Dropbox Issue Causes Files to Vanish from the Cloud

There’s an old saying in computing: “You should always back up your data using at least 3 different mediums.”

Cloud aficionados who primarily use Dropbox as their cloud file hosting service may have learned that lesson the hard way if they did not have their data backed up in another location. A bug that impacts users of the older version of Dropbox’s desktop app has been confirmed to have put user’s files are in jeopardy. The Dropbox issue required a few things to happen on the end user’s side in order for the files to begin disappearing.  An event such as a computer hang-up or a computer crash could result in the file sync failing. When this occurs, the bug in the older is app is causing the files to disappear from the cloud.

Dropbox is aware of the issue and some emails have gone out to users detailing the problems. The root of the issue was centered on the Selective Sync feature in the older version of the app. In order to help rectify this issue, Dropbox has begun instituting policies that require end users with the older version of the Dropbox agent to upgrade. Dropbox’s mentioned in a forum post that their action plan is as follows:

  • We’ve patched our desktop client so this issue doesn’t exist in Dropbox anymore;
  • We’ve made sure all our users are running an updated version of the Dropbox client; and
  • We’ve retired all affected versions of the Dropbox client so no one can use them.

Users who may have been impacted by file loss received an email with a personalized link that tells the user what files Dropbox was able to recover on the user’s behalf. The email as quoted on GitHubUserContent.com mentions, “We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. To thank you for bearing with us, we’re giving you Dropbox Pro for free for one year starting today, October 10, 2014. If you have any questions, please reply to this message or email us at selectivesync@dropbox.com.”