When I delete the special "Photos" or "Public" folders from my Dropbox (latest client v2.10.52, Win7, 64-bit) they reappear a few seconds later.

This is rather frustrating, as I don't use these folders, and apparently Dropbox doesn't add them by default for new accounts anyway.

Why won't dropbox let me delete them?

  • Since this isn't about the Dropbox Web interface and really about the client app, it really rather belongs on Super User.
    – ale
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 23:18

1 Answer 1


I eventually discovered that deleting these 2 special folders on my linux machine, which was syncing to the same Dropbox account, allowed them to be permanently deleted.

Not sure why windows Dropbox was determined to keep them, but deleting them on the linux machine synced correctly & deleted them permanently from both machines and online.

  • If folders are synchronised over several machines, then removed from one of them, how can Dropbox decide whether it has been deliberately deleted and so requires propagating, or lost and so requires regenerating? Dropbox obviously chooses the safe option. I would probably make the same choice if I were coding such an application.
    – AFH
    Commented Dec 3, 2014 at 23:00
  • Because Dropbox is clever and it monitors such things. It works absolutely fine, and as expected, for other folders (I've tried it). This particular behaviour appears to be a bug relating to the special folders. Deleting them on Linux works fine (and propagates that deletion to Windows) so this doesn't look like a deliberate coding choice to me.
    – sparrowt
    Commented Dec 3, 2014 at 23:06
  • OK. Seems odd, as there is nothing inherently special about these folders on Linux.
    – AFH
    Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 1:33
  • Yes it is rather odd! There's nothing special about them from either OS's point of view... I imagine it's a bug in the Windows Dropbox client, seeing as those folders are "special" from Dropbox's point of view (although not so much any more - they're not enabled by default for new users, because files can now be shared, or viewed in the photos gallery online, regardless where they are stored).
    – sparrowt
    Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 13:28
  • Yes, maybe your Windows client did not store the state that these default folders already existed so are recreated each time from the cloud sync? Linux maybe does not have this bug. Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 10:47

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