There are several ways to share files and folders, each with a different application. Although you can share files, most permissions are set on folders, so let's start there.
- To create a folder, simply click New > Folder, name the folder, and either keep it private (which is the default) or set who has access (known as a "folder collaborator") by email address. If you're unsure of what level of access they should have you can click on Learn More for more information. Editor is usually a good permission level for anyone reading and writing files with you.
- We've created a private folder and a shared folder. You can tell if a folder is private or shared by looking at the icon next to your folder. If it has a blue link icon, it's shared. If there is no icon next to it, the folder is Private to you. There is only one Owner per shared folder, and only the Owner (or an IT administrator) can transfer Ownership to someone else.
- If we would like to add more collaborators to the folder, click the Share button next to the folder. Simply invite more people by entering their email address.
- If we would like to remove someone's access or change their access level, right-click the shared folder and go to Properties > Collaborators.
- To change their access level, click the three dots next to their name under the sharing panel and change it to another option. To remove them from the folder outright, click Remove.
- Let's say we want to create a subfolder inside of "My Shared Folder." Simply go inside "My Shared Folder" and create a new folder, just as we did before. The permissions on the subfolder will match exactly what you set on the top-level (or parent) folder. If you want to add more users to the subfolder, simply click the Share button and Invite Collaborators.
- You cannot, however, remove anyone from a subfolder who had permission to the parent folder. Notice that Box Admin, to whom we granted rights to My Shared Folder, has the Editor link grayed out. But Frankie Frain, a user we added to Subfolder, can be removed. For this reason, subfolders should not be used as a way to restrict access, but rather to open them to more users. If you need to create a more restrictive folder, you should create it at the top level of your account.
- Let's look at more advanced permissions. Right-click your shared folder, and go to Settings > Invitation Restrictions.
- The first option, Only Owners and Co-owners can send collaborator invites, restricts people who have lower-level access on the folder from being able to share it with more people. If you're concerned about the security of the folder, this is a good measure, because it allows you to limit exactly who does and doesn't get to add more people to the folder.
- The second option, Restrict collaboration to within Emerson College, restricts anyone from being able to invite external collaborators (Box users who don't have emerson.edu email addresses, like outside contractors or friends). If this is not checked, you're welcome to send collaboration invites to any email address in the world.
- The third option, Hide Collaborators, disallows your collaborators from seeing who else the folder is shared with.
- Notice there are a number of options regarding Shared Links, which we'll get into more deeply in a moment, but shared links, as we saw in Box for Office, allow users to share a folder or file via a URL.
- Scroll down to Uploading to review a few more sharing features.
- The first option, Allow uploads to this folder via email, would assign an email address to the folder and allow users to add files simply by emailing that address with attachments. If you check the box, it will present you the email address, and give you the option to restrict email uploads to collaborators only. You may also want to check the Overwrite same-name files option so that you can overwrite something you've uploaded by emailing the address.
- Moving down the options further, you can set when you'd like for you and your collaborators to receive email notifications for certain kinds of events in the folder. IT has set the default behavior for all users (to only notify collaborators when someone adds a comment or deletes a file), but that can be over-ridden for this one folder or the default behavior for all new folders you create. You can even disable all notifications outright.
- To change your default notification settings, click Override default settings and modify them however you'd like.
- If you'd like to just share one file, select the Share button.
- Box will create a custom URL for you, and when you email or share that link, the person will be able to preview the file in a browser. We do not currently allow users to download a file from a shared link.
- You can also set a much more memorable and easier way to share a custom link by clicking on Link Settings. Here we set the custom link to myfile, so the full URL becomes https://emerson.box.com/myfile.
- Whenever sharing, you should always consider security, so you may want to consider forcing the link to expire by a certain date. Maybe you want someone to be able to preview a file for a few days, and then never again. Simply set a date under Set Link Expiration.
- Now, notice your file has been marked by the link icon to indicate it's shared, with a reminder as to when the link will expire.
When you create a folder, you're the folder Owner - any files you store there, whether by you or by your collaborators, will count against your 25GB quota.
There are even more nuanced methods for file and folder sharing, but that should be plenty of information to allow you to share easily and securely!