Search Overview and FAQs



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Box has a very powerful search engine to help you find the content you need as fast as possible. For a quick video tutorial, please view this video.


How does search work?

Search has two main components:

  • Suggested Results: As you search, Box will provide you a list of suggested results in a drop down menu. These results are items Box thinks are a close match to your search term. Suggested results are returned to you as fast as possible and are updated with each character you add.

    It’s important to note that suggested results are based primarily on file and folder names only.

  • Search: To run a full search, click enter or the search icon after entering your search term. When you click enter, you are running a search across not only the folder and file names, but also the text within a document and the context around it. This additional context are things like comments, descriptions, metadata, and tags.

    By running a full search, you also have the ability to filter down your results even further. For more information about search filters in Box, see: Advanced Search Filters.


How does search indexing work?

Box has a secure index for content much like Google has an index for websites. To build this index, Box crawls your files, which is a process called indexing. When content is added to Box, an index request is triggered to add the file and its corresponding context into the master index.

  • Search Availability: Just as it takes Google time to crawl content on the web when new content is added, it takes up to 10 minutes for items to be fully indexed by the Box search engine. You can expect that as you add files, they will be available via search in less than 10 minutes.
  • Search Access: Only content that you are a collaborator to or owner of is available via search. Simply put, if you don’t have access to the file or folder within your account, it won’t show up in your search results.
  • Full Text Searching: Text within documents are also stored within the Box search index. The following file types are available for text extraction: 'csv', 'doc', 'docx', 'gdoc', 'gsheet', 'htm', 'html', 'msg', 'odp', 'odt', 'ods', 'pdf', 'ppt', 'pptx', 'rtf', 'tsv', 'wpd', 'xhtml', 'xls', 'xlsm', 'xlsx', 'xml', 'xsd', 'xsl', 'as', 'as3', 'asm', 'bat', 'c', 'cc', 'cmake', 'cpp', 'cs', 'css', 'cxx', 'diff', 'erb', 'groovy', 'h', 'haml', 'hh', 'java', 'js', 'less', 'm', 'make', 'ml', 'mm', 'php', 'pl', 'plist', 'properties', 'py', 'rb', 'sass', 'scala', 'script', 'scm', 'sml', 'sql', 'sh', 'txt', 'vi', 'vim', 'webdoc',’yaml’

Box stores up to 10,000 full text characters per document depending on the keywords within the file. This amount can vary from document to document because Box’s search index has many different tokenization and stop word removal filters.

Note: Box does not perform OCR on documents for its search index.


Does Box support search in other languages?

Box supports multiple languages in its search engine:

  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Spanish
  • Chinese
  • Japanese

Box does not support indexing of multiple languages within one document.


Can I search for words in non-current versions of a document?

No, and this is built by design.  Search only pulls results from the current version of a document, so that you do not have to pull up hundreds of irrelevant search results of outdated documents.

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