How Do I Sync Subfolders in Box Sync 4.0?

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The subfolder sync feature in Box Sync 4.0 allows you to selectively sync or unsync any subfolder in Box. 

Prerequisites and Guidelines

  • You should have already installed Sync 4.0 on the desktop client. See installation instructions here.
  • You should already be logged into the Box website and to Box Sync 4.0. The option to sync subfolders in the web application will only appear for your account after you have logged into a Box Sync 4.0 client. 
  • Remember to sync and unsync folders/subfolders/files from the Box website.

Using Subfolder Sync

  1. Identify a directory structure in the Box website where nothing is synced.
  2. In your Box website account, right-click the folder you want to sync and select Sync Folder to Computer. Verify the corresponding sync status in your Box Sync directory on your computer.
  3. Within the synced folder, you can decide to only sync the certain subfolders and unsync others.
  4. To unsync a subfolder in a synced folder, right-click the subfolder you wish to unsync and select Synced > Unsync. In the Disable Sync for this folder popup, click Unsync Folder.

Subfolder Sync Nuances and Scenarios

Subfolder sync maintains the Box website’s tree hierarchy on your computer. Depending on the hierarchy, you can also sync the parent hierarchy of the synced folder.

Box supports two way syncing: from the Box website to your computer and vice versa.

  • Box syncs the subfolder you selected from the website to your computer
  • Box also syncs all the files in the parent folder on your computer—just drag and drop a file locally into the parent folder to automatically sync to the Box website.

The following scenarios depict the synced files in the Box website and how it corresponds to the synced files in your computer.

Scenario 1

In this scenario, files in both Folder A and Subfolder 3 will be synced, but Subfolder 1 and 2 will not be synced.
You have the following tree structure in the Box website:

  • Folder A
    • File 1
    • File 2
    • Subfolder 1
    • Subfolder 2
    • Subfolder 3
  • File 3
  • File 4

You then sync Subfolder 3 to your computer. The following structure will sync down to your computer:

  • Folder A
    • File 1
    • File 2
    • Subfolder 3
  • File 3
  • File 4

 

Scenario 2

In this scenario, the entire hierarchy is synced on your hard drive. You have the following tree structure in the Box website:

  • Root folder
    • Only one subfolder

You then sync only this subfolder to your computer:

  • Root folder
    • Only one subfolder

 

To really take advantage of subfolder sync, try syncing a folder with multiple subfolders, and only sync some items in that folder. Note that unsyncing a subfolder will cause the parent folder to become only partially synced ("Some items synced").This can cause some confusion if a subfolder is accidentally unmarked for Sync. For more information about this, check out Why Are New Subfolders Not Syncing To My Desktop?

Any subfolder created in a parent folder that is partially synced will not be synced by default. New folders created in that same directory on Box to be unmarked for Sync by default. 

 

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