Exceeding your storage on Dropbox Basic: FAQs

Updated Dec 06, 2023
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The information in this article applies to some Dropbox Basic users.

If you’re a Dropbox Basic user and go over your storage quota, you may be subject to data deletion. You’ll receive notifications about the deletion of your most recent data to make room within your plan limit. To prevent deletion, we recommend that Basic users manage their files to align with the plan limit or consider upgrading to a higher-tier plan for additional storage.

How did I get into this state?

You may be over your storage quota if one of the following occurred: 

  • You previously had a paid plan, downgraded to the Basic plan, and retained your uploaded data.
  • You were part of a team account that was disbanded, or you were removed from a team.
  • You were a trial user with a larger storage allowance but didn't upgrade to a paid plan.
  • You may have joined a shared folder which other users contributed to.

What's my quota limit?

Dropbox Basic offers 2 GB of starting storage space for free. To find out if you’re over quota, check how much storage space you have.

How will my data be deleted?

If your account exceeds the free storage limit for Dropbox Basic, we'll notify you through multiple emails in advance. We’ll begin by deleting your most recent files to bring your account within the limit, working backward. Only files you own will be removed.

The deletion process includes:

  • Files and folders that aren't shared with any other users (referred to as "owned" files)
  • Backup data

Additionally, shared folders will be temporarily left based on ownership:

  • Shared folders not owned by you will be removed from your directory without deleting contents.
  • Shared folders you own will also be removed, allowing other users to maintain access.

All deletions and removals follow the Last In, First Out (LIFO) principle. The process will stop if you manage your files appropriately or upgrade to a paid plan.

Deleted files and folders move to Recently Deleted for 30 days before permanent removal. You can re-add shared folders once your account is under quota, adding the shared folder and its contents.

How can I avoid the deletion of my data?

Before any deletion occurs, we'll notify you multiple times and provide options to prevent the deletion of your files:

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Note: You can also download your files to your computer before they’re deleted.

How can I upgrade my Dropbox plan?

To change your Dropbox plan:

  1. Log in to dropbox.com.
  2. Click your avatar (profile picture or initials) in the top-right corner.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Click Plan.
  5. Click Change plan at the bottom of the page.
  6. Select the plan you'd like to change to.
  7. Click Review changes.
  8. Click Confirm change.

How can I close my account?

Learn how to permanently delete your Dropbox account.

What if I have more questions?

If you have another question about the deletion of your data or about an email notification you received, you can contact us. To do so:

  1. Log out of your Dropbox account.
  2. Navigate to https://www.dropbox.com/support/sign-in-issues
  3. Click Disabled account.
  4. Complete the form.
    • Note: Under Email, enter the email associated with the account you have a question about. 
  5. Click Submit.

Please note that most questions can be answered by reading the sections in this article.

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