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Missing my files and what can I do

Missing my files and what can I do

Explorer | Level 4

One time I was looking for some files mostly pictures, and I couldn’t find them. I thought that dropbox deleted them. I have been reading other people’s comments and then I saw this page  that was written by a dropbox person Jay. 


Bottom line: 

  • Dropbox does NOT delete our files.

  • Only actions from us or people we share your files with can delete our files.

  • If you joined a Business Dropbox the team admin maybe deleted your account from the team. They have just a few days to restore your account (here’s how and then they can convert it back to your personal one (here’s how

  • The ONLY time dropbox is involved in deleting our files is if our accounts are closed for being inactive for a year.

  • On that note, Deleted accounts cannot be recovered (except for the Business ones as I mentioned above). This goes for accounts that were deleted for being inactive, and for accounts that we delete ourselves. They are GONE for ever!

I have mentioned this before but the important thing to understand is that the changes you make to your account files in one location will also happen in all your devices that are linked. That’s what dropbox is all about, and it’s called Syncing. I wrote about this in a previous post here

If you want to get rid of the dropbox app on a computer (don’t do this until you read my other post here) or other device, you should sign out first. Here’s how:


I’m not sure if it’s necessary but it would be a good idea to unlink that computer or device from your account too. Here’s how: 


This also helps us that are on free accounts because we have a limit of 3 devices at a time. Here’s more details:


Then you can uninstall the desktop app with these steps:


Back on the deleted files thing, If you are missing files there are some things to check: 


  1. Deleted files page If you see your files here, you can use the Restore button to recover them. If you permanently delete files NOBODY can recover them. Also, deleted files are not counted against your space, so if you permanently delete them it will make no difference in space.

  2. Events page You can see things like deletions, additions, and other events here. You can try to restore events and files here too.

  3. Shared page This is in case your files were shared and have been removed from your account.

  4. Make sure you are signed into the right account. Check your email address on the General page If you aren’t seeing files between your computer, phone or website account, check the email address that you are signed in with to make sure it’s the same one.

  5. Make sure syncing is finished on your computers and phones
    1. On that note, if you are up to date and are sure you’re on the right account, and aren’t seeing files between your devices, check your files and folders names for characters that you shouldn’t use. Here’s a list This is usually the case when there is a Mac computer involved, but not always. 


If you are sure that you deleted files but you can’t find them in your Deleted files page, that means that you can’t recover them. The free accounts and the Plus ones, and I think the Family ones have 30 days to recover deleted files. If you upgrade to a plan that has a longer period for recovery it won’t work for the files that are over 30 days deleted because it starts at the time you upgrade.



1 Reply 1

Re: Missing my files and what can I do

Community Manager

Thank you so much for this great post, @Jose_Jimenez!


"If you are sure that you deleted files but you can’t find them in your Deleted files page, that means that you can’t recover them." - This is so important.

It's worth checking the Deleted files page every once in a while for any files you might have accidentally deleted too!

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