Carnegie Mellon University

How to Use CMU Box

Store and Share Files

Box Tips and Tricks

  1. Go to CMU Box Account Settings.
  2. Click Add more emails under the Account tab.
  3. Enter your non-Andrew email address in the empty field. (You may add more than one non-Andrew email address.) 
  4. Save your update.

Box gives you and your collaborators a single online location to create and view tasks and comments about a document as well as the document’s previous versions. You can also view the file’s access stats. Click the down arrow to the right of the filename, then Properties > Access Stats.

To comment on a document or create a task, click the Add comment or task bubble to the right of the file’s name. For more information, see:

Professors may have a need to grant their students read-only access to a set of course materials in Box, while granting expanded permission to their TAs. The following steps walk you through one approach to achieve this result:

  1. Upload all materials to Box in whatever folders make sense for your work.
  2. Create a new Box folder for the purpose of student access.
  3. For each file the students are to access, place a bookmark in the new folder that references the file:
    • Click the down arrow to the right of the file’s name.
    • Click Share.
    • Copy the displayed shared link (URI) to the OS clipboard.
    • Close the shared link window.
    • Navigate into the new folder what will contain the bookmark.
    • Click New > New Bookmark.
    • Paste the bookmark’s share link from the clipboard to the Address of page/content field.
    • Give the bookmark a Name and Description, then click Okay.
    • Set an expiration for the bookmark. Refer to the next tip (below).
  4. Send the students the shared link to the folder which grants them read-only permissions:
    • Navigate to the page that lists the folder.
    • Click the down arrow to the right of the folder’s name.
    • Click Share.
    • Set the Access to People in Your Company—people with a CMU Box account.
    • In the same window Set Link expiration.
    • Disseminate to your students the folder’s URI shown in the Link field.
  5. Optionally, invite the TAs as Editors to the new folder to allow the TAs to create and manage content in the new folder, including the Bookmarks. Please note, this does not allow the TA to edit the bookmark referenced files:
    • Navigate into the folder.
    • Click Invite People.
    • Enter the TA’s Andrew email address in the Invite field (separated by a comma or new line).
    • Click Send.

Note: To receive student's work or comments, you might create a folder for a particular course-and-term, then create a subfolder for each student. Invite the student as a collaborator in their respective subfolder.

Box provides three apps, Box Edit,  Box Sync, and Box Drive, that eliminate the need to download a file from Box when you want to work on it. They are available for Mac and Windows. Box for Office and Box for Office Online are two other apps for accessing Box-stored files from within a Microsoft Office application.

When you want to set up a folder structure in Box for projects, events, courses, or other shared activities, consider:

  • Who do the people need to work with?
  • What files will the people work with?
  • What do the people need to do with the files—upload, preview-only, edit, something else?
  • Is there anything that people should not do or see?
  • How will files need accessed and uploaded?
    • Allow uploads via email?
    • Allow uploads via the organization’s or project’s web site using Box Embed?
    • Allow uploads as an email attachment?

Granting someone permission to collaborate in a folder also means that he or she will be granted the same level of permission in all its subfolders. This cannot be changed. Collaborators, however, can be added to just a subfolder.

For any file or bookmark in Box, you can create tasks and assign them to any collaborator, including yourself. For more information, see Using Comments and Tasks.

Deleted files and folders are retained in the trash for 30 days and can be restored directly from Trash. View Manage Trash for more information.

The past 100 versions of each file are available for you to examine or revert. View Version History for more information.

Once the group has been created, you may manage group permissions within Grouper.
Visit Manage Members for instructions on adding, removing, or managing your group's permissions.

For folders that are shared, Box notifies you through email about the folder’s activity. You can select which activities you wish to receive a notification on the "Notifications" page of your Account Settings. This feature applies to all folders that you can accessYou can also control what notifications you receive on a folder-by-folder basis. 

  1. Click the down arrow to the right of the folder’s name.
  2. Click Properties > Email Options.
  3. Checkmark the notifications as you desire.
  4. Click Save.

A shared link is the URL of a folder, file, or bookmark. When you generate a shared link you make it accessible to one of three groups:

  • People in this folder (People you specifically invited to collaborate)
  • People in your company (CMU)
  • Anyone with the link (Includes people without Box accounts)

Because the group you choose may include more people than you want, it is recommended that you also consider:

  • Setting an automatic expiration date for the link, or setting a reminder to manually remove the link at the appropriate time.
  • Making the link available only on a site that requires login (e.g, your department’s wiki service).
  • A new shared link can always be generated for the item, when needed.
For more information about shared links, visit Shared Links Overview and FAQs.
To request your own Box group, complete the Box Group Request Form. Once the group has been created, you may manage group permissions within Grouper.
Visit Manage Members for instructions on adding, removing, or managing your group's permissions.

If you are always searching for the same content in Box, you can perform the search query just once, then save it as a Box bookmark. To do this:

  1. Log into Box via a web browser.
  2. Enter your search terms in the search box.
  3. Click the magnifying glass.
  4. Copy the URL to your clipboard.
  5. Navigate to the Box folder in which you want the bookmark to appear.
  6. Click New > New Bookmark.
  7. Past the URL from your clipboard to the Address of page/content field.
  8. Click Okay.
  9. Simply click the new bookmark when you want to run the query.

Note: You can use Boolean operators and wildcards in your search.

To transfer a folder from your account to another Box account, follow the steps below.

  1. Unsync the file.
  2. Send the inheritor a collaboration invitation to the folder.
  3. Change the inheritor’s role to Owner:
    • Click the role shown directly under the new owner’s name in the right column. 
    • Click Owner from the dropdown menu.
    • Click Okay in the pop-up window that indicates you will now become an editor.
  4. Remove yourself as collaborator in the folder.

The most popular ways to upload content is with the Box web app, Box Sync and apps for mobile devices. For shared folders, Box also provides two less common options that you may find better suited for particular use cases:

  1. Send as an email attachment.
  2. Upload from any web page that supports HTML 5.

Box Notes is a built-in feature of Box that, similar to Google Docs, allows multiple people to edit the Note at the same time and view each other’s contributions. There’s no need to manually save the Note as Box does this for you. To create a Box Note:

  1. Login via
  2. Navigate to the folder that will hold the Box Note.
  3. Click New > New Box Note.

If you're interested in an alternative solution to the Box app or don't have one available for your operating system, consider one of the following:

  • curl - a command line application to upload and download files via the using the FTPS protocol
  • rclone – a command line application used to sync files and directories to and from cloud storage.
  • Box Drive – those using Windows and Mac can stream files and folders to and from Box using Box Drive.

Please note that the following protocols are no longer available:

  • WebDAV (No longer supported as of 1/31/2019)
  • TLS 1.0 (No longer supported as early 2018)