I Can't Access a File or Folder That Has Been Shared with Me

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  • BobFlynn-IU

    ,

     

    While it may seem unlikely, I recommend you check with the colleague who invited you that they email address they are inviting matches exactly the email associated with your Box account. If your account is tied to de12[at]yourcompany.com but your colleague sent the invitation to something like de12[at]mail.yourcompany.com then you would receive the invitation but not get access. If this type of email setup is true, you could make these issues go away by going to your Account Settings and adding de12[at]mail.yourcompany.com as a "linked email address" in your account. See https://community.box.com/t5/How-to-Guides-for-Account/Account-Settings/ta-p/20022#loginandemail for instructions.

     

    Best of luck,

     

    Bob

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  • De12

    Thanks Bob,
    We do all have the same email extension (within the same company) so this
    isn't an issue.

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  • maryb

    If 's suggestion about account name confusion isn't the problem, I'll suggest a few other things to look at.

    You say "I am being shared files/folders within a team." If you mean you've been given a Shared Link, it could be that the Shared Link access is for "People in your company" or "People with the link", either of which would give you the ability to see, read, and possibly download the contents of the folder, but not collaborate on (i.e. interact with) the contents of the folder.

    You also say "...anytime I click on a link to view a project file or was invited to collaborate on a file I cannot open the file. I get a Box error message "cannot open that page" (the link is correct) and I have confirmed..." Shared Links are specific to the folder or file. In other words, access to a Shared Link to a folder does not enable access using Shared Links to files within that folder. Also, if a Shared Link is not provided (begins with ...box.com/s/) but rather the link that appears in the address bar (begins ...box.com/file) you may not be able to use that to access the file. It's also not possible currently to be a collaborator on individual files (except for Box Notes) even though you can create Shared Links to individual files.
    Now, let's assume that none of this is the problem (although I hope I've been able to help in some way), I want to address "...I am not over my storage limit." Rest assured that if you are collaborating in a folder, the contents of that folder count against the storage limit of the folder owner, not yours. Even with a free account of just 10 GB, accessing content owned by an enterprise account gives the collaborator the benefits of that enterprise account, without impacting the storage quota of the collaborator.
    I hope that helps in some way.
    MaryBeth
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  • StarkPM

    I came across this thread while trying to locate files that have been shared with me.  I understand all the parts about verifying the e-mail address and ensuring permissions haven't changed or the file removed, but that's not the basic question I'm trying to address (with no obvious topic in Help either).  The question is, if all those things are correct, where do I look when I first logon to Box to find any files that anyone has ever shared with me?  A colleague sent me the link to a file this morning, so I just logged on to Box and figured I'd find it somehow.  My best guess from the few headings in the left column was under Recent, but it wasn't there (and of course if it wasn't recent, that probably wouldn't help much).  I searched Help and the forums to no avail.  Eventually I clicked on the link just so I could look at the file, and that worked.  Somewhat later I looked under Recent again and now it was there, but that's still not the answer.  If as someone posted earlier they are collaborating with others on files all the time, where are they accessing those shared files from their logon screen?  Much as I hated bringing up a competitor's product as an example, I assumed there would be something like the very obvious "Shared with Me" choice on Google Drive, which immediately shows me every file or folder anyone has ever shared with me.  

     

    So there are really two questions here: 1) where does one find any files shared with them on Box, and 2) where can someone find the answer to that question in the Box Help pages?  This should be part of the basic "how to" instructions for Box, not the answer to a question from someone who is unable to find them where they expect to. 

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  • BobFlynn-IU

    ,

     

    Your question is understandable and it raises an issue that is often raised by new or infrequent Box users. First to the issue, then to your questions. 

     

    The issue comes with the term "share". In Box there is a difference between sharing and collaboration. Sharing is one-way and can be one-off or ephemeral. While someone may send you a shared link, you don't actually share with a specific user in Box. When you create a shared link in Box you set it's access level (people in this file/folder = any collaborator who already has access to the file, people in your company = anyone with a Box login in the organization of the owner of the file/folder, or people with the link = anyone at all). While the shared link creation UI does allow you to email the link to someone, that is just a courtesy tool, it does not in any way tie that link to that user. Consequently, when you, the user who get the link emailed directly to them from the person who created it or from Box through that courtesy tool, have no programmatic connection to that shared link or shared item. If you lose that email, you'll have to ask the person for that link again, because it is not somehow registered in your Box account. In fact, for the people with the link access level, you don't have need to have a Box account.

     

    So this is why, when something is shared with you, you will not see that registered somewhere in your Box account. In a way, the link has no connection to you as a user. Clearly lots of Box users have had to deal with this. I'm sure some may have a folder in their email where they save all of the emails, either from Box or directly from the other user. I try to make bookmarks in my Box account. I say "try" because I don't always remember to. Sometimes, if the link allows it, I download the item to save in a spot where I need it.

     

    Now to your questions:

     

    where does one find any files shared with them on Box

    Folders or files to which you are invited as a collaborator will show up in your Box account as long as you are a collaborator. Folders or files for which you have a shared link will not show up in your account unless you put them there in some fashion, as explained above.

     

    where can someone find the answer to that question in the Box Help pages? This should be part of the basic "how to" instructions for Box, not the answer to a question from someone who is unable to find them where they expect to.

    I, too, have searched and don't see a good answer. Most of the information on Shared Links is about creating and maintaining them, not being on the receiving end. Perhaps  or  could chime in on the possibility of creating a document that would guide users on how to maintain the shared links they've been sent.

     

    Thank you for raising this oft misunderstood issue.

     

    Best of luck,

     

    Bob 

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  • StarkPM

    Bravo! (sound of both hands clapping). Thank you for a thoughtful answer to what I see is a complex question. Hopefully it can spur someone to address both sides of the issue with additional clarity, not just by formalizing the explanation, but by improving how users are able to handle both situations.



    Pete Stark




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  • Howard

    Thanks  for that great explanation on shared links and how it differentiates from a regular folder invite.

     

    Yes , I've brought this up with our documentation team to tackle this issue of explaining both sides of sharing. We can look to include this in our current documentation on shared links here, or create a new article separately.

     

    Appreciate your time and thanks for these questions!

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  • richard26

    Worked for me!! thank you!!! 

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  • ddugan

    Thank you. The email invitation I received for the file in question is for a collaboration folder:

    Collaborated Folder

    View Folder

     

    And for other team members they can access and edit the contents of the folder without a password. I was required to reset my password and even when signed in the system cannot locate the folder and give me access. I confirmed this morning that other team members are accessing and editing the contents of the folder.

     

    So how do I access the folder? 

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  • BobFlynn-IU

    ,

     

    First a minor, but important correction. There is no way to give someone the ability to edit data in Box without a password. Editing content requires a Box account. Logging into a Box account requires a password.

     

    If you have received a collaboration invitation but when you log into Box the folder does not show up for you it could be one of two things.

    1. The person who invited you has rescinded the invitation.
    2. The person who invited you used a different email address to invite you that is different than the one you have used to create your Box account. Just because you received the email doesn't mean it was sent to the exact same address that you use for Box. ddugan[at]yourcompany.com is different, in Box's eyes, than ddugag[at]mail.yourcompany.com. Confirm that the address invited is exactly the same as the address you use to log into Box. 

    HTH,

     

    Bob

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