In 2015, Dropbox users around the world experienced an error the prevented them from accessing their cloud storage accounts for a few hours. Due to 500 error, many users were not able to sync their files using Dropbox, which caused concern and many productivity issues. While the company stated back then that issue was caused after an error that occurred during a scheduled maintenance, Dropbox didn’t offer more information about what happened. They simply acknowledged the problem and the fact that it was affecting their website. They also mentioned in a public post that the root of the issue had been identified and that it was related to internal maintenance.
Although the service was eventually restored and the company apologized to customers for the inconvenience caused, this was not the first or the last time that customers have experienced an issue with Dropbox. Prior to the worldwide error, Dropbox users were targeted with phishing emails asking them to complete a compulsory update. The email pretended to be from the company and asked users to click on a button included, which lead them to a malicious website registered in Vietnam. Back then, there was also a phishing email that was supposedly from the FBI, but that was actually carrying malware. The website was shut down and while these issues were not Dropbox’s fault, the 500 error was an internal problem.
In fact, the error has appeared more times since that worldwide incident in 2015. Although it hasn’t have the same massive impact, there are still reports of 500 error affecting some Dropbox customers. According to the reports, users come across error 500 when they try to sign in to their account. Even after clearing cache and using a different browser, the error persists. Users are asked to use the self serve tool when submitting a bug report. However, since the issue is on the server-side, unfortunately users have no choice but to wait until Dropbox fixes the problem. There is really nothing that users can do apart from that, which can be very frustrating.
According to Dropbox’s forums, the last time when this issue took place was October 2017 and while it seems like it didn’t have a major impact and it was eventually solved, again, affected users were left without being able to access their files. This can be a major headache when it comes to urgent projects. However, it seems like since the error is related to routine maintenance, Dropbox tries to carry out this outside key hours to cause the least amount of disruption. So if you come across 500 error, just wait patiently, it is likely that it will be fixed very soon. Although if you need to get access to crucial data stored in the cloud, you may want to keep this error in mind and consider alternatives to Dropbox.