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Box Sync

If you need more information than what is included in this document, visit the Box Help website's Box Sync page.

When To Use Box Sync

The Box Sync app allows you to have a copy of your U-M Box files on your desktop. We encourage its use when appropriate. However, to truly benefit from the collaborative power that comes with your U-M Box account, we recommend using the web interface for most tasks. Box Sync is great when you:

In short, you should NOT use Box Sync to copy all your files to your desktop, i.e., as a file backup system.

Use a browser for uploading 100s of files or 10 gigabytes. Use Box Sync for less than 100,000 files or less than 100 gigabytes. Use FTP for 100,000 or more files and for 10-500 Gigabytes

Tips For Using Box Sync

  1. Only sync content that truly requires offline access. Content stored on a local machine is less secure and more exposed to viruses and malware. Also, sync relies on the upload speed of your network connection, so syncing too many files will slow down the entire process.

  2. Avoid storing "loose" files in the root directory or directly within parent folders. Files at the root directory and not in a folder will be synced automatically. Make a folder called "Misc" for any files without a home. Syncing a subfolder also causes files stored directly within ALL parent folders to sync. To prevent that, move those files into a new or existing subfolder that is not synced.

  3. Avoid syncing files to multiple computers. We recommend not using more than 2 computers when syncing files (one laptop and one desktop). If Box Sync is syncing too many files over too many computers it can cause file sync to be inconsistent while local machines struggle to catch up. This can also be an issue if you sync too many files.

  4. Use FTPS if you need to upload more than 100,000 files. Sync can behave unpredictably when used to upload a large amount of data (over 100 GB).

  5. Use FTPS or the web app if you are a Linux user. Box Sync does not yet have a Linux client.

  6. Do not try to use Box Sync on networked drives. Box Sync only supports NTFS and HFS file systems.

How Box Sync Works

Opening Box Sync

Box Sync on Windows


  1. Press the Windows key on your keyboard or click the start menu.
  2. In the search box type "box sync" and the application should be the first result.


  3. In the System Tray, click the up arrow to Show Hidden Items.
  4. Right-click the Box Sync icon and select Preferences.
    1. Double clicking the Box Sync icon will open your Box Sync file folder.
Box Sync on Mac


  1. Click the Box Sync icon in the menu bar.

Alternatives to Box Sync