Watermarking Files

Watermarking can help deter unauthorized re-sharing of sensitive information in your Box account. When you turn on watermarking for a file, Box places across the document's contents a semi-transparent overlay of the current viewer's email address or IP address (depending on whether the viewer is logged in or not), as well as time of access.

Note   Watermarking is available only for Enterprise Box accounts. This feature is "on" globally by default, and can be enabled at the file or folder level by users with editor permission levels and above. To disable this feature, please contact your Customer Success Manager. 


You must be an Owner, Co-Owner or Editor of a file or folder to set and remove a watermark.

To watermark an individual file:

  1. Right-click on the file, or open the More Options (...) menu, and navigate to More Actions > Watermarking
  2. Check Enable watermarking for this file.
  3. Click Save


To watermark all files in a folder:

  1. Right-click on the folder, or open the More Options (...) menu, and click Settings
  2. Scroll down to the section titled Watermarking. 
  3. Check Enable watermarking for this folder.
  4. Click Save Changes.


Note    If watermarks do not appear on watermarked file images in Grid View, try clearing your cache. 



If watermarking is turned on for a file, people at all access levels will see the watermark when they preview the file. This allows the enabling users to validate that watermarking is turned on correctly. 
Watermarked files can still be edited by users who have permission to edit. Owners, Co-owners, Editors, and Viewer-Uploaders can download the original file and make edits. Viewers will still see a watermark in a downloaded file.
You can use the table below to see how previews and downloads are handled for different access levels.  

Access Level 

File Preview

File Download


NOT Watermarked


NOT Watermarked


NOT Watermarked

Viewer Uploader

NOT Watermarked



Previewer Uploader

File Inaccessible 


File Inaccessible 


File Inaccessible 
File Inaccessible 
  • Box Notes, video, audio, flash, .msi, .exe, .zip, and 3D files do not currently support watermarking. Turning this feature on will prevent Previewer Uploaders, Viewers and Previewers from viewing these file types.
  • Currently, enabling and disabling watermarking on a folder is supported only on the Box webapp. While this setting cannot be configured on mobile, Box Mobile users will still see Watermarks when appropriate. 

Downloading Watermarked Files:

  • If you are authenticated and a collaborator on the content, and/or own the content,  Box downloads the file normally. 
  • If you are authenticated, but not a collaborator, Box downloads the file in PDF format. 
  • When watermarking is enabled, you can download only individual files, not the entire folder. 
  • If you are not authenticated, the download option does not appear. You must sign into a Box account to download. 
Version history
Revision #:
29 of 29
Last update:
‎03-13-2019 07:07 PM
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