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IT Service Status
IT Service Status

Box Transition: Known Issues

This page provides an updated list of known issues, identified causes, workarounds, and instructions for reporting your experience to Northwestern IT. If you need further assistance with these known issues or encounter an issue not listed here, please contact the IT Service Desk at

Box Account Owners May Receive Emails From noreply@Box.Com August 1 or August 2 About Their Account (7/12)

RESOLUTION: Working as expected. These emails may be deleted. Account owners will receive updated instructions shortly.


COMMENT: These automated messages were sent by as Northwestern Box accounts were renamed as part of the planned removal of Box as a storage solution at Northwestern. Subject lines for the emails are shown below. Account owners will receive more information about the messages and next steps to continue external collaborations via Box in an email from Information Technology.

  • Email removed from Box account: (email address)
  • Email successfully added to Box account: (email address)
  • Primary Box account email changed

When trying to create a new personal Box account using a Northwestern email address ( an error message, “Email is already taken” appears. (6/30/22)

When setting up your new personal Box account, please ensure you are attempting the setup from a private browsing window. See steps for opening a private browsing window. If the issue persists, please contact the Northwestern IT Service Desk at 847-491-4357 (1-HELP) to have your Northwestern Box account renamed. Once that is done, please try to create your personal Box account again.

Error message when granting permission to a folder in SharePoint. (2/22/22)

RESOLUTION: Working as expected. When you try to share or break the inheritance of a folder in Microsoft SharePoint Online, you receive one of the following error messages:

  • You can't share this folder because there are too many items in the folder.
  • You can't share this item because too many items have already been shared in this library.
  • Failed to grant access.

REMEDIATION: Microsoft recommends using the following methods to fix this issue:

  • Reduce the number of items in the folder, library or list that you want to break permission inheritance or reinherit permissions on. You can move some items out first, break or reinherit permissions, and then move them back.
  • Reduce the number of uniquely permitted items in a list or library.

COMMENT: This issue occurs for one of the following reasons:

  • When a folder, library, or list contains more than 100,000 items, you can neither break permission inheritance nor reinherit permissions on the folder, library, or list. However, you can still break inheritance on the individual items within that folder, library, or list, up to the maximum number of unique permissions.
  • The supported limit of unique permissions for items in a list or library is 50,000. However, the recommended general limit is 5,000. Making changes to more than 5,000 uniquely permitted items at a time takes longer. Therefore, for large lists, design the list to have as few unique permissions as possible.

Graphics in Box Notes may not migrate as expected. (2/9/22)

RESOLUTION: The vendor, SkySync, has confirmed that this is how their solution handles certain graphics. We do not expect a fix at this time.

REMEDIATION: Box Notes which do not migrate properly via SkySync may be migrated manually. In the cases where the graphic migrates separate from the text file, it can be inserted into the Word document after migration.

COMMENT: Documents with embedded graphics may not migrate the graphic as part of the Word document, depending upon how the graphic was included in the original Box Note. In certain situations the graphic will be migrated, but as a separate document and not as part of the Word document. Sometimes the Word document will be missing the graphic and it won’t be located as a separate file.

OneDrive error: "There was a problem connecting to OneDrive" (1/27/22)

RESOLUTION: None; working as expected.

REMEDIATION: Visit and log in. After a successful login, you can then log in with the local OneDrive application. If you continue to receive this error message after 24 hours, please contact or call 847-491-4357 (1-HELP) and report the error message.

COMMENT: This error message has been reported by some users trying to log into OneDrive for Windows or OneDrive for Mac and they authenticate successfully. However, users receive the error message: "There was a problem connecting to OneDrive. You don't have the access to this service. For help, contact your IT department. (Error Code 0x8004deef)

OneDrive login error: "We were unable to verify your account..." (1/20/22)

RESOLUTION: None; working as expected.

REMEDIATION: If you are using the OneDrive application (Windows, Mac, or Mobile) and receive the error message "We were unable to verify your account. Please sign in for or cancel and try a different account." Please follow these instructions.

COMMENT: This error message has been reported by some users when logging into OneDrive for the first time after their Box migration.

Inability for any students with an @u. email as their primary email address to participate as co-owners of SharePoint folders after the migration. (1/10/22)

RESOLUTION: None; working as expected.

REMEDIATION: When adding students using Google Apps (@u.) as their primary email address, SharePoint site owners must re-add these students using their NetID instead of their email address after the migration. Learn more.

COMMENTS : This issue applies to all students with an @u. email address tied to their NetID as primary email address. If these users are added with an email address instead of NetID, they will be listed as an external user instead of an internal user, so access and permissions may not work as expected.

SkySync is unable to migrate Box folders containing 10,000 or more items. (11/09/21)

RESOLUTION: None; working as expected.

PREVENTION : Before the Box account migration, rearrange your Box account so a single folder contains less than 10,000 items (files or other folders).

REMEDIATION : After migration, users will be provided with a report showing flagged items. Users with accounts that receive this error will need to remediate the source content by moving items into sub-folders until each directory contains 10,000 items or less.

COMMENTS : During migration, SkySync will identify the directories that exceed this limit, flag, and generate an error report.

Locked files in Box will not migrate to OneDrive and SharePoint because the tool does not have permission to access the resource in Box. (11/04/21)

PREVENTION: Before your Box account migration, review your Box data and unlock any locked files. Review the  instructions for unlocking and locking files in Box.

REMEDIATION: After migration, users will need to first unlock the file in their Box account and manually copy it to its new location in OneDrive or SharePoint.

COMMENTS: SkySync flags items that cannot be moved during the migration process and generates an error report. Users are notified by Northwestern IT, provided with a link to the error report, and given instructions for remediation.

Anonymous sharing is disabled in OneDrive. (10/21/21)

EXPECTED RESOLUTION: Working as designed/intended; anonymous sharing is available in SharePoint only.

WORKAROUND: If anonymous access is required for a business need, members of the University community can request that it be turned on for a new or existing SharePoint site.

COMMENTS: With anonymous sharing, anyone who has the link can access the document it points to and view/edit the document according to the link’s permission level.

File paths in Box with more than 400 characters will not migrate to OneDrive and will be flagged as an error named "Policy Failure" on the SkySync error report. (10/21/21)

EXPECTED RESOLUTION: None; working as designed.

WORKAROUND: Content owners need to shorten the file names and/or the folder path names and manually move the content to OneDrive.

COMMENTS: File paths with more than 400 characters exceed the maximum character limit in OneDrive.

After the Box migration, documents and folders shared by others do not appear when clicking on the “Shared” link in the left menu. (10/14/21)

EXPECTED RESOLUTION: Unknown; Northwestern IT has escalated the issue with Microsoft. If you experience this issue, please report it the IT Service Desk at at or call 847-491-4357 (1-HELP) as we continue toward a resolution with Microsoft.

WORKAROUND: Type the name of the shared file/folder in the Search box at the top of the screen. From there, the shared files will be visible.  See image. Alternatively, you may clear your cache in your browser and then click on “Return to classic OneDrive” and retry.

COMMENTS: The issue is resolved for some users when they:

  1. Clear the browser cache.
  2. Close the browser and re-open.
  3. Open OneDrive and switch to the classic OneDrive view (click on option in the lower-left corner).   
  4. Toggle back to the previous view by clicking on the Documents link in the left pane.