House Keeping Tips

You finally jumped in a moved all those files off your local hard drive, file share, G Drive or wherever into Box.  You carefully planned this move and you have it all neatly arranged in folders and sub-folders with descriptive names so you know at a glance what is where.  But then you have the miscellaneous or work folder.  In it you have stuff that doesn’t fit in the other folders, it is short term work, or there are copies of files that you have shared because you didn’t want to share it out of the original location.  It is a pain to keep up and you don’t really have time to keep going back once a week or once a month or once a year to clean it out and figure what to keep.  So, what to do?   Enter Box’s expiration settings!

While I focused on a particular folder what follows can be applied to any file or folder anywhere in your folder structure.

Folders: You can set entire folders to auto delete and if it is shared via a shared link you can auto expire the link.  To access these settings, click on the box with the three dots to the right of the folder name,

Access Folder Settings

In the drop-down menu click on Settings and then scroll down to Auto Actions.

Folder Auto Actions

Here you have two check boxes, one to allow you to set the deletion date of the folder and the other to unshare the folder on a selected date.  To unshare a folder it must be shared with a shared link.  This will not affect collaborations.  Once you select a date to delete and save your changes you will see a scissors icon added to your folder and in the folder details there will be a notification of when that folder will be deleted

AutoDelete Icon
Auto deletion icon
Details auto delete date
Folder details

You will also get a notification in your messages as the date gets near.  If you decide later to either not delete the folder or change the date you can do that at any time before the set date.  Besides setting auto unsharing in the folder settings you can also set the date by clicking the gear icon on the shared link dialog and checking the “Disable shared link on …” checkbox.  This is the dialog that popped up when you created the shared link.  Setting the auto unsharing of a shared link will not add an icon to the folder name but you will see in the folder details the date set to delete the shared link.

Files:  Files have similar settings for auto-delete or expiration, and auto unshare for links.  To access the auto-delete settings you go to the three dots to the right of the file name in the drop-down menu scroll down to “… More Actions” and then select Set Expiration.  Choose a date and save.  A scissors icon will appear to the right of the file name and the file details will show the set deletion date.

Set file expiration

To access deletion of shared links check box, click on the gear icon above the shared link URL on the shared link dialog box.  This is the dialog that pops up when you first setup the shared link.

This will take you to the next page of the dialog where you can set the link expiration date.

As in the previous image you will get a little clock on the shared link dialog that shows the date when you mouse over it along with a notice in the details that your link has a date set.

Now you don’t have to visit or fiddle with those files or folders.  They will unshare and/or be deleted on the date set.

Want to improve your Box skills?

You logged into Box created a folder or file or uploaded some data and now you want to learn more.  You want to improve your skills and  be more productive with Box.  Problem is, you just don’t know where to go for that information.  Well here are a few links to help figure out where to go.

One of the first places you could start is the OSU Box site and specifically our Getting Started with Box and FAQ pages.  On the Getting Started page you will also find links to the local information sessions we conducted at OSU during our Box launch phase.   This blog is also a good source of information as we will try and publish new and relevant information for OSU Box users.

Traveling a bit farther afield you will want to head over to Box’s Community and Training sites.   On the community pages you can get information about how various elements within Box’s web UI work, read what issues other users are experiencing and what they did to fix or work around those issues.  One thing that Box is introducing is an Ask the Expert event tomorrow March 31st from 9am to 2pm PST.  You have to sign in to the Training forum to participate.

Speaking of Box training, Box maintains a large collection of training material.  Besides the forum you will also find a video tutorial library with 19 videos that you can watch on-line or download to watch later.  If you want to go deeper you can go to the Box University which has a number of free courses, both self-paced as well as live, that will take you through additional elements of Box.  When accessing Box University you can login with your OSU account.  To do that click on the “Login with Box” button, then select “Use Single Sign-on (SSO)”, enter your ONID email address (, and then your username and password.  Once you’re logged in browse the various courses available to you.

Box also maintains a YouTube channel that has a number of informative videos on how to use the various features in Box as well as videos showing how others are using Box in their organizations.

If you can’t find what you need or want help doing something in Box feel free to reach out to the IS Service desk for help.