Remote wipe Dropbox files from a lost or stolen computer

This feature is available to Dropbox users on Plus, Family, Professional, or Business plans.

Dropbox Business admins can remote wipe all team files from a team member’s devices.

You can remote wipe your Dropbox files from a computer the next time it comes online. The files will still be available on dropbox.com and the other devices you use with Dropbox.

For phones and tablets, you can sign out remotely instead and it will have the same effect as a remote wipe. All of your Dropbox files, including the files you made available offline, can’t be accessed on that phone or tablet until you sign back in on it.

Not using Dropbox yet? See how Dropbox makes remote wipe easy.

When you remote wipe your files from a computer, the computer immediately signs you out and stops syncing. Dropbox then attempts to delete any synced Dropbox files from that computer when the computer is online and the desktop app is running. The files will still be available on dropbox.com and the other devices you use with Dropbox.

Remote wipe files from a computer

To remote wipe Dropbox files from a computer, follow the steps to sign out remotely from your computer and check the box next to Delete files from [Account name] Dropbox the next time this computer comes online before the last step of clicking Sign out

Notes:

  • You can't remote wipe from a computer that you previously signed out of remotely. It has do be done during the initial remote sign out.
  • Once the deletion is initiated, it’s no longer connected to your account and can’t be undone.
  • This doesn’t rewrite over the prior location of the hard drive, so it’s not the same as a “secure erase”.

Check the remote wipe status of a device

You can check the remote wipe status of a device. If you’re a Dropbox Business admin, learn how to check the remote wipe status of your team members’ devices.

To check the remote wipe status:

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com.
  2. Click your avatar (profile picture or initials) in the upper-right corner.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Click the Security tab.
  5. In the Delete in progress section, find the device and its Device status.

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 deletion. If the status of the deletion changes, the device will reappear in the list.

Dropbox displays the Delete status for each device. 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 won’t 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.
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