Dropbox desktop bug sends some users’ files to the trash

Dropbox has just provided another reminder not to place complete faith in cloud storage, having allowed a bug to delete some users’ files.

The bug was tied to Dropbox’s Selective Sync feature, which helps users save space by only downloading selected folders to local storage, Engadget reports. In earlier versions of Dropbox’s desktop software, the bug could delete files if users restarted or shut down their machines while Selective Sync was in progress.

Dropbox says the glitch affected “a small number” of people using out-of-date versions of Dropbox’s desktop software. The company has been sending letters to these users, and providing personalized web pages showing which files Dropbox was able to restore. Affected users are also getting a year of Dropbox Pro service for their troubles.

For all other users, Dropbox says it has patched the desktop client and retired the older versions, forcing everyone to update. The company is also adding new test procedures to prevent similar issues in the future.

Why this matters: While major bugs like these are uncommon, cloud storage horror stories do happen from time to time. This is as good a time as any to review the rule of three for backing up your precious files, along with some external drive backup options for that last point of redundancy.