Box to Dropbox migration window closes Oct. 31


The end of the U-M Box Retirement Project is rapidly approaching, and faculty and staff are urged to confirm that all remaining Box data have been moved to U-M Dropbox before Oct. 31. 

Faculty, staff and students have scheduled the migration of more than 345 terabytes of Box data since last spring when the campaign to move to Dropbox began.

By comparison, this amounts to more than 1,380 laptops, 2,760 smartphones, 173,000 hours of high-definition video, 448,500 file cabinets or 2.2 billion Microsoft Office files, PDFs and presentations.

“This has been a strategic, universitywide initiative, and we appreciate the efforts and partnership of our faculty, students and staff colleagues over the past year to make this transition possible,” said Ravi Pendse, vice president for information technology and chief information officer.

Unit ambassadors representing each school, college and unit collaborated with the ITS Box Retirement Project team to communicate details about the change through multiple emails to individual faculty and staff, as well as through The University Record, Wolverine Access, Canvas, Facebook Workplace and digital signs and displays. They additionally hosted office hours by request with university units. 

Individuals who do not move their data by Oct. 31 risk having to navigate a time-consuming recovery process and eventually the loss altogether of their information once all remaining Box data are purged. 

Since all faculty and staff have a U-M Box account, ITS recommends that those who have not taken action use the Self-Service Migration tool regardless of whether they think they have information stored there.

“One scenario we’ve encountered is that some individuals haven’t immediately realized they own information in a Box account,” said Bob Jones, executive director of ITS Support Services and Box Retirement Project lead.

“Perhaps they saved data in Box a while ago and simply forgot. Whatever the case, our recommendation is that everyone who has not migrated take a final look at their Box account and proactively decide whether they wish to keep or delete their data. Our desire is that no important materials or data are lost.”

The main way for faculty and staff to be certain they are not Box data owners is to take the following steps:

  • Use the ITS Self-Service Migration tool to request an extension to reactivate their Box account and then confirm if they have Box data that needs to be migrated to Dropbox.
  • Use the tool to schedule their migration from Box to Dropbox without checking the contents of their account.

Beginning in November, any files and folders remaining in U-M Box will be held for a two-week grace period and then archived briefly before being scheduled for deletion.

The only way for individuals to retrieve data that has been archived, but not yet deleted, will be through the disaster-recovery process, which is costly and one that individuals or their units will be responsible for covering. It should be noted that permission shares and creation dates for restored data will cease to be available.

The most effective way to avoid information loss and unwanted situations is for faculty and staff to use the migration tool before the end of October.

University community members needing assistance or having concerns about their Box-to-Dropbox account migration should contact the ITS Service Center or HITS Service Desk. Questions can be directed to the Unit Ambassador for their area.



  1. Edith Bletcher
    on October 27, 2021 at 2:53 pm

    Please make this clear as to whether or not this applies to current faculty & staff only or to retirees as well. Thank you.

Leave a comment

Commenting is closed for this article. Please read our comment guidelines for more information.