Box Migration

Archived - This information is for archival purposes.  As a result, information and links may no longer be valid.


Why is Box being retired?

With file storage now available through Office 365, the University will retire Box in September 2021.  The University's decision was driven by the increased cost of the Box contract and the end of unlimited storage by Box.  The cost savings to the University will be quite substantial.  At Behrend, we paid over $7,600 per year for this service.  Additionally, Office 365 provides a more seamless and integrated experience for collaboration.

When will the migration take place?

Behrend's migration is based upon the schedule below.  Please note that the University has revised the migration process to include two phases.  The 1st phase involves the migration of files, whereas the 2nd phase is the final cutover from Box to OneDrive.  As the result of these changes, our migration dates (listed below) have been modified.

Early Adopters:  February 1 - March 7, 2021

  • Approximately 60-70 faculty/staff will be invited to participate as early adopters in the Box migration.  An email invitation will be mailed in late January.
  • Phase 1 - Data Begins to Copy:  2/1 - 2/28
    Phase 2 - Migration Data on Hold:  3/1 - 3/7

College-wide Migration:  March 8 - April 4, 2021

  • All other faculty/staff will go through the Box migration process during this time period.
  • Exceptions:  Migration dates differ for these units since they will migrate with their University counterparts:  Housing & Food Services (February) and Library.
  • Phase 1 - Data Begins to Copy:  3/8 - 3/28
    Phase 2 - Migration Data on Hold:  3/29 - 4/4

How will the migration take place?

To assist with the migration, the University has a tool to move the files from Box to the new location.  This migration tool will ensure that the folder structure and sharing permissions are maintained for internal collaborators.  Permissions will need to be redone for external collaborators. 

Is there anything I need to do?

  1. The University has produced a Pre-migration ChecklistPlease be sure to complete all items listed under “Clean Up Box” (on the checklist).  Before doing so, it may be helpful to attend or view the recording for the "Box to O365 Migration" overview session.  To do so, visit Box Training and Resources site.
  2. Also, please read the section "During Migration" (in the Pre-migration Checklist); it outlines what you can and cannot do during phase 1 of the migration of your files.
  3. And before your migration, you need to unsync all of your Box sync files and shut down Box Drive.  If you don’t and your files continue to sync, it can disrupt the migration process and the files will not be migrated.  For instructions, see Pre-Migration Considerations for Box Sync and Box Drive.  (Refer to the two links under the “Before Migration” heading.)

What else do I need to know about the migration?

There are several key points regarding pre-migration; the last point refers to post-migration.

  1. The following items are not migrated:  individual files over 15 Gigabytes.
  2. Box Comments which are posted in the Activity panel (on the far right of the preview page) will not migrate to Office 365. 
  3. Box Notes are automatically converted to Word documents. 
  4. The migration will only copy the most current version of a file to Office 365 (if you have multiple versions of a document). 
  5. Office 365 has limits to the length of file and folder path names and will not accept certain special characters.   
  6. Internal collaborators within Penn State will retain their permissions on shared folders in Office 365; however, permissions for external collaborators will need to be re-shared.

Also, on the final cutover date, our Virtual Help Desk (via Zoom) will be available so that you can drop by to ask questions and receive assistance.  (The Zoom room number is 8142174357.)


If you have questions about the Box migration, please submit a ticket via the IT Help Portal and select "Prep Box Files for Migration" (under the My Office heading).

Where can I learn more about the migration?

If you would like to know more about the migration, we have compiled a list of key points regarding pre- and post-migration.

In addition, the University's Box Migration site provides more details about the migration, including checklists, training, and other resources.

And speaking of training, ITLD has released a recording for the Box to O365 Migration session.