Delete files in Dropbox

Delete a file from the desktop app

Linux

To remove a file from your Dropbox, use the rm command from your terminal. To delete the file or folder, drag-and-drop the file to your Trash

Macintosh

To remove a file from your Dropbox, drag-and-drop it somewhere out of your Dropbox folder. To delete the file, drag the file or folder to your Mac's Trash.

Vista/Win7/Win8/Win10

To remove a file from your Dropbox, drag-and-drop it somewhere out of your Dropbox folder. To delete the file, drag the file or folder to your Windows Recycle Bin.

Delete a file using dropbox.com

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com
  2. Click the (ellipsis) icon to the right of the file's name.
  3. Click Delete.

Permanently delete files

Permanently deleting a file means that you will not be able to recover it. If you'd like to proceed with permanently deleting a file or folder, follow the instructions below.

Permanently delete files using the file browser on dropbox.com:

  1. If you haven't already, delete the files you want to permanently delete using the steps listed earlier in this article.
  2. From the file browser, click the trash can icon to show deleted files.
  3. Once you find the file or folder you’d like to permanently delete, select the file and click Permanently delete.

Notes:

  • Only the owner of a shared folder, or the person who originally uploaded a file, can permanently delete a file.
  • Any files that appear in gray were previously deleted and can still be either undeleted or permanently deleted.
  • If you're permanently deleting a shared folder, select the shared folder and click Remove my access instead.
  • If you don’t see the option to permanently delete files, its possible that your admin has disabled the ability to permanently delete files. Contact your team admin for additional help.

Permanently delete files using the deleted files page on dropbox.com:

  1. If you haven't already, delete the files you want to permanently delete using the steps listed earlier in this article.
  2. Open the Deleted files page on dropbox.com.
  3. Click the (ellipsis) icon.
  4. Click Delete permanently.
  5. Click Delete permanently again.

As we explain in our Privacy Policy, it may take some time for a file to be purged completely from our system after a permanent deletion. Also, if other Dropbox users have the same files as the ones you permanently delete, their files are not affected by your deletion.

Clearing your cache

The Dropbox desktop application keeps a cache in your Dropbox folder for files and folders you move and delete. The cache is cleared automatically every three days. If you need to delete sensitive files immediately or need to clear up the space, you can manually clear your cache by following the steps in this Help Center article.

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