A brief guide to getting started with Box at Penn State (online and printable).

Penn State’s Box contract will expire in June 2021 and all files will be migrated to Office 365. Please refrain from creating new content in Box. For more information, please visit the Box migration website.


About Box at Penn State

Box is a secure, cloud-based, commercial file storage, sharing, and collaboration service provided by Penn State for faculty, staff, and students.

Sign Up for a Box Account

Go to http://box.psu.edu and click the Login button.  The website will then walk you through the easy account creation process.

Types of Data You Can Store on Box

Most common types of files are compatible with Box. This includes office files and many image, video, and audio formats. A complete list can be found on Box’s support site, Community.box.com. For info about data security and Box, see http://box.psu.edu.

Create Private and Collaborative Folders

A folder is your Box account’s basic building block, where you’ll group similar files together. Use the following steps to create a new private folder:

  1. Go to http://box.psu.edu and log in to your account. You are now on the All Files page.
  2. Click the New button and select Folder.

Create a New Folder

Figure 1: Create a New Folder

  1. In the dialog box that appears, enter a folder name.
  2. To keep the folder private, click the Create button without typing any email addresses into the Invite People dialog box.

Enter the folder name and click create

Figure 2: Enter the folder name and click create.

  1. To create sub-level folders, click any folder to enter it, and repeat the steps above.

Add Files to a Folder

Now that the folder has been created, you can upload files by clicking the Upload button. To upload individual files, choose Files from the drop-down menu. Alternatively, you can choose Folder to upload an entire folder, including all of the files contained within it. Box also supports drag-and-drop, so another option for uploading files is to open the file browser on your computer and drag items directly into the Box folder. When you drop them, the items will automatically upload to Box.

Add Collaborators to a Folder

Private folders can be changed to collaborative folders at any time simply by adding collaborators (people who can interact with the files in a given folder in a variety of ways based on their access level).

Use the following steps to add collaborators to a folder:

  1. Open the folder, and click the Share this Folder button in the right sidebar. 

Invite Collaborators to a Folder

Figure 3: Invite Collaborators to a Folder

  1. In the dialog box that appears, enter your collaborators’ email addresses in the Invite People field, and choose the access level you want them to have from the Invite as Editor drop-down menu. You can compare the different access levels by clicking Learn More.

Choose Access Levels and Send Invites

Figure 4: Choose Access Levels and Send Invites

  1. Click Send Invites to complete the process.

Once you invite collaborators, you will notice that the folder color changes from manila to blue. Manila means the folder is private, and blue means the folder has collaborators added to it. When you select the folder, the list of collaborators appears in the right sidebar.

Share Files and Folders via Link

Files and folders in Box can also be shared with others via link. Use the following steps to share a link to a file or a folder:

  1. Hover your mouse over the file or folder you would like to share.
  2. Click the Share button that appears on the right side of the screen.

Next, you will need click the Invited people only link to view and select an access type for your shared link. The default access type is Invited people only which limits the viewers to only those who have already been added as collaborators to the file or folder. People in your company allows anyone with a Penn State Access Account ID to view the items when they click the link. People with the link allows anyone with the link to view the items.

Link access type options

Figure 5: Link access type options

  1. Click Invited people only to select an access type.
  2. After choosing the link access level, copy and paste the displayed link to distribute it however you prefer. Some examples include in an email, instant message, calendar invitation, and/or Yammer post.

Access Your Files From Multiple Devices

Using Box Apps

You can access your Box account from any computer with an internet connection, using any major browser. Besides the Box web interface, Box also has apps for all major mobile devices including iOS and Android, so you can access your files while mobile. Visit the Box.psu.edu website to learn more about downloading and using Box apps.

Find More Support for Using Box

Visit the Training page on the Box.psu.edu website to browse a curated list of helpful video tutorials and other resources for learning how to use Box. For additional help with Box, contact the IT Service Desk.

Training for: 
Type of Training: 
Training Topic: 
Teaching and Learning
Service or Technology: