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Re: How can I make sure to avoid deletion of my files?

How can I make sure to avoid deletion of my files?

AndersDK
Helpful | Level 5

Hi. 

 

I'm gonna get a huge amount of files uploaded to dropbox and I'm nervous about risking deletion of them later on. 

I want to ask:

 

What should or shouldn't I do in order to avoid that the files accidently gets deleted?

 

Kind Regards

Anders

26 Replies 26

Re: How can I make sure to avoid deletion of my files?

Daphne
Dropboxer
Hi @AndersDK, I hope you're well today!

I could suggest having a look at this thread here, for some explanations of why files could be deleted from your Dropbox account.

It could shed some light on the possible actions that could result in your files being deleted, so you know what to be aware of.

Just as a side note, if your files are deleted, they can be restored to your account if they're deleted within your account's version history window.

Let me know if this helps!

Daphne
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: How can I make sure to avoid deletion of my files?

AndersDK
Helpful | Level 5

Hi Daphne 🙂

 

I hope you are well too. 

 

Thanks for the reply. 

 

It seems to me that using time machine on a mac or even updating the OS could potentially cause deletion of dropbox content. Is it really so ?

Re: How can I make sure to avoid deletion of my files?

Daphne
Dropboxer
Thanks for getting back to me here @AndersDK!

In these cases, if the desktop app is running at the same time that these actions are processed, then some issue could arise.

For example, if you had the Dropbox folder backed up with a Time Machine backup and restore the device, then it could replace the Dropbox files with an older version.

Due to this, we suggest not backing up your files with Time Machine.

Also, when updating your OS, I would suggest making sure the desktop app shows "up to date" and synced, before updating your OS.

I hope this helps clarify the matter!

Daphne
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: How can I make sure to avoid deletion of my files?

AndersDK
Helpful | Level 5

Hi @Daphne .

 

Thank you for the reply it did help clarify the matter but I might ask more questions later on.  

Re: How can I make sure to avoid deletion of my files?

Daphne
Dropboxer
Glad I could help out with this @AndersDK.

I'll be just a post away if you need anything else. 😀

Wishing you have a great rest of your week!

Daphne
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: How can I make sure to avoid deletion of my files?

AndersDK
Helpful | Level 5

@Daphne 

 

Thank you, and may you also have a great day of the week. 

Re: How can I make sure to avoid deletion of my files?

AndersDK
Helpful | Level 5

@Daphne wrote:
Hi @AndersDK, I hope you're well today!

I could suggest having a look at this thread here, for some explanations of why files could be deleted from your Dropbox account.

It could shed some light on the possible actions that could result in your files being deleted, so you know what to be aware of.

Just as a side note, if your files are deleted, they can be restored to your account if they're deleted within your account's version history window.

Let me know if this helps!

Before I post a lot of quotes from this threat here with questions to those quotes I would like to know if this means that deleted files not deleted withing my accounts version history window can not be restored? 
And what does it mean that files are deleted within my accounts version history window?

 

Now to the comments(the comments are questions I would like answered) on this threat here :

 

Dropbox

 

(Could unintended file deletion from dropbox be avoided, simply by not having a dropbox folder on the computer and not having a version of the dropbox app on the computer either but instead use the dropbox website solely as the means to upload and download files from dropbox?)

 

“Look, just tell me how my file was deleted…

 

A program edited or deleted a file - Do you have antivirus software? Are you compiling code? Does any program monitor the Dropbox folder? Do you have a database (like an iPhoto library for instance) in the Dropbox folder? If so, they might be able to delete files also. Don’t underestimate the severity of your quarantine scanner or freedom of programming.”

 

Does this mean, that having an iPhoto library in the dropbox   folder could be a reason for file deletion?

Does this mean that antivirus software could be a reason for deletion of dropbox content? Mac OS Firewall couldn’t be a reason for deletion of dropbox content right?

 

“Another cloud provider, Time Machine, local backup software - We should all keep more than a cloud copy of your files, so it’s fine to use other services. Depending on your device, certain apps might already be syncing to a third party cloud provider, perhaps without your knowledge. Due to this, they might delete or revert files depending on their own settings (or even simply, a deletion from the other cloud provider) and like above if they’re monitoring the Dropbox folder also, then this is a recipe for a nightmare of data loss, which could affect all your backup services. “

 

If use of  Time machine could be a reason for deletion of files from dropbox, could I use time machine without risking deletion of files from dropbox, and if so, then how could I use Time  machine without risking deletion of files from dropbox?

 

“Virtual machine shenanigans - While not fully supported here, logging in with a pre-built setup could login to your own account and ‘overwrite’ the Dropbox folder with no files, or pre-set files, which delete the others from the site. This can happen if the VM is non-persistent. Check with the developer or your IT admin (if applicable) for the correct settings to fix this.”

 

 

—————

Deletions with your own username and another device name

 

 

 

      “ Logging into an old machine - Surprisingly common if you own multiple machines. My trusty netbook creaks open every now and then, but I always quit the Dropbox app when it loads up, and immediately download a fresh copy of the installation file. Why? If you’re running an older version of the desktop app, it’s possible that t he database on your old machine overwrites the one from the Dropbox site, so it takes my netbook to be the most up-to-date version, wiping the remainder of the files and bringing back vintage files. Always try to keep the app updated on all your devices to prevent this!”

 

Could unintended file deletion from dropbox be avoided, simply by not having a dropbox folder on the computer and not having a version of the dropbox app on the computer either but instead use the dropbox website solely as the means to upload and download files from dropbox?

 

“!!! •

  • Reinstalled or upgraded Windows/OSX/Linux - Rare, but when doing a re-installation or an upgrade can cause the Dropbox folder to be changed or reverted to an older version, depending on how your OS does things. !!!!! “

 

Could unintended file deletion from dropbox be avoided, simply by not having a dropbox folder on the computer and not having a version of the dropbox app on the computer either but instead use the dropbox website solely as the means to upload and download files from dropbox?

 

“deletions with your own username and the web

 

You removed a shared folder from your account permanently - Unlike above, you cannot re-add it to your account. This will generate an event, so at least you know where to go from here.”

 

Can permanently deleted files not be restored if you bought Extended  Version History Add-On or the Data Governance Add-On ?

 

“Your browser saved the password - Following on from the above, even with a password manager, don’t keep it running, or save your password in your browser. I know from experience that the security is somewhat lax. You can view your password for all your sites with a few clicks in the settings page, and without any way to secure it further. “

 

This wouldn’t cause deletion in itself right? It would just mean that the files are less secure from unwanted intrusion by others or am I wrong?

 

“‘Hacking’ - Yes, the deadly word, and one often used when people say files have been deleted. 99.99% of the time it isn’t the case. The 0.01% of users who do experience this are victims of phishing, email hacking, keylogging, or anything that allows people to gain access to their Dropbox account. While your data at Dropbox is secured from hacking, if someone knows your Dropbox password, or can access your email address, it opens the door for them to do anything they want. Sadly this is quite easy to do given the vast internet. If someone does get your details, they usually only login through the web, and never link a computer, but a mobile device is possible. If you’re ever in doubt about any suspicious emails, don’t click the links to take you to the Dropbox site, and just visit us directly, and feel free to check out your security page for any unknown logins or devices attached to your account.”

 

Could monthly payments also be paid by visiting the dropbox website and not opening emails, or are the monthly payments for a dropbox subscription automatically payed after  subscribing?

 

 

“Special mention - If the Dropbox folder is on an external drive

This could ba avoided by simply not having the dropbox folder on an external drive?

  • “Not mounted - When you boot your machine up and the external drive has yet be mounted to your machine, even if the cable is connected, it might not appear instantly on your computer as a drive. At this point, the Dropbox desktop application would detect a lack of folder and might start deleting away.”

 

This could ba avoided by simply not having the dropbox folder on an external drive?

 

 

 

 

Strategy to avoid unintended deletion.

AndersDK
Helpful | Level 5

Hi. 

 

Wouldn't it be impossible to get ones files deleted other than manually by logging on to dropbox through the dropbox website and then deleting the files from there, if one did not download the dropbox app on any device and if one did not have a dropbox folder on any device?

 

Kind Regards

Anders

Re: How can I make sure to avoid deletion of my files?

Daphne
Dropboxer
Thanks for your update here @AndersDK, I'll try my best to cover everything here!

Depending on your account's plan, you can restore files that were deleted within the version history window. Eg. for a Basic and Plus accounts, this is 30 days.

So, a file that was deleted within this time frame can be restored, but something deleted 31 days ago would be permanently deleted. Permanently deleted files can’t be restored through Dropbox at all.

If you don’t mind using the website, you could indeed avoid using the desktop app at all and use just the website with the online integrations to edit your files.

This way, any actions or changes made on your computer won’t affect your files in Dropbox at all.

Having said that, without user input or an app manually deleting the file, this shouldn’t be an issue. I’ve personally used the desktop app for years without any unwanted deletions.

Also, if you’re working out of specific folders at a time, you could use selective sync to choose only specific folders to sync and reduce the possible affects to one or two folders.

The reference to the iPhoto library is that this file itself is a database file. Database files are known to cause sync issues which could result in data loss in some cases. (More info here)

As for antivirus and firewalls, any file on your computer that is quarantined won’t be accessible, or is seen as “deleted” while it’s quarantined.

Since the Dropbox folder is like any other folder on your computer, if a file is “infected” or picked up by quarantine, this could cause the file to be “deleted” from Dropbox until it’s released.

Now, for using Time Machine on your computer, the best option I would recommend to be to exclude the Dropbox folder from being backed up.

This way, if you need to restore your device from a previous backup, or reformat your drive etc, you simply remove the Dropbox app from your computer first, restore the device and then reinstall the app to sync your files back down.

Otherwise, you can manually backup the Dropbox folder every so often to an external drive. I’d suggest checking out this thread for some more context.

For saving your Dropbox password, you’re spot on. This could just result in unwanted access to your Dropbox account, where someone might then delete content.

Dropbox subscriptions are automatic, so once you’ve set this up, you shouldn’t need to take further action to manually make monthly/annual payments. 

I hope that this covers all the questions you raised, but we can look into something in more detail if you’d like!

Daphne
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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