Box Drive vs. Box Sync

Box Sync and Box Drive are two separate desktop applications that give you the ability to access Box content from your desktop environment.  But there are a few differences between the applications that may make one more suited to your needs than the other.

Note   There are known issues with having both Box Sync and Box Drive installed on a single machine.  Box Drive v2.4 includes a Sync uninstaller that makes it seamless for you to transition from Box Sync to Box Drive.  The uninstaller automatically uninstalls Box Sync and then cleans up your remaining Box Sync files, limiting the content footprint on your device.  Here are details about this automated Sync uninstall process, and here is more information about migrating from Box Sync to Box Drive

Box Drive

Box Drive brings your entire Box folder tree to your desktop. All the files you can access on Box are also accessible from your desktop Box folder.  Box Drive also supports making files available offline, so you can work on them while disconnected from the Internet; when you go back online Box Drive syncs the versions.

Note   Box Drive does locally cache files that you have opened. Box Drive's cache size limit is based on your free disk space (50% of available space) and has a maximum limit of 25 GB. If you reach this limit, Box Drive begins removing files, starting with those files files that have gone the longest without your accessing them. Also, if a cached file has a new version created on Box, Box Drive discards the locally cached version.

Box Sync

Box Sync enables you to choose specific files and folders to sync between Box and your desktop. Specify the files you'd like to sync, and those files will be available from any desktop that has Box Sync installed.  With Box Sync, your synced files are available for offline access. The files are stored on your local machine, so you can open and edit them without connecting to the Internet.  Any changes you make locally are synced to Box the next time you connect.


Why you may Prefer Box Drive over Box Sync

Box Drive is simpler to use -- a single application that gives you easy, familiar access to all of the content you have stored in Box -- right from your desktop.  It ensures all of your content is up-to-date, saving all changes you make to your files.  And with the mark for offline feature, you can work on your Box Drive files without even being connected to the Internet.  When you get back online, Box Drive automatically uploads your file changes.


Box Sync is an additional application with somewhat more limited functionality.  Further, with the ability to make Box Drive content available offline, Box Drive supersedes much of the functionality of Box Sync.


Contrasting Box Sync and Box Drive 


End-User Functionality

  Box Drive Box Sync
Search and view all the content in your Box account (including read-only)   

Upload content to any Box folder/ Open files from any Box folder

Lock content for editing
Mark content for offline access
Create and retrieve a Shared link
Manage collaborators  
Change the location of the Box folder on your computer



Admin Functionality

  Box Drive Box Sync
Device Pinning  
Device Trust
Box Verified Enterprise
Auto-updates without user requiring admin rights


Virtual Desktop Support

  Box Sync Box Drive
Published apps x* x*
Remote Desktop x* x*
VDI (persistent)
VDI (non-persistent) x


*Both Box Sync and Box Drive only work if you are running on a client PC (not on an RDS/Terminal Services server).  In addition, you must enable client drive mapping from the RDS/Terminal Services server to save content into Box.


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