Nextcloud Files are deleted - how to see who deleted them


we have the problem that files are deleted in a Group Folder. Only the files are missing the folder are still there and it is a complex folder tree - so it is strange that only the files are missing. I can see a ton of files in the trash. Nobody deleted them on purpose.

  1. Did anybody experience something like this, that from one day of another files are missing?
  2. How can I see who deleted what?

I need to narrow down the issue and that would already help.

Thanks for Help!


Nextcloud version 21.0.1
Operating system Debian

File deletion and the user /account who did it should be shown under activities…


Hi @Soko,

thank you that was already very helpful. Do you know where on the server itself I can look into the activities? Problem is, we have a lot of files and the activities are kind of pain to see who deleted the files. Already browsing though it since 30min and do to recent uploads of a view GBs it takes forever. Would like to export a CSV or something that I can sort and filter.

Does anyone had this problem before that shared folder are empty of files at some point and the folders are still there? We have a few users that also use the sync client. We really have a difficult time to narrow the cause of this down.


I experienced such issue because of VFS error on Windows desktop client shortly. You find all the deleted files in the trashbin (of the group folder) - visible in web UI. I was able to identify and fix the issue within short time period, so it was easy to undelete the files. if some time passed with lot of real life operations it might be hard but at least in this case all the files still available (if you have enough quota)

Thanks @wwe. That makes sense, due to the VFS is activated on some clients. How can I check if it was an VFS error? Should it not happen in the future if we unselect this option (I know you cant say for sure but if not activated it shouldnt cause problems - I hope :wink: )?

Thanks guys for your fast respond. At the end of this conversation I will make a summary post of your answers, so the next one can fast see the next steps.

I have to add another questions to the one above. Can it be that the restore doesn’t work probably? I restored 4000 files (yeah a lot of old files unfortunately) in 100 batches. And the folder is showing less storage as it should be and some files are missing. Are they still somewhere to find? Trash is empty now.


I didn’t see the problem in my case - all files restored as expected. but I remember users reported issues with trash bin here in the forum…

in the meanwhile it could be the problem is addressed in 3.2.4 client:

It seems like the Syncclient has problems with the amount of user or the kind the nextcloud is installed. But I have other instances with less users and there is no problem with sync client. So I think +10 user to avoid syncclient.

Further the deactivation of virtual files had no effect. Syncclients where still deleting massive amounts of files.

We changed from sync client to webdav and now the problem doesn’t occur anymore. Also the trash bin recycling was not fully successful. Of 4000 restored files 300 where missing. Better to use the backup with a massiv file deletion.

I hope that helps others.