How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files in Dropbox Business?

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files in Dropbox Business?

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files in Dropbox Business?1st Consider: What are the file retention policies in Dropbox Business?  Click Here to view.
2nd to understand is that Dropbox Business is an increasingly popular way for companies to share files among colleagues, employees, and management. In fact, as of 2019, more than
400,000 teams were using Dropbox Business for their collaborative projects. However, with so many people accessing a file, an accidental or mistaken deletion can happen. This blog post guide will show you: how to restore deleted files using Dropbox Business, or CloudAlly.

What this article is about: 

Deleting Files and Folders in Dropbox Business

It isn’t difficult to accidentally delete an important file from Dropbox Business. Someone might move a shared file to their desktop Recycle Bin, not realizing that they would be deleting this file in Dropbox as well. Or, they may think the team has finished with a file that they end up needing again later.

In deleting a file or folder, users have two options. They can either delete from by clicking on an ellipsis (…) next to a file or folder and then choosing Delete. Or, on a desktop or laptop, they can drag and drop an unnecessary folder into the Recycle Bin or Trash.

Files deleted this way can be easily recovered through Dropbox. However, permanent deletions cannot be recovered using Dropbox and instead need a third-party recovery to be restored.

Here’s how a file or folder can be permanently deleted: 

  1. Delete a file or folder using either method described above
  2. Navigate to Deleted files on the Dropbox Business platform
  3. Click on the checkboxes next to the files intended to be permanently deleted
  4. Click Permanently delete twice

Note: if you want to stop users from permanently deleting files or folders, you can restrict this feature on your team’s accounts using Dropbox’s admin features.

Using the Dropbox Recycle Bin to Recover Deleted Files 

Dropbox has a built-in feature to account for accidentally- or maliciously-deleted files. However, you only have 120 days to restore the file from Dropbox before it is permanently deleted. Here’s how to restore files that have been deleted (but not permanently deleted):

  1. From your Dropbox account, navigate to Files on the left-hand side of the page
  2. Click on Deleted Files
  3. Search for the mistakenly deleted file name that you want to recover. You can also select multiple files or folders by using the checkbox
  4. Click Restore

Note: if a file has been permanently deleted or has been in the Recycle Bin for longer than four months, you cannot restore it using this method. Files that have been stored in the Recycle Bin for longer than this length of time will be permanently deleted.

Using CloudAlly to Restore Permanently Deleted Files 

If a file undergoes a permanent deletion, you can no longer use Dropbox Business to recover it. Instead, you need CloudAlly’s third-party Dropbox Business backup solution to retrieve this mistakenly- or maliciously-deleted materials.

Here’s how to start backing up your Dropbox Business files using CloudAlly: 

  1. Log into your CloudAlly account
  2. On the Add Backups page, click on Dropbox
  3. From there, click on the Authenticate in Dropbox button
  4. On the Dropbox Business website where you will be directed, enter your user credentials and verify the connection
  5. In your CloudAlly account, you will now see all of the Dropbox Business accounts under your control
  6. Decide if you want to automatically backup new users or manually select
  7. Choose how long you want to archive backups from your accounts
  8. You can either choose to activate all of your company’s users or pick them one by one if you don’t want to back up all of them
  9. Choose how often and at what time you want your data to be backed up

Restoring a permanently deleted Dropbox Business file 

  1. Log into your CloudAlly account
  2. Click on Restore & Download from the left-hand side of the screen
  3. Choose Dropbox Business from the list of Active Backup Accounts
  4. Select the user who wants the file restored
  5. From there, you can choose to locate a file by date or by name
  6. If you search by date, you can continue searching for a folder or by granular search
  7. Once you’ve found the item that you want to restore, click on it; CloudAlly will automatically create a .zip file
  8. Once the zip file is downloaded, you’ll receive an email letting you know when the restored file is ready to download
  9. You can also send the restored file to another user if necessary

Now that you’re familiar with the methods for restoring permanently deleted files in Dropbox, test out CloudAlly’s Dropbox Business Backup with a free trial.  Or you can learn more about how CloudAlly backs up Dropbox Business by watching our demo video.


The discrepancy in storage size reports: on and

Many IT administrators, CIO’s, and business owners who backup file storage solutions such as,
are bewildered by the difference in storage size reported by these applications, and the actual storage size which is backed up.  Very often we are asked:

” So, why is there a discrepancy between the amount of storage reported by or , and the actual amount reported by CloudAlly ? “

The answer is that CloudAlly is a backup service, so we only take the latest changed version of a file, in backing up or

This means that there is only one automatic backup a day, not a backup for every version changed on Box / Dropbox.  Although Box and Dropbox support file versioning, CloudAlly’s cloud backup for business only takes the latest version each day…

The reason for not backing up every single version changed, is intended to prevent storage requirements increasingly sharply, and to maintain a reasonable backup cost structure, which businesses can budget for.

Therefore, as an IT manager / System Admin, you will often see a discrepancy between the amount of storage Box and Dropbox report, and the amount which CloudAlly reports.  This is very much depending on how many versions are kept, and how large the files are, the difference in storage size can be substantial.

Take advantage of our 14 day free backup (no credit card requirement) for:

View our knowledge base article:

Contact our customer support for more information:

Dropbox vs G Drive

The way people work is constantly changing. More employees need access to documents and files even when they aren’t at their desk. For that, they need a remote location in which to store their data that is accessible from anywhere something like the ever-present cloud. With so many cloud choices, we have decided to take a deeper look at Dropbox Vs. G Drive’s business offerings.

Plans and Pricing

Both Dropbox and Google Drive have tiered service plans that allow users to pick the best options for themselves. Both companies offer personal and business platforms to best meet client needs. However, they do differ slightly in overall features and pricing of these tiers.


Dropbox’s service features make them a leader among cloud storage service providers. All their plans include:

  • Access from anywhere
  • Offline access
  • Automatic Updates
  • Office 365 integration
  • Commenting
  • File Requests

All options offer versioning recovery for files stored in Dropbox. However, the length of time for version roll back varies. Dropbox’s professional plans allow users to store up to 120 days of version history.

Business tier plans come with a few extra features. Smart Sync and team folders are only a couple of the extras available. Professional plans also have HIPAA compliance, granular permissions, and an account transfer tool.

Dropbox’s professional pricing plans are:

NameSizeCost AnnuallyCost for Month to Month
Standard—business2 TB$150 per user$15 per user
Advance—businessAs much as needed$240 per user$25 per user
Enterprise—businessAs much as neededCall for quoteCall for quote


Google Drive

Offices using G Suite automatically have access to a Google Drive. As with Dropbox, Google Drive has much to offer in the way of features.

  • Anywhere access
  • Large file sharing and storage
  • Offline access
  • Link sharing
  • Collaborate with others
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Sync between different locations, e., desktop, web, and mobile
  • Productivity tools

As part of G Suite for business users, Google Drive has additional features including:

  • Audit report
  • Data loss prevention (Enterprise level only)
  • eDiscovery
  • Smart search across G Suite with Cloud Search
  • 24/7 support by phone, chat or email
  • Shared calendars

Unlike with Dropbox, however, Google does have some space saving solutions. For the most part, anything stored within the Drive counts against the storage space. However, there is some instance where files within the drive do not count against the storage space. These include:

  • Files in “Shared with Me” in which you are not the owner of the document. These only take up space in the owner’s drive, not yours.
  • Google Photos stored using the “High Quality” setting.
  • Photos and Videos backed up from a Pixel phone.

Google Drive storage may also vary between the web based application, desktop, and mobile application. Shared items do take space on your hard drive on both your desktop and mobile devices while they do not take space on the internet. Additionally, Google Drive does not sync items stored in the web application’s trash to your desktop or mobile application.

Google Drive is offered as part of the G Suite service package. Each license you purchase has access to individual Drive locations, not just a centralized dumping space for entire team. The different tiers depend on what your need are. While both the Business and Enterprise plans offer the same Google Drive storage, there are other features offered for G Suite users that may need.

Google Drive with G Suite

NameSizeCost Monthly
Basic30 GB$5 per user
BusinessUnlimited (or 1TB for fewer than 5 users)$10 per user
EnterpriseUnlimited (or 1TB for fewer than 5 users)$25 per user


Google Drive’s business plans do have a size restriction. For teams and companies with over five users, the storage size is unlimited. However, for businesses with fewer than five users, the storage space is limited to 1TB per user.


Security is an important consideration. You need to be certain that the documents you store are protected from malicious attacks. Both Dropbox and Google Drive offer security features to keep your data safe.


Dropbox is proud of their ongoing security features that help to protect your data from malicious attacks. Their security features include:

  • 256-bit AES encryption for storage
  • SSL/TLS transmission protocols
  • File versioning (30-day for personal plans, 120-day for business plans)
  • Remote device wipe
  • HIPAA compliance (business level options only)
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Password-protected and expiring link sharing

In addition to their built-in security protocols, Dropbox routinely tests their system for vulnerabilities. They currently work with third-party companies and the security research community to find bugs and holes in the system and report it back to them.

Like many cloud services, Dropbox does allow third-party applications to connect to your account, with your permission. To help protect information, they utilize OAuth, a standard authorizing protocol which allows you to grant granular permission to apps you wish to connect.

Google Drive

Like their competitor, Google Drive has security measures in place to ensure safe storage of your data safely. Some of the safety features they have included:

  • SSL/TLS transmission encryption
  • 256-bit AES security
  • 2048 RSA encryption keys for validation and key exchange phrases
  • Certified by SOC1, SOC2, and SOC3 by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountant
  • Certified ISO/IEC 27001

Google uses Perfect Forward Secrecy to encrypt content during moves between servers. While stored on their servers, the information is walled off from others who may share the server, in much the same way that banks separate accounts. This separation protects your files from intrusion by other Google account holders.

Like Dropbox, Google uses outside contributors to keep their security protocol in check. In fact, they were one of the first companies to offer a Vulnerability Reward Program to their web account holders.


There are several ways for you to access both your Dropbox and Google Drive. Each cloud service has a desktop and mobile apps in addition to web access.


If you sign up for Dropbox from your desktop or laptop computer, one thing you will notice prompts to download the desktop application. With this application, a dedicated folder appears on your computer. That folder gives you a direct link to files stored inside your Dropbox account. The desktop application also provides you access to Dropbox files when you are offline. Once you go back online, the folder automatically syncs.

Dropbox allows you to take your files on the go with their mobile apps. You can get mobile applications for Apple, Android, and Windows devices. As with the desktop application, this tool allows you to stay in sync with all files in your account and any shared with you from other accounts. You can use your document scanner to upload images such as white boards and convert them to easy to use PDFs.

Of course, you can still access your Dropbox account via the internet. Once you browse to their website, sign in. From here you can preview, download, and upload files. Any changes you make automatically sync with your desktop and mobile apps.

Google Drive

As with Dropbox, Google Drive has a desktop application. This folder syncs files that you choose to sync to your computer’s hard drive, you choose which objects and folders to sync and which to leave exclusively online. Any file not synced cannot be accessed via this application.

Google Drive’s mobile app works their desktop software similarly. With the mobile app, you can:

  • View content
  • Access files
  • See file details and activities
  • Access Google Photos
  • Use camera to scan documents into PDF
  • Set content permissions

Of course, you can always access your data on the web. By logging in to your Google account, you can view, edit, and set content permissions. Moving items into the trash online will remove things from your sync folders. However, the trash does not show up in the synchronized folders.

Whether you choose Dropbox or Google Drive, you need to protect your data with a backup and recovery solution. CloudAlly’s G Suite backup service includes Drive with unlimited storage at a cost of $3/month or $30/year per user. CloudAlly’s Dropbox backup service will be available Q4 2017 at a cost of $2/month or $20/year per 5GB of data.