Does Dropbox Delete Files? (Expert Answer)

Dropbox is a widely used cloud storage and file syncing service. But will Dropbox ever delete your files without your knowledge?

No, Dropbox will not delete your files as long as you are an active or paid user. Only an inactive account will have files deleted and only after the account has not been accessed for over a year. If a file is accidentally deleted by a user, it can be restored for up to 180 days after deletion.

Read on to find out how to keep your Dropbox account active and safe for your files.

Why Does Dropbox Automatically Delete Files?

Why Does Dropbox Automatically Delete Files?
Why Does Dropbox Automatically Delete Files?

Files will only be automatically deleted on Dropbox from inactive free accounts (Dropbox Basic). An inactive account is defined as any account that has not been accessed in 12 consecutive months. 90 days after an account has gone inactive, that account and any files it contains will be deleted permanently.

Dropbox does not automatically delete files from any of its paid accounts. As long as you continue to pay for the account, your files will not be deleted from Dropbox. If you are missing files from a paid Dropbox account, you or someone with access to your account likely deleted them. Even if you downgrade your account to a free account your files will not be deleted, although they will stop syncing if you are above the 2GB storage limit for Dropbox Basic.

Can You Restore Files Deleted By Dropbox?

Restoring deleted files from Dropbox
Restoring deleted files from Dropbox

If your account has been deleted due to inactivity, those files cannot be restored. Active Dropbox accounts do not delete files automatically, but any file deleted accidentally can be easily recovered.

Follow these steps to recover a deleted file on Dropbox:

  1. Go to the deleted files page, located at the bottom of the menu on the left side of your screen.
  2. Select the files you want to recover and make sure the check mark pops up next to the file name.
  3. Click Restore on the right side of your screen
  4. Access files normally from your Dropbox account

Deleted files are available to restore for 30 days on Basic, Plus, and Family plans. If you have a Dropbox Business or Professional account, deleted files are available to restore for up to 180 days.

This video also does a great job of showing you how you can restore your Dropbox files:

How to recover dropbox files

Can You Stop Dropbox From Deleting Files?

Yes, you can ensure that Dropbox does not delete your files by keeping your account active or getting a paid Dropbox plan. If you are having trouble finding files, check that you have not enabled automatic deletion of files after a set time and check your deleted files page to see if you can restore them.

Does Uninstalling Dropbox Delete Your Files?

No, uninstalling Dropbox from any of your devices will not delete your files, it will just limit your access to them on that device. On your PC, it will not even remove your files from your hard drive. If you would like to delete Dropbox files from your hard drive after you have uninstalled Dropbox, you will need to delete them in the file manager. Any files that were downloaded to mobile devices will also remain intact, but you will not have access to files that were only on Dropbox.

Does Unlinking Dropbox Delete Your Files?

Unlinking Dropbox From Devices
Unlinking Dropbox From Devices

If you unlink a mobile device from your Dropbox, all files on that device will be deleted. This is useful if your device is lost or stolen and you want to remove access to your files. On a PC or Mac, unlinking a device will stop files from syncing, but won’t delete them from the device. Anyone with a paid Dropbox membership can use the remote erase feature to delete files from a lost or stolen device.

Does Dropbox Delete Your Files If You Don’t Use It?

If you have a paid Dropbox plan, Dropbox will not delete your files even if you do not use it. If you have the Dropbox Basic plan, your account will go inactive if you don’t access it for twelve months. Three months after your account has been marked as inactive, your files and account will be permanently deleted.

Does Deleting A File In Dropbox Delete It From Your Computer?

Yes, deleting a file in Dropbox will also delete it from your computer because of File Sync. File Sync synchronizes any file in your Dropbox account across all your devices, so if you delete a file from Dropbox it will be deleted from your computer. If you would like to delete a file from Dropbox but not from your computer, you can set it to not sync using the Selective Sync feature.

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