Penn+Box Service Updates Effective October 18, 2022

Following up on the December 2021 announcement regarding the introduction of storage limits to Penn+Box, ISC in consultation with numerous stakeholders have made revisions to the storage limits previously announced. The new limits are described below and will only affect 0.2% of all PSOM faculty, staff and students. ISC will also introduce a new deprovisioning and archiving process to ensure the removal of users who have left the University of Pennsylvania from the service.

New storage limits for PennBox accounts

Effective October 18, 2022, the storage limit for each Penn+Box user account will be set to 1 TB. For users who exceed this storage limit, upon review and on a case-by-case basis, a storage limit of 5 TB or 5TB+ will be offered at an additional cost starting in FY2023*. The PennBox service team will work with IT providers in Schools/Centers to identify users near our default thresholds and/or those “high usage” user populations, those that are at or above the 5TB limit to either mitigate their usage to nominal levels, offer the larger storage option, or suggest another storage service.   

*Storage costs will be determined by end of calendar year.

Process for periodic deprovisioning and archiving

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. 

  • Accounts from inactive users will be identified and deprovisioned 
  • Data from those inactive accounts will be archived 
  • At regular intervals, data from older archives will be deleted 

For detailed information about the timing of inactive account identification, deprovisioning, and archive deletion, please refer to our Penn+Box FAQ (click the item What happens to my account when I’m no longer eligible to use Penn+Box?)

Impact of changes

  1. Penn+Box users should be mindful not to exceed their 1 TB storage limit and take steps not to consume usage beyond that. Penn+Box is meant for work-related collaboration purposes: as such, users should keep personal data (e.g. pictures, videos, or other backup data) on personal storage devices or storage services. Users who need additional storage should talk to their IT support providers. 
  2. Penn+Box users should plan with their collaborators to make alternate arrangements for a shared folder owned by a departing user. These resources should be re-hosted by transferring ownership to an active user. 
  3. Penn+Box users should be especially aware of any issues in trying to save regularly to their shared folders. If they notice any errors, it’s possible that some of their shared folders could be owned by inactive users 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I see how much data I am using on Penn+Box?

After you login into Box, look for your initials in a circle on the top right, click them, now click account settings and scroll down until you see "Storage Used".


I have between 1 and 5 TB of data on PennBox. What will my storage limit be?

All users who have between 1 TB and 5 TB will automatically have their storage limit set to 5 TB.


I have more than 5 TB of data on Penn+Box. What will happen?

At this time there will be no changes to your use of the Penn+Box service. No data will be deleted and there will be no changes to your use of the Penn+Box service.

Information Systems & Computing (ISC), which manages Penn+Box for the whole University, is implementing a chargeback for usage above 5 TB. The rate will be shared once it has been determined. At that time, individuals who use more than 5 TB will be contacted by PMACS to determine whether they want to keep their data in Penn+Box and pay the storage fee or relocate their data to an alternative storage platform.


I have reached my Penn+Box storage limit and need to request an increase. Who can help me?

If you need to increase your storage limit, please submit a Helpdesk ticket.


A colleague is leaving Penn and they have data on Penn+Box I need to keep. What steps can I take to retain access to this data before they leave?

Please follow these steps from Box on changing the owner of a file or folder. If you are still need assistance, please submit a Helpdesk ticket.


A colleague who left Penn previously shared data with me and now the data is missing. I think the data may have been archived. What should I do to get access to the data?

User accounts will be deactivated quarterly and all data associated with that user will be archived. Archived data that is shared with other users will no longer be available in Penn+Box. If you need to recover data, please submit a Helpdesk ticket. Note that archived data is only retained for 1 year. After 1 year, the data may no longer be recoverable.


Why are these changes being made?

These changes have been introduced to help ensure that Penn's usage of the Box platform is consistent with Box's stated goals and that Penn is operating as a good steward of this service. Box has stated that their platform should be used as a data sharing and collaboration platform. Other storage services may be more appropriate for other uses, such as desktop or laptop backup or long term research data archival. Please visit the Need Help page to contact your SIO for further discussion about your specific data storage needs.


Who should I contact for more information?

The University provides more information at the Penn+Box service page or its FAQ.

If you would like more information about the Penn+Box changes, please visit the Need Help page to contact your support provider or an SIO.

This information replaces the original communication from December 2021 regarding storage limits of 100 and 200 gb.