Shared links allow you to quickly copy and share hyperlinks to content stored in Box with your coworkers and friends – both inside and outside the company. Customizable permission levels, expiration dates and optional password-protection make Box shared links a secure, simple way to share important content.





Generating Shared Links 

To generate a shared link:

  • Click the Share button on any file or folder.
  • Note: For folders, you will have the option to invite collaborators as well. Click Get Shared Link after clicking the Share button to generate a shared link.
  • A shared link to the folder you are currently in can be found under the Sharing tab of the right hand sidebar.
  • Alternatively, you can right-click on a file (or click the ellipses (...)) to open the More Options menu, then click Share.

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Shared Link Access

When creating a shared link, you will see these options:

  • People with the link: People with the link can access and no Box account is required. For extra security, you can also set a password or expiration for the link, as well as restrict download and/or preview access for link viewers.
  • People in your company: Users with a Box account and who are currently managed users of your enterprise will be able to access content via the shared link. You can set an expiration date and restrict download and/or preview access for link viewers.
    • When accessing the link, users will be asked to log in to Box to verify their identity. This option will be disabled if you are not using a legitimate, validated business domain to access Box, but can be enabled if you change your log in email address.
    • Collaborators in the folder can also access content if @Company is selected 
  • People in this folder/file: Only users who have been invited to the item (folder or file) can access the content. Note: Collaborators already have access to their content, but can easily direct one another to a specific file or folder using the shared link.
  • Remove Link: This option removes and deletes the shared link assigned to that file or folder so it can no longer be accessed, even if someone has the old link

The link options can be set on individual files and/or folders by the owner, across all content a user owns or by the admin for the entire company.


Be aware, people who have access to a shared link (either by you sending them a link or them encountering it somewhere like a webpage or forwarded email) are allowed to see and work with you on the content the shared link points to. Depending on the link settings, this may include downloading or editing the content. Comments on files pointed to by a shared link can be viewed and created programatically via the API. A shared link is a way to work with others around content in Box. 


Shared Link Settings

To view and modify settings for any shared link, open the shared link popup and click the gear icon in the top right corner. 


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Custom URLs

You can customize the URL of any shared link to make it easier to remember.

Note: Personal Box users are limited to one custom link per account (although they can create additional custom links for any content owned by a user with a Business account or above). Customers with Business accounts and above can create unlimited custom links. 


To customize your shared link, enter your desired custom text under Custom URL, then click Save. The custom ending to the link should be between 3 and 30 characters and can use letters, numbers and hyphens.


Password Protection

Box allows you to password protect shared links, requiring anyone who follows the link to enter a set password before accessing the file or folder.

Note: This is a premium feature, unavailable on free personal accounts.

 Access advance settings with the gear iconAccess advance settings with the gear icon

Click the Advanced Settings gear icon in the top right. You must also have the shared link set to "People with the Link" before accessing the Advanced Settings for the password protection option to appear.  To password protect a shared link, check the box next to Require Password. Set a password in the text box that appears, then click Save to save your shared link settings. 


Link Expiration

You can set shared links to expire automatically on a specific date. This is useful when you only want someone to access a file for a specific period of time.


To enable link expiration, check the box next to Disable Shared Link on, then choose a date for the link to expire. Click Save to save your shared link settings.


Allow Download

Leave this box checked if you'd like users who access the file or folder via this shared link to be able to download the file or folder.


Direct Links

At the bottom of the shared link settings pop-up, you will find a direct link to your file. A direct link is a web address (URL) that links directly to a file (without using Box Preview). This is different from a regular shared link, which will bring users to the Box preview screen for said file.


Direct links end with the file's extension type. Therefore, if you are linking to a Microsoft Word document, a direct link will end with *.doc. When a user clicks on the link, the file will be downloaded onto their computer or opened by a default program, depending on computer settings. Direct linking can also be used to host images or files for your website or blog.


Direct Linking is only available for individual files and is unavailable for folders. A link to a folder will always be a web address of a Box page.


Note: This is a premium feature, unavailable on free personal accounts.


Folder and Account Settings

You can modify your sharing settings at both the folder level and across all content you own. Use these settings to control who can access content via shared links, or modify default shared link settings.


Folder Settings

You can restrict shared link access to contents of a specific folder, allowing for the protection of particularly sensitive data while freeing up collaboration options in the rest of your account

  • Right-click (or click the ellipses (...)) on a folder to open the More Options menu.
  • Click Settings to open the Folder Settings page.
  • Here you can restrict shared link access to collaborators in this folder only. Check the box under Shared Link Access and choose what item types you’d like to restrict access for – both files and folders, files only or folders only.
  • After you press the Save Changes button, the selected items will only be sharable with other collaborators in the folder.

For more information, see Folder Settings


Account Settings

You have the ability to set shared link preferences for all content you own. If you disable an option, it will not be visible to you or any of your collaborators. We recommend you only change your shared link settings if you want to restrict sharing access for every file and/or folder that you own. If only some of your data requires restrictions, you can modify shared link settings at the folder or item level.

To access shared link settings:

  • Click your initials in the upper right corner, then click Account Settings
  • Click Sharing to open the Sharing Tab.
  • From here, you can control who can access your content through shared links, what the default access for newly created shared links will be, and what permissions link viewers (not invited collaborators) will have for the content they access:
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For more information on these settings, see Account Settings.



What happens if I disable a shared link?

For security purposes, disabled shared links are deleted and cannot be added back to a file or folder. If the shared link is later re-enabled, a new unique URL is generated to ensure the content is only available to those with access to the new link. The behavior is the same on custom links – once it is disabled that link is deleted and is no longer assigned to that file or folder.


Note: Disabling a shared link frees the link back up to be used by someone else on that account, so there could potentially be another file/folder with the same custom link in the future.


What happens if a file is deleted while it has an active shared link, but is later restored?

If you delete an item with a shared link and then restore it from trash, the original link is maintained


What happens if a user that shouldn't have access to a file or folder tries to use the shared link?

If you set a shared link to ‘Company’ or ‘Collaborators Only’ and a user that is not one of these access types accesses the link, they will recieve an error message saying the item is unavailable.


"Someone" downloaded my files - What does this mean?

"Someone" is any user that downloads a file from a shared link while not logged into Box.  You will receive these updates if you or one of your collaborators has enabled “Open Access” shared links to content you own or have access to.


"Someone" is also shown if the user is collaborating in a folder that has the "Hide Collaborators" option turned on


For added security reporting, Admins of Business and Enterprise accounts can track the IP addresses associated with each notification referencing "Someone" within the Admin Console.

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