Delete files from a mobile device

Updated Feb 26, 2024
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The information in this article applies to all Dropbox users.

This article walks you through deleting Dropbox files from your mobile device. Select your device type below to learn how to delete files from a mobile device.
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Important: Standard file recovery periods and options don’t apply to files deleted directly from the Send and track feature. Deleting a file from Send and track is permanent, and any associated metadata or data analytics can’t be recovered once the file is deleted.

How to delete files from mobile devices

There are two ways to remove a file from your device’s storage. You can either remove them from your local memory, or you can choose to delete the file from your Dropbox account.

Removing offline files from your device

Offline copies of your files download to your phone or tablet whenever they are opened via the Dropbox app. Once they have been opened, you can open them directly from your phone or tablet, even if you're offline. The files are saved directly to your phone's memory in what's called a cache. To remove the files from your phone or tablet, all you have to do is clear your cache from Settings.

Clear your cache on phones with Android 6 (Marshmallow) or higher

  1. Launch the Dropbox app.
  2. Tap Account.
  3. Tap the gear icon to open the Settings menu.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the resulting menu and tap Clear Cache.

Delete a file or folder from your Dropbox account

  1. Launch the Dropbox app.
  2. Navigate to the file you'd like to delete from your Dropbox account.
  3. Tap the "...” (ellipsis) icon to the right of the file.
  4. Tap Delete to delete the file from Dropbox, your phone, and all computers connected to your account.

Remove a file from your phone

The Dropbox iPhone app only stores local copies of files if they are made available offline. The offline icon (white checkmark in a green circle) will be highlighted in the file list view for files currently available offline.
 

To remove a file from being available offline:

  1. Open the Dropbox mobile app.
  2. Tap the "...” (ellipsis) icon next to the file name.
  3. Toggle Make available offline to the off position.


Tapping the highlighted offline icon (white checkmark in a green circle) while previewing a file will also remove it from offline access.

Delete a file or folder from your Dropbox account

To delete a file or folder from your iPhone, all of your computers, and devices simultaneously:

  1. From the screen listing all of your files and folders, tap the “” (ellipsis icon) icon next to the folder name. 
  2. Toggle Make available offline On or Off.

You can also delete a single file while previewing it by tapping the ellipsis () icon at the top right and selecting Delete.
 

To delete multiple files from your iPhone, Dropbox account, and all the computers linked to your Dropbox account:

  1. Click on the rectangle with the checkmark on the top right of your screen.
  2. Check the files you want to delete and tap the Delete button at the bottom of the screen.


To delete a folder from your iPhone, the account, and all the computers linked to your Dropbox account:

  1. From the screen listing all of your files and folders, tap the “...” (ellipsis) icon next to the folder name. 
  2. Select Delete. You’ll be prompted to confirm your choice to delete the folder.

Remove a file from your iPad

The Dropbox iPad app only stores local copies of files if they are made available offline. The offline icon (white checkmark in a green circle) will be highlighted in the file list view for files currently available offline.
 

To remove the file from your Offline list and your iPad:

  1. Open the Dropbox mobile app.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the Home tab and locate the Offline section.
  3. Tap See all in the upper right of the Offline section.
  4. Tap the “” (ellipsis) next to the file you’d like to remove.
  5. Toggle Make available offline to the off position.


Tapping the highlighted offline icon (white checkmark in a green circle) while previewing a file will also remove it from offline access.

Delete a file or folder from your Dropbox account

To delete a file or folder from your iPad, all of your computers, and devices simultaneously:

  1. Open the Dropbox mobile app.
  2. Tap Files in the bottom left.
  3. Tap the “…” (ellipsis) next to the file or folder you’d like to delete.
  4. Tap Delete.
  5. Tap Delete again to confirm.

You can also delete a single file while previewing it by tapping the trash can icon in the upper right.


To delete multiple files or folders from your iPad, the Dropbox website, and all the computers linked to your Dropbox account:

  1. Open the Dropbox mobile app.
  2. Tap Files in the bottom left.
  3. Tap the checkbox above the file list.
  4. Check the boxes next to the files or folders you’d like to delete.
  5. Tap Delete in the bottom left.
  6. Tap Delete again to confirm.
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