Box Drive Sync Alters File

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  • Srinivasan Lakshmipathy

    I have the same complaint as Shawn.  I am using Box Ver 2.24.198 on my iMac (Intel i7).

    Several things have broken ever since the location of the Box files on the Mac was changed. 

    Aliases broken:  Several Aliases I had in Box to Excel files that reside on my local NAS have broken since the upgrade.  When the same Alias is on my Desktop, it works just fine.  When I move it into a Box folder it claims that my original excel file is corrupted.

    Safari can't read html files form Box:
    I use a custom Start page for all my browsers.  This HTML file resides in a folder on Box.
    Ever since the Box location on Mac changes, the Safari browser can't access that HTML file.  Firefox and Chrome however are able to access that Start Page. When I talked with Apple Support about it they referred me to Box

    If Box doesn't see fit to fix these problems, I will have no option but to switch.

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  • Shawn Nichols

    Bumping. This is SO frustrating. Box has broken Mac alias files. I get you not supporting them, or even syncing them, but don't render them unfunctionable.

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  • Sebastian

    It is incredibly frustrating, yes. Alias files are integral to my filing system, and Box has

    1. broken all existing alias files and

    2. made it impossible to make new alias files.

    I really hope that the next updates fixes both points. If the fix does not repair the existing old alias files, I am in for a lot of work recovering them in some other way.

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  • Shawn Nichols

    I tried to submit the request again. Case #2528089. They still aren't understanding that I'm not requesting a feature, but rather I'm requesting them to stop breaking an OS feature. Here's their response.


    Aira (Box Customer Success)

    Dec 9, 2021, 9:58 PM CST

    Hi Shawn, 

    Thanks for getting back! 

    At the moment we don't currently offer the feature you asked about. Our Product team is constantly looking for ways to improve Box based on user feedback, so I recommend for you to post your ideas here in Pulse. Pulse can be found at:

    If there's anything else that we can help, please let us know. 


    Box Product Support

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  • Sebastian

    Maybe they would understand better if they read their own website:

    There they write: "The Make alias context menu option doesn't work as expected in Box Drive using the FPE mode: the alias created fails to open."

    But of course it is worse: The FPE does not just make it impossible to make new alias files, it also breaks the old ones.

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  • Chris Takimoto

    This is hugely disappointing and drastically decreases the functional utility of Box for our company. Dropbox clearly retains this function. Sad and poor performance.

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  • Roser Marcet

    Hello it happens to me too it bother's me so much because it saves a lot of o time to be able to create alias in my desktop tot he projetcs I have in box.

    I have box Version 2.24.212 and Mac OS Monterey  in a 2.6 GHz 6-Core Intel Core i7

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  • Penny Lemon

    Just set up a new machine and came up against this issue. Have found a work around:

    1. Create a local alias on desktop

    2. Select and press command + I

    3. Under 'General' drop down, it shows the original file path > Select New Original

    4. Navigate to Box folder and rename alias as needed  

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  • Shawn Nichols

    Thanks for the tip. Yes. I understand how to re-direct the original file path. The problem, however, is that we can't store the alias in a directory sync'd by Box. So all aliases have to be stored outside the Box directory structure. I'm even OK with Box not uploading the aliases and keeping them remote on my comuter. But breaking the aliases is inexcusable.

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  • Bryan Palmintier

    Try using a symbolic link. These can be set up through Terminal using `ln -s FILEPATH_TO_CONNECT  ALIAS_NAME` The box icon seems to show an error, but at least the alias seems to stay intact.

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  • Sam

    I met the same issue months ago and tried to contact the technical help from, but they say they don't support shortcuts. I tried the method of Bryan running 'ln -s "orginal_file_whole_address" "alias_file_whole_address" ' from the Mac terminal and realized that the alias file name would add "/" automatically after running the code. Then I tried the way below without running the terminal and it looks like it works. 

    Add "/" anywhere in the name of the alias file, and then Box will not sync the alias file. Make sure you create the alias files inside a box folder.

    For example, the original file name is "paper.pdf," and the alias file name will be "paper.pdf alias". Adding "/" to the alias file name at any place will become "paper.pdf/ alias" or "paper.pdf alias/". Then Box will try to sync it but fail to do so, and eventually, it displays an icon showing "This file doesn't exist."  As Shawn mentioned above about the expectation, the Box leaves the file on the local disk but not on the cloud. As it is a shortcut file, the alias file only takes very little disk space. Thousands of alias files will take ignorable disk space. Then we can use Alfred or mac Spotlight Search to locate the alias file easily. Hope this helps.

    Update: if you copy a shortcut file from your local drive, even with "/" in the alias file name, it will be synced as usual (unusable alias file). Therefore, you can put the original files and shortcuts (alias file with "/" in the name) in the same folder inside the Box. Then you can move the original files anywhere in another box folder or outside of the Box. Of course, we don't have any issues if you want to save shortcuts outside of the Box.


    Mac OS Monterey (12.4)
    Box Drive Version 2.27.221
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  • Ken Williams

    This is similar to windows shortcuts not working into and out of box folders.

    EXL I have a bank of computers [21 currently] that all have to access the same file. - a pdf - and it needs to be up to date, so if it is changed on my pc, and syncs, it needs to be reopened by the others when they need it. [it's a list of classes in pdf form to display on a recording.] often, when box gets a wild hair it decides the shortcut isn't valid. [shortcut is on the desktop, file is in box folder] I don't currently have the info in front of me.

    Also, it annoyingly appends new folder names with the user's email address which is a behavior I do not want!

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