WSE Info for Box to OneDrive Migration

Why is this happening did this happen??!?

  • OneDrive ( is a cloud file storage system — like a network drive on the internet.  It does many of the same jobs as Box did.  OneDrive is a really nice component of Microsoft Office 365 (  It has 5TB of storage space (vs 100GB for Box) and great shared editing tools.  Desktop, phone, and tablet sync is available for OneDrive as on Box.  We have a page about Office 365 benefits here.
  • Box ( no longer offers the kind of contract we had with them, so we don’t have an option to renew.  We had to switch in March 2020.

What is going to happen?  What do I have to do right now?

  • IT@JH will move your Box files for you to OneDrive.  This was scheduled for WSE for December 5, 2019. (Depending on multiple affiliations or technical glitches, some people might not have moved on this date.  If you didn’t move please contact us so we can investigate.)
  • You don’t have to do anything to prepare.  You can keep using Box until the migration as you have, and can start using OneDrive right now if you haven’t already.  You do not need to back up your Box files.
  • After the files are moved, your Box account will be made read-only until the end of the contract in March 2020.  That means you can refer to it for anything that might be missing from the automated migration, but you will no longer be able to save new changes into Box.
  • Files will be moved into a folder in OneDrive called BoxMigration.  This way you don’t have to worry about conflicts between any files you might already have in OneDrive conflicting with things in Box — nothing will be accidentally overwritten.

The devil is in the details…

Here are some details about how things translate from one system to the other.  Everyone uses these systems in their own way to get their jobs done, so if you don’t see something covered here please ask us about it!

  • Permissions for folders shared with others inside Hopkins (ie: people with JHEDs) will be migrated with the files.  In other words, folders shared inside Hopkins with Box will still be shared inside Hopkins with OneDrive.
  • If you shared individual files, as opposed to sharing folders, then those permissions will not be moved.  Some people won’t remember how they shared things — files or folders.  Don’t worry!  A report is generated for each user with the details of what was shared and to who, so if something doesn’t transfer over for some reason the share permission can be re-created in OneDrive.  The report is here.
  • Permissions for files shared outside Hopkins (ie: external collaborators, people with Gmail addresses, public URLs) will NOT be migrated.  There are two reasons for this. First, as a practical point, those external shared URLs will no longer be valid (they go to Box URLs and not OneDrive URLs) and need to be re-communicated to your collaborators. Second, it’s wise to periodically re-verify that data leaving the institution should still be shared — that it is not leaking PII or other sensitive data, and that whatever reason it was shared is still valid.  To help with this process the report mentioned above will be available to you detailing what you had externally shared in Box and to what addresses.
  • Though OneDrive tracks file versions/history like Box does, old versions of files in Box will NOT be transferred automatically.  Only the most current version will be transferred.
  • Comments made in the Box system about files will not be transferred to OneDrive.  Comments inside a file (for example, the notes you can make in a Word document using the Word change tracking feature) will get migrated along with the file.
  • At the end of the contract, IT@JH will take a backup of the entire Box system just in case something needs to be retrieved.  Also, we’ll have that sharing report in case something seems to be missing for a collaborator.


All files and directories Sharing for files and folders shared outside JH – though a report detailing all sharing will be provided to you
Sharing for folders shared inside JH (to other JHEDs) Sharing for individual files shared inside JH – though a report detailing all sharing will be provided to you. (OneDrive doesn’t support sharing of individual files, just folders, so this feature can’t transfer over.)
File revisions, other than the most recent copy
File comments and folder descriptions

Additional Resources and Training



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