Zettelkasten Forum

Randomly deleted files

Has anyone else experienced notes getting randomly deleted? Twice now I've searched for some urgent information in very important documents in The Archive, only to find that those documents had at some point been deleted. Checking my Trash has been fruitless as I permanently deleted all items for it sometime after each incident.


  • I've experienced this too. I've thought it was my "sometimers" acting up. (Periodic Alzheimers)
    I have been quickly able to restore missing files via Dropbox so I not bothered to report this issue. I not sure how we'd test or replicate this problem. I use two laptops in a place that has an iffy internet connection, problems sometimes syncing via Dropbox, and that might be my particular problem.

    Will Simpson
    I must keep doing my best even though I'm a failure. My peak cognition is behind me. One day soon I will read my last book, write my last note, eat my last meal, and kiss my sweetie for the last time.

  • I have not encountered this problem at all. I store my ZK on Dropbox. I only have The Archive open on one computer (almost constantly) and I have a good internet connection.

  • I'm glad I'm not the only one who's experienced this. I will start syncing my notes to Dropbox to mitigate the issue—thank you both for the idea—, and if I figure out how to replicate it I'll post here. This software is too good for me to give it up :smile:

  • @ssuni Christian is on vacation. It might take a couple of days until reviews this thread. (And I am not help for that)

    I am a Zettler

  • @Sascha noted (heh), thank you!

    I have an update: I'd forgotten that my Documents folder (which contains my archive directory) is synced to iCloud Storage. Once I remembered, I found out that iCloud Storage temporarily saves all deleted files, so I looked for my missing notes but still could not find them. Maybe they were never saved at all?

  • Hey @ssuni -- sorry to hear you've lost data! If I recall correctly, all data loss reports of this kind I am aware of were due to external synchronization service hiccups we cannot do much about. :( Dropbox overall seems to play well pretty with The Archive. That being said, in the past, @Will reported Dropbox sync trouble that produced file duplication. I will be able to fix this in an upcoming update from our side, and maybe that'll help with other services "losing" files, too.

    This is a tough problem in from a technical perspective. It's super hard to tell when a file goes missing "over the wire". Is it an expected remote deletion, or is it a sync error? The result on your disk looks the same: the file is gone. -- The Archive could try to remedy this by bringing these events to your attention: it could ask the user to verify if a deletion was expected or not. I personally suspect this will get on people's nerves quickly and they click a "Don't show this again" box pretty soon, effectively disabling that safety net. So to make any safety net more effective, there needs to be a less annoying, automatic, and more reliable way. There could be ways to provide longer-term file restoration. Restoring lost data sounds like the best thing we can aim for at the moment, because preventing this from happening is out of our control. I'll discuss options with Sascha.

    Author at Zettelkasten.de • https://christiantietze.de/

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