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Box Transition: Frequently Asked Questions

Northwestern is preparing to transition from Box, the University’s cloud-based data and file storage service, to Microsoft cloud-storage platforms such as OneDrive and SharePoint, by August 2022. This page provides answers to commonly asked questions about the transition.

Please note, as the project progresses, newly added or updated FAQs will be identified by an asterisk (*).

Why is Northwestern moving away from offering Box as a file-storage solution?

Box is raising its prices and ending its unlimited storage offering as of August 31, 2022. Additionally, Northwestern offers other cloud and on-premise file-sharing solutions, including OneDrive, SharePoint, Teams, and the Research Data Storage Service (RDSS), that provide improved integration with other productivity tools.

What is changing?

With this transition from Box to Microsoft, you will experience a few changes, including user interface and collaboration features. As the project progresses, we will provide more details that pertain to these changes. Microsoft already offers many features that are available on Box, such as file-sharing, access control, and live editing.

How will Box files be migrated?

File migrations will be automated via a centrally managed enterprise migration tool. There is expected to be little to no involvement by you to migrate your files to their future-state destinations. Remaining Box data will be converted to read-only by Spring 2022. Learn more.

What is the proposed timeline for moving files from Box?

Automated Box migrations are tentatively set to begin in October 2021. We will contact you prior to your data being migrated. All remaining Box data will be converted to read-only by Spring 2022.

In the coming months, watch for for additional information about how data stored in Box accounts owned by non-personal accounts will be migrated.

When will I be contacted about migrating my files?

Northwestern IT is partnering with schools and units to plan a migration approach and schedule. When your migration window is established, you will be notified well in advance and receive multiple email notifications informing you of your migration date, what you need to do to prepare, and what support options are available.

How should I prepare?

At present, continue using Box as you and your teams have in the past. Do not start moving your files yet. More information will be provided as the project progresses. However, do begin organizing your files and deleting any information you no longer need to access. Learn more.

Will the SAFER (Sensitive Administrative Files E-Registry) application still be available for HIPAA compliance?

The SAFER application will be retired with the Box environment. However, the project team will incorporate necessary SAFER functionality into SharePoint Secure Sites. Learn more.

Last Updated: 3 May 2021

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