Killer Tech Tips

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One Dropbox Tip We Bet You Don’t Know About

with 31 comments

Dropbox is a sweet little application that syncs your files and folders across multiple computers and makes them all accessible from a web-based interface. In addition to that, the application also lets you restore deleted files in a jiffy.

So, what’s the tip?

There is a hidden folder inside your Dropbox folder that caches your deleted content. Deleted files from your Dropbox folder are stored locally in this folder. When you restore your deleted files, Dropbox quickly ‘recovers’ the documents from cache, instead of downloading it from Dropbox servers – saving you time and bandwidth.

Dropbox Cache Folder

So, where’s the Dropbox Cache folder?

The cache folder is present in any one of the following locations, based on the OS you’re using:


PathToYourDropboxFolder\.dropbox.cache\ (or)

Linux: ~/Dropbox/.dropbox.cache or PathToYourDropboxFolder/.dropbox.cache/

Note: Go to Tools > Folder Options > View and check ‘Show hidden files and folders’ in Windows Explorer to show hidden files. If the folder doesn’t show up, type the address explicitly in the address bar.

Why bother?

If the hard disk partition in which your Dropbox folder is present is almost getting filled up and the Dropbox application is throwing a warning that it cannot sync because of less disk space, you can clear this cache folder and gain valuable extra space in your hard drive.

Deleting the Dropbox cache folder

Dropbox has already acknowledged that it’s safe to delete the contents of this cache folder. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  • Shut down Dropbox.
  • Shift+Delete the contents of the cache folder. You’ll have to delete the contents of the cache folder (excluding the .db files), but not the folder itself.
  • Restart Dropbox. Happy syncing again!

The Dropbox application does not automatically purge the contents of the cache, but there are third party applications available to clear it up automatically. We haven’t tried them ourselves, but if you give them a spin, do let us know in the comments!

Thanks Shrihari for the tip! 🙂

Written by Killer Tech Tips

June 9th, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Posted in how to

  • Sriram Gullapalli

    Good one dude. Thanks for the share.

  • Mayur

    The tip sounds useful but I didn’t found the cache folder in Dropbox directory on Windows 7. Not to say, show hidden files & folders option was enabled.

  • Abhijeet Mukherjee

    I think Dropbox automatically clears the cache folder after certain time intervals in the latest version. I remember reading that in a thread in their forums.

  • Shankar Ganesh

    You need to explicitly type the path in the address bar. I’ve updated the post.

  • hacktohell

    not only that but also show system files option must be checked to work

  • Shankar Ganesh

    Thanks. Hope that helps, Mayur!

  • Shankar Ganesh

    I’m not sure I’ll try checking locally to see if this is the case. Thanks 🙂

  • Mayur

    Still no success, it says: Windows can’t find ‘C:UsersMayurAppDataRoamingDropboxcache’. Check the spelling and try again.

    Anyways, no problem. I’ve lot of free space on my hard drive. 🙂

  • Shankar Ganesh

    Did you check inside your Dropbox folder? If you’re using the latest version of the Dropbox client, it should be inside your Dropbox folder 

  • Shankar Ganesh

    Thanks for dropping by!

  • pwr

    Just noticed minor misprint:
    Linux: ~/Dropbox/.dropbox.cache or PathToYourDropboxFolder.dropbox.cache
     should become:
    Linux: ~/Dropbox/.dropbox.cache or PathToYourDropboxFolder/.dropbox.cache/

  • Shankar Ganesh

    Thanks, corrected!

  • Pingback: How To Empty Dropbox Cache (Hidden Deleted Files) To Free Disk Space()

  • George

    And the Mac OS path is …. ?

  • Pingback: Empty Dropbox Cache To Free Hard Disk Space In Windows, Linux & Mac | WML Cloud()

  • Henk

    The most interesting thing about the Dropbox cache folder seems to be overlooked here: you can use it to cheat on Dropbox’s space limit, as Dropbox apparently does not limit the cache folders’ space.
    Say you have a 2GB Dropbox limit and you want to synchronize a 4GB file between two PCs? Just open your Dropbox cache folder and copy the file into yesterday’s cache. On the second PC, open the Dropbox cache and pull out the same file.
    If you use an alternative filemanager such as Xplorer2, which will handle the Dropbox cache and its dated subfolders as normal visible folders, this is quite easy.

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  • Pingback: Free Up Disk Space by Deleting Files in the Hidden Dropbox Cache Folder | Alternative downloads blog()

  • Saket Narayan

    Mayur, I am facing the same problem! I can’t find the cache folder.

  • Mayur

    Finally found .dropbox.cache folder in My Dropbox directory but it was empty. 😉 Had to uncheck “Hide protected OS files” in Folder options to view it.

  • Shankar Ganesh


  • Pingback: 怎样快速还原Dropbox里删除的文件 - 三月鸟社()

  • Greg

    What theme (visual style) is used on screenshot? Could You share a link to it, please?

  • Shankar Ganesh

    Sure, @8ad8a7b059bdaf3963306723fedaefa3:disqus , it’s Elune: 🙂

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  • SSK

    how do u delete cache files in dropbox on a mac?

  • Pingback: How To Empty Dropbox Cache (Hidden Deleted Files) To Free Disk Space | betaSir - We love software()

  • Bad Prof

    Use terminal.

    Open terminal from applications/utilities or utils

    Then at the command line

    cd ~/Dropbox

    I see no *.db files in my directory so… remove all files and directories recursively

    rm -r .dropbox.cache

    or cd yyyy-MM-dd (tab is your friend to complete filenames or directory names in UNIX)

    then rm *.*



    Use ls | less to look at the directories and files….

    Use cd to change directories

    Use ls -a to see hidden files

    use du -h to see the disk usage and size of the files

  • Bad Prof

    Sorry you need “du -h * | less” to get a better way to see the files there.

  • Ara

    same. i can’t my cache folder too

  • epiab

    I’ve been trying to access the cache all afternoon.
    The solution is in this post by Mayur.
    Thank you !