Best Practices - Migrating from Dropbox to Box



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Making the move from Dropbox to Box? We’re happy to have you! The following recommendations will help to make the migration as smooth as possible.


How to approach migration from Dropbox to Box

Here are a few things to consider before starting the transfer of content from Dropbox to Box:

  1. First, determine what you want to keep. Just like moving into a new home, moving individuals and teams to Box from Dropbox requires planning and some housecleaning. Successful Box customers often migrate current and relevant content rather than everything that could have potential value.
  2. Consider what you need to have offline. As a best practice, sync your current and active projects for offline use instead of trying to keep a local copy of all of your organization’s content. You should also consider what folders you will need to access while you are offline for an extended period of time.


  1. Choose a migration method. The most common methods for migrating content from Dropbox to Box are the Box Sync, Folder Uploads, FTP, or partner applications.


Communicate the Changes

Consider how you will message your end users about what tools to use, and how to move their company data out of their personal accounts. Dropbox might continue to be used for personal file storage of non-organizational content, so how you message this depends on your security needs.

Be sure to consider how you will message this repeatedly over time.

For example:

  • Send a series of company wide emails explaining how and why changes are occurring
  • Post tutorials on your organization's intranet or social tools
  • Have your executive sponsor send a video to your organization

Figure 1: Contact your Customer Success Manager (CSM) for a sample template


Set Up a New and Improved Folder Structure

The first and most important step in your migration should be to set the stage in Box for your content and users. Prior to actually transferring over your files and adding user accounts, you’ll want to implement a folder structure that is well-organized and conducive to your business workflow. Consider how you would like your end-users to access their content in Box. You can review the Folder Structure Best Practices document for additional recommendations.

This is also the ideal time to configure the security settings on your Box account to match your IT department’s requirements, and set up the custom branding to match your organization’s look and feel. For more information, see the best practices documents for these topics.

Here are a few examples of how you may want to set up your company's folder structure:

Department/Project Based Directory

 Personal Workspace for each individual

Gain Access to All Dropbox Shared Folders

As the Box administrator responsible for this migration, you’ll need access to all shared or team folders in Dropbox. If there are any shared folders in Dropbox to which you do not have access, instruct your end-users to invite you into them. Let them know that granting you access will ensure that all of their data is successfully transferred from system to system.


Upload Into Box
You’ll need to consider which method you’d like to use to get your content uploaded and organized in Box. We will provide you with a couple of recommendations, though there are a number of options. It’s important to keep in mind that your upload method should go hand-in-hand with getting all of your content organized and ready to go for all of your end-users.

Upload batches of content directly into established folders

Since you’ve already set up your folder structure in Box, you may want to upload batches of content directly into their designated folders. In order to do this, however, you’ll need to have a good idea of where files need to be placed.

If your content in Dropbox was organized similarly to how it will be set up in Box, then it may be just as simple as moving data from your Dropbox shared folder into the corresponding folder in Box. For example, if you have a Marketing folder in Dropbox that contains press releases, upload these files from your desktop Dropbox folder into the Marketing folder in Box. 

If your content organization will be different in Box than it was in Dropbox, you can still use this method to upload. You might already be familiar with your users’ files and how they need to be structured. And if not, you can always work with each of your users to determine the folders in which their data should be stored.


Upload all content into a temporary folder and reallocate

Another option would be to upload all content into a temporary folder in Box and then reorganize your files into their respective folders.

It is recommended that when using this method you should upload entire folders rather than individual files. You should also keep any folder structures intact that you currently have in Dropbox. Any existing structure will help you to keep track of your files and determine where they need to be moved.

Once you have consolidated all of you Dropbox data in a folder in Box, you can begin moving files and folders to their proper locations within your folder structure.

Grant access to you users in Box

With all of your data organized, the final step will be to migrate all of your users to Box. Make a list of users who will require access, or if you were using Dropbox for Teams, refer to the Dropbox Teams tab for a current list of users. Each of these users can be added to Box through the Users tabs in the Admin Console.


Assign appropriate access to users in folders

Be sure to invite your users into folders in Box that contain the content they had access to in Dropbox. You should also take some time to think about the access types that you’d like to assign these users in each folder. Refer to the following chart for a breakdown of these roles:


Alternatively, you can also grant your users access to folders from within their individual profiles in the Users tab of the Admin Console, or if you have a Box Enterprise account, you can use Groups. See the Best Practices Using Groups document for more information on Groups implementation.

This spectrum of permission levels will let you customize the type of actions your users can take on the folders in your Box account. A user’s permission can vary from folder to folder depending on what actions they need to take on the files and subfolders inside.

If you want a user to be able to use Box’s desktop sync tool for a folder, you just need to grant them Editor, Co-Owner, or Owner privileges.

We recommend that you run the User Statistics report as everyone is getting started to monitor the activity in your Box account. This report will allow you to identify power users as well as those users who may need a little more support initially.


Another available tool for migrating content between cloud services -

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