Edit documents in Box using Microsoft 365 on the iPhone

When you need to edit documents in Box online storage and all you have is your iPhone, there is a way to do it. Add Box to the Microsoft 365 app (previously called Office), and edit them on the go.

There are obviously limitations when it comes to editing Office documents on the iPhone, but the app is probably more capable than you might expect. You don’t get the full editing experience of Word, Excel and PowerPoint of course, but if you need to make some basic changes to documents when you are out of the office, it can be done fairly easily.

The Microsoft 365 app (it used to be called Office) on the iPhone and Android phone is a very useful tool for browsing documents, viewing them, editing them, and more. You can manage the files in your online storage and update them on the go. No computer needed.

The app works with OneDrive online storage naturally, but it is not limited to Microsoft’s cloud storage and it can work with many alternatives, like Box, Dropbox, and others. All you need to do is add the storage to the Microsoft 365 app and then you can open, read and edit Office documents stored on them.

For this guide I use a free Microsoft account, which you will have if you have a Windows PC. Mac users can sign up for one too. No Microsoft 365 subscription is necessary, although if you have one, it is even better. I also use a free Box account: Go to box.com, click Pricing at the top of the page and then click Individuals and Teams. A handy 10 GB of storage is free. I used the Microsoft 365 app for the iPhone, but everything here will work with the Android phone app too.

Box cloud storage

Box online drive cloud storage in a web browser.
Box storage in a browser. Open the Apps.

You might need to prepare your Box online drive for use with the Microsoft 365 app for iOS or Android before you can use it. Open box.com in a web browser and then click Apps in the sidebar.

Box online drive apps

Apps to extend Box online storage
Add apps to extend Box cloud storage

In the App Center, select the Official Box category at the top and then look for Office for iOS or Office for Android. I have iOS and Android phones, so I added both, but you should add the one you need, depending on your phone.

1: Open Microsoft 365 app

The Microsoft 365 app on an iPhone showing the home screen.
Tap the folder icon in the Microsoft 365 app

Open the Microsoft 365 app and on the home screen in the top right corner is a folder icon. Press it to open the file browser.

2: Add online storage to the app

Add storage locations to the Microsoft 365 app on an iPhone.
Add a storage account to Microsoft 365 app

Where do you want to open files from? The options are shown, but Box online drive is not among them. It must be added to the app. Press Add Storage Account to expand the range of options.

3: Select a cloud storage provider

Select and add a storage provider to the Microsoft 365 app.
Select a storage provider to add to Microsoft 365

A list of the cloud storage providers that can be added to the Microsoft 365 app is displayed. We want to add Box online storage, so find it and press it to add it.

4: Grant access to Box

Sign into Box online storage.
Sign in to Box

Box is a secure cloud storage service, so it won’t let any old app have access to your files. You must give permission for the Microsoft 365 app to access it. Enter your email address and the password for your Box account.

Authorize access to Box online storage.
Grant access to your Box storage

On the next screen, press Grant access to Box to complete this and give permission to access files on Box.

5: Edit documents in Box online drive

Now when you go to browse files in the app, you have a new option available in the Other Storage section. Press Box to access it.

Access Box storage from the Microsoft 365 app.
Access Box storage in Microsoft 365 app

You can now browse the folders and files in your Box online storage. Tap folders to open them and press the < in the top left corner to go back to the previous folder.

Browse folders and files on Box in Microsoft 365 app.
Browse the contents of your Box storage

Tap an Office document like a Word document and it opens in the Microsoft 365 app for editing. If it opens in view-only mode, tap the pencil icon in the toolbar at the top to switch to edit mode.

Edit documents in Box in the Microsoft 365 app.
Open, view and edit documents in Box

Now you can open and edit documents in Box instead of, or perhaps as well as OneDrive using your iPhone. You could even add more cloud storage providers and many popular services are included.

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