How to use Microsoft 365: OneDrive

In this blog Dan May demonstrates how to use Microsoft 365 OneDrive.

OneDrive from Microsoft 365 makes it easy to save your files in a single place and access them from any device, anywhere.

OneDrive allows you to access files from any device. Using your phone, tablet or computer view or edit your files, any changes you make will be updated on all of your devices. With OneDrive you also have the ability to work offline, so you can access your files without being online, which means that you can always have your most important files with you. OneDrive keeps your files safe, if something happens to your device, you don’t have to worry about losing your files or photos – they’re in your OneDrive, and encrypted using SSL.

Find out more about Microsoft 365

OneDrive video transcript

Hi, this is Dan May at ramsac. Welcome to this vlog on Microsoft OneDrive. This is part of a series of vlogs looking at the various applications that are available to you as a subscriber to Microsoft 365, But are perhaps the applications that you are slightly less familiar with, than the traditional Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
So in today’s vlog, we’re looking at OneDrive. You’ll find an assortment of blogs on our website at That look at some of the key applications that may be useful in increasing productivity, increasing your ability to work in a more mobile and secure fashion.

So what is OneNote, sorry! What is OneDrive? OneDrive is essentially file storage based in the cloud, so as part of your Microsoft 365 subscription. You’ll probably find that you’ve got a TB of storage, each person in OneDrive, so loads and loads of storage, far more than most people will ever use. And OneDrive enables you to store documents in the cloud, which means you can access them anywhere from any device, just by logging in with your normal Microsoft 365 username and password.

So some people might be familiar with applications such as drop box, which does a very similar thing. The thing I like about Microsoft 365 from a commercial point of view, is that this is all part of the existing subscription. You’re not paying anymore for this on top of your regular 365 subscription. So, potentially this can save some cost if you’re paying for the corporate version of drop box, for example. But also, from an organisational point of view, this means that this is cloud storage, that’s under your control. Which means you have some administrative privileges, so that if somebody leaves your organisation. You can close down access to their commercial OneDrive accounts, which obviously has great plus points, when it comes to complying with things like GDPR.

So just to start off with I’m going to look at the web version of OneDrive. So, I’m logged in here to my own personal OneDrive account. You can get into this just by going to Microsoft 365 portal and logging in with your normal username and password and what you’ll see here is I’ve got all of my own files and folders, fairly similar to what you would expect to see in a File Explorer type window and as I say I’ve got a TB of storage in here. So, shed loads of storage. I can very quickly create a new folder or add a new word document or PowerPoint presentation from directly within here. And I can just click into my folders and I’ll see again as in a file browser, sort of sub folders, etc, etc.

So, where this is useful is the ability to start sharing and collaborating on documents. So, for example, if I want to look at the HR folder that I’ve got for example, and I’ve got some folders here that I want to share with my colleague, Sally, who’s our Finance Director, but from a GDPR perspective, I don’t feel comfortable attaching them via email and sending them in, what is a relatively insecure manner.

So, what I can do here is I can say, well I want to share this folder or indeed if I don’t want to share the folder, but I’ll share a particular document. Then I can share this document, I can click on share. And I’ve got some options here, so people within ramsac, with this link can view. Or anyone that I send the link to or specific people can view. So, I’m going to suggest specific people and I can determine whether or not. I want to allow the people, the specific people that I then share it to, to edit or not. So, I could share this document and say, yes, this person can edit as well. I’ll click apply, I can then say this is for Sally Cooper, our operations and finance director. And I can send a message saying, Hi Sally, here is the document we need to work on when we catch up tomorrow. And I can send her that directly and she will receive an email linking her to that particular document, or if I shared the folder that folder and everything within the folder.
So, a very secure way of sharing a file here, without actually attaching it to an email. I’m just sharing a link, so really, really handy. I can, that’s not just something that happens in my own organisation. I can share these folders and files with people outside of my organisation and your organisation’s administrator can set the rules and privileges on that. So, it’s entirely possible to lock it down, so that people can only share files and folders within the organisation, Or they can share links externally or various stage in between really. So, have a little chat with us, if you’re unsure how to set that up. We can talk you through some of the administrative settings.

So that’s the web-based version. There’s an app on my mobile phone, so, I have access to all of my documents, wherever I am on the go, because they’re all there in my mobile phone as well, using the app. But as well as the web-based version, there are desktop versions. Both for Windows and Mac devices, which integrate folders directly into your local file storage. This is really helpful for people that work on the road and want offline access to folders. So, for example, I work a lot on the train, where I don’t necessarily have a reliable 4G connection on my mobile phone. So, I’ve got the desktop application installed, and what that looks like in practice is, if I just go to my normal windows file browser. You’ll see that as well as all the normal folders that you’d expect to see. I’ve got this folder here called OneDrive, and here are all the folders that you just saw online. So, this just mirrors in a very familiar file setting, so. here I can go into that same document that I was just looking at. It was in ramsac, it was in HR and it was this 121 feedback.

So, I can browse all of that in the same way online, as I would here in an offline setting. And the files synchronise between the 2. So, if I’m working offline on a folder locally on my hard drive, as soon as I re-connect to the internet, it will synchronise back into the online version, so it’s absolutely safe. This is brilliant for your mobile workers, your laptop workers that are bad at housekeeping and end up saving loads of documents on their desktop instead of sitting them on your shared file server or wherever you deem files to be stored.

Now, the reason people end up storing stuff on their desktop is’ cause, they think well I want to work on that from home, or I want to work from that on that document from the train, where I might not have Internet access. So, they end up starting off with good intent, saving documents locally, but of course, those documents are completely unprotected. They’re not backed up, if the laptop is stolen, those documents are available to whoever can log onto your laptop. So, encouraging users to save all of their documents in OneDrive and then having a local sync, means that at least those documents are protected their covered by the Microsoft 365 document control. So, the very worst-case scenario is all the data that you lose is the version that you were working on during an offline time that you haven’t had chance to sync yet, but that’s much better than the alternative.

So, there you go, that’s OneDrive for Business. It’s available from your Microsoft 365 portal, and there’s plenty more information on our website. If you’ve got any questions, feel free to get in touch, either via the website at or give us a call on 01483 412040. Many thanks.