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How do I delete the Dropbox folder from a lost or stolen device?

If you're a Dropbox PlusProfessional, or Business user, you can delete the Dropbox folder from a linked device the next time it comes online using remote wipe.

There are two typical scenarios for deleting a Dropbox folder remotely from a device:

  • If a device is lost or stolen, you can delete the Dropbox folder from that device the next time it comes online
  • If a Dropbox Business admin deletes a team member's account, they can delete that member’s work Dropbox folder from all devices

If you select the remote wipe option, the device immediately unlinks and stops syncing. Dropbox attempts to delete the entire Dropbox folder whenever the device is online and the Dropbox app is running. The remote wipe command is always sent when you unlink mobile devices, and is optional when you unlink computers. 

Remote wipe the Dropbox folder from a device linked to your account

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com.
  2. Click your name or avatar at the top of any page to open the account menu.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. On the Security tab, find the device that has the Dropbox folder you want to delete, and click the X beside it.
Click the X beside the device name
  1. In the pop-up window, select Delete files from [Dropbox account name] the next time this computer comes online.
  2. Click Unlink.
Unlink computer

Note: You can't use remote wipe on devices that are already unlinked from your account.

Dropbox Business admins: Use remote wipe when deleting a member from the team

As the admin of a Dropbox Business account, you can use remote wipe to delete the work Dropbox folder from all the linked devices of a departing member. 

  1. Sign in to your admin account.
  2. Click on Admin Console in the left sidebar.
  3. Click the gear icon to the right of the member's name and select Delete user from the menu.
  4. In the pop-up window, choose to use account transfer now or later, and then select Yes for the option to delete files from that person’s devices the next time they come online.
  5. Click Delete.

Note: You can't use remote wipe after the member's account has already been deleted from the team.

The admin of a Dropbox Business team can only delete a team member's work Dropbox folder from a linked device.

If you're a team member and you connected your personal Dropbox account to your work Dropbox account, you can delete your personal Dropbox folder from a device as well.

How do I track the remote wipe status of my device?

You can check the status of a remote wipe and find out if the Dropbox folder was successfully deleted from a device.

Dropbox Business team members, Plus, or Professional customers

  1. Sign in to your Business account or connected personal Dropbox account.
  2. Click your name or avatar at the top of any page to open the account menu.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Choose the Security tab.
  5. In the Delete in progress section, find the device and its Device status.

Dropbox Business admins

  1. Sign in to your admin account.
  2. Click Admin Console.
  3. Open the Members tab, and click the member's name. Or, if you deleted the user's account from the team and chose the remote wipe option, open the Deleted members tab and click the user's name.
  4. In the Delete in progress section, find the device and its Device status.

Dropbox displays the Delete status for each device you've chosen to remote wipe. Here are the status indicators you might see:

  • Pending: The device has not come back online and/or the Dropbox application is not running. Until both of these conditions are met, Dropbox will not be able to delete the folder.
  • In progress: Dropbox has connected with the device, and the folder is currently in the process of being deleted.
  • Succeeded: The entire Dropbox folder was deleted from the device.
  • Failed: If Dropbox was unable to delete any file within the Dropbox folder, we’ll provide a report that includes the name of each file that couldn't be deleted and the error for why. Click on the errors link to get a pop-up window and select Download report to view the report.

Use the Hide option to remove a device from the list if you no longer need to track it. Using this option will not cancel the remote wipe. If the status of the remote wipe changes, the device will reappear in the list.

Can I stop or undo wiping my device?

No, once a device is wiped, it's no longer connected to your account, and the wipe can't be undone.

Learn more

With remote wipe, Dropbox attempts to force delete any files in the Dropbox folder and provide the status of the wipe. However, remote wipe does not attempt to rewrite over the prior location of the hard drive, which is often referred to as a "secure erase."

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