Box User Guide



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In this handy guide, we’ll show you how to share, access, and manage your content – from anywhere. You’ll see the play-by-plays you need to get the Box basics under your belt, plus some tips and tricks that’ll make you a seasoned ninja in no time. So have a look…and don’t forget we’re always here to help.

Logging in to Your Box Account

First thing's first. Here’s how to log in:

  1. Go to
  2. Enter your email/username on the right of the page
  3. Enter your password
  4. Click Log In

Forgot your password? No worries: Just click the Forgot Password link.

Creating a New Folder

The folder: It’s your Box account’s basic building block, where you’ll group similar files together. Follow the steps below to create a new folder:

  1. Click the New button and select New Folder:
  2. In the pop-up window that appears, enter the folder name. Prefer a private folder? Select Keep Private For Now. To create a folder where you’ll work with others, pick Invite People to Upload or Download Files:
  3. Need folders inside the first one? To create subfolders, just click the top-level folder to open it, and repeat the steps above.


Uploading Files

It’s a breeze to share files using Box, but first – naturally – you’ll need some in your account! You’ve got two choices: Use Upload Files when you only have a few to get to the cloud, and Upload Folders when the job’s a bit bigger.

Adding Files via Upload Files

  1. Navigate to the folder where you want to send your files
  2. Click the Upload button and then choose Upload Files:
  3. A pop-up window will appear, allowing you to select the specific file(s) you want to upload from your computer
  4. Select the specific file(s) and click the Open button

Adding Files via Upload Folders

  1. Navigate to the folder where you want to send your files
  2. Click the Upload button and then Upload Folders
  3. A pop-up window will appear which allows you to browse your computer to upload folders:
  4. Once you’ve added the files or folders you need, click OK to get them up to Box.

Navigating Your Account

Once your files are in Box it’s easy to access them wherever you are. Box’s familiar, intuitive design makes it simple to navigate your account, and you’ve also got three slick shortcuts at your disposal: the Search tool, Jump to Folder and the Updates view.


If you’re looking for a certain file – or even a certain word or phrase within a file – jump right to it with the Search tool. Just pop your query into the search bar at the top of your page:

Box will search the titles of your files and folders as well as the body of your documents. Receive too many results, simply apply some filters. You can sort by folder, file type, date, content type, and owner.

Jump to Folder

If you want to get to a folder quickly, use the Jump to Folder tool. Simply click the dropdown menu in the upper left corner to access your entire folder structure and be taken directly there.



On this page, you’ll see what files and folder have been recently updated in your Box account. You can click right into the file or simply view the history – including comments, tasks, versioning and more. To view recent updates click the Globe Icon in the blue menu bar.

Additionally, you can filter the results by the type of update made. To sort by action type, hover over All and select the filter you’d like to apply:

Inviting Collaborators

Box’s collaboration system works at the folder level – you’ll invite contacts to join one or more of your folders as collaborators and define the access permissions you see fit.

  • And not to worry: Your collaborators won’t be able to peek at anything outside the folder(s) to which they’ve been invited.

Here’s how to start:

  1. Next to the folder you’d like to share and click the drop-down arrow to the right of its name. Mouse over Share and then click Invite Collaborators.
  2. In the pop-up, enter the email addresses of the contacts you’re inviting to the folder. You’ll also need to assign the invitees an access level based on the permissions  you wish to provide foe each collaborator.

    Quick Tip: Collaborators have the same access level throughout a particular folder structure. For example, an editor in a top-level folder will be an editor in all the subfolders, too.

  3. Select the access level they’ll need, then click Invite: A friendly invitation with instructions for joining your folder (or for creating a Box account, if they’re not already with us) will be sent, straight away

Shared Links

There may come a time when you’d like to quickly share files with others who may not have Box accounts, and who don’t need to be collaborators in your folders.

Enter shared links – your pleasantly painless solution. These are URLs that’ll take any recipient right to the folder or file they need, without giving access to any other part of your account. Difference is – unlike collaboration – contacts with a shared link get read-only access and won’t be able to make changes to your files.

Here’s how to generate one:

  1. Mouse over the desired folder or file and click Share
  2. In the space that appears below the item, you’ll see a URL next to Link to this file (or folder) – this is your shared link:

  3. To share, copy and paste the secure link into an email or IM client, or whatever communication channel you have available
  4. For added security, consider setting an auto-expiration for the shared link. This will sever the connection to your file/folder after the clock runs out, ensuring that your content isn’t accessible when it shouldn’t be. Just click the Access button and select Set Expiration.
  5. Select an expiration date in the Unshare On field, then click Okay: EXPIRATION POPUP
  6. To require that recipients enter a password to use the shared link, click the Set Password link, add your desired password, and click Save:

  7. Until now, we’ve been working with an Open shared link… but you’ll notice that’s not the only option available to you in the Access menu. Want to beef up your link’s security? If so, consider:
    • @[YourCompany]: The shared link will only be viewable by Box users with an email address that matches your company’s email domains
    • Collaborators Only: Only people who are collaborating with you on the file or folder will be able to open the link

Adding Comments to a File

Comments provide a powerful way to drive discussion around content in your Box account. Use comments to request feedback from others, make notes to yourself, notify others of updates to a file, and a variety of other social interactions.

  1. Mouse over the desired file and click on the comments icon
  2. Type in your thoughts and click Add comment:

Creating Tasks for a Collaborator

Here’s another way you can use Box to tame the email beast and get your inbox under control: assigning tasks. Example: Instead of shooting your coworker an email asking for quick feedback on a file, consider creating a task for them to keep the whole process right in one centralized location.

To get going:

  1. Mouse over the desired file and click on the comments icon
  2. Click on Assign Task
  3. A text box will appear where you can enter a description and/or additional instruction. Below, you’ll select the task type, assign the task to a collaborator and set a due date. Click Add when you’re finished and a notification email will be sent to the assignee:
  4. And the assignee will see their pending tasks, right from their All Files and Folders page

File Locking and Version Control

You’ve seen how Box makes it easy to share your content with anyone, but you may be wondering what happens when two or more of those folks try to edit a file at the same time. Don’t fret: We’ve developed one tool – file locking – to prevent this from happening, and another – version control – to correct it if it does.

Download and Lock a File to Edit

When you need to make changes to a file and want to prevent other users from getting to it while you work:

    1. Mouse over the file and click the drop-down arrow to the right of the file name
    2. Click Lock File
    3. A pop-up window will appear in which you can check boxes to prevent other users from downloading the file while it is locked and/or set an expiration time for the lock. Click Continue, and the file will be locked
    4. All done? Save the file in the program you used to edit it – and be sure to use the same file name
    5. To get the updated file back in Box, mouse over the locked file and click the drop-down arrow to the right of the file name, then click Unlock File
    6. To upload your new version, click the drop-down arrow next to the folder and choose Upload New Version. A pop-up window will appear, allowing you to select the edited version. Click Select file, grab the file from your computer, then click Upload to upload and unlock the file.

Version Control

Once you’ve completed the upload, you’ll see a version icon next to the file name:

This icon shows you how many previous versions of the file are saved. If you click the icon, you’ll see the older versions, can download them or make an older version the most current one:


When you delete an older version of this file, the deleted version is retained as determined by the trash policy for your account. You cannot restore a deleted version after the trash policy's expiration date.

It’s your very own time machine to ensure that you never lose your work!

Folder Properties

As a folder owner, you’ve got a suite of sophisticated settings available to you – these properties control how your collaborators view and manage the files in your folder. To access these properties:

  1. Mouse over the desired folder and click the drop-down arrow. Mouse over Properties.
  2. A pop-up window will appear in which you can adjust the folder settings for shared links, user privileges, commenting and more

User Email Notifications

To keep you apprised of current events in your account, we’ve built an email notification system that lets you know when your collaborators access or edit your files. It’s up to you what actions you’ll be notified about, so here’s how to make your choices:

  1. Click the gear icon in the right corner of the blue header bar at the top of the page, then select Account Settings from the dropdown menu
  2. Next, switch to the Notifications tab: From here, you can adjust the default email notification settings for your account. Once you’re finished, click Save:

Quick Tip: Your default email notification settings can also be overridden at the folder level. Settings in the section pictured above apply by default to your entire account, but you can give certain folders a bit more granularity by setting notifications at that level. To do so, right-click the name of the folder in question, mouse over Folder Properties, then click Email Options.

Box Sync

This cross-platform productivity booster lets Box Business and Enterprise customers keep files from their Box accounts in sync with their computer desktops.

To use Box Sync, download the app from the "Get Box Sync" tab under Account Settings. Once installation is complete, a Sync folder will appear on your desktop.

And any files you drag into this folder will be synced with your Box account. On, a blue symbol will be displayed next to all synced folders.

For any folders you have on Box already, you will need to select them to appear in Box Sync for work while you are offline. To do so, click the drop-down menu next to the folder and choose Sync Folder to Computer. Note, you can only sync folders where you have Editor access or above.


Once you’re finished, you can always unsync a folder from the dropdown menu. 

Box Edit

What happens when you need to make a change to a file in Box? Box Edit lets you edit files directly on Box. If you have a program that can edit a file type, you can use Box Edit by clicking the pencil icon.

Then, Box will open the file in the program on your computer, you can make changes like you normally would and click Save. Box will save your changes as the next version in the stack.

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