File Sharing Tips: Microsoft OneDrive

Office 365

Like Google Drive, OneDrive is an online storage solution for your files that can house almost any type of file. If you are on the right subscription, you will also have access to all the Microsoft Office suite online and/or downloadable as well. Here are some tips for OneDrive that are very similar to Google Drive:

  • File and Folder Sharing: You have the ability to share individual files or whole folders with others in your organization or outside.
  • Live updates: See updates in real-time as you collaborate with other users (online).
  • Versioning: You also have the versioning capability on the files. This means that you can check the previous versions of the file and revert back if needed.
  • Permissions: You have the ability to give permissions if others can edit or view only. A difference here from Google is that you can set an expiration date.
  • Syncing: You can sync your work OneDrive to your computer and it will show up with the name that is on your tenant followed by OneDrive. This happens so that if you happen to have a personal OneDrive, you can connect that one as well and it will be labeled as such.
  • Offline Feature: You have the ability to access the files while you are not connected to the Internet for on-the-go capabilities.
  • Team Sites: Use this for a centralized area of documents that can be shared to groups and not be tied to a users individual OneDrive.

Best Use Case

If you want live collaboration and are used to the Microsoft Office Suite, this may be the way to go. A lot of companies are utilizing Google G Suite, but Microsoft still leads the industry.

Things to be Aware of

There is a feature that is called “Files on Demand,” which only downloads files to your computer as you use them. This will not sync the files down and files that have not been opened recently will not be able to be edited offline. You can simply uncheck this option so that all the files are synced to your computer but then you can run into issues of versioning errors, depending on how many are accessing the file as well.

For versioning in the browser, you cannot see the edits of files as easily as Google Drive. With Google Drive, you get the option of all the edits and when selected, it takes you to the spot on the document that was edited and you can see what was changed. For Office 365, you can see the date of the edits and when you launch to review them it launches the application on your computer for you to see but doesn’t show what was updated or when.

For Team Sites, it connects to your computer as a Network Drive differently than Google Drive. With Google Team Drives, you login with your credentials and you will see your drive and the Team Drives. When you log in to the Microsoft OneDrive desktop application, you will see your work OneDrive but not the Team Sites. In order to get that connected, you have to go online and go to the folder structure that you want to have sync. You cannot sync the whole Team Site at once, which can be a daunting and a pain to set up on your computer depending on your file structure.

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