When to Use OneDrive for Business

By Rosemarie Withee, Ken Withee, Jennifer Reed

OneDrive for Business with its 1 TB of storage is your personal online storage for the workplace. It is different from OneDrive, which is 5 gigabytes (GB) of online storage from Microsoft that anyone can use for free with an Outlook.com, Hotmail, or live.com account.

While a document library in SharePoint is great if you’re working with a lot of people, OneDrive for Business is ideal when you don’t plan to share your files with a broad group of people in your organization. Especially when you need to keep your file longer than you would for project files, OneDrive for Business is the best storage location.

Files you create or save in OneDrive are private by default and available to you only. You can, however, share them with others just like in SharePoint and in Office applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The figure illustrates how a private file is designated by a lock icon, while shared files have the people icon next to them.

21_1_onedrive_business
OneDrive for Business documents and sharing indications.

You can sync OneDrive for Business to your computer using a sync app available for both Windows and Mac. This allows you to work on your files offline when you’re not connected to the internet.

To sync OneDrive for Business to your computer, click the app launcher (looks like a waffle) from the Office 365 navigation bar then click Sync from the top menu and follow the prompts.

Once the sync is complete, you will see your OneDrive for Business folder from the Quick Access panel in File Explorer. This figure shows two synced OneDrive folders: OneDrive – Cloud611, which is a workplace account (OneDrive for Business), and OneDrive – Personal, which is a free OneDrive live.com account.

21_2_onedrive_synced
OneDrive for Business and OneDrive synced to computer.