Uploading and Downloading Files and Folders

This article describes how to upload and download files from Box, and contains FAQs and troubleshooting tips. 


Upload to Box

Download from Box



Upload to Box

Drag and Drop

Drag files from your desktop to the files page in Box. Your files will be uploaded and will appear in the folder where you dropped them.


  • Dragging and dropping entire folders is only supported in Chrome. For other browsers, use the File Browser (see below) or Box Sync.
  • On Windows 10 Edge, drag and drop is not currently supported. Please click the ellipsis (…) in the upper right corner -> Open with Internet Explorer, then drag and drop again.


File Browser

  • Click the Upload button in the upper-right corner.

Upload Download - 1

  • Select Files or Folders, depending on what you'd like to upload
  • Select the file(s) or folder you'd like to upload.
  • You can select multiple files for upload by holding the Command or Control key (Mac or Windows, respectively) while selecting files. However, you can only select one folder at a time for upload.
  • Click Open or Upload


  • If you are having trouble uploading files or folders, click here.
  • If you're having trouble using the Folder Uploader in the Safari browser specifically, click here.


Email Upload

You can easily upload files or send attachments to a specific Box folder by email when you enable the Allow uploads to this folder via email option. You can then forward email attachments or send files to the email address generated for that folder to upload your files. If you decide to forward email attachments to the folder, only the attachments will be uploaded, not the content of the message.



To enable this functionality:

  • Right-click (or click the "...") the folder in which you would like to enable email uploads, and click Settings.
  • On the Folder Settings page, under Uploading > Email Uploads, check the box next to "Allow uploads to this folder via email"

Upload Download - 2


  • A unique email address will be generated for the folder, and will be displayed below the checkbox fields. Send files to this address to upload them into the folder. You can copy this email address to your clipboard and enter it as a contact in your email address book, or simply paste it into the "to" line of an email with attachments.
  • You can also enable settings for the email upload option that will Only allow uploads from collaborators in this folder, or automatically Overwrite same-name files when uploading by email or widget.
  • Click Save Changes in the upper-right to apply your settings.


  • Upload via email only works for file attachments. Content in the body of an email will not be uploaded to Box.
  • The cumulative size of the attachments cannot exceed 80MB.
  • Both the folder owner and sender will receive a notification that files were uploaded successfully.
  • Collaborators will also receive a notification if upload notifications are enabled for the folder.


Mobile Uploads

For instructions on uploading files and folders from your mobile device, see the following articles:


Download from Box


Download a Single File

  • Click next to a file's name to select it. The action toolbar will appear above your files in the top-right.
  • Click Downloadto begin the download process.


Downloading Multiple Items:

  • Shift+click on multiple items to select them. The action toolbar will appear above your files in the top-right.
  • Click Download to begin the download process. Your selected items will be downloaded together in a single zip file.




What's the maximum file size I can upload to Box?

The maximum file size limit for uploads to Box will vary depending on your account type:

  • Free personal: 250MB
  • Starter: 2GB
  • Business/Enterprise: 5GB

For more details, please refer to our pricing comparison page


To confirm the file size limit for your account, log into Box. Click on the arrow next to your name in the upper right-hand corner and choose Account Settings > Account. Your Max file size is listed under Account Details.


It's important to note that shared folders enforce the file size limit that applies to the Folder Owner's plan, whether or not any of the collaborators within the folder have a higher limit.


For example:

A Business account user is uploading files to a shared folder owned by a free user. The Business user will be limited to uploads that are no larger than 250MB since the folder is owned by a free user.


Size Limits in Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer applies upload and download limits that supersede Box account-level upload limits. Users accessing Box through Internet Explorer versions 6, 7, and 8 can upload files up to 2GB in size. Users on Internet Explorer versions 9, 10, and 11 can upload files up to 4GB in size. For more information, please refer to Microsoft's official documentation.


Why are the New and Upload buttons greyed out?

If you are on your All Files page and you are unable to click on the 'Upload' and 'New' buttons, it is likely that the administrator of your enterprise has restricted creating or uploading content at the root level for all managed users. You will be able to create subfolders within folders that your admin has granted you access to. If you would like another root level folder created for you, reach out to your admin and he or she can provision one for you.


I can't upload folders on Box while using Safari on my Mac. What do I do?

If you're having trouble using the Folder Uploader on Box while using the Safari browser on your Mac, your Safari settings may be blocking the Java applet from running correctly. See this detailed troubleshooting article for exact steps on how to make this work.


Can I upload iWork or .pkg files to Box?

Some files created on Apple operating systems (Mac OS X) are stored as packages, which is a folder that Mac OS X interprets as a single file.


To upload package files, you will need to use Box Sync 4.0+, or convert the package files so they are saved as a single file. See Apple's support documentation for more information on how to convert iWork package files to single files. Other applications may also offer the option to save these types of files as flat files, which can uploaded without using Box Sync.


Alternatively, you can right-click the file and compress it (save it as a .zip file) before uploading to Box.


See Mac Package Support for more information on uploading package files using Box Sync.


Java in Windows 7


These steps only apply to Internet Explorer. Chrome and Firefox utilize HTML5 for Folder Uploads.


To resolve Upload Folders issues in Windows 7 with IE you will need to allow Java to run.

  • Try to Upload Folders. It should show confirmation dialogs for:
    • the accompanying certificate has been verified, and
    • request permission to install the certificate and Run the application

In Internet Explorer click Allow to let the folder uploader launch:



Click Run on the Java popup dialog:


If the steps above don't resolve the Upload Folders issue, please try uninstalling and reinstalling Java:

  1. Go to the Control Panel > Programs and Features > Find "Java" in the list and Uninstall it
  2. Remain in Control Panel > Folder Options > Click the "View" tab > and add a "check-mark" in the option: "Show hidden files, folders". Click OK
  3. Go to My Computer > Hard Disk Drive C: > Users > Your UsernameAppData > LocalLow
    For example: C:\Users\tberry\AppData\LocalLow\
  4. Look for and delete any "Sun" folder (which will contain a copy of the certificate verification details)
  5. Also delete any "Java" folder (although there is unlikely to be one if the uninstall worked in step 1).
  6. Go to Control Panel > Folder Options > Click the "View" tab > and remove the "check-mark" in the option: "Show hidden files, folders". Click OK
  7. Restart computer.
  8. Install latest version of Java.
  9. Now try Upload Folders



Troubleshooting: Uploads

If you are having trouble uploading files or folders, please try the following troubleshooting steps:

  • Try clearing your browser's cache. If this does not resolve your issue please proceed to the next step.
  • If you are using the Upload Folders feature, you must have Java installed on your computer, except for Chrome and Firefox which use HTML5 instead of Java to upload folders.
  • Verify that you are using one of our recommended operating systems.
  • Verify that the file's name is valid. Box only supports file or folder names that are 255 characters or less. File names containing non-printable ascii, "/" or "\", names with leading or trailing spaces, and the special names “.” and “..” are also unsupported.
  • Make sure you are uploading files smaller than the maximum for your account type. To determine your maximum, click the arrow next to your name in the upper right-hand corner of your screen and select Account Settings. Then, click on Account and your Max file size will be listed under Account Information.
  • Try uploading using the Upload Files method instead of Upload Folders', or vice versa.
  • Please ensure your web browser is the latest version of Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox or Chrome.
  • Check to see if you are running the latest versions of Java and Flash.
  • Clear your Java Cache. Follow steps here: http://www.java.com/en/download/help/plugin_cache.xml
  • Disable any browser plug-ins or add-ons that could be interfering with JavaScript or Java (i.e. NoScript, AdBlock)
  • Check your network connection to Box. If connected to the internet with a wireless card, check to see if the connection to the internet drops intermittently. If this is the case, we recommend the Upload Folders method.
  • Try temporarily disabling or configuring your firewall to allow Box as a trusted site. You may find that your anti-virus software includes a built-in firewall. If you are attempting to access Box from an office setting and experience upload issues, then please contact your IT administrator or internal Help Desk.
  • Proxy servers may sometimes cause failed uploads. If you see the error message: An error occurred with the upload. Please refresh the page and try again. Please contact your IT department or Help Desk and ask them to check your Java security settings or proxy configuration.
  • Restart your computer. Occasionally, one-time issues may prevent Java from functioning correctly, and a restart may solve these problems. Make sure to Allow the Drag and Drop applet once you restart and attempt the upload again.
  • Box Accelerator is a global data transfer network that improves the speed of your uploads. If you are having issues with uploads try turning this off temporarily:
    • Go to Account Settings and click the Sharing tab along the top. Select/deselect the Enable Box Accelerator option under Uploading Content. Click Save.
    • We recommend leaving the Enable Box Accelerator option checked since slowness is usually a temporary network condition that will clear itself.


Potential Causes of Slow Uploads:

Slow upload speeds can have a variety of causes.


Box does not limit, throttle, cap, or shape upload bandwidth for individual files.

Box does perform processing on each file which can impact the total time it takes to complete an upload, particularly when uploading multiple files. But this does not limit the bits/second of your machine's connection to Box.

If you find that your upload is taking longer than it should, we have listed a few reasons that may affect upload speeds.

  • Firewalls: Firewalls can slow down or block the upload process. If you use third-party software, try temporarily turning off firewalls such as ZoneAlarm, the built-in Windows or Mac firewall, or any others.
  • Business network restrictions: Users accessing Box from an office setting may find that their IT department has blocked or slowed down connections to Box.
    • Try consulting your IT department on restrictions they may have placed on uploads or unapproved web sites.
    • You can determine this by leaving your company network (ex. try a coffeeshop with WiFi) and seeing if the issue persists.
    • VPNs may cause your IP address to be misplaced and inadvertently place your computer in another geographic location other than your actual location. This can affect your upload speeds. Ask your network / IT department if a VPN could be changing your actual location on the internet.
  • Choosing an Upload Method: If you are having an issue uploading, we suggest you try another one of the 3 methods. When you click on the Upload button in your Box account, you should see two links in the pop-up window: Upload Files and Upload Folders.
    • If you click on the Upload Files feature you will use our Multiput/HTML5 (or Flash-based) upload tool, which we recommend for fewer, smaller files.
    • We recommend Upload Folders, a Java-based upload tool, for larger files, folders or a larger number of files. Note: Chrome and Firefox work with Upload Folders but do not need Java.
  • Browser Specific Issues: Try a different browser or computer. Users may find that their upload speeds increase on alternative browsers.
  • Device Specific Issues: If your upload speed has not improved after you have tried updating and/or switching internet browsers, please try a different computer to help isolate the issue.
    • If your upload speed increases on another computer, then you will know that the first computer itself was causing the slower speed.
    • If your speed does not increase, then this is most likely an issue with your internet connection.
  • Internet Service Provider: Sometimes slow upload speeds are the fault of your Internet Service Provider.
    • We recommend a high speed internet connection with high upload speeds.
    • Often with Cable and DSL, the upload speed is significantly slower than the download speed. This will result in fast loading times for most websites and file downloads, but slow uploads.

A Note on Kilobytes vs. Kilobits:

There is a difference between “Kb” (kilobit) and “KB” (kilobyte). One kilobyte is equal to eight kilobits. Internet service providers (ISP) often calculate and advertise upload and download speeds in terms of “Kbps” (kilobits per second) while Box uploads are calculated in terms of “KBps” (kilobytes per second). Therefore, if you are seeing browser upload speeds of 30 KBps this would be interpreted as 240 Kbps by your ISP.


Bandwidth and the Box Accelerator:

Upload speed depends on your network connection and a component of this is bandwidth.

  • Bandwidth allowance determines the amount of data that can pass from the Internet to your web browser in a given amount of time.
  • A smaller bandwidth results in a longer time that it takes Internet data to transfer on your web browser. 

For business and enterprise accounts, Box has proprietary accelerator nodes that allow us to route your uploads through the fastest network route. To kick-start this feature, we suggest uploading approximately 14 files (between 2 and 6MB each) to your account, to initialize the accelerator node’s search for the best route. From there on out, your connection will route your 100MB+ filesize uploads through the fastest route to Box. It takes only a handful of uploads per week to keep the Box Accelerator optimally tuned for your whole office.


Troubleshooting: Downloads

If you are encountering problems downloading files from your Box account, we recommend you try the following:

  • Clearing your browser's cache
  • Important: Update your browser to the latest version
  • Use Box with an alternate browser, computer or network
  • Temporarily disable any internet security/firewall programs to test whether they conflict with Box (note: you may need clearance/assistance from your organization’s IT department/helpdesk to do this)
  • Disable any plugins on your browser

Other things to keep in mind:

  • Bulk download has a 15 GB file size limit for all types of accounts.
  • Files will download into the default location determined by your browser (ex. Downloads folder)
  • Downloaded files from Firefox will download in Read Only mode if the download option Open In is selected. If you would like to edit the downloaded file, please choose the Save As option when downloading the file.
  • If the option to download a file within a collaborative folder is not available to you in Box, then you may not have the proper Access Level for that collaborative folder to download the file. Please check your access level on the collaborative folder. If you are a Previewer, Uploader or Previewer-Uploader on the folder, you would not be able to download files in this folder.
  • When you download a folder from Box, the folder will download to your computer as a zipped file. You will have to unzip the folder once it has successfully downloaded to your computer.
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