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Downloads and documents have disappeared from my PC

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Downloads and documents have disappeared from my PC

Explorer | Level 3

I downloaded the basic free version of Dropbox two days ago. It was preventing a key program from opening, so I uninstalled it. Things were fine until today, when I realized that new downloads were being redirected somehow to a Dropbox-related file somewhere. In trying to solve this problem I apparently deleted a key file, as downloads are unavailable and all my documents are now missing. It also eliminated all desktop icons. I was able to restore a few icons with system restore (Windows), but it was otherwise unsuccessful. Needless to say, I am a bit desperate for a solution to restore all files and functionality. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

8 Replies 8
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Re: Downloads and documents have disappeared from my PC

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

Hello there @alanack, I'm sorry to hear about that!

 

It seems that you may have enabled the computer backup feature when setting up the desktop app.

 

Just to clarify, when you uninstalled the app, did you also remove the local Dropbox folder? If not, do you have a folder inside called "My PC (device name)" with the files you're looking for?

 

Let me know and we can go from there!


Daphne
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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Re: Downloads and documents have disappeared from my PC

Explorer | Level 3

I still have that folder on my PC. I should also add that I just reinstalled Dropbox in the hopes of getting things working again. Thanks for your help!

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Re: Downloads and documents have disappeared from my PC

Explorer | Level 3

I've looked inside this folder. The Desktop seems complete, the Documents is definitely missing many files and folders, and the Downloads is empty. Thanks!

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Re: Downloads and documents have disappeared from my PC

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

Thanks for getting back to me here @alanack!

 

Since you reinstalled the app, the backup feature should now be disabled. Can you please try moving the content from the backup folder in Dropbox back to the original locations on your computer?

 

Also, if your Downloads/Desktop/Documents folders are still being redirected to Dropbox, can you please try the following:

  1. Navigate to the system's Downloads/Desktop/Documents folder.
  2. Right click the folder and choose "Properties".
  3. Choose the Location tab.
  4. Choose "Restore default"

Keep me posted!


Daphne
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


Heart Did this post help you? If so, please give it a Like below.
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Re: Downloads and documents have disappeared from my PC

Explorer | Level 3

Thanks, @Daphne. I was able to move files and folders from the Dropbox folders back to the Desktop and Documents. I also was able to restore the default paths to Desktop, Documents, and Downloads. This still doesn't explain all the missing files, folders, and downloads. When I first downloaded Dropbox it appeared to be processing just about everything on my PC. While I didn't ask it do anything, still, I assumed it would have backed up everything it got its hand on. There is almost nothing in the backup files on Dropbox, just a handful of files. Are the missing files permanently lost? A search for key words indicates they are no longer on my PC. Again, thanks so much for your help today!

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Re: Downloads and documents have disappeared from my PC

Explorer | Level 3

Hi @Daphne,

One more thing. I believe I see the problem now. I did delete the Dropbox folder - it asked to confirm, as it was too large for the recycle bin, meaning restoring it would not be an option. I'm assuming Dropbox took all my documents, downloads, and desktop items and renamed them (a truly outrageous thing to do), so most of them were deleted from my computer when I deleted the Dropbox folder. If this is the case, how can it be that only part of them were backed up in the cloud? Are these files somewhere on Dropbox? Or should I purchase a recovery program to get back what I can. Again, thanks so much for you help!

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Re: Downloads and documents have disappeared from my PC

Explorer | Level 3

Hi @Daphne,

There was one other thing I failed to mention, which is interesting if nothing else. After downloading the program, all the icons on my desktop had shifted to one side. In addition, a stock trading platform was also renamed by Dropbox, meaning it could no longer be opened. Thanks!

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Re: Downloads and documents have disappeared from my PC

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

Thanks for getting back to me here @alanack.

 

When you uninstall the desktop app on your computer, the Dropbox folder is just like any other folder. Since you deleted the Dropbox folder, you should be able to recover the files in the same way you would for any other deletions on the device.

 

However, from what you mentioned it seems that you deleted the files after receiving the warning that there was too much data to be moved to the recycling bin and permanently deleted them, right?

 

If the app wasn't finished syncing before this happened, then the files may not have been uploaded to Dropbox. This would mean that the files can't be recovered from Dropbox either I'm afraid.

 

If you can't restore the files through these steps in Dropbox, then I would have to suggest looking at recovering the data from your local computer in another way, like you mentioned.


Daphne
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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