Waterfall Permissions and Shared Folders - Box-to-Dropbox Migration


U-M Box, U-M Dropbox, Box-to-Dropbox Self-Service Migration Tool


This issue applies only to individual user accounts migrating from U-M Box to U-M Dropbox. Shared Box Accounts moving to Team Folders in Dropbox are not affected. U-M Box and U-M Dropbox both offer waterfall (i.e., cascading) sharing permissions on folders. However, they function in two different ways. During migration, permissions assigned at the subfolder level that resides in an individual U-M Box account (not a Shared Account) will not transfer to U-M Dropbox. 


When migrating your individual Box account, if you have sharing permissions set on a subfolder, that are different from the parent folder, they will not migrate. This means that if you have the parent folder shared with Person A and then create a subfolder shared with Person A and B, Person B will be removed from the subfolder and lose access to any files/folders within there.

To avoid potential disruptions in workflows, there are three possible workarounds you can take before migrating your individual Box account. (There are no actions you can take after the migration.)

Potential Workarounds

  1. Move the parent folder into an existing Shared Account
    1. Select the parent folder you want to move from your All Files view in U-M Box
    2. Drag and drop the folder into the Shared Account’s top-level folder

OR click the three-dot icon on the subfolder, select Move or Copy, select the Shared Account’s top-level folder, and then click Move.

  1. Move the subfolders out from the parent folder and make them root-level shared folders
    1. Double-click the parent folder from your All Files view in U-M Box to open it
    2. Drag and drop the subfolders into All Files located in the left sidebar

OR click the three-dot icon on the subfolder, select Move or Copy, click All Files, and then click Move.

  1. Share the root-level parent folder with the subfolder collaborators.
    1. Click the three-dot icon on the parent folder from your All Files view in U-M Box
    2. Select Share
    3. Enter the email addresses of the U-M collaborators shared individually on the subfolders within this parent folder in the Invite People field
    4. Select the appropriate permission level (i.e., Editor or Viewer) from the drop-down menu
    5. Click Send

Note: If there are files within a subfolder that are Microsoft 365 files, the subfolder collaborator will remain shared on those files. This will not apply to all other types of files and folders.

Additional Information

Common error associated with waterfall permissions is when a customer tries to share a folder in a shared folder and gets a message that it cannot be shared within a shared folder.    

Need additional information or assistance? Contact the ITS Service Center.


Article ID: 5638
Tue 5/25/21 11:11 AM
Thu 9/30/21 4:20 PM