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Using Box in Your Classes: Sharing Files


1. Hover your mouse's cursor over the folder/file. The "Share" button will appear at the far right.


2. Click on "Share". A new box will appear. Note the default is "editor".


3. Click on "Invite as Editor" to see the other sharing options.


4. Select the appropriate permission level. Remember Box uses "Waterfall Permissions"! (See below.)


Note: Viewer Uploaders are able to preview, download, add comments, generate shared links, and upload content, but they are not able to add tags, invite new collaborators, or delete items in the folder. To update a file, people with this permission have to download a file, edit it locally, and re-upload (using the same file name).

Waterfall Permissions

Something that is always important to keep in mind when sharing items within Box is that Box uses "Waterfall Permissions". What this means is that if you give someone access to one of your folders, they will not only have access to that folder but anything you put inside that folder, too. And they will always have the sharing permissions you gave them at the top level. If you give them "editor" privileges at the top level, they will have editor privileges throughout. See this illustrated below.

Jane is the owner of "My Files". She has two folders inside "My Files": "My Super Secret Files" and "My Work Files." She has saved "My Lecture" inside "My Work Files."

She has given Jack "Viewer" privileges of "My Files." This means he has viewer privileges of all of her files, including "My Super Secret Files". If she only wanted him to have viewing privileges of "My Work Files", she would need to remove his viewing privileges at "My Files" and move them only to "My Work Files".

For "My Work Files", "Tom" has the ability to upload documents to "My Work Files". But Jane also wants him to be able to edit "My Lecture." She gave him editing privileges only for the files she wanted him to be able to edit: My Lecture.

Hannah only has the ability to upload/see "My Lecture."

Please note: Sharing privileges trickle down. You can't remove privileges from a lower level that have been assigned at a higher level. If you don't want someone to have the ability to do something, make sure you only assign those privileges at the lowest level. If you give someone editor access at the top-level folder you can't give them less than editor access on a subfolder. You also can't remove them (unshare) from a subfolder.

So in the case of "Jack", if "Jack" had "Editor" privileges of "My Files" instead of "Viewer" privileges, he would have "Editor" access throughout. Jane couldn't remove his "Editor" privileges or his access to "My Super Secret Files" at the "My Super Secret Files" level because it is a subfolder of "My Files." If she wanted him to have "Editor" access to "My Work Files" and no access to "My Super Secret Files," she would need to remove his "Editor" privileges from the top level where they appear ("My Files"), and add them at "My Work Files" instead. If she wanted him to have "Viewer" privileges of "My Super Secret Files" and "Editor" access to "My Work Files", she would need to grant those permissions at those levels, not "My Files", the top level.

Changing Permissions

If you are worried that you may have accidentally given someone the wrong permissions, you can check who has access on the right side of the page.


To change the permissions, select the ". . ."  next to the person's name. A drop-down list will appear.

Select the new editing permissions from the list.

Jenny Freed

Jenny Freed's picture
Jenny Freed
801 National Road W.
Richmond, IN 47374

Earlham College • 801 National Road West • Richmond, Indiana 47374-4095