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Move Your Data Stored in Box

Whether you are joining or leaving Cornell, or you want to transfer your Box data to another individual, group or storage service, here are some suggestions to move files in the Box cloud-based environment.

This article applies to: Box , File Storage at Cornell

In This Article

If you’re coming into Cornell and want to use Box for storage, use Get Started with Box to set up your account first.

Transfer Ownership of A Box Folder

The simplest way to move your Box data is to transfer ownership of the folder to another account. Transferring ownership preserves all of the version information and modification histories, and collaborators stay connected to the data. 

Some additional things to consider:

  • After transferring ownership, you will become an editor in the folder. If you no longer need access, remove yourself as a collaborator.
  • You can only transfer folders that you own. 
  • You can transfer ownership of your personal data to another Cornell account, to an account at another institution, or to a personal account.
  • Free accounts may not be able to view the file histories and versions.
  • You cannot transfer individual files. Place your files in a folder and transfer the folder.
  • Transfer only your personal data. Data that belongs to your research group, PI, or department, should go into a Box Departmental Folder instead.
  • You can also transfer ownership by dragging files and folders into a folder owned by someone else. (This is the best way to transfer data into a Box departmental folder.) You will need to be added as a collaborator on the destination folder.

Transfer To A Different Storage Service

If you want to move from Box storage to another service (for example OneDrive, SharePoint, Google Drive, or Dropbox) you will need to copy the data to the other service. Once you copy over the files, you can delete the content in Box. 

Some additional things to consider:

  • Copying generally preserves the folder structure of the content but it won’t transfer the collaborators, shared links, comments or other metadata, or the file history. It will only copy the most recent version of the files.
  • There may be issues if the file and folder names have characters that are not legal in the target service. For example, Cornell Box allows the ampersand (&) character in folder and file names, but OneDrive for work and school does not.
  • Check with the service that you are transferring to and see if they offer built-in transfer tools. For example, Microsoft provides Mover, which can import your Box data into OneDrive or SharePoint.
  • If you have Box Drive installed on your computer, you can upload from your Box Drive folder to the new service. This is simple, though it may require a lot of disk space on your computer.
  • A free graphical tool that can connect to multiple cloud services is CyberDuck. You can connect this tool to Box and your chosen service, then copy files directly from one to another--no local storage is required. This tool is not supported by CIT.
  • If you are comfortable with command-line programs, the tool rclone is very powerful, but does have a steeper learning curve. This tool is not supported by CIT.
  • Any tool that uses your personal computer to download and then upload data might not be suitable if you have a slow or unreliable network connection.

Download, Then Upload

You can always download your Box files to your local computer and then upload them to another account. For more than a few files, this can use a lot of disk space and be time-consuming (especially if you have a slow network connection). It also makes a copy of the data, which may or may not be what you want. As the saying goes, data that is stored in two places is wrong in at least one of them.

This method does not preserve the version information or modification history, nor does it keep collaborators connected to the data.


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