How to Sync a Folder (Sync 3.x)


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Setting Up your Sync Folders

To set up the folders in your Box account to sync to your desktop, log into your Box account from your web browser. You can sync any folder in your “All Files” section, that you are an editor, co-owner, or owner. Note: Sub folders, and folders that you have viewer, previewer, uploader, or preview uploader access to, are not available to sync.

To select a folder for sync, choose the menu button to the right of the folder (the small button with the downward arrow) and choose ‘Sync folder to Desktop.’ This will mark this folder to sync and make it available in the "My Box Files" folder on your desktop ("Box Documents" on Mac). Folders in your account which are currently syncing to your desktop are marked with a blue sync icon.

Box Sync will automatically scan your file tree and sync new files and folders to your computer. The icon in your system tray (menu bar on Mac) will have a sync icon during an active sync. The icon will change back to the Box logo once the sync has completed.



Accessing Your Files

To access the files on your computer simply open the “My Box Files” folder ("Box Documents" on Mac) from your desktop. The folders you currently syncing will appear, and files contained within these folders will be accessible just like file in your “My Documents” folder.



You can double click on an item to open it directly in the default application. Changes saved to the file will be automatically be uploaded to Box. If you need to recover a recent version, you can access it in the “Version History” by logging into your Box account from your web browser. (See Version history for more details)

Any change you make in your “My Box Files” folder will be synced to your Box account. Deleting an item, or moving it out of the “My Box Files” folder on your computer will remove that file from your Box account. Additionally adding files into the “My Box Files” folder will upload them into your Box account. Files dragged into the root area of "My Box Files" will be automatically moved to a designated folder.

If a folder is being synced by multiple collaborators, a change that one collaborator makes to a file in their “My Box Files” folder will be reflected in your “My Box Files” folder and vise versa.

What files cannot be synced?

Some files may not sync, this is usually due to a naming convention that Windows does not support such as (\, /, ", :, <, >, |, *, ?) to sync these files the you will need to log into the web interface and rename the file.

As WebDocs are a proprietary Box. file which cannot be opened by a native application, they will not sync down to your desktop.

Note: Files that are still open in an application may not sync until they are closed. For example: Word, Excel, PowerPoint

The following filetypes are currently not supported:

  • Hidden files and folders
  • System files and folders
  • Temp files and folders (with extension .tmp)
  • Outlook Storage Files (.pst files)
  • Box Webdocs (.webdoc files)
  • Windows Shortcuts (.lnk files)
  • Quickbook files (.QBW, .QBW.ND & .QBW.TLG)

Windows has a character limit for an item's file name and path. This limit is 256 characters. So, if the file name and path for a folder or file is longer than 256 characters, the item will not sync due to this Windows limitation. The name of the item will have to be edited to be shorter or the item will have to be moved up in the folder hierarchy in order for the item to be synced.   

Can I recover deleted files?

If some files that were being synced accidentally get deleted, you can use Sync's recycle bin feature to restore those files. Simply right-click on the Box Sync icon in your system tray and choose "Box Recycle Bin." This will take you to a folder on your computer where files deleted from sync are temporarily stored. You can click and drag anything from this folder to your desktop, then back into Box Sync to restore it.

Virtual Environments

Box offers virtual desktop support for Box Sync, however there are some limitations. For more information, see Using Box in Virtual Environments.

Unsupported Use Cases: 

We only supporting syncing or placing your My Box Files folder on a local drive. Syncing to a network drive/shared drive, server, or an external hard drive is not supported at this time. 

We do not support syncing more than 40,000 files. The sync client works optimally when around 10,000 files are being synced. 

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