Custom Box Sync Directory Name and Location on macOS

Box provides unlimited cloud-based storage for files at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. However, the Box Sync client has an glaring problem on every operating system that will cause havoc for a programmer: a space in the file path.

The default path is:

/Users/$USER/Box Sync


/Users/[your username]/Box Sync

where [your username] is the username you use to log into your mac.

You may think that Box is like the “other” cloud-based storage providers in the sense that it provides a way to specify what the desired path is.

Unfortunately, that’s pretty far from the truth. The default file path change in Modifying the Location of the Box Sync Folder does not change the final folder, e.g. the /Box Sync portion.

To change the entire path, Box requires a clean installation of the Box Sync client and a custom preferences file to be set as described in their For Box Admins: Changing the Default Location for the Box Sync Folder knowledge base article. That is, we must first uninstall Box Sync, specify our preference file and, then, reinstall Box Sync.

The steps to uninstall box are given as:

Stop Box Sync from running by either quitting from the toolbar icon or by using Activity Monitor to stop it.

Then, remove the different preference files:

rm -rf ~/Library/Logs/Box
rm -rf ~/Library/Application\ Support/Box
rm -rf ~/Library/Caches/

Next, we need to carefully type the following commands to remove the application:

sudo rm -rf /Applications/Box\
sudo rm -rf /Library/PrivilegedHelperTools/*

Note: We’re using sudo here so extra care is required.

Next, we’ll create a new file at /Library/Preferences/ This file needs to contain the desired path alongside of other data:

<!--?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?-->
<plist version="1.0">
<string>[your desired path here]</string>

We need to replace [your desired path here] with the correct path.

If you wish to get rid of the space, then the feel free to execute the following command using Terminal (Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal):

cat << EOF > /Library/Preferences/
<!--?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?-->
<plist version="1.0">

Finally, we need to reinstall Box Sync. Once done, we should be able to access Box at our desired location, e.g. /User/$USER/BoxSync.


The Box Sync client is wonderful for syncing files into the cloud. However, that single space causes a lot of heartache. By setting up a custom configuration, we’re able to avoid that heartache.

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