Nowadays, storing and sharing files via the cloud is no longer the privilege of large businesses. With a range of options to choose from, none may be better known than Dropbox, which remains a popular choice for private and commercial users.
But while cloud storage is convenient, it also has its risks, namely that the storage provider could have access to your files. (Read more about file-backup options here.) Follow this guide to delete your Dropbox account and uninstall it from your computer.
If you’re using a premium subscription for Dropbox, downgrade your subscription to Basic (the free version) to avoid paying for renewals.
- Sign in to your account
- Go to the Subscriptions page
- Choose Dropbox Basic and follow the instructions. Confirm your Basic subscription.
If you want to permanently delete your Dropbox account, make sure you’ve downloaded all the files you want to keep beforehand. To do this, check all of the files and folders you want to keep and select Download.
To delete your Dropbox account in a web browser:
- Click on your profile icon and select Settings in the drop-down list
- Scroll to the bottom and select Delete account
- You’ll be prompted to fill out your password and your reason for leaving. Fill them in and select Permanently delete
Once you delete your account, you can uninstall your apps from your devices.
How to delete the Dropbox app on Windows
- Click Start and go to Settings and Apps
- Click Apps and Features
- Go to Dropbox and click Uninstall
How to uninstall the Dropbox app on Mac
- Click the Dropbox icon on your menu bar
- Click on the profile icon > Quit
- Go to your Applications folder and select the Dropbox icon
- Drag and drop Dropbox into Trash.
How to uninstall the Dropbox app on Linux
Enter the following commands one-by-one into your terminal window:
dropbox status # Should report “not running”
rm -rf ~/.dropbox-dist
rm -rf /var/lib/dropbox
rm -rf ~/.dropbox*
sudo apt-get remove nautilus-dropbox
sudo apt-get remove dropbox
Finally, to remove the Dropbox folder from your hard drive, type: rm -rv ~/Dropbox
Dropbox is an online file-hosting service. It provides a platform for users to upload, store, and share their files.
While Dropbox is free to use, it also collects a lot of information about you when you use their service. This includes:
- User account information: your name, email address, phone number, payment info, and physical address
- User upload information: information related to the files you upload into Dropbox (e.g., location tags in photos) and the people you share it with (e.g., email contacts)
- Usage information: information such as the device model, web browser, and the IP address you use to access Dropbox
Dropbox also reserves the right to share the information they collect from you. Recipients may include:
- Third parties working with Dropbox
- Other users
- Law-enforcement agencies
While Dropbox does encrypt your data and offers two-step verification (also called two-factor authentication) to protect access to your files, there are a few questions you should consider before using the service:
- How much do you trust Dropbox to keep your data secure?
- Do you trust Dropbox employees to not access your files without permission?
- Are you O.K. with Dropbox disclosing your information to third parties?
I’ve deleted my account. Will Dropbox still have access to my files?
Possibly. Your data may be retained if it is involved in legal obligations or disputes. Also, Dropbox states that backups of your data in Dropbox may not be deleted even after you have deleted your account.
I have a Dropbox paid account. How do I downgrade my plan or get a refund?
Dropbox does not downgrade your account unless you fail to make a payment on time.
You may cancel your Dropbox paid account at any time but Dropbox will not issue a refund unless legally required to.
What happens if Dropbox gets bought out?
If Dropbox gets involved in a reorganization, merger, or acquisition, your information might be transferred as part of the agreement. However, Dropbox is obligated to inform you of these changes and will outline the options for your stored files should such a change happen.
Wondering what else you can do to enhance your internet privacy? Here are some steps you can take.
- Use ExpressVPN. Keep your whereabouts to yourself and surf with peace of mind when you use ExpressVPN. It’s the easiest way to maintain your online privacy. One click and you’re protected.
- Use Tor Browser. Tor also hides your location and online activities from anybody doing network surveillance or traffic analysis, so your internet activity is difficult to trace back to you. You can combine a VPN with Tor for greater anonymity.
Safe browsing, everyone!