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How to safely delete dropbox folders from my laptop's hard drive.

Level 2

I used to use my personal laptop (which is Mac) for both work and school, and as such, have dropbox installed on this laptop. I have since gotten a work laptop, which also has dropbox. 

Unfortunately, having dropbox installed has used up all of the hard drive space on my personal laptop. I have unlinked the account, and stopped syncing it, etc. However, the files which did sync to my laptop have used up so much hard drive space that I am unable to actually drag my dropbox application into the trash to complete its deletion, as it says there is not enough space left. 

What I'm looking to find out is whether or not I can safely delete these folders off of my laptop now that dropbox is unlinked, and what the risk is that I could unintentionally delete my company's files. 

As of right now, I've deleted as much as I can of my personal files and applications. This just allowed more dropbox files to sync onto my computer, and I am now unable to open other things like word and email. I can get Safari, but it doesn't fully work like it is supposed to. 

 

5 Replies

Re: How to safely delete dropbox folders from my laptop's hard drive.

Dropboxer

Hey there @A_Margaret - could you please let me know if you now have the desktop app installed and linked to your account on this specific device at the moment? 

If you have successfully unlinked it from your computer, you can now safely move or delete files in the Dropbox folder and not affect anything else (meaning that those changes won't sync back to the website version of your account or your Dropbox files whatsoever). 

Note that the Dropbox folder itself is still there after having unlinked your account from that device and it takes up space locally until you delete it.

Should you need to use the desktop application again in the future and use it to free up space on a particular device, please take a look at our selective sync feature which is a great option to free up disk space.

As per your Safari problems, please try a private browsing window or even another browser while clearing your cache might also do the trick for you. 

In any case, please keep me posted on your progress Margaret!




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


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Protect Pictures from deletion

Level 2
I need to uninstall Dropbox from MacBook Pro. Then send pix to trash and empty trash. Taking up too much space. I’m afraid to permanently lose my pics/videos from my main account on Dropbox... What if it all syncs and all deletes? Please advise.
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Re: How to safely delete dropbox folders from my laptop's hard drive.

Level 2
Hi Walter. I’m having same issue and worried. How can I tell if the desktop app is currently installed and linked to my account on the specific device at this moment?
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Re: Protect Pictures from deletion

Dropboxer

Hey there Jeff - how are you today?

When you want to make permanent changes to your computer that do not sync back to the website you need to unlink the computer first.  Follow these steps to unlink a computer:

 1) Right-click the Dropbox icon in the system tray, or menu bar, by the clock
2) Click on the gear icon in the Notifications panel and select 'Preferences' > 'Account'
3) Click the 'Unlink' button
4) Afterward, Dropbox will prompt you to re-register. Quit!

You can now safely move or delete files in the Dropbox folder and not affect anything else.

As you'll see, the Dropbox folder itself is still there and if you choose to relink to a different Dropbox account, the application will detect that another Dropbox folder already exists on the computer, and will give you two options: 'Choose Another Location' or 'Install'.

If you want your new Dropbox folder to be in a location different than your existing folder, click on 'Choose Another Location'.

If you want your new Dropbox folder to be in the same location as your existing one, click on 'Install'. This will rename the existing Dropbox folder to 'Dropbox (Old)' and will create a new Dropbox folder for the account you’re currently linking.

I hope this information helps @Jeff123 - please let me know how it goes!




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


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Re: How to safely delete dropbox folders from my laptop's hard drive.

Dropboxer

Hey Jeff -  I think I just replied to you on another thread; right?

If you have the desktop app installed and running you should be able to see the little Dropbox icon in your system tray/menu bar.

If it's not running, launch it from your computer's Applications folder and then unlink your account from it so you'll then be able to delete files from your Dropbox folder without these changes syncing back to the web. 

If you want to keep using the desktop app, take a look at our selective sync feature. 

Keep me posted on your progress @Jeff123!

 




Walter
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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How to safely delete dropbox folders from my laptop's hard drive.
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