Using the iOS EMM Unprotected & Protected Checkbox



  • If your version of iOS is greater than 12.1, the content on your Managed Apps is protected, and this article does not apply to you.
  • If your enterprise does not use an MDM solution and Box for EMM on iOS, this article does not apply to you.


In iOS 11, Apple introduced the Files app to bring all your files together in one convenient place, and enable access on not only the Apple device, but also on other apps across cloud services.


The Files app enables you to access content through Box for Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) in conjunction with a Mobile Device Management (MDM) system.


In the Edit menu of the Files app, Box discovered an unexpected behavior in the Move, Copy, and Share actions that allows content from Managed Apps to be passed to Unmanaged Apps.


This can occur even when the MDM configuration is set to disallow documents to be opened in Unmanaged Apps and accounts, for example in personal storage, iCloud, and so on.


As a workaround to this unexpected behavior, you can disable the iOS Files app on devices running iOS 12.0 or earlier.

To disable Files app functionality, follow these steps:

  1. Go the Admin Console menu and tap Enterprise Settings Menu.
  2. Tap the Mobile tab.
  3. On the Mobile tab, tap Menus.
  4. On the File Security Settings window, tap the Disable iOS Files functionality on devices running iOS 12 or older checkbox.File_Security_Settings_INSERT.png


When you click this checkbox, Box automatically disables the Files app functionality for unprotected versions of iOS, and automatically re-enables Files functionality when a protected version of iOS is online.


You need to update your devices to version 4.3.6 of Box for EMM on iOS.

Note: Disabling iOS Files app functionality can affect workflows.


This table summarizes what you can expect:

Workflow Example If the checkbox is  not selected... If the checkbox is selected... Work-around

See Box files

in the iOS Files app.

You are able to see managed files in the iOS Files app.

You are unable to see managed files in the iOS Files app.

None at this time.

Attach a Box file to an email through the iOS Mail email client.

You are able to attach a file through the iOS Sharesheet.  You are unable to attach a file through the iOS Sharesheet in Mail.

Use a shared-link instead of attaching a file,  or

invite the user to a file as a collaborator whose permission you set.

Open an iWork file from Box in an iWork iOS app, such as Presentation, and so on. You are able to open an iWork file in an iWork iOS App. You are unable to open an iWork file in an iWork iOS App. None at this time.

This feature affects only:

  • Customers of Box iOS EMM
  • Enterprises with the "Allow Files to be into applications that save back to Box (iOS only)" enabled

When you disable iOS Files app functionality, Box records these events via the Events API. In addition, Admin Insights enables you to see, in the security reports, who turns on and off the functionality.

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