How do I recover deleted files?

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Dropbox keeps snapshots of every change in your Dropbox folder over the last 30 days (or more with the Packrat feature). So if you accidentally pressed the delete key and erased something crucial, you can restore the file with a few clicks.

Note: Did you delete a shared folder? You can get it back by rejoining it.

On the Dropbox website Recover deleted files on the Dropbox website

You can recover any file deleted in the last thirty days from the Dropbox website.

  1. Click the Show deleted files button from the blue action bar at the top of the file browser.
    Show deleted files button
    The Show deleted files button from the Dropbox website
  2. All deleted files will show up in gray. Select the deleted file you want to recover.
  3. Press the Restore link from the blue action bar at the top of the file browser.

On the Dropbox website Recover multiple deleted files on the Dropbox website

If you've deleted many files in your account, you can use keyboard shortcuts to help you restore them.

  • To select multiple folders or files in your account, click the first item, press the shift key, and then click on the last item you'd like to choose. Press the Restore link from the blue action bar at the top of the file browser.
  • To select nonconsecutive folders or files in your account, press the control key and then click on each item you'd like to select. Press the Restore link from the blue action bar at the top of the file browser.

You can get deleted items to appear consecutively by clicking the Kind column heading. (If you see an Extension or Size heading instead, keep clicking it until you see Kind.) All of your deleted files will appear together, and all of your deleted folders will appear together.

Going way back in time with Packrat

If recovering files becomes a recurring issue, you can upgrade your account to include the Packrat feature. Doing so gives you unlimited snapshots of your files, allowing you to recover any file as far back in time as you like. Find out more about Packrat.

For our advanced users

Restoring a missing file from cache

If you've lost a file, please try to locate and restore a deleted file using the steps described above. However, if you still can't find or open a lost file, you may be able to recover it from your Dropbox cache in an emergency.

Dropbox keeps a hidden collection, or cache, of your files as backup storage. Files in the cache folder are stored there often after they are moved or deleted after syncing. If you can't find your file using all other practical methods, you can try to recover the file from Dropbox cache as a last resort. The Dropbox cache will keep your files for up to three days after they have been moved or deleted.

The Dropbox cache folder is hidden in your Dropbox application settings. To rescue a file from your Dropbox cache, follow these instructions:

Windows Restore from cache on Windows

  1. Open a new Windows Explorer window by clicking on the Start menu > My Computer
  2. Type or copy and paste the following code into the location bar at the top of the window and press return:
    %HOMEPATH%\Dropbox\.dropbox.cache
  3. This will take you directly to the Dropbox cache folder in your Application Data folder

    The Dropbox cache folder from Windows Explorer
  4. Recover your lost file by dragging it out of the Dropbox cache folder

If the file is not in the Dropbox cache folder and doesn't show up as a deleted file on the website, then the file is most likely and unfortunately lost. Please note that Dropbox will never move or delete a file unless told to do so by the user. In most cases, lost files are simply misplaced or unwittingly removed by other users with access to a computer's Dropbox.

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