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Delete, edit, and organize

Solve issues with deleting, editing, and organizing files and folders in your Dropbox account with support from the Dropbox Community.

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How long does Dropbox keep my files?

How long does Dropbox keep my files?

Graham
Community Manager
Deleting files is something we all do pretty regularly, whether it’s the end of a project, a bit of clean up and trying to save some space or you’ve just had enough of some of the stuff you’ve got saved, there are a million and one reasons to send files to the recycle bin.
 
 
We’ve all suffered from momentary lacks in concentration and done things we didn’t mean to do, so we have some barriers in place to make sure that when you click that delete button, it’s not the end of the road for the files in question. At this point, your files are still recoverable, you’ll just need to be quick as there is a limit to the time they will be kept.
 
 
When you delete a file from your Dropbox account, it will no longer appear in any of the folders that you can see in your Dropbox account. This doesn’t mean it’s gone, it means the deletion process has started, but it will still be retrievable until after your recovery window ends.
 
 

What is a recovery window? 

 
Good question! Your recovery window is a period of time that your files are still available to you after you delete them. The length of your recovery window depends on the plan you have. If you’re on a Basic, Plus or Family plan, your recovery window is 30 days. If you’re on a Professional or Team Plan, your recovery window is 180 days.
 
 
Once your recovery window is over, your files will be permanently lost so if you do find yourself in a position where you have accidentally deleted something, don’t waste any time recovering it, because once it’s gone, it’s gone. Unfortunately, upgrading your account to Professional after your 30 day recovery window is up will not help you to save files, we can do lots of things but time travel isn’t one of them and we can’t retrospectively apply these recovery conditions. We also don’t hold onto any of your deleted files for longer than we say we will — because it would be kind of weird if we did.
 
 

What if I haven’t logged in for years? 

 
Just like we don’t hold onto your deleted files for any longer than we say we will, we also don’t keep your files if you’re no longer active on Dropbox. From time to time, we will delete inactive accounts, or accounts that have had no activity within the last 12 months.
 
 
Before an inactive account is deleted, we’ll send an email explaining the process to whatever email address is connected to the account. If you want to keep you account and anything that is in it, all you have to do is login to the account and we’ll know not to delete it.
 
 
Once your account is deemed to be inactive, it will be deactivated and anything saved in it will be deleted 90 days after you reach 12 months of inactivity. Unlike when you delete a file from your account, there is no recovery window for these files so once they’re gone, they’re gone. The easiest way to make sure your account doesn’t get deleted is to log in to Dropbox at least once every 12 months.
 
We’re always keen to know how our Community members use their Dropbox accounts. See how Emmet uses Dropbox to manage photos or how Kevin organizes music and files. Why don’t you let us know the extra measures you take to make sure you never lose any important files by leaving a comment below?
 
 
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