Dropbox bug deletes some users' files


— 12:29 PM on October 13, 2014

Dropbox users might want to check if all their files are still intact. Hacker News has posted a note from the cloud storage provider confirming a bug that can render some user files inaccessible.

The underlying issue is tied to Selective Sync, which lets users define which folders are mirrored on Dropbox's servers. According to the company, a bug in older versions of its client software could potentially cause problems when systems were shut down or restarted "while users were applying Selective Sync settings." That bug has now been fixed, Dropbox says, and the older client software has been retired. Dropbox also indicates that it has "made sure all our users are running an updated version of the Dropbox client," and that it has "put additional testing in place to prevent this from happening in the future."

Dropbox seems to be notifying affected users directly via email. Engadget published one such message, which provides a link to a "personalized web page" that's supposed to show which files Dropbox lost and which, if any, it was able to recover. The email also offers one year of free Dropbox Pro service as consolation.

The circumstances required to trigger the problem sound fairly specific, and the note claims only "a small number" of users were affected. Still, it's troubling to learn that some folks' files were unceremoniously deleted from the cloud.

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