Making Content Available Offline

With Box Drive's Mark for Offline feature, your Box cloud content is available wherever you are - in a remote office, traveling on a plane, and so on - regardless of internet connectivity. Just select the Box folders you need access to, and Box Drive automatically downloads all of the folder contents to your computer. If you or someone else make changes to this content while you're offline, Box Drive automatically uploads the revised content when you are back online so you are always working with the most up-to-date versions of your files.

IMPORTANT   Your minimum version of Box Drive must be 2.0.  You can get the latest version of Box Drive here.  If you do not see the mark for offline feature, quit Box Drive and re-start it, or contact your enterprise admin.

To make content available offline:

  1. Navigate to your Box folder in Explorer or Finder.
  2. Right-click on the folder you want.
    • Only folders to which you have download permission can be made available offline. Also, you cannot make individual files available offline.  

In the context menu that displays, click Make Available Offline.


Offline Available menu item.png

Box Drive immediately begins downloading the contents of this folder to your device. As files and folders download, they display with an orange Pending icon, meaning they are in the process of being downloaded. When items finish downloading they display with a green Available Offline icon.


Box Drive MFO icons.png

Note   Content you have saved or added to Box Drive also displays as pending while the upload is in progress. 

If the download or upload process is lengthy, you do not have to wait for it to finish before you can continue working. The process continues in the background as long as Box Drive is running and you are online. You can turn off your computer, quit Box Drive, or go offline while a download or upload is in progress, Whenever you come back online, Box Drive continues right where it left off.


If you want to work on a file that is pending, simply open the file. Box Drive automatically moves that file to the front of the queue and downloads it immediately so you can work on the file right away without interruption.

TIP   Try to make only the specific folders you need to work with available offline. When you make a folder available offline, Box Drive downloads the entire contents of that folder. It's good practice to understand how much content you're making available (and, therefore, downloading), so you don't unintentionally fill up your device's storage.

Note   You cannot make G Suite files (Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides) available to work offline.  You also cannot make Box Notes available to work offline.  These are all online-only formats.


Working by yourself?  Open any file in a folder you’ve marked for offline, and:

  • If you’re working online, Box Drive automatically uploads your revised file each time you save.
  • If you’re working offline, Box Drive automatically uploads all of your changes the next time you are online.


Collaborating with another person? 

Box uploads changes as they're saved.  However, collaborators cannot see each others' revisions in real-time -- that is, not until after each of you have saved and exited the file and Box Drive syncs all changes.  This is true regardless of whether you are working while connected or offline,  However, in this case the possibility exists for two collaborators to save conflicting changes on the same file.  By way of illustration: if you go back online first, Box uploads and saves your revised file as a new version. When your collaborator goes back online, Box uploads her revised file, but saves it as a separate version. If necessary, you both must then decide which revision to keep and which to discard.


Moving files and folders?

Files always inherit the status of the folder that contain them. In this case, if you move a file into a folder that is available offline, that file will be available offline, regardless of the file’s prior status. Likewise, a file you move into a folder that is available online only will not be available offline, again regardless of its prior status.

Folders, with one exception, always preserve their initial status regardless of where they’re moved – that is:

  • folders that are available offline retain that status
  • folders that are available online online retain that status.

There is one exception: when a folder that is online only moves into another folder that is available offline. In that case, the status of the online-only folder changes and its contents are made available offline.

IMPORTANT   The behavior above occurs regardless of who moves the content. So if someone else takes content that you have available online only, and moves that content into a folder that you have available offline, Box Drive downloads that content.


Can you change your mind and make offline folders available only online?

Yes. The "available offline" menu item is a toggle. So just as you'd make a folder available offline, you can right-click on an offline folder and, in the context menu that displays, click Make Available Online Only.


Available online only menu item.png


Accessing Box Drive from different machines?
You can make content available offline on a per machine basis. For example, if you're using Box Drive on your work computer as well as your home computer, you can have different content made available offline on each computer. This enables you to tailor to your need the set of content you make available offline for each device.


What if I don’t have permission to download a file that's in a folder marked as available offline?
It’s possible you might try to make a folder available offline for which you do not have download permissions -- for example if you have view-only access. Box Drive does not download these files. Instead it labels these files as problem items, displaying them with an exclamation point in a red circle. These files cannot be downloaded. You can undo the action and return the folder to an online-only state, which clears the problem items. Or if you must have offline access, you can contact the folder owner to gain the proper permission. If you gain permissions, retry your problem items to correct the downloads.


What if I accidentally fill up my device's storage capacity before Drive finishes downloading all my available offline content?

Box Drive also displays as problem items all content it cannot download as a result of insufficient drive space on your device.  More information on insufficient hard disk space.


What if I log out of Box Drive before it finishes downloading all my available offline content?

Logging off Box Drive deletes all of the downloaded content you had marked for offline availability.  This of course clears up hard disk space on your device.  It also returns to an online-only state all of the content you have marked for offline availability.  You will have to repeat the process of marking folders for offline availability.


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‎12-18-2018 04:40 PM
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