Frequently Asked Questions about Box

What is Box at Penn State?

Box is a secure, cloud-based, commercial file storage, sharing, and collaboration service.  Box at Penn State is the result of a contract between Box and the Internet 2 consortium. Because Penn State is a member of Internet2, the University can take advantage of enterprise Box accounts.

What is a cloud-based service, and why is it a good thing?

Files are stored off campus at Box’s data centers.  Cloud services, such as Box, provide high-quality support, enterprise-level management, and security, as well as 24/7 up-time through round-the-clock monitoring; all at modest cost to Penn State. Files are stored in massive data centers featuring redundant storage, cooling, and electrical supply.

Who is eligible for a Box at Penn State account?

Any current faculty, staff, or student.  Current faculty or staff who transition to emeritus or retired with benefits status will keep their Box account.

How do I sign up for a Box account?

Go to and click on the “Login” button.  The website will then walk you through the easy account creation process.

How much does a Box at Penn State account cost?

The Box at Penn State service is funded through a cost-recovery model.  Each college, campus or administrative unit pays a head-count fee which funds the Box contract.  For questions concerning the details and calculation of this fee, please contact your Financial Officer.     Students have full use of Box, but are not counted in the head-count model, nor are they charged.

How much storage space will I get with Box at Penn State?

Each user has an unlimited amount of storage space available.

What password do I use with my Box at Penn State account?

Box at Penn State is secured by Web Access, so each person will use their Penn State Access ID and password.

What kinds of file types can be previewed on Box at Penn State?

Most common types of files are compatible with Box. This includes Microsoft Office files and many image, video, and audio formats. A complete list can be found on Box’s support site.

 What kinds of data can I store on Box at Penn State?

Information classification for Penn State data can be found in Administrative Policy AD95.  If you have specific questions about the kinds of data you are permitted to store in Box, please send an e-mail with details to  For more about Box’s security measures, please read the Box Security Whitepaper.

Is health data allowed to be stored on Box?

Yes, Penn State has signed an agreement allowing our users to store Protected Health Information (PHI) on Box at Penn State.  Users must follow some extra precautions (found here) in order to safeguard this particular kind of restricted data.

How can I use Box with Canvas?

Canvas provides two ways to access content in your Box at Penn State folders: refer to this page for detailed information.

Can I get an account for my department, group, or club?

Yes. You will need to apply for a “non-person” Box account, which is similar to departmental PASS space or space on a unit’s local file server. Instead of being tied to an individual, it’s an account for a group such as a department, club, or unit. To sign up, visit   For student groups, a faculty or staff advisor will need to make the request.

Can I collaborate with people outside of Penn State using Box?

Yes, they will need a Box account from their university, business or they can obtain a free Box account at

I accidentally deleted a file from my Box account.  How can I recover it?

Any file that you delete is kept in your “Trash” for 90 days.  To recover it:

  • click on the “Trash” link on the left-hand panel from any page within your Box account.
  • Find your file, click the three dot icon to the right of the file name and then click Restore. The file will be restored to its original location.

After 90 days (from the date of original deletion), the file may still be recovered; however, you will have to contact the IT Service Desk ( or (814)865-4357).  The file will be available for the Service Desk to recover for 14 additional days.

After 104 days (from the date that you first deleted the file), it will not be possible to recover the file.

My name in my Box account is in ALL CAPS and contains my middle name.  How can I change how my name displays?

The display name of your Box at Penn State account is editable you’ll be able to change how your name displays to others in Box by

  1. Click your avatar in the upper right corner of any folder within your Box account.
  2. On the drop-down menu, click Account Settings.
  3. Click the “Profile” tab
  4. Edit the “Your Name” field.
  5. Click the “Save Changes” button in the upper-right

I am listed as an Editor in a shared folder.  What does that give me rights to do with files?

There are seven different permission levels that can be assigned to a collaborator.  To see a table with the detail of what activities each level can perform, click here.



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