Switching from Box Sync to Box Drive

Box Sync and Box Drive are two separate desktop applications that give you the ability to access Box content from your desktop environment. 


However, there are known issues with having both Box Sync and Box Drive installed on a single machine.  And since Box Drive 2.4 has nearly all of Sync’s capabilities -- including the ability to work offline -- and since it includes an automated Sync Uninstaller, it’s worthwhile, simple, and fast to transition fully to Box Drive.  Start the Drive 2.4 install process, and Drive automatically uninstalls Box Sync and then cleans up your synced files.  See the Related Links section below for more information, plus install instructions for both individual and large-scale deployments of Box Drive.

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.


Here is a breakdown of Box Drive and Box Sync capabilities:


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 Drive

Box Sync




Published apps



Remote Desktop



VDI (persistent)

VDI (non-persistent)



Appropriate only 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.


Related Links
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Note - there is one specific functionality that Box Sync has that Box Drive does not, quite important for Mac users.


Box Drive does NOT support synchronizing iWork documents on macOS. These documents are really "packages" (zip-files with a unique filename extension). Trying to copy such a file into the synchronized Box folder on macOS will yield an "Error Code -36".


Box Sync for macOS DOES synchronize these documents. 


Note, if such a document is downloaded using the web interface, it will be downloaded and unpacked into a folder. To open it with Pages/Numbers/Keynote - right click on the folder and compress it (to a .zip) file, then rename the file's extension from .zip to .pages, .numbers or .key.