Accessing OneDrive (How-to)

Drake University uses Microsoft OneDrive as the standard cloud storage solution for anywhere/anytime file access, editing, and collaboration. This article provides how-to steps for accessing OneDrive from the web and through Microsoft's Word, Excel, and PowerPoint applications.

Faculty and staff who have installed and fully configured OneDrive on their computers can also access files directly on their computers. Be sure to also read Getting Started with OneDrive.

1. Accessing OneDrive in a Web Browser

  1. Go to using your favorite browser and log in using your Drake email address and password. For more information, see Signing in to Microsoft-connected systems (How-To).
  2. Click to launch OneDrive from the Campus Resources section.
    The OneDrive application is highlighted in this image.
  3. You should now be at the OneDrive Home page. This page shows recently edited documents and files. To view all of your files in OneDrive, click the My Files link on the left-hand side of the OneDrive website.
    OneDrive Home Page
  4. You'll be taken to a listing of your files and folders. Common directories such as "Desktop", "Documents", "Downloads", "Music", "Pictures", and "Videos" should be listed; other folders may be present. Be sure to use these common directories for their named purpose. In most cases, items in the "Desktop" folder will appear on your computer's Desktop, for example. Click on any of the folders to view the files and folders within.
    OneDrive Screenshot
  5. Click to open documents or other folders. Note that Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files can be viewed and edited through a web browser; other files can only be previewed (e.g., images, videos, and PDFs).
  6. Use the breadcrumb links to navigate back into parent folders or to the base of your files.
    OneDrive Navigation Screenshot
  7. Use the "waffle icon" to return to Outlook or to access other web applications within Microsoft 365. In addition, this menu also shows recently modified documents stored on OneDrive.
    Returning to Outlook Screenshot

2. Accessing OneDrive Files from Office on PC or Mac

  1. When Opening and Saving documents in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, you may already be in the habit of clicking Browse to get to the location where you would like to open or save. This process remains unchanged for PC and Mac. If you choose Browse, you can access your OneDrive folder where any of your "Desktop", "Documents", "Downloads", "Music", "Pictures", or "Videos" (aka "Music" on Mac OS) folders should now be synchronizing to OneDrive.
  2. On PC, click Browse.
    Computer Browse Screenshot PC
  3. A pop-up window will open. Navigate to your Your Name - Drake University (OneDrive) folder to open or save any documents. 
    Browse Computer Screenshot
  4. In addition to the above, you can now click OneDrive - Drake University to get to your files. The same Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, and Videos folders that are available on your Computer will also be available in OneDrive.
    Browse OneDrive Screenshot

3. Accessing OneDrive Files through the Windows File Explorer or macOS Finder

In addition to accessing files stored on OneDrive through the web site and Microsoft 365 applications, files may also be accessed through the Windows File Explorer or the macOS Finder. This allows you to browse through your files using a traditional file manager instead of using a web browser.

1. Windows File Explorer

  1. Open the Windows File Explorer.
  2. Click Your Name - Drake University on the left-hand side of the File Explorer window to access your files.
    Accessing OneDrive through the Windows Explorer
  3. To quickly access the web-based version of OneDrive, click the OneDrive logo in the top right corner of the File Explorer window, and then click the globe icon. From here, you can also quickly check your file storage usage and file synchronization status.
    OneDrive Sync Status


2. Mac Finder

  1. Open the Finder application.
  2. Under Locations, click on OneDrive.

Accessing OneDrive using the macOS Finder

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Article ID: 39721
Wed 9/27/17 8:13 AM
Thu 9/21/23 4:24 PM