How To Recover Permanently Deleted Files From Dropbox

Dropbox is a popular cloud service provider used by professionals as well as individual users. It allows you to safely backup all your important files from your computer or smartphone to Dropbox and access them from anywhere. You can access them from your cell phone, laptop, or anywhere by simply logging in to your Dropbox account.

While Dropbox provides a reliable service, in no way it can eliminate human error such as accidental deletion of files from Dropbox. Also every once in a while you encounter a situation where you need to access an old file that you thought you wouldn’t need again, only to realize you have deleted the file.

Now you might be wondering whether or not you can recover your permanently deleted Dropbox files from your account or not. It will depend on each individual case, some users may be able to restore their old deleted files from Dropbox account while others may not. And, the only way of knowing whether you can restore them or not is by trying out the all data recovery methods I am sharing below.

Quick links to specific parts of the article:

How To Recover Permanently Deleted Files From Dropbox Account

There are two types of Dropbox users, paid and free users. First, I will be discussing how free users can restore their deleted files as Dropbox provides fairly limited options to them. After that, I will discuss how paid users can retrieve deleted files using Dropbox rewind.

Method 1. Restore Deleted Dropbox Files If It Hasn’t Been 30 Days (Works For Both Free & Paid Users)

Almost every cloud storage like Dropbox provides a recycle bin-like backup storage functionality for deleted files. In Dropbox, this feature is called Deleted files and it is available at the left-hand corner.

Clicking on Deleted files will open a webpage that would contain all the files you have deleted in the last 30 days. And, you can restore any file you want by following the steps below.

Click here to access your deleted files on Dropbox

  • Double click on the file you want to restore.

Double click on the file you want to restore

  • After that, a dialog box will appear with two options, Cancel & Restore. Click on Restore to recover your deleted files.

Click here to restore the file

  • Once restored, your file would be restored back to the location/folder it was deleted from. And, you will be able to open, download or access your file again.

It is important to note that users with Dropbox Professional, Standard & Advanced accounts will get the 180-day window to restore the file. On the other hand, users with Dropbox free and Plus account only get a 30 day time period to restore the file.

Can I Restore My Deleted File By Purchasing Dropbox Advanced Plan After 30 Day Restoration Window Has Expired?

Most users make the mistake of purchasing the Dropbox Professional, Standard & Advanced account thinking they will be able to restore the file. However, Dropbox only retains the older file for longer than 30 days on its server when you already have an active premium Dropbox plan. If you are willing to spend money then I would recommend trying out method number 3 as it might be a better option for you if certain conditions are met.

How To Recover Files Deleted From Dropbox After 30 Days?

Method 2. Recover Deleted Dropbox Files From PC Or Mac Without Software

If you have Dropbox for Windows or Mac installed then you might be able to find your old deleted Dropbox files on your computer. Dropbox maintains a cache folder where it stores the files temporarily. Sometimes you will be able to find and recover a portion of the file in the cache folder.

To access the Cache folder you need to open This PC on your Windows computer.

  • Click on the address bar where, “This PC” is written, and once it is highlighted in blue, press Backspace.

Click on address bar then press backspace

  • Then copy the following storage path on the address bar %HOMEPATH%\Dropbox\.dropbox.cache and press enter to access the cache folder:

recover permanently deleted Dropbox files

Similarly, you can also access the cache folder on your MacBook:

  • Open Finder, then select Go in the menu bar and click Go To Folder.
  • A dialog box will appear, paste the following address: ~/Dropbox/.dropbox.cache
  • Press return to see the results.

This method didn’t work for me on my Windows laptop but I would recommend trying it anyways as it will hardly take more than 2 minutes. It should be noted that this method would only restore your file partially. That means some data might be missing from the files that you will find in the temporary folder. But in some situations, something is better than nothing and this is the best quick free method to restore your deleted Dropbox file.

Method 3. Restore Using Data Recovery Software

The best thing about Dropbox is that you can sync your files from your smartphone to Windows or vice versa. So if you have ever downloaded the file on your laptop or Android device then you can restore the file using third-party data recovery software. We have listed the best software data recovery software for Windows that you can use to restore deleted files.

You can also recover data from Android smartphones using our list of the best data recovery software for Android to restore deleted files.

And, the best part is you can get the free trial version of any software without needing to pay. All the data recovery software would at least show which files can be recovered in the trial version. However, you will have to purchase the full version to recover the files.

If the software doesn’t show the files you want to recover then you don’t need to purchase any software. All the software mentioned on the list are quite easy to operate and you don’t need any technical expertise to use them.

Method 4. Recover Using Dropbox Rewind (For Paid Users Only)

Dropbox comes with a rewind option which allows you to restore a folder and its content to any previous specific day. Depending on your plan it can range from 30 to 180 days. So if you can restore your account to the day before you deleted your file all the deleted content will be restored.

Not only folder but you can rewind your entire account to some other day. It is especially useful if your kids delete some files or folders permanently by mistake. And, if your account got hacked then it is another good way to recover permanently deleted files on Dropbox.

How To Use Dropbox Rewind?

  • First login into your Dropbox account.
  • Select the folder you want to rewind.
  • Then click on the three dots icon located right next to the rename icon.
  • From the drop-down menu click on Rewind this folder.

Dropbox rewind - Click here to restore the folder

  • Once selected, a dialog box will appear to click on, “Get started” to start the Dropbox Rewind.
  • Next, you will be greeted with a graph that indicates your account activity according to the date. You can select the date you want to restore your account to past 30 to 180 days (Depending on your plan).

Price of dropbox


Hopefully, you were able to recover permanently deleted files from Dropbox using one of the 4 methods mentioned above. For free users, I would recommend trying out data recovery software if you have ever downloaded files on your computer. However, if you have a paid Dropbox account then I would recommend using Dropbox Rewind to restore the file. If none of the methods then work then I don’t think you will be able to restore your file.

You might also like: How To Recover Deleted Files From Recycle Bin After Empty


Can You Recover Permanently Deleted Files From Dropbox After 30 Days?

Yes, you can use the Dropbox rewind feature to restore the permanently deleted files on Dropbox. If you didn't have the paid plan at the time of deletion then you can try data recovery software or check the cache folder of your Mac or Windows computer.

How Do I Recover Accidentally Deleted File On Dropbox?

If the file has been deleted only once then you can find the file in Deleted Files section of Dropbox. All the deleted files are stored here for 30 days and more if you have paid plan.

Are Dropbox Files Really Deleted?

Free users get 30 days while paid users get 180 days window to restore the deleted files from Deleted Files section. After that, the deleted file is permanently deleted from the Dropbox servers.

How Can I Recover Permanently Deleted Dropbox Files For Free?

If you have ever installed Dropbox software on your Mac or Windows computer then you can try checking the cache folder for the deleted files.

About Me

I’m Satyam Pandey, a fellow data hoarder who keeps accidentally deleting files from time to time. I decided to start this blog after recovering all of my deleted high school photos from my old hard drive. With a knack to test data recovery software and see how well they perform I decided to create this blog.

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