OneDrive for Business FAQ


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Update 5-11-15:  Great new roadmap information. Please see the OneDrive for Business roadmap post here.

I get asked a lot of questions about OneDrive for Business from customers so I have put together a quick FAQ to help:

How many OneDrives are there? I see one in Windows 8 and then I see one with Office 365 Education. I also see SkyDrive and SkyDrive Pro.  What are the differences?

There are two OneDrive offerings available. One is our consumer OneDrive, formerly known as SkyDrive, which comes with 7GB of free storage and is catered towards personal storage use.  The other offering comes with Office 365 and is called OneDrive for Business, formerly known as SkyDrive Pro, which requires a valid Office 365 login to leverage. The default storage is now 1TB for OneDrive for Business.

Here is a matrix with the differences:

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Can I use the OneDrive consumer sync technology with OneDrive for Business?

No, the OneDrive sync integration with Mac, Vista, Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 does not sync to OneDrive for Business.  There are different folder sync technologies required specifically for OneDrive for Business and currently we only have Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 folder sync clients. Mac client is slated for later this year.

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Grab all the OneDrive and OneDrive for Business sync clients here.

Can I use the OneDrive consumer mobile apps with OneDrive for Business?

No, these are also separate mobile and tablet apps for OneDrive for Business.

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To download those apps on for tablet, Android, iOS visit here.

Can I have both OneDrive consumer and OneDrive for Business installed on the same computer? 

Yes, you can have both sync clients installed and there is no collision between the two sync technologies.

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both OneDrive sync technologies installed

What are the ways I can get the OneDrive for Business sync client?

There are two ways to obtain the OneDrive for Business sync client:

1) It is automatically installed with the following Office 2013 installations:

    • Office Professional Plus 2013
    • Office 365 E3/A3 SKU which includes Office 365 ProPlus
    • Office 365 Midsize Business
    • Office 365 Small Business Premium
    • Student Advantage (Office 365 ProPlus for Students)

2) If you do not have Office Professional Plus 2013 installed via one of the versions above, you can download a separate OneDrive for Business client with the download links above for Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7.

See herefor more manual installation steps of OneDrive for Business if needed.    

Can I setup OneDrive for Business Sync automatically for users?

Unfortunately, there is no way to do this currently. The only current method is to have the end users click ‘Sync’ inside of OneDrive for Business.  See here for more directions.

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Can I map a drive to OneDrive for Business?

Currently, there are methods I have heard of however they have mixed results with this. See here and here for steps. There is also new unsupported code available to help with mapping a drive to OneDrive for Business via a login script. See here.   One example I have seen work from a command line is (replace tenant with your tenant name) and you must make sure the WebDAV service is running:

Net use w: \\tenant-my.sharepoint.com@SSL\DavWWWRoot\Personal\user_domain_com/documents /PERSISTENT:yes

Can I preprovision OneDrive for Business so my endusers don’t have to wait to use on first time use?

Yes, there is a way to preprovision OneDrive for Business using the new CSOM API.  See sample code here and here.

Can I redirect my local folders (\documents, \pictures, etc) via Group Policy to OneDrive for Business?

Yes, there is a way to do this using environment variable mappings.  Please see steps here.      

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Comments (41)

  1. Me says:

    Thanks for info was actually wondering about this yesterday when I tried to login using office 2013(home pre) and it didn’t work…

  2. @briankb says:

    This split is such a poor attempt to keep personal and business file separated. There should be ONE app for each device type (pc,mac,iphone,ect…) and one root folder where OneDrive keeps files. OneDrive/Personal/Documents and then one or more OneDrive/Company
    A/Documents ect… and all syncing should be automatic for whatever folders you have selected. Why is making things easy to use so hard for Microsoft. I was trying to switch our small team of 5 from a mix of rackspace email hosting, dropbox, office desktop,
    trello, and hipchat to the Office 365 business offerings but this idiocy with OneDrive and OneDrive for Business is ridiculous. The price difference between the consumer and business offerings is insulting. 1TB for $2.50mo vs $2.99mo for a measly 100gb extra
    for consumers. Of course if you purchase Office 365 you get 1TB. I hope the new CEO will finally see the light and quit trying to hold on to the legacy enterprise licensing matrix schemes of the past which I believe has contributed to this insanity. Simplify
    your product sku Microsoft in ALL areas, PLEASE.

  3. @tecknaltd says:

    Seems pointless when you cannot shares folders over ios / win mobile devices. See them all via a PC etc but we need to share them on the go! come on microsoft

  4. Sarhas says:

    Thanks Markga! It has been very difficult to find an authoritative source to say something as simple as OneDrive and OneDrive for Business don’t share files; they’re different sync technologies.

    I’ve been taking notes on all the hickups moving to Office 365, Windows 8.1, and moving from OneDrive to OneDrive for Business. And there are many. Very confusing and time intensive to sort out.

    Is there any means for a group of individuals (board members) to gain access to a folder residing on a OneDrive folder (preferable) or from SharePoint (2nd option). The former is preferable due to time constraints, ultimately we’ll want to move to SharePoint
    though. Again, thanks!

  5. KeeganMark says:

    File number limits – I just began migrating from SugarSync to OneDrive for Business but am puzzled by the limit of 20,000 files. For a 1TB cloud, that equates to an average file size of 50MB, which makes no sense. Since I now have at least 70,000 files
    on SugarSync, I am at a standstill. Experts, please help me understand.

  6. markga says:

    @keegan – stay tuned to the blog and the roadmap on the limits.http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/products/office-365-roadmap-FX104343353.aspx

    @Sarhas – yes, you can share folders in OneDrive to groups of individuals. you can also create subsites in OneDrive for Business for group collaboration.

  7. John says:

    Thanks for sorting out this incredibly confusing product. IF these are two distinct product NAME THEM DIFFERENTLY! and save us all the headache!! I purchases OneDrive for business thinking I could use it like Onedrive for consumers, but have control over
    the accounts…..turns out I was completely wrong. , as it works in an entirely different way. So I cancelled my subscription. This confusing naming has sent me back to the drawing board to find a solution I THOUGH was described in the OneDrive for business
    SIDE BY SIDE COMPARISON OF FEATURES on the purchasing site
    Not to mention the fact that of the ridiculous usernames it forces you to create……

    Microsoft DOES seem to have great difficulty in making things easier. Simply HIDING settings in metro does NOT mean things are easier!

  8. markga says:

    @ John – sorry you were so confused by the names "OneDrive" vs. "OneDrive for Business". I posted this to help clarify the differences. Stay tuned for future announcements.

  9. Saad says:

    I want to install win 8.1 in which office 365 already installed .Kindly anyone give me guide line.

  10. Philippe says:

    OneDrive for business is a shame. Too much complicated for a small business ( libraries, sites, secondary sites, app, ..) the only think the want to do is to sync some documents into the cloud.

  11. deddyt says:

    I’ve been using OneDrive for Business for some time and my primary notebook (surface pro) already sync quite numers of files and more than 60GB. Now I want to add another notebook that I will use but is there any tricks so I don’t have to download all
    the file over the internet, let say I can copy from notebook1 to notebook2 and then force a sync.

    Some help please

  12. GtJayG says:

    It’s interesting that your matrix comparison at the top, doesn’t include a row for Selective Sync with a check mark for OneDrive and not one for OneDrive for Business. That and the 20000 file limit are two major shortcomings of the product as it stands
    today. Roadmap promises unfortunately don’t solve real problems that exist now.

  13. L7tech says:

    Is there a way to choose an arbitrary folder on the local computer or a share on the local network and sync it up to One Drive for Business?
    The thinking seems to be that everything lives on One Drive and syncs down to devices.
    I have cases for the opposite, there files are on a local share and need to stay there, but I would love to have a copy on One Drive.

  14. Svk says:

    Thanks for the FAQ post. I have a question regarding the sync back frequency that is once a file is uploaded into onedrive via the web interface the file gets downloaded into my local drive approximately 10-15 minutes later if I do not sync manually, even
    if the file is just a few 20KB and I am using a very high speed broadband network. So what is the default frequency of download sync? and can I set a value to it?

  15. WesKYT says:

    My company uses OBfB for sharing large files. I have a user using ODfB for sharing pictures internally, no problem. Two things; 1) now the pictures need to be shared externally with people w/o a MS account and 2) the folder that needs to shared has 10
    subfolders and in each sub folder has about 300 high res pictures in them. Can my use, 1) share them to someone outside the company w/o a MS account (we will give them edit privileges) to log in with their own email address and, 2) can they down load all the
    pictures at once without going into each individual folder. These are very high res pictures and would take a long time to do for each folder. Any help appreciated.

  16. John0 says:

    Is there any way to control or prevent syncing of documents from the ODFB cloud onto personally owned devices, including PCs? i.e, documents that have been synced up to the ODFB cloud from business PCs?

  17. les3523 says:

    Can I use OneDrive account on a windows phone that is different than the email the phone is associated with. There is no option to sign out and switch one drive accounts in the app.

  18. Kittredge says:

    I want to add my vote for prioritizing 2 changes in office365/onedrive for business: 1) get the mac sync program out; 2) eliminate the 20k files cap. I can understand how the first one takes some time, but the second seems arbitrary.

    I migrated my business from PC to mac a couple years ago because of problems with PC and mac just works. These kind of limitations make me very hesitant to get more involved with MS again.

  19. Pete Luetchford says:

    My company would like to use OneDrive for storing files that contain personal information. Under current UK law, a company cannot normally export personal data outside the European Union. How can I tell if a OneDrive account created in the UK uses servers
    based within the EU?

  20. markga says:

    @Pete – if you sign up for an Office 365 tenant with a UK address we place your data/tenant in a EU datacenter (Ireland I believe?)

  21. Pete Luetchford says:

    @markga: many thanks for the response. Do you know if there’s an official Microsoft statement on this that I can point people to, if required?

  22. Matt Brunton says:

    Regarding the mapping of network drives to OneDrive for Business, IAM Cloud has its Cloud Drive Mapper feature which works really well for many users. This allows drive letters to be used for ODFB and SPO libraries. It works for customers using ADFS or
    native O365 authentication. For more info, look at http://www.iamcloud.com/our-tech/cdm.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Hoy venimos con un artículo muy especial, y es que como muchos de vosotros sabréis, sobre todo si os

  24. Paramjeet says:

    Hi Mark, please help, I am trying to upload some folders in one drive for business, getting error- can’t upload empty files or folders, but their is no empty folder, 2- if I paste 2 GB folder only, getting message, you need additional space to copy the
    file, I copied only 3 GB data, please help

  25. Myles says:

    Hi Mark. For the question "Can I map a drive to OneDrive for Business?", the reason results can be mixed is that the authentication to Office 365 is performed via Internet Explorer and the cookie from IE is then used by the WebDAV web client service. Due
    to Internet Explorer’s security domains and other factors the cookie isn’t always picked up by the web client service. The Powershell script you linked to can certainly help.

    Zee Drive, a commercial tool, resolves this issue as it does not rely on Internet Explorer or the web client service. Zee Drive authenticates directly to Office 365 to ensure mapped drives are available on startup and remain persistent. More info and a free
    trial is available from here:
    http://www.thinkscape.com/Map-Network-Drives-To-Office-365-OneDrive/

    Myles, Office 365 MVP, Thinkscape

  26. Jos says:

    There’s also a free community automated logon script available here:
    http://www.lieben.nu/numb3rs/?page_id=129, it works with and without ADFS.

  27. Rob Pary says:

    Can I share a document between Onedrive Personal and Onedrive Business

  28. markga says:

    @Rob – yes, using the email address for both OneDrives you can share between the two services.

  29. Ron Steiner says:

    Has anyone had success using OneDrive for Business and Roaming Profiles? (related: is there a better place to ask this question?).

  30. Jos Lieben says:

    I highly doubt it Ron, folder redirection can be done, but roaming profiles, I’d doubt it would be a stable solution.

  31. Bigmount says:

    What don’t Microsoft just follow what dropbox is doing and be better? Period. One drive for business or and personal is just way too complex and confusing to use. Too many catchya moments. !!

  32. markga says:

    @Bigmount – see the update in Red at the top I added to the post – we are converging the consumer and business clients into one – watch the Ignite session for the timing and roadmap

  33. VincentH says:

    We’re moving 400 email boxes hosted locally to Office365-E3. Are attachments automatically saved to the user’s their 1TB OneDrive for B account or do they need to do it manually?

  34. Geraint Dickson says:

    We are using a powershell script to map onedrive to a drive letter, and have descovered that after the mapping, it reports the space available on the drive incorrectly. Just wondering has anyone else experienced any issues with this?

  35. sam says:

    Any idea how to repair sync issues? I am able to sync 99% of my documents but a few docs will not sync.

  36. Jeff Hamilton SharePoint says:

    Great article. OneDrive for Business is the way to go. With the introduction of RMS the business needs little convincing these days.

    More information on OneDrive for Business for readers interested

    http://www.sai-innovations.com/what-is-onedrive-for-business.aspx

  37. Andy Helsby says:

    @Ron Steiner – there is/was (and seems to be "forever will be") bugs in that if you redirect appdata, then sync programs won’t work. Dropbox stopped working and they never got back to me with a fix, and Onedrive for business just crashes every 2 hours
    here.

  38. Hugo Human says:

    My one drive for business on my laptop does not want to sinc. I get an error "An error has occurred while attempting to sinc this document" How do I sort this problem out. My office standalone computer is fine.

  39. Jason says:

    I have microsoft 365 which gives me the more storage so i downloaded the app on my ph and tablet but i cannot find the icon on my laptop so i have to log in via the internet a pain i have tried to download the app etc but no joy it would de nice to get ot on the laptop so i can easily transfer and access foled can you help cheers Jason

    1. Steve Faehl says:

      You can download the new OneDrive Sync client and read the getting started instructions at http://aka.ms/syncinfo.