If you use Microsoft 365 (Office 365) for email you probably already have OneDrive for Business as part of your plan, It’s a much underused resource, giving secure team access to a variety of data in the Microsoft 365 portal.

Please see this post about checking the status of your OneDrive files

OneDrive for Business is built on the Microsoft SharePoint platform. Not to be confused with the personal version of OneDrive, the business platform gives users a solid base to store up to 1Tb of files and folders. OneDrive for Business gives each user a personal space to store documents as well as a shared space where documents and folders as well as SharePoint resources are also available.

SharePoint, which I won’t cover here, is a useful tool for sharing and collaboration. Think of OneDrive as more built towards single user but that data can be shared where SharePoint is a web based team oriented sharing tool.

Many Microsoft365 (Office365) users will have OneDrive for Business as part of their licence for their exchange email account that makes OneDrive considerably cheaper than its competitors such as Dropbox.

All OneDrive data can be accessed in one of three ways, using the web portal and a browser like Edge or Chrome, Using a computer, Windows 10 being the most likely or you can use on a mobile device like a phone or tablet using the OneDrive App.

Despite being split across the personal and business platforms, both in Windows and when using a mobile device, the same app is used for either or both because you can sign into more than one account with the App.

In the mobile devices, it’s easy to switch between accounts if you do have more than one. On a PC, each linked account gets its own little cloud icon on the taskbar so you can manage it in the Windows Explorer, each set of files has its own OneDrive storage location.

Once connected to your OneDrive account, your files can be stored either in the cloud or on your device. Any changes to any files are quickly synced back up to the cloud making OneDrive a very quick and secure way to store your files safely.

It’s easy to share files and folders to members of your team, simply right click, share and select who you want to give access to your files. The share options box allows you to copy a link, email or give access directly to another OneDrive user.

In addition, OneDrive for Business keeps versions of files as they change and a recycle bin stores deleted items for up to 90 days.

The portal allows for a comprehensive management process, data can be tightly restricted to stop it going outside the company architecture and the built in compliance management and GDPR tools help make sure data is stored as required and safely.

Like all cloud software, you should always backup your data and Support Midlands strongly recommend that you use a third party provider. We offer a comprehensive backup product that will safely capture your entire Microsoft365 email folders and OneDrive data for as little as £2 per month.

In the next few blogs, I will provide instructions on how to share a folder, how to sync a shared folder to a device and how to set permissions for shared folders as well as how the mobile apps work and why they might be a better choice for cloud data than iTunes.

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