It is easy to assume that because you know something, that everyone else does.
Often that is not true and these tips are simple ones, but not everyone knows them. Some people might be aware of the ability to recover deleted or overwritten files on Dropbox, but not know the exact steps to do so.
When a file is deleted in the Dropbox folder on the disk drive, it is also deleted from your Dropbox online storage. If a file is overwritten on the disk, it is overwritten online too.
Both Windows and Dropbox keep track of deleted and overwritten files and save them. This means that it may be possible to recover them one way or another.
These methods are not guaranteed to work in every situation, but they do sometimes and they can rescue your files.
Check the bin
Most deleted files are moved to the Recycle Bin on Windows PCs, so this is the first place you should look for deleted and lost files. Open the Recycle Bin, set the view to Details and then click the Date Deleted column header to sort the files by date.
Check the recently deleted files for the ones you have lost. If you find them, right click them and select Restore.
It is possible to delete files without moving them to the Recycle Bin and this may have happened to your lost files.
If you cannot find them in the Recycle Bin, or if a file is not lost, but has been overwritten, you might be able to recover it on Dropbox.
Browse your files on Dropbox
Open a browser and go to the Dropbox website. Log in if necessary and find the folder that contained the files that you lost or overwrote.
At the right side of the file listing is a menu. Click Show deleted files.
Deleted file options on Dropbox
If files were recently deleted from this folder (in the last month), they are added to the files that are listed. In the members column it says Deleted.
Move the mouse over a deleted file and click the three dots on the right to display a menu. The file can be permanently deleted with no chance of recovery, or it can be restored. Click the Restore option. The deleted file is put back in the folder.
Restore a previous version of a file
If the file you lost was not deleted, but was overwritten by a different version, or if you edited a file and want to return to an earlier version of it, find the file on the Dropbox website.
Move the mouse over it and click the three dots to display the menu. Click Version history.
Restore a file version
If you are lucky, there will be one or several versions of the file. Use the dates to choose the one you want and click the Restore button on the right. If you don’t see a Restore button, just move the mouse over the file.
The current version of the file will replaced by the one you selected and this is your last chance to change your mind. If it is what you want, click the Restore button.
More file versions versions
If you restore a previous version of a file and replace the current one, what happens to the current one? It becomes a previous version.
Before I had the current version and one previous version. Now I have the current version and two previous versions. If you change your mind, you could restore the previous version and end up back where you started!
Use Windows restore
Windows does a similar thing to Dropbox and it saves previous versions of files and folders. Dropbox immediately saves overwritten and deleted files, but Windows does not. However, it might let you recover files from last week or last month.
Open and Explorer window and right click a file or folder. Here I right clicked a folder called Books. Select Restore previous versions on the menu that is displayed.
Check for versions
If File History is active or if Windows has created a restore point, a list of previous versions of the folder or file is listed.
The folder or file can be opened as it was on the date displayed. Alternatively, it can be restored.
Restore a previous version of a file
Click the arrow next to the Restore button for a menu. The Restore To option is a useful one because it enables you to save this version of the folder to a different place on the disk. Click it and choose where to save the folder.
This means that you have access to the current folder and its files, and the folder and files as it was on the date selected.
If you have lost files or overwritten them, don’t panic! There may be a way to get them back, even if you don’t have a backup.
Of course, backups are recommended and Backupper is one option. You can also Recover lost files with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Free.