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Box Retirement - Frequently Asked Questions

IT Service Transition: Box Retirement homepage

Microsoft OneDrive, Teams, and SharePoint FAQ and Important Information

This is a living document and will be updated with more information as it is available. Sign up to receive weekly Box retirement updates by email
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About the Box retirement

Why is UMass Amherst retiring Box?

The Box Secure Online Storage service will be retired due to vendor-driven changes, including a dramatic cost increase and the end of unlimited storage. Other secure online storage services are already offered at UMass Amherst and meet the needs of the university community.

What other secure online file storage options are available at UMass Amherst?

UMass Amherst students, faculty, and staff have access to Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive. See our Online File Storage Platforms Compared web page for more information about Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive. 

As part of the Box retirement process, Box files and folders will be automatically copied to OneDrive. You may also consider Google Drive as a repository for your Box files, but there is some information you need to know about Google Drive before making your final decision. 


What will happen to my files in Box after Box is retired?

UMass Amherst Information Technology will automatically transfer your Box files to your UMass Amherst Microsoft OneDrive account before the Box retirement. Support will be provided for Google Drive. Stay tuned for more information about how this automated process will work. 


What is the timeline for Box retirement?

Box will be available for the 2020-2021 academic year and will be retired during 2021. You will receive an email with specific information about the timeline for Box retirement. 
See the IT Service Transition: Secure Online Storage (Box) Retirement page for more information and updates as they are available. 



Box features vs OneDrive and other online storage options

What are the storage limits of OneDrive?

By default, UMass Amherst OneDrive accounts have a storage limit of 2 terabytes. However:

  • The storage limit can be increased to 5 terabytes per-account on request
  • If you have used over 80% of that 5 terabyte limit, you may request an increase to 25 terabytes.

Contact if you need more than 2 terabytes of OneDrive storage. 


Box has been referred to as Secure Online Storage at UMass Amherst. Do other online storage services offer the same level of security?

Both Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive offer similar levels of security to Box.


What types of data can I store in Microsoft OneDrive, Teams, or SharePoint?

In addition to data categorized as “Low” and “Medium”, with the appropriate configuration and business processes, Microsoft OneDrive, Teams, and SharePoint can be used to support data categorized up to “HIGH”.

As a reminder, with any university data, it is the responsibility of the user to ensure appropriate sharing and protections are in place. If you will be storing data with specific compliance requirements, for example, HIPAA (Protected Health Information), FISMA, FEDRAMP, Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI), a compliance and risk assessment will need to be performed to determine if OneDrive, Teams, or SharePoint is an appropriate solution.

OneDrive, Teams, and SharePoint are not approved for PCI and ITAR/EAR data.   If you used Box as an approved environment for data categorized up to “HIGH”, HIPAA or HIPAA-Like data, and a compliance or risks assessment was performed, then OneDrive, Teams, and SharePoint remain a valid replacement for hosting the same data, unless it is explicitly prohibited. Contact your Risk Management/Information Security representative for additional guidance at  


How does sharing files in Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive compare to Box?

Both Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive offer the ability to share files with individuals, groups, or publicly via a shared link - similar to Box. 


What app integrations and collaboration capabilities do Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive offer?

While Box offered a limited connection with Microsoft Office document editing applications, Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive both include integrations with full suites of applications. 

Microsoft OneDrive is tightly integrated with Office applications for editing office documents - as well as other parts of the Microsoft 365 ecosystem (including Teams and Outlook) to make sharing and collaborating on files easier. 

Google Drive offers a similar level of integration with Google Workspace, Google’s suite of document editing and collaboration applications.


What will happen to my Box Notes?

Box Notes files can only be opened in Box. During the automatic switch to OneDrive, your Box Notes will be converted to Microsoft Word documents (.doc or .docx) and stored in a folder called BoxData with the rest of your transferred Box files.

If you choose to transfer your files to Google Drive, you will need to manually transfer your Box Notes files.