Office 365
OneDrive for Business

Applies to: Everyone
OneDrive Logo

How does at least 1 TB of your own personal space, sharable at will, sound to you? What about the ability to upload files up to 10 GB in size? Viewing photos on your Xbox? Storing 30 million of those files? (Please don’t...but you can.)

With OneDrive for Business you get all of this, plus the ability to co-author documents, plus the ability to get your files on the web or with an app, plus the ability to sync files between computers, and it’s all included with Office 365. A small client application syncs selected folders to and from Office 365. Add a file on your computer and it shows up in the cloud. Sync a shared folder from a person or group and new files or edits will auto-download to your computer. Have a backup of important files if your hard drive fails. It’s a great place to store and share class documents or group projects. Some things might be a better fit on Canvas, but maybe you just need to post a bunch of general documents, videos, or pictures. That trip last year? Upload and share your photos in OneDrive instead of the Public drive.

And speaking of Canvas: if you’ve been working on an assignment you can use the OneDrive for Business app right in Canvas to select and submit your work.

It’s important to note that OneDrive and OneDrive for Business are very similar but they work in slightly different ways. If you’re already using OneDrive with a Microsoft Account those files are separate from OneDrive for Business with your Office 365 account. You’ll want to manually move the files from one to the other.

System Requirements

To use OneDrive for Business you’ll need Office 2016 or the standalone OneDrive app (also called the Next Generation Client). We recommend using Office 2016 on your work or personal computer, but you can get the client right here.

You’ll need sufficient hard drive space to store the folders you’d like to sync. You’ll also need enough internet bandwidth to sync all of your files in a timely fashion. This can be especially tricky on a home connection, where upload speeds are usually 5 Mb/s or less and will take a significant amount of time to upload a large amount of files. If you have a lot of files it could even take a long time to download them at home. You’ll also want to be aware of any data caps you might have, like if you’re using cable internet or a 4G LTE hotspot.

If you’re using our campus network we have plenty of bandwidth for both uploading and downloading files. If you need to upload a lot, like photos or videos, you should consider using the campus network to do that so it’s faster. Stop by one of our buildings (McCain?) and have a snack while the data transfers.

Service Limits

OneDrive is limited to 1 TB of space per user by default. If you need more space than this please contact us. 5 TB, 10 TB, and unlimited plans are available with valid justification.

There are a few other limits, too, and just like the limits on your computer (yes, they’re there) you’ll probably never reach them but being aware of them can help prevent problems. The technical details are available on the Microsoft Support site.

The co-authoring feature, where multiple users can simultaneously work together on a Microsoft Office document, isn’t yet available in some versions of Office 2016. We use one of these versions on all of our campus computers. The Office you download from Office 365 does support co-authoring, and support is coming to our computers later in 2016. Office Online also supports co-authoring, and in more products than Office 2016 (like Excel).

Using OneDrive for Business on the Web

If you need to access your files in a web browser you just need to sign in to the Office 365 portal. Click the OneDrive tile to enter the app. You’ll see your existing folders and files waiting for you. From there you can create new folders (make sure to set them up to sync to your computer if you want); upload, download, share, delete, and otherwise manage files; or even open a file in Office Online to edit on the web. See the Office Online page to learn more.

Get the OneDrive Apps

If you have Windows 10 the latest OneDrive app is included. If you installed Office 2016 on a personal device through your Office 365 account you also already have the latest app. Skip to the "Setup Computer Syncing" section below if either of these apply to you. All campus computers are soon getting (or already have) the OneDrive client app, too.

If your computer doesn't have OneDrive or you're using a mobile device, you'll find the download links for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and more on the OneDrive download page.

Using the OneDrive App for Android and iOS

With the OneDrive app for Android and iOS you can upload and download files from your device. If you have the Microsoft Office apps installed you can even review and edit your documents on the go. See the Get the OneDrive Apps section for a download link or search your app store for OneDrive.

The OneDrive app doesn’t download files to your device in order to save space. You must manually select a file and choose to download it or enable it for offline use (use the parachute icon). Once saved you can open it in your preferred viewer or editor. Files on your device can similarly be uploaded to the folder of your choice, where they’ll appear on the web and sync to your computer. Since files aren’t actively synced with the app you’ll have to have a data connection to browse and manage files. Be careful of your data cap if you plan to use the apps a lot, and stick to WiFi when you can.

Choose What to Sync to Your Computer

To use OneDrive for Business on your computer after you’ve started the client (available in your Start Menu or from Applications on Mac) you’ll need to sign in and choose what to sync using the procedure below. If you have applications listed on your computer for both "OneDrive for Business" and "OneDrive" make sure to open OneDrive. The program named "OneDrive for Business" is an older version of the sync client that doesn't support the latest features, and we are working to remove it from campus computers. The OneDrive client discussed here works with both OneDrive (for consumers) and OneDrive for Business.

On a personal device you can sync multiple OneDrive accounts at once. On campus computers the OneDrive client is restricted and does not allow you to sync a personal OneDrive subscription. If you decide to use multiple OneDrive accounts make sure that confidential information is only placed in your C of I OneDrive account. For more information see our Data Safety page.

After you've setup the OneDrive client you'll find your files under your user folder in the "OneDrive - The College of Idaho" folder. On Windows there's a shortcut added to the Favorites menu on the left side of File Explorer. If your shortcut goes missing just right-click on Favorites and choose "Restore favorite links."

IMPORTANT: Use caution if you sign in and enable the client on shared PCs, like in computer labs or on laptop cart laptops. You could end up filling the hard drive with your data and disabling the computer for others. Make sure to enable selective sync to only take the folders you need. In general, we don't recommend using the sync client on any shared computer.

Setup Computer Syncing

  1. Open the OneDrive app.
  2. Enter your email address.
  3. Enter your password. If you're asked, choose Work or School Account.
  4. Confirm the location of your OneDrive folder. On campus computers you can't change the location.
  5. Choose what folders to sync to your computer.
  6. Finish the setup wizard by opening your OneDrive folder.

Want to start fresh? Setup OneDrive for Business as described above but don’t choose existing folders to sync. Then, create a new folder in your OneDrive folder and start adding data. That folder and its contents will upload and be available to other devices and on the web.

Need to change what you're syncing? From the OneDrive icon near the clock (on both Windows and Mac) right-click and choose Settings. On the Account tab click Choose Folders and update your sync selections.

Share a File or Folder

After you have something to share there are a couple of options to grant others access. You can use the web, Windows, and mobile clients. The Mac client doesn't support sharing directly from within Finder so you'll need to use the web client.

When sharing files you have control over who can access your data and how. You might choose to share a file with someone who can edit it. Or, you could share a folder with a group that should only be able to open it but not change it. For both options you can require people to sign in or allow anonymous access. Pay attention to what you're sharing (file vs. folder vs. top-level folder) and how you're sharing it (anonymous vs. authenticated, editable vs. view-only). If you add files and folders to a shared folder they will inherit the sharing settings and be visible to those with access.

Share from the Web

Most OneDrive sharing is done through your web browser and the Office 365 portal. You have the most control and visibility online and we recommend using the web interface for most of your sharing needs. To share a folder or document you just need to sign in to the Office 365 portal and click the OneDrive tile. After you're in OneDrive you can choose to share whole folders or individual files.

To share a folder, navigate to the one you'd like to share, click the check mark to the left of the folder name, and then click Share in the top toolbar. In the options screen that opens you'll have to decide what access to grant users. Folder sharing has fewer options than file sharing, since it's designed to expose more information at once. On the Invite People tab you can pick whom to invite and give them edit or view-only rights. You can also customize the invitation message and opt to send an email. All users will receive Office 365 and OneDrive notifications that something has been shared with them. Take note of the setting to share everything; if you don't want to do that make sure to uncheck the box (but you may have to change permissions for every file in the folder to make sharing work).

To share a file, navigate to the one you'd like to share, click the check mark to the left of the file name, and then click Share in the top toolbar. In the options screen that opens you'll have to decide what access to grant users and how to share the file. On the Invite People tab you can pick whom to invite and give them edit or view-only rights. You can also customize the invitation message and opt to send an email. All users will receive Office 365 and OneDrive notifications that something has been shared with them. You can choose whether or not to require a sign-in to access the file as well, so you can share the file with people outside the College. Or, if you'd like to just get a link to the file you can use the Get a Link tab. Pick what kind of link to create and then distribute it via Canvas or a separate website or message.

Whether you're sharing a folder or a file you can always review and change your sharing permissions from the Shared With tab in the sharing properties. Select the folder or file to review, click Share, and then change to the Shared With tab.

Share from a Mobile App

Sharing from the Android or iOS app is similar to sharing from the web. When you check the selection box for a folder or file you'll see the sharing icon appear in the menu bar. Folders and files can be shared with people, whereas files can be shared with people, via a link, or through any sharing-enabled app on your phone. To change or remove sharing permissions tap on the Details icon of a folder or file and then tap on the person or link under Shared With.

Got a question? Let us know so that we can fill out this section! Visit the Get Help menu and choose Contact Us.

I'm having trouble syncing my files. What are OneDrive's restrictions and limitations?
OneDrive for Business is built on SharePoint, which has some different restrictions than other cloud services. For instance, certain characters aren't permitted in filenames even though Windows and Mac will allow them. Get the gritty technical details from the Microsoft support site.