rather than any actual solutions or logical reasons for any of this having happened.

 

As I am on the Dropbox Plus plan, I fear that I will not be able to retrieve any of the files, my understanding being that I can only restore files deleted up to 30 days ago. If so, that is the one and only thing that is clarified in my mind in this matter.

 

One thing that I have recalled that could be a factor, although I hesitate to call it a 'cause', otherwise the entire reason for dropbox to exist comes into question: I had to do a full system restore of my iMac, which from memory was around the same time that all my files appear to have been 'deleted'. Still, since the files are supposedly all stored online, and the iMac is one of three devices that I have linked to my dropbox, I fail to understand why this would have resulted in a random selection of files disappearing. In some cases, file had been sitting in folders unmoved and untouched for many years so it is not as if they were in the process of being uploaded/synced when my system restore took place.

 

I await any more helpful clarifications.

Megan
Dropbox Staff

Hi @IH81, this memory you shared might have been the key to this. 

 

Although we can't "see" how a deletion happened, my guess would be the same as yours. Possibly, the system restore caused this, resulting in your files being deleted.

 

Or is it possible that you have another, third-party app accessing the files? 

 

It is indeed more than 30 days, but it doesn't hurt to contact our Support, if you wish. Provide some file names to the agents and see if any of them can be recovered, although that might not be possible. 


Megan
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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IH81
Explorer | Level 3

I don't have any such third-party apps. So the lesson I can offer to all other Dropbox users is this: even though you believe that your files are safely backed up online, they are not, so don't ever think about performing a system restore on any of your devices, just in case this triggers an automatic removal of a selection of your files.

 

I will contact to Support in the hope that they are able to perform some miracles.

 

IH81
Explorer | Level 3

Contacted Support.

With great enthusiasm, no miracles were performed.

Files lost forever.

DO NOT TRUST DROPBOX TO SAVE YOUR FILES ONLINE.

FILES CAN BE REMOVED FROM YOUR FOLDERS WITHOUT YOU EVEN REALISING.

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