How to Cancel or Downgrade Dropbox Paid Plans?

Dropbox was fine still a few years ago, but they’ve become very expensive in comparison with other cloud storage providers – even more so now when they’re about to increase their 12 months’ 2TB subscription to 119€. That’s a whopping +20% year-on-year for what’s basically the same service if you just need the storage and not their advanced features.

I could stick with them had they a lower tier with e.g. 100GB or so for a lower price, but no, as of now they offer only 2GB for free and then 2TB and 3TB paid plans. 2TB is simply too much for my current needs and 119€ per year WAY TOO MUCH.

As usual however, a few things may get in the way if you want to downgrade a paid service to a free tier – probably on purpose because they rather keep their paying customers than see them go.

Here are my tips on how to remove Dropbox Plus subscription.

Before you proceed, make sure you’ve got all your important files backed up on your local drives (internal or external) so that you won’t lose anything valuable in case something goes wrong! Double-check that your local copies are detached from Dropbox (NOT the Dropbox sync folder) so that the following steps do not remove your local files.

The first thing you’ll likely notice is that you’re over the the 2GB limit and you need to get rid off your own files and shared folders before you can downgrade their higher tier plans.

Managing your own non-shared files is easy – just delete / remove the ones that are taking up space, and they don’t count against the 2GB limit anymore (be sure to have them stored somewhere else on your local drives, not to lose them forever!).

Right after you’ve deleted the files, you’ll find them still in the Deleted files section on their website and possibly on a hidden folder .dropbox.cache on a Mac / OSX (likely something similar on a Window machine). Dropbox states “Permanently deleting these items won’t free up space”, so you might as well leave them there until they get permanently removed after a grace period (30 days, 60 days, or whatever it is in your case).

When you want to remove shared Dropbox folders, however, things are a little confusing – just so that you’re afraid of deleting files that other people need, give up, and keep paying for their service.

Here’s how to navigate to removing shared folders safely:

  1. Log in to your account on dropbox.com
  2. To go Files / My Files
  3. Look for the shared folder you want to remove
  4. Click on “Share” (Important! Click really on the “Share” option that appears on mouse hover – not the three-dot … ellipsis, where the option “Delete” is)
  5. Click on “Can edit”, “Can view”, or something similar next to your name in the pop-up window that opened in the previous step
  6. Click on “Remove my access”, and confirm it in the next pop-up by clicking once more on “Remove my access”

That’s it – you’ve removed access to a shared folder just for yourself without removing or deleting the folder for other people, and the files don’t count against your quota anymore. Repeat as necessary for other folders until you’re below the 2GB free tier quota, and read the next steps to downgrade your subscription.

How to cancel Dropbox Plus? How to downgrade Dropbox Plus to Free?

First, again be sure that you have back-ups of all files that are valuable to you! Be sure that your local copies are NOT the Dropbox sync folder, which you are about to downgrade.

You’ll need to be logged in with your paid account. If you have separate private and business accounts, but you’ve connected them in Dropbox, it’s easy to switch between accounts in the lower-left corner of their site.

If you then follow the logical path of clicking your account icon / avatar and “Settings” -> “Plan” -> “Change plan”, you only see your current plan and UPGRADES, not downgrades.

To cancel your paid plan, there’s another option bottom of the account / plan page that says “Cancel Plus plan”. The muted style is surely so that you wouldn’t notice it, but it’s there.

Once you’ve clicked on “Cancel plan”, you’ll likely be offered treats that they hope will have you continue the service (discounts, extra space, etc.). Just follow the path that sounds correct for a cancellation. They must be using different treats at different times so listing the exact steps to follow here is not really possible for me.

They’ll likely yet ask for feedback as to why you cancelled your paid plan, where I honestly chose..:

I found Dropbox Plus too expensive for the value I received

…and said in further details..:

I don’t need 2TB. I’ll switch to a service that has a lower storage space option for a lower cost.


As the menus and steps above may change in the future after I’ve published this post, you might have to consult with the official Dropbox docs.

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