Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Check out the Dropbox cheat sheet for getting started in 2021 here!

Dropbox teams & admins

Got a question about your Dropbox Business account? Get help from users like you. Post a question to get started.

Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Team member was able to delete the entire team folder?

Team member was able to delete the entire team folder?

New member | Level 2

OK, I'm incredibly confused and worried as to how this was possible.

We have a dropbox team account, with a main team folder, lets call it "TEAM_FOLDER" within that folder we have a bunch of other folders that only my boss and I have access to, except for a "SHARED_DATA" folder, to which we gave a read only access for a 3rd member so we can collaborate without giving him access to other things on the folder, up to yesterday this setup worked fine.

The 3rd person hasn't worked with us for a while, but he noticed yesterday that his HDD is running out of space and the dropbox folder is to blame, so he goes ahead and deletes the dropbox folder from his computer as he knows he doesn't need anything there anymore.

Cue today, I come back from a weeks holiday, hop on to my computer to get back to work and to my horror, everything is gone, the entire "TEAM_FOLDER" is missing. I go investigating on dropbox website, and find that somehow, "TEAM_FOLDER" has been deleted by person 3 yesterday evening. A folder he had absolutely no access to, he wasn't allowed to view it even, he could only have access to "TEAM_FOLDER\SHARED_DATA" and that wouldn't have been big enough to fill up his hard drive. I luckily recovered he folder but now it's going to take hours to re-download everything.

Any idea how this could have happened, how come all of a sudden dropbox started downloading files person 3 hadn't been given access to, and have never been downloaded before. How was he allowed to delete files off dropbox when he had no access in the first place?

This is really worrying me about the security of dropbox, if a member who has been strictly given access to a single subfolder can somehow gain access to the entire root folder it could cause serious data breaches and incredible problems.

1 Reply 1

Re: Team member was able to delete the entire team folder?


Hey @Buckzor, I'd be more than happy to help look into this matter with you!

The first thought that comes to mind is that the team admin had or has set top level editing to be available to all admins and members.

If you're the team admin, you can check this from the Admin Console's Settings tab. 

If you're not the team admin, you can find who is by following these steps

Let me know of any updates!

Community Moderator @ Dropbox

Heart Did this post help you? If so, please give it a Like below.
Still stuck? Ask me a question!
Tips & Tricks Find new ways to stay in flow or share your tips on how you work smarter with Dropbox.

Are you starting new work habits this year?

Work Smarter with Dropbox

The way we work is changing. Share and discover new ways to work smarter with Dropbox in our community.

Sound good? Let's get started.
Who's talking

Top contributors to this post

What do Dropbox user levels mean?
Need more support?