How to Permanently Delete a Dropbox Account: Step-by-Step

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Dropbox is a popular cloud storage and file-sharing system used by individuals and businesses alike. With plans for single users, families, and entire corporations, there’s something for everyone.

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Chances are, you or your loved one has set up a Dropbox account at one point or another. But if you no longer want to use it, or your relative would like you to delete their account, then you’ll need to follow specific steps for account deletion. Thankfully, Dropbox makes the process simple.

How to Delete Your Own Personal Dropbox Account

Deleting your own Dropbox account is a straightforward process. Simply make sure you follow these steps because once you’ve deleted the account, there’s no going back!

Step 1: Understand what happens after deletion occurs

Before you start the deletion process, it’s important to understand what happens after your account is deleted. Several things will occur and, if you’re not prepared, you could find yourself locked out from accessing important files, documents, and media. 

When you delete your account, the following happens:

  • Desktop and mobile Dropbox apps stop syncing
  • Your Dropbox.com account is inaccessible
  • No edit access for files in shared folders
  • Local files remain on your computer
  • Shared files are still available to others with access to the shared folders
  • Files are deleted from Dropbox servers

Make sure you read these items carefully. Files that are solely stored on the cloud will be deleted if you don’t download them to your computer. Files that are shared, however, will still be accessible for the people you shared them with. That means, if you want shared items to be deleted, you’ll need to go in and individually delete each one before deleting your account. 

You can still use the local Dropbox folder on your computer and the app on your phone, but they’ll stop syncing. This is important because if you make changes to a document on your phone, your computer files won’t get updated if you’ve already deleted your account.

Note: Dropbox uses the term “files” as an all-inclusive term referring to documents, spreadsheets, and media files. This isn’t just referring to documents but media files such as videos and pictures, as well.

Step 2: Download or delete files

As mentioned above, when you delete your account, you won’t be able to access files in the cloud or shared files. To prepare, download all files to your computer or upload them to a different cloud-based storage system to preserve them. 

If you want to remove shared files, then you’ll need to go into shared folders and choose the files you shared and delete them. After you delete your account you won’t have access to shared files, so it’s important to do this first.

Shared files that you want to keep should be downloaded to your personal computer or uploaded to a different cloud-based storage system.

Step 3: Sign in

If you want to delete your account, you have to sign in. This requires the email address and password you signed up with.

Pro tip: If you no longer have access to the email address that you signed up with, your Dropbox account will automatically delete itself after 12 months and 90 days of inactivity. This might be a long time to wait, but if worst comes to worst, your account will be deleted eventually.

Step 4: Click on your picture/initials

Click on the icon in the upper right corner of the web browser. 

Step 5: Open settings

After you click on your picture, a drop-down list will appear. Click on settings, then select “General.” 

Step 6: Delete account

Under general settings, you’ll see the option to delete your account. Click this to begin the account deletion process. 

Once clicked, the deletion process will begin. The files stored in the Dropbox cloud will be deleted within 30 days from this point.

If the account you’re deleting is a Dropbox Plus, Professional, or Family Plan, your account will get changed into a Dropbox Basic account through the deletion process. Once it changes into a Basic account, you can permanently delete the account by following the above steps for deletion.

Important Note: Once you delete a Dropbox Basic account, this cannot be undone.

How to Delete a Deceased Loved One’s Personal Dropbox Account

When it comes to deleting a deceased loved one’s account, you’ll have limited options.

Option 1: Follow the steps above

If you have access to your loved one’s Dropbox account, then you can delete it in the same way you would delete your own account. Go through each of the steps above to save or delete files and then delete their account.

Pro Tip: A helpful place to look for login information is their password manager if they have one.

Option 2: Watch and wait

All inactive Dropbox accounts will automatically be deleted after 12 months and 90 days of inactivity. While you may not be able to delete their account, on the upside, you can rest assured knowing it’ll get deleted eventually.

Option 3: Contact customer support

If you need to get files and media off of your loved one’s Dropbox account prior to account deletion, then you’ll want to contact customer support. For this option, follow these steps.

First, gather documents including a death certificate and proof of your relationship or legal right to access the account and delete it. Proof of your legal right includes documents proving this is part of your executor duties such as a copy of the will or letters of testamentary. Providing these pieces of documentation is common for most account closure requests made when someone dies.

Second, submit a support ticket. To do this, you’ll need to log in to your own account, your loved one’s account, or create an account. Dropbox blocks all attempts to contact them unless you’re signed in.

When submitting a support ticket, include your loved one’s full name, the email address associated with their account, your name, email address, and physical address, your relationship to the deceased, and a court document proving your legal right to access and/or delete their account.

A member of the support team will contact you after they’ve reviewed the information you’ve sent with approval or denial of your request to access or delete your loved one’s account.

How to Delete Your Own Dropbox Business Account

Canceling your own Dropbox Business account is a simple process as long as you follow these few steps.

Step 1: Delete all team members

Dropbox Business creates a team setup where other members of your business are provided with Dropbox accounts through the team. If you want to delete the business account, you’ll first need to delete all team members from the account.

Step 2: Contact Dropbox Business support

Once you’ve removed all team members, you’ll need to contact Dropbox Business support and request that your business account be downgraded to a free account.

Step 3: Leave the free team and delete

Your downgraded account will automatically provide a free business team account. Since you’ve already deleted all other team members, you’ll be the only team member on the account. At this point, you can leave the team.

Finally, follow the steps in the first section of this article for deleting your account.

How to Delete a Deceased Loved One’s Dropbox Business Account

To delete your loved one’s business account, you’ll have two options.

Option 1: Proceed through the above steps

If you have your loved one’s email and account password, you can then log into their business account, dissolve the team, leave the free team, and go through the deletion steps provided in the first part of this article.

Option 2: Contact Dropbox Business support

If you have questions or you require help, you can contact Dropbox Business support by using your loved one’s credentials.

OR

You can sign up for your own account and contact Dropbox Support by submitting a support ticket.

Frequently Asked Questions: Deleting a Dropbox Account

We’ve tried to be as detailed as possible with this guide, but we recognize that you still might have some questions. Here are three of the most frequently asked questions about deleting a Dropbox account.

How do you delete a Dropbox account on an iPhone?

To delete an account on your iPhone, you’ll first need to cancel your subscription via the iTunes store. For step-by-step instructions, check out their helpful FAQ page on canceling via iTunes.

What happens to your files after you delete a Dropbox account?

If you’ve downloaded the files to your computer, then you’ll continue to access them. Files on the cloud will be deleted from Dropbox servers within 30 days.

Can you delete a Dropbox account without a password?

In order to delete a Dropbox account, you have to sign in using your email and password. If you’ve forgotten, you can reset it during the login process.

Protecting Your Digital Legacy

Cloud-based file storage is a smart option for keeping personal files, important documents, videos, and pictures. Choose a cloud storage system to use for all of your digital belongings and delete any that you no longer need. Then, be sure to provide login information to a trusted relative or executor so they can access pictures and family media when the time comes.


Sources:
  1. “Canceling or Downgrading a Dropbox Account.” Accounts and Billing, Dropbox, 2021. help.dropbox.com
  2. “How to Access the Dropbox Account of Someone Who Has Passed Away.” Accounts and Billing, Dropbox, 2021. help.dropbox.com  
  3. “How to Delete a Dropbox Account.” Accounts and Billing, Dropbox, 2021. help.dropbox.com

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