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How do I delete files from Dropbox without deleting them from my computer and other devices?

How do I delete files from Dropbox without deleting them from my computer and other devices?

LynnMGallagher
New member | Level 2

I do not use Dropbox for backup storage; I use a different service for that.  But friends and fellow students sometimes want to share files in Dropbox, so I set up a free account.  Somehow, I don't know how, Dropbox uploaded some of my photos to the cloud and filled up my basic Dropbox space.  I would like to take my photos out of Dropbox WITHOUT DELETING THEM FROM MY COMPUTER or other devices.  This would give me the Dropbox space that I need for sharing.  But when I try to do that, Dropbox says that it will delete my photos from all my devices!  How can I empty my Dropbox without deleting my photos from my devices?

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

Re: How do I delete files from Dropbox without deleting them from my computer and other devices?

Rich
Super User II

It's only going to remove the photos from the Dropbox folder on your computers. If those photos are stored elsewhere on your drive, they will not be deleted.

If you want to be certain, move the photos out of the Dropbox folder to a new location on your drive. They'll be removed from your account online (freeing up space) as well as the Dropbox folders on any other computer linked to your account.

View solution in original post

30 Replies 30

Re: How do I delete files from Dropbox without deleting them from my computer and other devices?

Rich
Super User II

It's only going to remove the photos from the Dropbox folder on your computers. If those photos are stored elsewhere on your drive, they will not be deleted.

If you want to be certain, move the photos out of the Dropbox folder to a new location on your drive. They'll be removed from your account online (freeing up space) as well as the Dropbox folders on any other computer linked to your account.

View solution in original post

Re: How do I delete files from Dropbox without deleting them from my computer and other devices?

LynnMGallagher
New member | Level 2

Thank you so much.  I'll give that a try.

Re: How do I delete files from Dropbox without deleting them from my computer and other devices?

keenum_law
New member | Level 2

Like the other person, I only use this Dropbox account to backup photos/videos and then remove them to another safe place.  This message that it will delete the files from ALL DEVICES is new and scares me!  I have linked my boss and his wife's cell phones and both their iPads.  I do NOT want to delete the files on their devices!!  I simply want to take their cloud files out of Dropbox and move them to somewhere else...safely backed up.  What can I do to INSURE that I'm not deleting their files from their phones/iPads??

Re: How do I delete files from Dropbox without deleting them from my computer and other devices?

DG123
Explorer | Level 4
This was not my experience. I deleted files on dropboxAnd the corresponding files on my computer were indeed deleted. And I’m not talking about the ones in the dropbox folder. I had originally copied my music folder on windows eight to the dropbox folder. According to the explanation above as I understand it, the files in the dropbox folder should’ve been deleted but the ones in the music folder Should’ve remained. Any thoughts?

Re: How do I delete files from Dropbox without deleting them from my computer and other devices?

Daphne
Dropboxer
Hey peeps! 
 
So I think there may have been some confusion here @DG123If you made a copy of the music folder into your Dropbox folder, then when you deleted the files from your account, you are right that the Dropbox folder copy will have been removed. The original folder will not have been affected at all as it has no connection to Dropbox.
 
However, if the music folder was moved into the Dropbox folder and then the files deleted then you essentially moved the original copy and then deleted it. 
 
If you no longer have the music folder on your desktop, then I can suggest you restore the folder from your Deleted files page. Then, allow the folder to sync to your desktop and then move the newly synced music folder out of the Dropbox folder onto your desktop.  
    
Also, @keenum_law, sorry for the tardy reply, I'm hoping that at least answering your question will help others with the same query!
 
In this case, you can copy the content from the Dropbox folder and paste it in another location. If you remove the files from your account then, as it is shared, it will remove the files from the other connected Dropbox accounts. However, if their files are also saved on their devices, then these will not be affected by the copied being removed from their Dropbox.
 
Let me know if you have any other questions - Thanks!

Daphne
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: How do I delete files from Dropbox without deleting them from my computer and other devices?

DG123
Explorer | Level 4
Thank you Daphne for replying so promptly. The thing is, I think I copied not moved those files from my music folder into my dropbox folder. The files are (Or were) still present in my original, non-dropbox music folder as well as in dropbox, so doesn’t that meaning I did a copy? That is , when I’m in the Dropbox folder, my music folder is there, and when I leave the dropbox folder and Do the usual FileExplorer thing, there’s a music folder there as well. I can see the music folder in both places.

Re: How do I delete files from Dropbox without deleting them from my computer and other devices?

Daphne
Dropboxer
Hmm, I see. :thinking:
 
If the folder you found from the search isn’t within your Dropbox folder then it sounds like you did make a copy (file explorer search will bring up items within the Dropbox folder too). You can check this by right clicking the folder brought up from the search, click the “Properties” option and you will see the folder path of where the folder is located.
 
Should you see only one folder from the search, and the folder path shows “Dropbox”, then you should move the music folder to your desktop . If you see two folders (one without Dropbox in the file path), then deleting the folder within your Dropbox account shouldn’t affect the desktop copy.
 
Let me know if this helps - Cheers!

Daphne
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: How do I delete files from Dropbox without deleting them from my computer and other devices?

DG123
Explorer | Level 4
Thank you Daphne. What’s confusing to me is that When I erased the files on dropbox it seem to erase the corresponding non-dropbox folder. You’re saying that shouldn’t happen. Since I’m new with this it’s quite possible that I just Botched something without realizing it. My guess is that dropbox somehow tags The files that are synced, And that once so tagged, even if the files are moved outside of Dropbox they remain tagged. The blue checkmark is the indication that the file has been tagged. So if you copy INTO the dropbox, the original will not be tagged, but if you copy FROM dropbox the new copy will be tagged. Is that More less what’s going on?

Re: How do I delete files from Dropbox without deleting them from my computer and other devices?

Daphne
Dropboxer
Hey @DG123,
 
Just to clarify, there isn’t any tagging or way that Dropbox can track files outside the Dropbox folder. When you move something from the Dropbox folder to another place on your desktop, these files are not “tracked” in any way, Dropbox will see this action as simply deleting the files from the account as they are no longer there.
 
Did you check the folder path of the music folder you found from the file explorer search with the method I mentioned previously? Was the copy within your Dropbox folder or elsewhere in your desktop?
 
When you refer to a blue checkmark, are you referring to a sync icon that looks like the one below? This icon shows that the file is syncing with your Dropbox account."Sync in progress" icon"Sync in progress" icon

It wouldn’t make any difference if you copy the files to or from Dropbox, the behavior would be the same in that only the Dropbox folder copy would be deleted. 

 
Let me know if this helps to clarify matters - Thanks!

Daphne
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


Heart Did this post help you? If so, please give it a Like below.
:arrows_counterclockwise: Still stuck? Ask me a question!
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