Carnegie Mellon University

Box Sync App

The Box Sync app is designed to access Box files offline or as part of a backup procedure. When you install the app, the Box Sync folder is created on your desktop. When you add, change, or delete a file from your computer’s Box Sync folder, the app updates the version in your Box account. It also keeps both the online and local versions of your content in sync.


  • Syncs up to 100,000 files.
  • Install on more than one computer.
    Note: If you set the Box folder to stop syncing, it will be removed from all computers.
  • Preserves file time stamps. See How Does Box Sync Handle Timestamps for Synced Files.
  • Notifies you when a file cannot be synced. See Which File Types are Ignored or Blocked in Box Sync?
  • Automatically updates so you always run the latest version of the app.
  • The Box Sync folder on your computer is the same as the All Files (root) directory of your Box storage space (folder hierarchy view).
  • Box retains older versions of a file. To view or retrieve an older version, log into, locate the file and click the blue V# icon under the file’s name.


Box Sync and Box Drive  cannot be used on the same computer. The latest versions of Box Drive include a Box Sync uninstaller. When you launch Box Drive, you will be prompted to begin the uninstall process. The prompts will repeat until you've removed Box Sync from your computer.

Install Box Sync

  1. Download the Box Sync app from the Available Box Apps page.
  2. Click Sign In with SSO if prompted. Log in with your Andrew userID and password, then authenticate with DUO when prompted.
  3. Follow the onscreen installation instructions.
    Note: If you’re using a departmentally managed device, you may need to launch Admin By Request or contact your IT administrator to finish installing the application
  4. Click Use Single Sign On (SSO) to log in.
  5. Your synced files are stored in a new folder called Box Sync

Windows: Box Sync requires Internet Explorer and is not supported on external, virtual or network drives.


Best Practices

  • Do NOT install both Box Sync and Box Drive.
    The two applications cannot run on the same device.
  • Avoid syncing files to several computers.
    Box Sync may not be as reliable with shared files that sync to multiple computers.
  • Sync large amounts of data judiciously.
    When adding GB of data to a synced folder, keep in mind that some computers, like laptops, may not have the disk space to hold the data. Also, syncing may take longer than you expect. Consider dividing the data into subfolders and enabling syncing only for certain folders.
  • Avoid rearranging shared folders.
    Box collaboration folders you do not own are displayed in the root directory of your Box account. This is the top level of the Box Sync desktop folder. Avoid moving these shared folders to other locations.
  • Lock a shared file to edit it.
    If more than one person edits a file at the same time, a file conflict can occur, causing content to be saved under similar but different filenames. It’s a good idea to lock a file before editing it to prevent others from editing it simultaneously. To lock a file with Box Sync, right-click the file, then click Box Sync > Lock.
    Note: Anyone with at least editor permission can unlock a file.