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First-time Contributor

Use Windows Explorer to view box.com files under Windows 7

I would like to view box.com files using Windows Explorer.  Some web sites have suggested using "Map network drive...", but the procedures suggested have not worked with my computer.  Is there a means of seeing the contents of a box.com account on Windows Explorer under Windows 7?  I do not want to use Box Sync.

Box Employee

Re: Use Windows Explorer to view box.com files under Windows 7

Hi @lyleb.

 

Box does allow you to mount your Box directory as a mapped folder, however the full functionality that Box offers is missing, however it does allow you to view your Box files within a Windows environment.


You can find instructions and limitations for using WebDav with Box here: http://community.box.com/t5/Managing-Your-Content/Does-Box-support-WebDAV/ta-p/310

 

Hope this helps!

Respected Contributor

Re: Use Windows Explorer to view box.com files under Windows 7

I would strongly discourage this practice.  You'll end up with a mess if you do it.  The bottom line is, there is not a 100% method for the native Windows or Mac file explorer view on box.  I've even tested products like Expandrive - and they are almost more trouble than they are worth.  For each good release they have, they follow up with a buggy one.  My users are happy today and screaming tomorrow.

 

The best method is to get users used to using box as it was designed.  This is a big problem for some users and you may have to end up using boxsync instead.  Boxsync is the only method I know of where you can be assured of continuity in the data and still have a file explorer (or finder).  The problem is that it stores copies of that data on your local drive and has to sync back to the server.  This adds network traffic and also consumes disk space.  For really bloated directories with many users - this can also cause delays in keeping data sync'd up.  I've seen as much as a 20 minute delay in sync'ing data from user to box on busy directories with large numbers of users. 

 

You simply don't have this problem when everyone works from the cloud.

New Contributor

Re: Use Windows Explorer to view box.com files under Windows 7

For those people who would prefer the file explorer view, mapping a drive on your windows system, I use Windows 10, works extremely well .  I have had no issues with it at all. 

Respected Contributor

Re: Use Windows Explorer to view box.com files under Windows 7

Hello @kposan94,

Would you please provide steps to reproduce what you say you've done?  I'd like to see this for myself.

New Contributor

Re: Use Windows Explorer to view box.com files under Windows 7

Yes, here is the link to the article that I found and used.  The one exception is I did check the "Connect using different credentials" box.

 

https://community.box.com/t5/Help-Forum/Box-files-in-Windows-Explorer/m-p/7076/highlight/true

 

New Contributor

Re: Use Windows Explorer to view box.com files under Windows 7

One of the things I was concerned about was deleting files via explorer.  I did run a test against that and even though the file is gone from the explorer view, it is still in the trash via the web interface to my Box instance.  So if I need to recover it I have that option.

Respected Contributor

Re: Use Windows Explorer to view box.com files under Windows 7

Hello @kposan94,

We tried this before, early on with box and ended up scrapping the idea.  I have some experience with WebDAV - and was a project manager over a WebDAV software project at a former company.  Because of that, I was intrigued to try this with box.  

 

For very basic, simple file tree viewing - no problem.  Our problem came with larger files (AutoCAD, Photoshop, etc.).  Our CAD people were constantly beamoaning how slow box was.  When I finally took a look at it, the problem was WedDAV.  A single CAD file could take up to 10 minutes to fully open on their workstations.  The same file opened from a browser would open in less than 30-45 seconds.  We also found issues when it came to them writing those files back - sometimes it would just time out.  Lastly, in our legal department, where we typically deal with PDF files, replete with hi-res color photos in contracts, we would see strange files (looked like cache files) being uploaded via WebDAV and cluttering up the working directory.  WebDAV became a headache for me - so I took it off.

 

The bottom line is that people want a file tree viewer and it appears that they will go to any end to get to that.  Fortunately, box has something coming with Box For Desktop.

New Contributor

Re: Use Windows Explorer to view box.com files under Windows 7

Hey dfsixstring,

 

Thank you for expounding on the experiences that you had, I have not seen that, but most the files that I have been working with are office type files, nothing of any size. I will definitely keep any eye out for the type of behavior that you saw.

 

It sounds like you have some insight into this new Box offering, “Box For Desktop”, I would be very interested to see how that works and to also get your thoughts on the product after it is released.

 

Thanks again!