Cloud Storage (Box and OneDrive) | University of Pittsburgh

Cloud Collaboration (OneDrive/Box)

Box is ending its unlimited storage offering and changing its licensing structure after the University’s contract expires next year—in August 2021. As a result, Pitt IT is proactively considering alternatives to Box that could be implemented over the coming year. You don’t need to transfer any Box data at this time, but we do recommend you consider Microsoft OneDrive for any new cloud storage needs. Learn more ...

Quick Links: Key Benefits I Getting Started I More How-to

With cloud storage on Microsoft OneDrive and Box, you can store, access, edit, comment, and share files in real time, from any device–including your smartphone. Microsoft OneDrive is configured as the default save destination for all of your Office 365 applications. Both services offer comparable features for online storage as well as web-based collaboration. Using either storage option is a more secure way to store your valuable files when compared to using flash drives or depending on the hard drive of a dedicated laptop or PC.

Note: After you leave the University, you will you will no longer have access to your cloud account at Pitt. Please see instructions for transferring ownership of your files.


Microsoft OneDrive for Business is a cloud storage solution where you can update, store, share, and sync your files from anywhere. These files are backed up regularly to the Microsoft cloud and your file space is conveniently configured as the default save destination for all of your Office 365 applications, including Word and Excel. As with Box, you can delegate access to other users for collaboration. Unlike Box, there is a set quota limit of five terabytes of online storage available to you. In terms of file size, OneDrive can accommodate files up to 15 gigabytes.

There is no cost for student, faculty, and staff to use OneDrive. However, you need an Office 365 subscription to use any web-based Office 365 applications with the OneDrive space. By default, all students have access to the standard "Office" suite of web applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) via their Office 365 subscription. These applications are available for download and installation to all teaching faculty free of charge. Non-teaching faculty and staff can download these applications if they are members of a department that has purchased the Microsoft Campus Agreement.

Note: Sponsored accounts do have access to OneDrive by default. Alumni are not eligible for Pitt OneDrive accounts

> Take a quick tour to see how OneDrive works ... 


Your Pitt Box account provides unlimited online storage. It also allows you to upload much larger individual files, up to 15 GB. You can search the full text of all the files you have on Box and view previous versions of files that you have stored. You can also password-protect the links that you use to share files.

Note: Sponsored accounts do not have access to Box space. Sponsored accounts are intended to provide access to those individuals who are not eligible for a primary account but have legitimate business with the University that requires an account. If you want a sponsored account to have Box space, contact your Responsibility Center Administrator. Alumni are not eligible for Pitt Box accounts.

> Take a quick tour to see how Box works ...

Choose which Solution to Use Based on Your Needs

There are a number of criteria that you should consider when determining what type of cloud service you should use or use primarily.

Some reasons to use Box:

  • Collaborate easily with internal and external users
  • Track previous versions of files
  • Comment on files and assign tasks

Some reasons to use OneDrive:

  • Share Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files without needing to leave the application
  • Work with others using real-time co-authoring in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote
  • Use the OneDrive Sync client to automatically sync files from your computer 

Easy Steps to Get Started

Box From a Desktop (Windows or Mac)

  1. Open a web browser to
    Note: You can also access Box via My Pitt ( using your University Computing account username and password.
  2. Click Continue.
  3. Enter your University Computing Account username and password. Click Submit.

Box From Mobile Devices (using the Box app) or From Mobile Phones or Tablets (using a web browser)

  1. Go to or open the app.
  2. Enter only your University email address (, tap Use Single Sign-On (SSO), then tap Log In.
  3. Enter your University Computing Account username and password, then tap Submit.
    Note: Box uses multifactor authentication.


You can access OneDrive from a smartphone or tablet using a web browser. The OneDrive app is available for iOS, Android, and Windows devices.

  1. Use a web browser to log into with your Pitt Email address and password.
  2. Click the Office 365 app launcher icon.
    Office 365 launcher
  3. Click OneDrive's dual-cloud icon.
    OneDrive image 

More ways to get the most from Cloud Storage (Box and OneDrive):