Box is free for MSU-Northern students, faculty and staff and your storage is unlimited. Box is designed for use by institutions such as MSU-Northern while other products are more for individual, consumer use. Box also offers features such as content and task management, online work-space for collaboration, sharing permission levels and more. It is an officially endorsed service that can be used as an alternative to Dropbox and other unapproved cloud-based services.

Box is not intended to replace any of your current network drives on Rigel (personal or departmental). Instead, this is an additional option that provides cloud storage and allows easy collaboration with others. You should determine the best storage option based on the data type, storage requirements, collaboration, and other needs.

Yes, all of the campuses in the MSU family have Box storage available for students, faculty and staff.


All MSU-Northern students, faculty and staff have accounts.

No. Box accounts are available for faculty and staff to use if they choose. We believe that Box is an excellent resource for institutional and educational use.

You have unlimited storage in your Montana State Box account.

Box's robust file sharing and collaboration platform allows individual account holders to create folders that function just as a group or department folder would making a group or departmental account unnecessary. Multiple people can be given owner-level permission for the folder, which will ensure consistent access to the folder should an owner leave.

With the ability to set different access levels for each user invited to collaborate in a folder, and to any folders/files nested within it, folder owners can assign permissions based on each individual's need and level of interaction required for data in that folder.

If you used your email address to sign up for a box account, your account and its contents and files were migrated to a Montana State Box account.

Box does offer free personal accounts with 10GB storage limits. If you choose to create a non-MSU-Northern personal Box account, all you have to do is associate this personal account with an email address other than your MSUN email account. See for information on personal accounts.

  1. Invite your Montana State Box Account to be a an EDITOR of the folder in your personal Box account You must invite your Montana State Box Account using your e-mail address
  2. Accept this invite in your Montana State Box Account
  3. In your personal Box account go this this shared folder and make your Montana State Box Account the OWNER of the folder


  • By making your Montana State Box Account the Folder Owner, your personal Box account becomes an Editor and no longer owns the folder.
  • Any collaborators who have been added directly to the folder will see it in their root folders.
  • Any collaborators who have been added at the parent-folder level or above will no longer be collaborators.

You can now leave this folder as is in your Montana State Box Account, or move the files to new or existing folders in your Montana State Box Account.

This is a security feature MSU has applied to its tenant of Box. If your Box session is inactive for an hour your account will be logged off.

You can create a free, personal Box account and move any personal content from your Montana Box account to the personal account before you leave. Please note, the storage limit will decrease from unlimited to 10GB. You will be responsible for relocating anything over this limit.

Tools, Resources and Supported Systems

We suggest that you use the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Chrome, FireFox or Safari, which are all fully functional and supported by Please see this resource for more information.

Yes, Box lets you do full-text searches of the current versions of files uploaded to your account. It cannot search documents that are images or scanned documents.

Apps connect your Box account to other applications and services. See for more information.

A couple popular Box apps include:

Box Edit: Box Edit is an add-on feature that allows you to edit or create files directly on Box. Designed for all file types, browsers, and platforms, Box Edit uses the default application installed on your computer to edit or create simple and centralized content. Note that if you utilize BOX edit you will upload a new version every time you click the "Save" button. Click here for more information on Box Edit.

Box for Office: helps you create, edit, and share your documents more effectively. Box for Office includes Box functionality for key Office products—Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook—in a single app. Click here for more information.

You should never use Box Sync to sync any data that is restricted or contains student information as this will create a copy of the data on your local hard drive.

Find out more about data classifications and storage options.

To unsync a folder:

  1. Log into your Box account
  2. Right-click on the folder, select Properties > Unsync.

To unsync individual file(s) and not an entire folder:

  1. Move the file(s) to a new folder outside of the synced folder.

Find out more about Box Sync...

Third party applications are not allowed for Montana State Box accounts. Please visit the Official Box Applications site for approved apps.

Box University is a training site from on Box features and functionality. There are both live and online delivery options. The vast majority of Box University's offerings are free, so enjoy them! There are a few courses that are not, but you will be notified of their price on the registration page. (note: you will need to pay for courses that are not free, MSUN will not pay for them).

When you are logged into your Box account you can access Box University by clicking the Get Training link in the right column of you home page:

Screen shot showing "Get Training" link

File Access, Uploading and Versioning

Folder owners can name another user as the folder owner. See this help site from for the instructions.

You and the people you choose to share your documents with have access to the content in Box.

System administrators can move folders at a high level and can view content you upload. The system administrators have this access in order to conduct audits (for example, content found to be a violation of the security or copyright policies).

You can upload any type of digital file on box, but we ask that you do not upload executable (.exe) files as they usually get flagged as malware.

The preview function, which is a file viewer integrated in the web browser, allows you to view a file before sharing content or downloading. A complete list of the file extensions which can be previewed is available here.

Please keep in mind the restrictions for file/document content when uploading to Box. Find out more about data classifications and storage options.

The upload file size limit is 15GB. But please note that uploading a 15GB file could take a very long time.

We recommend uploading files greater than 5GB individually, one at a time.

Older versions of Internet Explorer apply file-size upload and download limits that supersede Box account-level upload limits. Users accessing Box through Internet Explorer versions 6, 7, and 8 can upload files up to 2GB in size. These limits do not apply if the user selects the Upload Folders option, which uses Java. Please see this Box Help article What Is the Box Policy for Browser and OS Support? for more information.

Users cannot pause or resume a large file upload during upload. If there is an error, the user will need to restart the upload.

PLEASE NOTE: UNLIMITED STORAGE, DOES NOT MEAN UNLIMITED BANDWIDTH. Please be aware that it still takes time to upload high numbers of files or large files to the cloud because this service still utilizes the internet download and upload speeds are subject to internet performance, traffic volume and latency.

Yes, you can use FTP. However, it should only be used for bulk file uploads (or downloads) to your account.

For more information and instructions visit Using Box with FTP.

Office Online supports co-authoring and editing for .xlsx, .pptx and .docx files.

  • 97 - 2003 files (.xls, .ppt, .doc) cannot be edited with Office Online.
  • File size limits apply when editing files with Box and Office Online:
    • Excel: 5MB
    • PowerPoint: 500MB
    • Word: 500MB

For files exceeding the size limit, use your desktop version of Office to open.

Every time you save a document and upload it to Box, you create a new version. If you utilize Box edit you will upload a new version every time you click the "Save" button. If you are using Microsoft Online Apps (Word, Excel, PPT), recovery settings in these online applications create a new version every 1 minute while you are actively working in the document.

Deleted files are kept in the Trash folder for 30 days. Upon expiration, files are auto-deleted.
Once the content is deleted from trash, it is permanently unrecoverable by Box after 14 days.

File Sharing and Collaboration

When searching for a user to invite them to collaborate in a folder, use their full, legal name or their email address.

If the individual is not an MSU-Northern, Great Falls or Bozeman user their email address will not come up. You will need to enter the full email address of any collaborators not on one of these three campuses.

This feature is turned on by default. To adjust this:

  1. Login into Your Account,
  2. Click on Your Name on the Top Right Corner
  3. Go to Account Settings
  4. Click on Content & Sharing
  5. Scroll to Collaborating on Content
  6. Uncheck the Box
  7. Click Save

If an external collaborator would like to invite you to collaborate they must use your e-mail address.

A collaborator is an individual who has been invited into a folder. Collaboration invites are a great way to share content for long term projects. This will allow you to invite people to a folder and monitor updates over time. In order to access a folder as a collaborator, a person will need a Box account and the folder will be listed under All Files when they log in to their Box account. If you send a collaboration invitation to a person without a Box account, that person will be prompted to sign up with Box before being able to access the content.

A shared link is a unique URL that gives the recipient to access a specific file or folder for a limited amount of time. With customizable permission levels, security settings, and a URL that's easy to copy and paste, shared links can be used to send important content both internally and externally. Unlike collaboration, individuals accessing your content through a shared link get "read-only" access and won't be able to make changes to your files.

When inviting a user as a collaborator within a folder, you will have the ability to set the level of access that user has to your content. Here are the permissions and the type of access they grant:

Editor: An Editor has full read/write access to a folder. Once invited to a folder, they will be able to view, download, upload, edit, delete, copy, move, rename, generate and edit shared links, make comments, assign tasks, create tags, and invite/remove collaborators. They will not be able to delete or move root level folders..

Viewer: A Viewer has full read access to a folder. Once invited to a folder, they will be able to preview, download, make comments, and generate shared links. They will not be able to add tags, invite new collaborators, edit shared links, upload, edit or delete items in the folder.

Previewer: A Previewer has limited read access. They will only be able to preview the items in the folder using the integrated content viewer. They will not be able to share, upload, edit, or delete any content.

Uploader: An Uploader has limited write access. They will only be able to upload and see the names of the items in a folder. They will not able to download or view any content.

Viewer-Uploader: This access level is a combination of Viewer and Uploader. A Viewer-Uploader has full read access to a folder and limited write access. They are able to preview, download, add comments, generate shared links, and upload content to the folder. They will not be able to add tags, invite new collaborators, edit, or delete items in the folder.

Previewer-Uploader: This access level is a combination of Previewer and Uploader. A user with this access level will be able to preview files using the integrated content viewer as well as upload items into the folder. They will not be able to download, edit, or share, items in the folder.

Co-Owner: A Co-Owner has all of the functional read/write access that an Editor does. This permission level has the added ability of being able to manage users in the folder. A Co-Owner can add new collaborators, change access levels of existing collaborators, and remove collaborators. However, they will not be able to manipulate the Owner of the folder or transfer ownership to another user.

To generate a link to one of your files or folders, click Share to the right of your file, and under Sharing, click Share Link:

Where to find the Share link
A pop-up window will appear with your shared link:

Shared link pop-up

On the Shared Link for Documents pop up there is a clock icon and a gear icon: Clock and Gear icons

Hovering over the the clock will show you when the link will expire:
expiration date

You can change the link disable date and also allow or not allow users with the link to download the item by clicking on the gear icon to change the settings.
Expiration & download options

To remove a share link - open the Shared Link box and click on "People in your company", click Remove Link at the bottom:
Remove link option on shared link screen

Learn more about Box at
 Remember to Log out.  When you finish using Box, please log out to ensure your content remains secure. You can log out by clicking on your name in the upper right hand corner, then selecting Log Out.