[Solved] Dropbox Deleting Files Automatically

Wondering why is Dropbox deleting files automatically? Don’t know how to stop it? Rest assured, this article will teach you to restore Dropbox deleted files quickly.


By Lora / Updated on April 3, 2024

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“Why are files disappearing from my Dropbox?”

Using Dropbox to store/sync/back up personal files is a good choice since it offers a good file synchronization experience and stable personal cloud storage.

However, it seems that a considerable number of users are complaining and crying about Dropbox deleting files automatically.


Files are automatically deleted from Dropbox. Why?


As soon as I turned my computer on his morning, I noticed some files/folders missing from Dropbox. I've gone onto the 'deleted files' tab online, and it says my device (PC) started deleting them this morning. Any idea what can be causing my computer to delete files automatically?


- Question from Dropbox Forum


Some people suspect that it results from the Dropbox Smart Sync not working issue, and some think it has something to do with the viruses.

If you are one of those suffering from the “Dropbox files missing” issue, check out this tutorial to figure out why this happens and how to fix it. Also, you can learn how to recover deleted Dropbox files in a breeze.


Possible causes of the Dropbox files missing issue

Does Dropbox automatically delete files? Some users may suggest it is Dropbox that has removed their files. But is it true?

Actually, according to Dropbox, Dropbox is not able to do so without any warning. It only records your operation on your device/from another device with your account logged in.

Here are some possible causes for you to check.

  • Mistaken deletion. You/others from this/another device deleted the files. If you are using multiple devices, check if your account isn’t signed out and if others deleted your files.
  • Shared folder issue. The shared folder was removed by you/others. Or you were removed from a team/shared folder.
  • Sync issue. Files from another (old) device (computer/phone) overwrite the current version of your files. Many users using Samsung phones have reported this issue.
  • Antivirus deletion. Your antivirus quarantined/deleted the files. Similar issues are seen on Windows devices – some users have found Windows automatically deleting files.
  • Reinstalled OS. OS reinstallation causes Dropbox to be reverted to an old version, and data gets overwritten.

Some corresponding solutions are ready in the next part.

Troubleshoot: Dropbox deleting files automatically

If you found files are vanishing from your account, please head over to the Events Page and see where the deletion comes from. And then you could take appropriate action.

Solution 1. Check the sync from another computer/phone

Deletion is the most likely reason. If you are sure you didn’t remove the files, perhaps others did it, especially when using more than one device. Once others delete files from their ends, the files will be synced and lost from your end.

>> Please check your associated devices, such as phones, computers, etc.

  • Check if you have logged in on your phone. Try to log out and see if it can stop Dropbox files from missing again.
  • See if you have logged in on other computers. Try changing your password.
  • Check if you have logged in on another device’s old version of Dropbox. The files might be synced and overwritten. Try to unlink other devices.

Solution 2. Connect the shared folder owner

Folders and files are shared with you under the permission of the owner. If the owners have taken back the permission (they have deleted the folder/removed you from the shared list), you will lose access to the files.

>> Please get in touch with the owner to see if they misoperated and if it is possible to add you back to the list.

Solution 3. Restore Dropbox files from recycle bin

After changing the passcode and unlinking the additional devices, the deletion can cease. Removed files are temporarily kept in the recycle bin. You can restore Dropbox files from there.

If you find deleted files are not in the Recycle Bin, your data was permanently deleted. Please move on to Solution 6.

Step 1. Sign in to your Dropbox account > toolbar > click Deleted files.


Step 2. Select the removed files/folders > click Restore/Restore all files.


This method only applies to those who have just lost a few files. If the number of missing files is vast, please move on to the following method.

Solution 4. Rewind the folder version

Dropbox supports rewinding the folder to an earlier version to undo changes. If Dropbox files missing results from sync issues and the folders are overwritten, restoring files one by one would be challenging.

In this case, the rewinding feature will be helpful. It is like restoring the previous version of files on Windows local drives.

Step 1. Sign in to your account > select the lost/overwritten folders> click the ellipsis button > Activity > Rewind this folder.


Step 2. Click Get Started > specify the date > choose a version.


Step 3. Click Rewind.


Solution 5. Check your antivirus quarantined/deleted list

Antivirus scans your hard disks for possible threats and viruses. Once the antivirus detects suspicious files, it will quarantine/remove them to protect your computer from threats and damage.

>> Please check your antivirus protection history to see if your files are there. If you are using Windows Defender, follow the steps to restore the quarantined files. For removed files, move on to the following methods.

If you still find Dropbox deleting files automatically due to Windows Defender, please check the tutorial to stop the “Windows Defender automatically deleting files” issue.

Step 1. Click the Windows Start menu > Windows Settings > Update & Security > Windows Security > Virus & threat protection.


Step 2. Click Protection history.


Step 3. Locate the quarantined files > click Actions > Restore.


Solution 6. Restore Dropbox files after permanent deletion.

Though Dropbox has its own recycle bin and allows users to restore files within 30 days that are not permanently removed, it is far from enough – what if Dropbox deleting files automatically as well as permanently?

How to recover deleted Dropbox files after permanent deletion/after 30 days? Using an efficient data recovery app for Windows will be an easy choice.

A professional Windows data recovery tool assists you in scanning the hard disk for removed and missing files in several minutes with its unique features and techs.

Efficient. It supports over 200 recoverable file types: jpg/png/gif/mov/mp4/wav/doc/txt/xlsx/zip, etc. 
Easy. Its user interface is straightforward and clear, guiding you to select, scan, and save recovered files in 3 steps. 
All-inclusive. It applies to multiple situations, e.g., permanent deletion, disk formatting, recycle bin emptying, system crash, virus, etc. 
Compatible. It is available on Windows 11/10/8/7 & Server.

Don’t hesitate to install and recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10 without effort.

Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Install and run the software > Hover the mouse over the drive saved deleted files before, and click Scan.


Step 2. If you can recall the filenames/extensions, you can input them in the search box to locate the files quickly.


Step 3. Go to the Deleted files > the original file location > choose what you need > click Recover x files.


In addition, this tool also helps solve the Google Drive files missing issue.

Prevent data from loss again

To learn why Dropbox deleting files automatically and how to fix it, users could check out this tutorial for help.

Many users only use Dropbox as their only backup measure, which is far from safe. To avoid data loss in the future, it is suggested to:

  • Add extra backup copies.
  • Save backups in different places.
  • Update Dropbox in time.
  • Remember to sign out after using other untrusted devices.
  • Do not visit suspicious sites.
  • Update antivirus software regularly.
Lora · Editor
Lora is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is also a tester and editor of AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. -- "Keep testing, write the most useful tutorials for helping people recover the lost data for Windows and phones" is the most meaningful thing for her. Dedicated to creating helpful tutorials, she hopes her tutorial can assist users to effortlessly solve data loss problems on their personal computers and mobile phones.