Why should I use Box?

Box is the official cloud storage provider for the University of South Florida. Box allows you to easily collaborate and exchange information with other USF users across campus in a secure environment.

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Why did IT choose Box?

The USF System needed an enterprise class cloud-based storage solution to provide a unified content and collaboration platform across USF for faculty, staff, and students. IT leadership reviewed several products recognized as leaders in the industry and found Box to be the best fit for our organization based on product features, cost, and reputation. Box has been named a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Content Collaborations Platforms due to their completeness of vision and ability to execute on that vision.

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How do I log in to Box?

To access Box on the web, go to and authenticate with your USF email address.

To access Box on your computer as a drive (like C: drive), download and install Box Drive. See Box Downloads

First time users must log in to Box on the web in order to create a USF Box account upon successful authentication considering that the user’s affiliation is allowed for Box access.

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How much space do I get?

Active USF staff, faculty, and students are granted Unlimited storage.

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Can I store PHI (Protected Health Information) on Box?

Yes. Please visit HIPAA and BOX

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What type of data can I store in my Box account?

Box is approved for storing and exchanging sensitive data such as HIPAA and FERPA content, subject to the guidelines for handling sensitive information.

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How does Box protect my content?

Your files and folders are encrypted both during upload and download and while on Box web app, they remain encrypted. Access to this content is controlled through authentication and permission controls as set by you. You can also set password protection on files and folder and set expiration dates for content sharing.

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What is the best method to upload files to Box?

The best way to upload files into Box is using the File Browser.

See link: Upload using Box File Browser

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What is the largest file I can upload?

The file size limit per file upload is 50 GB. This limit only applies when uploading via Box web app.

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Are there files that will not go to Box?

Yes. See below:

  • Files larger than 15 GB (if not uploading via Box file browser).

  • Access databases.

  • Excel spreadsheets containing links to other spreadsheets.

  • Outlook .pst files.

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I cannot store my files in Box due to some limitations, are there any other storage method available at USF?

You may open up a help ticket so we can check for other options to accommodate your needs.

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Can I download my Box data?

Yes, you can download content you have uploaded. For data that has been shared with you, the ability to download is dependent on the permission level granted to you.

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Can I transfer ownership to others?

Yes. Box Content Owners can transfer ownership to other USF Box users. Please see the link Transferring Ownership

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How can I share my data from Box?

Shared links allow you to grant read-only access to content for both internal users (i.e., USF users) and external users. For more active collaboration, you can share files and folders with both internal and external users by adding them as collaborators to your folder(s) and set a variety of permission levels ranging from viewer to editor to co-owner.


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Can I collaborate with people outside the University?

Yes. They will be considered external collaborators and they can collaborate with your shared content with or without using a Box account, depending on how your content is shared. They must use the email address you used to share with them to set up their personal Box account.

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How can I update or remove a user that I am collaborating with?

Log on to Box web app and locate the content in question. After selecting the content, look for the collaborators list shown on the right pane. For more information, see Manage Collaborators.

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I signed up for Box prior to joining USF. How can I keep this space reserved for my personal stuff?

You will need to modify the account to use a non-USF address. You can do this by following these directions:

  1. Login to Box and click the Gear icon in the top right corner.

  2. Select "Account settings."

  3. In the section, "Login information," click "Add more emails."

  4. Enter the non-USF email address and save changes.

  5. Follow the steps in the confirmation messages sent to the address you provided, which will validate the email address is operational.

  6. Go back into "Account settings" and hover over the address selecting the option to make this address primary. Authenticate to save changes.

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I am admitted to USF as a student / graduate student / graduate assistant and I can’t log in to Box, why?

Anyone who is showing “Admitted” in the primary affiliation is not allowed for Box access. Once your affiliation fully transitions to the right student affiliation, you will be able to access Box.

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I am a new employee at USF and I am unable to log in to Box, why?

A list of affiliations are allowed for Box access. If your affiliation is not in this list, you will not be able to access Box. However, it is possible that your affiliation change is underway as your employee status is being processed.

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Does Box back up my data?

Box does back up your data to protect against a system failure. However, there are some actions you can take against content that cannot be undone. You can use options such as versioning to protect the integrity of documents. Content you delete is also placed in the Trash and can be restored with the current Box settings.

If using Box Drive, offline files or unsynced files are not backed up to Box web app as these are cached on the local computer. Therefore, Box files are only backed up upon successful network connection from Box Drive and local files are synced.

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Does Box automatically remove items I deleted/placed in Box Trash?

No. The current Box setting is set to keep items in Trash for an unlimited time.

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How do I clear or permanently delete items placed in Box Trash?

With the current Box setting, only admins are able to clear the items in your Box Trash. You must submit a help ticket and admins will review your request. Once approved and Trash is cleared, a 14-day grace period is given to recover permanently deleted files from the Box vendor.

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What is "file versioning" and how does it work?

"Versioning" is a process that tracks changes to a document and records who made the modification. This enables a user to reverse to a previous version of the file without having to save multiple copies. Box provides versioning for files and will keep up to 1000 versions (max) which are accessible through the web interface to Box.

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In my settings, storage used is displaying an incorrect amount. How can I fix that?

Due to storage caches, this may happen. Box can manually fix this for you. If this happens, please send an email to so Box admins can submit a case through Box vendor support on your behalf.

Box engineers are working on addressing this issue as a part of their project. In the event a manual fix from the Box vendor does not work, the file size display is only cosmetic and all files should be accounted for.

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What happens to my Box storage when I leave the University?

The Box Service is primarily for University purposes and as such will follow the same de-provisioning rules as other systems when an individual is no longer affiliated with the University.

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I left USF and will need to download my files from Box but I cannot log in anymore, how do I get access?

For students, please submit a help ticket and admins will review your request. Additional information may be required.

For former employees, please reach out to your former supervisor to get approval from IT Security before Box admins can address your access request. Please have them submit a help ticket addressed to IT Security.

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How can I set up my personal notification preferences?

You can customize the types of email notifications you receive by modifying the email notification settings in your account.
See link: Setup Email Notifications

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Where can I receive user education and support?

  • Go to Learn Box.

  • To get up and running quickly, view the tutorial "Get Started Guide for New Users"

  • Box Education offers live and self-paced content. Go to Box Education.

  • If you need technical assistance such as logging in, uploading content, or collaborating with others, consult your local IT support or contact the USF Service Desk at (813) 974-6288 option 2 or visit

  • Watch this quick video to learn five essential skills for getting started fast.

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