06 December 2016

OneDrive for Business Behind The Scenes

Office 365 logoOneDrive for Business gives each Office 365 user a personal site collection and a storage space of 1 TB (unlimited in the E3 and E5 subscriptions), but Microsoft has not made it easy to really take advantage of these benefits. I have now published two new Tips articles with demos to help users benefit from having their own SharePoint site collection.

First I describe the limited OneDrive library that most people see and use, and then I explain how you can get behind the scenes and give OneDrive all the standard SharePoint features.
OneDrive for Business logo
OneDrive for Business is primarily used for synchronization between SharePoint libraries and your computer hard drive. The synchronization creates a library folder in the user's PC or other device, and after the first time the synchronization is automatic.

The synchronization gives users an opportunity to work with library files offline, and it is convenient to add files to SharePoint by placing them in the library folder for automatic upload. But you can do more with OneDrive.

Storage and sharing
The default OneDrive library is intended for file storage of personal files. By default all files in that library are private, but users can easily share them with other people within and outside the organization. However, the default library lacks some important features, like the possibility to create views or add columns.

The OneDrive for Business storage space is huge, but if you don't go behind the scenes all files and folders have to be kept in the limited default library. If you want to categorize files by placing them in different libraries, you will discover that new libraries cannot be created from the default library page. This is a drawback, but it is possible to overcome the problem. That is what I show in my second demo.

Create subsites
SharePoint iconTo be able to use all SharePoint functionality with your personal site collection, you should open the Site Settings, find the Site Contents and create a subsite. That subsite will give you everything you are used to in SharePoint, and the libraries you create will be standard libraries, by default with the new experience interface but with a possibility to return to the classic experience.

If the Site Settings isn't available directly from your default OneDrive for Business library, you can still reach the Site Contents by replacing the onedrive.aspx in the URL with viewlsts.aspx. Learn how in my demo!

Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

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