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PennBox FAQ

Answers to common questions about PennBox can be found below.


If you have a PennKey and one of the following affiliations in PennCommunity: Student, Faculty, Staff, Temporary Staff, Service Provider, Contingent Worker, Emeritus Retired Faculty/Staff, or HUP Corporate (HCOR), open a supported web browser to this address Since PennBox is Single Sign-On (SSO), you may or may not need to authenticate, depending on whether you have already authenticated to a Penn web resource earlier that day. You will automatically provision a PennBox for yourself. The account default email address will be (no third-level domain name.) IMPORTANT: Do NOT delete this address in your PennBox settings!

Note for PennMedicine participants: routing for your email alias is currently NOT in place. You must add your email account in your PennBox account settings in order for collaboration to happen. Do NOT delete the address in your PennBox settings!

There is no cost for individual or group PennBox accounts.

1 TB (effective October 18, 2022)

A higher storage limit is available on a case-by-case basis subject to an additional fee. See our PennBox Rates page for more information.

Please store no more than 4096 files per folder. If you need to store more than 4096 files on Penn+Box, create new folder(s) for the additional files.

PennBox data is only accessible on mobile devices by using the Box app for the corresponding platform, available on the corresponding app store: iOS App Store, or Android's Google Play Store.

Launch the Box app; tap “Use Single Sign On (SSO)”; type; authenticate with your PennKey and password; set a 4 digit PIN

Effective October 25, 2022, a new rolling account deprovisioning and archiving cadence, with three-month account and twelve-month data management interval process will be put into place.

  1. Start: Recent inactive user archive - (inactive since < October 2021) will be identified and then those inactive users’ data will be placed in an “active” archive labeled October 2021.
  2. January 2023 (+3 Months): Those accounts from the “active” archive labeled October 2021 will be deleted. A new inactive accounts user archive will be identified since < October 2022), and that data will be placed in a new “holding” archive of Oct 2022, and a new group of inactive users at the time will be placed in an “active” archive of Oct 2022.
  3. Three-month intervals of account archives continue (e.g. user accounts > April 2023, July 2023, October 2023 etc.).
  4. October 2023 (1 year): Those inactive accounts will be deleted, and the data from such deleted accounts will be placed in a “holding” archive Oct 2022 for a period of one year.
  5. Twelve months prior data archive deletion continues in a rolling three-month interval (e.g. > October 2023, January 2024, April 2024 etc.)

Ideally, before you leave, you should work with your supervisor to identify any data that your School/Center needs to maintain, and transfer ownership accordingly. If you don't transfer ownership to a new owner for any data with active collaboration, your collaborators will experience problems accessing that data when your account becomes inactive. For any other non-collaboration data which you own that you'd like to keep, be sure to download that data before you leave Penn, since you cannot continue to access PennBox once your active eligible affiliation expires.


This form was chosen since it facilitates SSO. The <pennkey> identity should not be removed from the account.

To provision a PennBox account, you must have a PennKey and at least one of the following affiliations in PennCommunity: Student (STU), Staff (STAF), Faculty (FAC), Temporary (TEMP), Contingent worker (CTWK), Emeritus Retired Faculty/Staff (ERF), Service Provider Active (SERV), Corporate on HUP Payroll (HCOR).

Be sure you are entering your PennKey credentials correctly. You can test your PennKey at Are your required affiliations “Active” in PennCommunity (see above)? Are you using the Single Sign-On URL (

You may have two Box accounts. Try logging in to your account using the following URL:, then try logging into The first URL is a commodity account. The second URL is for PennBox access.

Check the sort order for your folders. Check for a second page of folders. If they shared their folders using a Shared Link, you must click that link to see the folders. If your collaborators are from a different school, enterprise or company, their folders need to be accessible to people with the link (see Settings/Shared Links.)

Make sure your shared files or folders are accessible to “People with the link,…” (see Settings/Shared Links.) Make sure you are addressing the collaborator invitations correctly. Our default email accounts are of form <pennkey> (no 3nd level domain.)

Account may be on’s suppression list due to a bounced email in the past. Box User Services needs to get involved with removing an account from the list; you must contact Mailings may be flagged as spam --check junk folders.

Settings and features:

The default email address is set at the time of account creation and uses the format <pennkey> Our processes, including single sign on and determining user eligibility for the PennBox service, rely on this email. Changing it could result in a disruption of service for you. In order to avoid that, we have restricted the ability to change the default email address; however, you can still link additional email addresses to your account as secondary addresses by following these instructions:   

Yes, and linked email accounts can be set as default. Any problems related to adding an email account may be attributed to the new address already existing in Box will only allow one instance of an email address in their systems. Check for other accounts.

No! If the account is removed from a PennBox account, SSO will no longer function, and potentially a 2nd PennBox account may be created for a user when logging in to

While we do have a BAA in place, there has not been a blanket approval from the University. Generally speaking, it depends on local Schools and Centers.
Check with your school/center to be sure and discuss any questions/uncertainties with a Privacy Officer.