Upgrading from Sync 3 to Sync 4



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This article provides details on seamlessly upgrading and moving your content from Sync 3.x to Box Sync 4.0. 

Support for Sync 3 ended on June 30, 2015.

Upgrade to Sync 4!

  1. Verify Sync 3 is still installed and in sync.
  2. Install Sync 4.0 over Sync 3. 
  3. Login with the same credentials you used for Sync 3.
  4. See your files move from Sync 3 to Sync 4!

For Box Sync 4.0 installation instructions, see Installing Box Sync 4.0.


How are files moved from Sync 3 to Sync 4.0?

Sync 4.0 has a built-in migration process to transfer your locally synced content from the Sync 3 root folder (My Box Files on a PC and Box Documents on a Mac) to your new Sync 4.0 Box Sync folder.

By default, Sync 4.0 stores local files in a new folder called Box Sync. This folder is located as follows:

  • On PCs: C:\Users\[username]\Box Sync
  • On Mac: ~\Box Sync

Box Sync 4.0 attempts to move all Sync 3.x files to the Box Sync folder. Once this process completes, you get the following notification:

If items in your Sync 3 directory are not migrated, they are saved to the Box Files Backup (not synced) folder. This folder is located in the same directory as your Sync 3 root folder. In this case, you get the following notification:

You can start accessing your files using Box Sync 4.0.

Synced Box items not found in the local directory continue to sync in the background.

Can I customize my Box Sync folder location?

If your Sync 3 folder is already at a custom location, your new Sync 4.0 folder will also be created in the same location.

To customize the location of the Box Sync folder, see Can a User Select the Box Sync Folder Location?

Recommendations for a seamless migration

  • Verify that you are using Sync 3 within supported parameters. For Sync 3 documentation, please reference this article: Sync 3 Overview
  • Verify that Sync 3 has completed to 100% and blue icons show for all files and folders before upgrading to Sync 4.
  • Avoid altering items in the old Sync 3.x folder and the new Box Sync folder until you the client indicates that the migration is complete.

Other caveats

  • Hard drive format: The Box Sync folder must be on a local drive with NTFS, HFS, or HFS+ file system. If the custom location in Sync 3 was on any other type of file system or network drive, the Box Sync folder will be created in the default location.
  • Timestamps: Successfully migrated files will maintain their timestamps. Files that need to be downloaded from Box will not retain their original created and modified timestamps. Folders are recreated during the migration process and will show updated timestamps. 
  • Shortcuts:During the upgrade process, Sync will remove any shortcuts that were created by Sync 3. Custom links (sometimes used in Microsoft Excel and Adobe InDesign) and desktop shortcuts will need to be updated to point to the new Box Sync folder.
  • Device pinning: Box Sync for Windows uses a new Windows API for device pinning. For users who had administrative access to their desktop when first installing Sync 3 on Windows Vista, 7, 8, or 8.1, Box Sync will be reported as a new device after upgrading to Sync 4. If you currently limit your company to one Sync device, be sure to raise this limit to 2 devices before upgrading. If users upgrade before this limit is raised, they will see the following message: You cannot login as you have exceeded the number of allowed devices. Contact your administrator to increase your device limit. See Device Pinning Overview and FAQs for additional details. 
  • Successful migration: If the migration is successful, the My Box Files/ Box Documents folder will disappear. If a Box Files Backup (not synced) folder remains, this means that certain items were not successfully migrated to the new Box Sync folder. Items will be contained in Box Files Backup (not synced) if:
    • Files are unsupported by Sync 4.0.
    • Files were never uploaded to Box.
    • Files were edited (by a user and/or an application) after you last synced your files.


Effective April 2014, Box began prompting all users to upgrade to Sync 4.0.

If you have been selected for an auto-upgrade, you see the following Software Update pop-up.

If you click Remind Me Later, Box will prompt you the next time you restart Box Sync or reboot your computer. This rollout period is expected to last several months.

This process only works on machine accounts that have their permissions set to install desktop software.

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