In this article, you will learn how to:

  • Choose what content to move into Box
  • Determine the best method for migrating content based on your storage needs


Choose what content to move into Box

Choosing what content to migrate into Box is one of the most important steps you'll take as you're getting started. There's a lot to consider – which documents do you expect your team to work on actively, and what can be housed in an archive? How much data in total do you need to work with? Below, you'll find a few questions to help determine your approach.

  • What is the specific goal of the migration?
  • How will you define success?
  • When do you need access to the content?
  • Will you focus on shared drives and content, personally stored content, or both?


A few general tips, as well:

  • Understand your backup needs. Box is a platform for sharing and collaborating on content and is not the best tool for backing up things like .PST files, databases or other blobs of data. Traditional backup systems are often better for those types of files.
  • Keep things simple. Setting up a new Box system allows you to have a fresh start on your content. Resist the urge to move all of your old content to your new system just because you can. Make sure there is a business case for all content you migrate.
  • Plan a timeline. Just as it took more than a few days to build up your digital repository, it will take time to curate and migrate content to Box. A timeline can be as simple as start and end dates on your calendar or as detailed as a Gantt chart with milestones.


Now that you've determined your approach, it's time to consider which migration method will best suit your needs.


Drag and Drop Files

If you're uploading less than 1 GB of content, using drag and drop is the best option. It’s easy to drag and drop a file into the Box web application to upload it. Just make sure you are using Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer 9+, Safari, or any browser that supports HTML5.


Log in to  Select and drag the file into the folder you want to upload the file to – it will immediately begin to upload.


Upload Folders

Upload Folders is perfect for migrating up to 500 files at once. In the Box web application, hover over the Upload button and select the Upload Folders option.


You can use Upload Folders as an opportunity to evaluate your current folder structure and redefine it as necessary in Box so that it is clutter-free and intuitive.


Before using Upload Folders, create your master folder structure in Box. Then populate these new folders with files using Upload Folders. Your master folder structure can serve as your guide as you migrate content into the account. Work with your admins and co-admins to build and test your folder structure before you start migrating content in bulk.



You can also send files to Box using passive FTP. Using FTP is ideal if you need to migrate up to 100,000 files at one time.

    1. Download the Filezilla FTP client.
    2. Run the installation and follow instructions for Filezilla in Step 2. Be sure to choose an FTP client that supports passive (not active) FTP, as that is the only way you’ll be able to connect to Box.
    3. Connect to Box using Filezilla.
    4. Open Filezilla and enter the following information on the Quickconnect bar:
      • Host:
      • Username: your Box login email address
      • Password: your Box login password
      • Port: 990 for FTPS (implicit mode), 21 for standard FTP or FTPES (explicit mode)
    5. Make sure that the default port (990 or 21) is open on your site. If your account uses SSO, you will need to create an external password in your account settings to access Box via FTP.


Use port 21 for plain FTP or FTPES access, or 990 for a FTPS implicit connection. Transfers may be slower using this secure port.


If you have more than 100GB of data or 100,000 files to migrate to your Box account, you should consider using Box's paid Content Migration service. Although any Business or Enterprise can use the service, it is ideal for organizations with more than 100GB of data. Contact your Account Executive for more information on this service.


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