Transfer a deleted user’s files

If you're the team admin or user management admin of a Dropbox Business team, you can transfer a deleted team member’s files and folders to someone else on your team. You can use account transfer when you deleted the team member’s account or later on

Notes: 

  • You can only transfer a deleted member’s files once.
  • You can only transfer files from a team member's account within your extended version history limit. For most teams, this limit is 120 days.

Sections in this article:

How to delete a member's account and transfer

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com with your admin credentials.
  2. Select Admin Console from the left sidebar.
  3. Click the Members tab.
  4. Click the gear icon for the person you want to remove and select Delete user from the menu.
  5. In the pop-up window, leave the selection at Yes to immediately transfer the deleted user's Dropbox files to another team member.
    1. Under the Later option, you see the last day when you can transfer this member's content. After that date, there will be no way to recover or transfer any files that belonged to the deleted member.
  6. Enter the recipient's name or email address (the recipient must be a member of your Business account).
  7. After choosing whether or not to use the remote wipe option, click Delete.

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How to transfer files from a previously deleted member

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com with your admin credentials.
  2. Select Admin Console from the left sidebar.
  3. Click the Members tab.
  4. Under Member type, select Deleted from the dropdown.
  5. Click the gear icon to the right of the former member's name and select Manage files from the menu.
  6. Select the option to Transfer to another team member.
  7. Enter the recipient's name or email address and click Submit (the recipient must be a member of your Dropbox Business team).

Note: You can only transfer files from a deleted member's account within your extended version history limit. After this limit is reached, there will be no way to recover or transfer any files that belonged to the delete member. 

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What’s transferred during an account transfer

What is transferred:

  • All existing folders and files.
  • All deleted files.
  • Ownership of shared folders that the former team member owned.
  • Membership to shared folders owned by other members of your Dropbox Business team.
  • Shared folders owned by someone outside your Business team that do not exceed the maximum file count
  • Ownership of Paper docs created by the former team member.
  • A copy of the "Apps" folder containing third-party application data.

What is not transferred:

  • Groups can't be transferred via account transfer. Instead, the account admin or a group member will need to manually add new team members to groups.
  • Shared links created by the former member (the links will no longer work).
  • Previous versions of files.
  • Membership to shared folders owned by people outside of your Dropbox Business team. Only copies of these folders are transferred.
  • Shared folders owned by someone outside your Business team that exceed the maximum file count
  • Access to Paper docs the deleted member didn't own.
  • Datastores (a type of data that some third-party apps may use to store their data).

Note: If you use account transfer some time after a member's account was deleted from the team, the contents of these folders will be whatever is in them when you complete the transfer, rather than when the member's account was deleted from team.

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What should I do if an account transfer fails?

A recipient can only receive files from a single deleted user at a time. If you've deleted several team members and transferred their files to a single user within a short period, then the file transfer may fail temporarily. You should be notified via email if a transfer fails, at which point you can attempt the transfer again.

To prevent file-transfer failures, it is best to request a single account transfer, wait a few minutes, and then request the next transfer for the next account, and so on until all of the files or accounts are transfered.

Alternatively, the team admin or the previous file owner can share individual files or folders as needed.

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What will account transfer look like for the recipient?

The deleted member's files will appear in a new folder labeled [Deleted User’s] files at the top level of the recipient’s Dropbox work account. 

You will also see three subfolders within [Deleted User’s] files:

  • Shared, this is content that is owned by someone on your Dropbox team
  • Previously Shared, this is content owned by someone not on your Dropbox team
  • Home, this is content created by the [Deleted User] that has not been shared

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I want to transfer a team member’s files to multiple people

If it doesn't make sense to transfer all of a former team member's files to a single person, you (the team admin) can transfer the content to your own account and then share the files with various different users who need access.

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What’s been transferred on my team?

View account transfer activity

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com with your admin credentials.
  2. Click on Admin Console in the left sidebar.
  3. On the Activity page, view the Activity feed to confirm if the deleted member's files were transferred to another team member.

You will receive a confirmation email whenever an account transfer occurs.

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