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Box Sync 3.x Overview and FAQs

What is Box Sync?

Box Sync is a productivity tool that affords you quick and easy way to access to the content that you need most. By mirroring data stored on Box to your desktop, Box Sync allows you to navigate and modify content stored on Box through your computer’s native file browsing interface, without using a web browser. Content that syncs down to your computer will be available for offline access, and will automatically relay changes back up to your Box account.

Please note: Edited files will not sync until they are closed. Saving without closing will not allow the files to sync.

Useful Resources:

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What are the system requirements for Sync?

Box Sync can currently be installed on Windows 7, Vista, XP (32-bit only), as well as Mac OS X 10.6 and later.

 

How do I download and install Box Sync?

You can download the version of Box Sync for your operating system (Mac or Windows) from the “Mobile and Sync” tab of your Account Settings page (https://box.com/settings/sync). 

 

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Sync 3 Windows Installer files:

Sync 3 Mac Installer files:

To get started, simply download the application to your computer, double click on the installer, and follow the installation prompts to completion.

 

Additional notes

 
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Can I install Box Sync on a network or external drive?

Box Sync is not supported on network drives, external drives, or servers because of the diverse methods with which these devices identify and map files. Doing so can result in unexpected behavior such as file and folder duplications, deletions, and reversions. Box Sync is only supported on local hard drives.

 

How do I change the location of my local synced folder?

By default, the “My Box Files” (for Windows) or “Box Documents” (for Mac) will be located under “My Documents” or under the Mac user profile folder, respectively. This default location can be changed from within the Box Sync application.

Windows:

  1. Launch Sync.
  2. Open the Box Sync Preferences window by double clicking the Sync icon in your System Tray.
  3. Under the Settings tab, click Change ‘My Box Files’ location.
  4. Designate a new location for My Box Files and click OK to confirm.
  5. Allow Sync to complete the move.
 
windows_sync_install.png
 

Mac:

  1. Launch Sync.
  2. Click on the Box Sync icon in the top navigation bar.
  3. Select Open Box Sync Preferences…
  4. Click Settings.
  5. Click Move (next to the Box Documents icon).
  6. Designate a new location for Box Documents.
  7. Allow Sync to complete the move.
 
move_sync_folder_mac.png

 

Can I change the name of my local Box Sync folder?

At this time, it is not possible to rename the default Sync folders from “My Box Files” (on Windows) or “Box Documents” (on Mac). Box Sync currently relies on these specific folder names to identify and map local synced content.

 

How many items can I sync at once?

Box Sync has a technical limit of 40,000 synced items (including folders and files). However, for optimal sync performance, we recommend around 10,000 items.

 

Why aren’t my files syncing?

If files aren’t syncing to your computer, first make sure that you have marked folders for Sync through the web application. Sync will not automatically download all content from your Box account—you must first designate particular folders for Sync.

Here are a few common incompatibilities that will prevent items from syncing down to your computer:

Blocked file types
The following file types are blocked and unsupported by Sync:

    • Temporary files and folders (.tmp and files/folders starting with ~ character)
    • System and hidden files
    • Windows shortcuts
    • Box WebDocs
    • Outlook PST files
    • QuickBook files
    • Google Docs/Spreadsheets

Long file paths
Windows does not allow file paths longer than 256 characters. For this reason, Box Sync for Windows will not download any files that result in a path length of more than 256 characters. To prevent this, we recommend avoiding deep folder hierarchies and long file names. The full path of Microsoft Office documents includes the drive letter, and all characters and folder names up to and including the name of the document. The entire path cannot be longer than 242 characters in Word, or 218 characters in Excel.

Mac bundles
Many files on the Mac are stored as "bundles", which is a folder that OS X is able to interpret as a file. This includes many iWork files, Mac Apps, NIBs, and more. Box Sync will not upload these files to your account.

Blocked characters
Box Sync does not support files or folders that contain any of the following characters:
   \/*?":<>|
If you attempt to sync files or folders containing these characters, Box Sync will prompt you to rename the file or folder using the underscore character. In most cases, we recommend pushing the “Rename” button and accepting the renamed file or folder that Sync suggests.

Avoid using a period to begin or end file and folder names. Opening periods are reserved for system files on Mac. Trailing periods should be reserved to designate the beginning of the file extension on Windows. 

 

How do I collect sync logs?

Sync logs record the sync activity particular to each machine. It is very common for Box Support to request sync logs in order to effectively troubleshoot Box Sync issues. As the logs continuously track Box Sync activity (recording the past 7 days), it may be necessary to provide new logs at various stages of the troubleshooting process.  

 

How to collect Windows Sync logs?

Box Sync for Windows has an automatic Save Logs function that you can use with these steps:

AutomaticRight-click on the Box Sync icon in system tray and select: Advanced > Save Logs

Video tutorial: https://cloud.box.com/windowssync-logs

If you are unable to collect the logs automatically, please follow the manual steps below (Note: remember to replace <username> with your username on the computer):

  1. Open an Explorer window and go to:
    • Windows 7: C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Box Sync\Logs
    • Windows XP:  C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Box Sync\Logs
  2. Zip up the "Logs" folder
  3. Open an Explorer window and go to:
    • Windows 7: C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Box Sync
    • Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Box Sync
  4. Zip up the "syncdb.sqlite3" file
  5. Attach to email and send both zipped files to us (or if files are too large, you can upload to Box and send us a shared link set to “Open Access”)

How to collect Mac Sync logs

Box Sync for Mac has an automatic Save logs for Box function that you can use with these steps:

  • If you are unable to collect the logs automatically, please follow the manual steps below:
  1. Open a Finder window.
  2. Click Go from the tool bar > Go to Folder.
  3. Type ~/Library/Logs/Box Sync.
  4. Zip the Box Sync folder.
  5. Click Go from the tool bar > Go to Folder.
  6. Type ~/Library/Application Support/Box Sync.
  7. Zip the syncdb.sqlite3 file
  8. Attach to email and send both zipped files to us (or if the files are too large, you can upload to Box and send us a shared link with open access).

 

Can I sync a subfolder or individual file?

Yes! Please upgrade to Sync 4.0 to utilize this new feature.

 

How do I sync my files?

To mark a root level folder for Sync, locate the folder in the “All Files and Folders” view. Select the “More Options” menu to the right of this folder and select “Sync Folder to Computer”. A blue Sync icon will appear over the folder in the web view, indicating that it will now be synced to your local Box Sync folder.

 

How do I uninstall Box Sync?

To uninstall Box Sync, refer to the following instructions:

Uninstalling Box Sync on Windows:

  1. Navigate to your Control Panel.
  2. Select Programs > Uninstall a program.
  3. Scroll down the list and select Box Sync.
  4. Click Uninstall

 

If you are attempting to uninstall Sync and receive a message that reads: “The feature that you are trying to use is on a network resource that is unavailable”, try running the Windows Fix-it script here: http://support.microsoft.com/mats/Program_Install_and_Uninstall/

 

Uninstalling Box Sync on a Mac: 

  1. Log and quit out of Sync
  2. Open the Box Sync Installer (likely located in your Downloads folder) and click Uninstall.
  3. Move the installer file to your Trash.
  4. Rename and relocate your Box Documents folder.

 

If you no longer have the Box Sync Installer:

  1. Open the application Activity Monitor on your Mac and search for Box Sync. Select Quit Process then choose Force Quit.
  2. Open System Preferences, then right-click on the Box Sync icon and choose Remove Box Sync Preference Pane.
  3. Open Finder on your Mac, navigate to ~/Library/Application Support and delete the Box folder by moving it to the trash.
  4. Restart your computer.

 

What file types are unsupported by Box Sync?

Unsupported file types include: temporary files and folders, system and hidden files, Windows shortcuts, Box WebDocs, Outlook PST files, QuickBook files, Google Docs/Spreadsheets, and Mac bundle files.

 

Why am I being logged out of Box Sync?

If you are able to log in to Box Sync but are instantaneously logged out, it is likely that your account is not up to date on its billing. Please get in touch with your account administrator and verify the status of your account’s billing. 

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