The Ultimate Manual To Box Sync

The traditional 9-to-5 office workday has expanded and transformed, especially post-COVID. An increasing number of workforces are adopting a more agile and flexible approach to work.

This change isn’t just restricted to cubicles, as synced devices are also a reality. This makes sense since employees today are always on the go and prefer having access to their work at their fingertips.

Box‘s Box Sync, a leading cloud-based file and content management service, was developed to facilitate seamless collaboration and deliver this very flexibility. Users can access their data without opening the platform. It enables them to mirror their stored files on their respective desktops, making it more convenient for them to open or edit the content kept in Box.

What is Box Sync Anyway?

Box Sync is a productivity tool that lets you mirror all the data stored in your Box account to their desktop.

Once you finish installing Box Sync and complete syncing, you can go through and even modify files stored on the Box website through your desktop‘s native file browsing interface—that too without even opening your web browser! Hence, the word “mirror.“

Any content that’s already synced to your computer is available for offline access. If you make any changes to the stored files locally, they’ll automatically reflect in your Box account. In other words, you’ll have a desktop version of Box that will give you unrestricted access to view or edit all your content.

How Box Sync Works

The whole point of Box Sync is to provide you with offline access to folders and content that are stored on your desktop as well as in your Box account. Whenever you change or add content to Box folders on your computer, it’s immediately saved to your Box account as well.

Furthermore, this stands for your whole team if you have a departmental or team Box account to facilitate better collaboration and boost productivity. As a result, you never have to worry about different employees having different file versions or being out of the loop.

Keep in mind Box Sync only supports syncing 100,000 files and up to 100GB of memory. Any more than this limit, and you may experience performance issues.

Box Sync is designed to be very straightforward. You have to first install the tool’s installer DMG file or Setup EXE file depending on your operating system, and that’s it! Box Sync starts automatically once the installation is complete, and all your synced files will get stored directly in a new folder conveniently called Box Sync. You can access this file from the Favorites section on your computer.

Of course, before you do anything above, you need to have an active Box account.

This productivity tool is an excellent choice for streamlining workloads, but it also consumes local storage—lots of it—depending on the size of your files. It’s why you should only sync relevant folders and content you actually want to work with daily.

Moreover, syncing a large number of files and folders can make things very difficult for you, including degrading how well Box Sync works, diminishing your computer‘s performance due to increased hard disk usage and bandwidth, and potential file duplication on Box. Not exactly good news, right?

It’s why we recommend not uploading your backed-up files if you reimage your computer.

The good news is if you want to un-sync folders on your desktop, you can do so by logging into your Box account through a web browser. Select the Options icon for a specific folder, and then click on Properties, followed by Unsync.

While you’re at it, make sure you repeatedly check for errors by right-clicking on the Box icon in the system tray. This can also be on the menu bar. You see, having multiple errors can stop other files from syncing.

How to Get Started With Box Sync

In this section, we’ll show you how to use Box Sync on Windows and Mac devices. This isn’t a full-fledged step-by-step tutorial and instead is a brief overview to help you understand Box Sync better.

Understanding Box Sync basics will help you use the tool to the best of its capabilities and streamline your daily workflow. In turn, this can work wonders for boosting overall productivity.

Let’s take a look.

Step 1: Know How to Get Box Sync

After logging into your Box account, click on your avatar in the top right-hand corner of your screen.

Select Apps from the drop-down menu. This will take you to the page listing of all available integrations and applications.

Type “Box Sync” in the search field and select the appropriate version, either Windows or Mac, based on your operating system. Continue following the prompts to install the application on your desktop.

Step 2: Learn How to Sync and Access Box Files to Box Sync on Your Desktop

After logging into your Box account through your web browser, right-click on the folder you want to sync with your desktop and select the Sync Folder to Computer option. Alternatively, you can click on the three dots icon on the right-hand side of the specific folder‘s name. Hover your cursor over More Actions before clicking on Sync.

Remember, Box Sync doesn’t sync by default. You have to select every file or folder in your Box account you wish to sync with your computer.

At this stage, you know how to sync the folders. Here’s how you can access the files:

  • On a Windows computer, the Box Sync folder will contain links to the Box Sync folder in Favorites in addition to the Desktop on your computer.
  • On a MacBook, the Box Sync folder will contain links to the Box Sync folder in Favorites and the right-hand side of the Finder on your computer.

Note: You can also drag files and folders from any folder on your desktop into the Box Sync app. Doing this will auto-sync them to the Default Sync Folder in your Box account—that’s unless you drag the file or folder to a specific folder.

Step 3: Understanding When It’s Best to Use Box Sync

Before we discuss further, you should know that these are industry-standard recommendations to ensure the best results. You can always use the productivity tool according to your preferences and needs.

Box Sync is best suitable for situations when you need to work offline or when you frequently work on large files. Another good option to use the tool is while uploading individual files to your Box account.

On the contrary, Box Sync isn’t a good option when you want to keep a copy of all data and content of your Box account on your computer, or when you want to sync files to multiple computers or sync a large number of files (more than 10,000).

It’s also best to avoid using Box Sync for reorganizing your folder structure or syncing folders to an external or network drive. In these situations, you should organize your folders from within your Box account and stick to using the tool on the local hard drive.

Trust us; this will save you from a lot of glitching and mayhem!

While the above was all you needed to know to get started on the right track, you must be careful about your data’s security.

Your Box files and folders will be mirrored on a folder on your computer, so if your device gets into the wrong hands, unauthorized people may gain access to your organization’s critical information. Make sure everybody keeps a strong password and takes the necessary precautions to protect their devices, and in turn, your stored data.

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Bryan Wise
Bryan Wise,
Former VP of IT at GitLab

Incredible companies use Nira