Getting Started with OneDrive (FAQ)

Drake University uses Microsoft OneDrive as the standard cloud storage solution for anywhere anytime file access, editing, and collaboration. This article provides information and links to other resources for help using OneDrive.


How do I access OneDrive?

Files stored on your computer and synchronized to OneDrive can be accessed in a variety of ways.

For most faculty and staff, files will continue to be stored in the Documents folder, or between Downloads, Music, Pictures, and Videos. These common folders will continue to be available, but are also synchronized by OneDrive for access from other outlets. You can also access files from a web browser.

To learn more about the different ways you can access OneDrive, read the knowledge base article at https://drake.teamdynamix.com/TDClient/KB/ArticleDet?ID=39721.

Why did the icons change on my computer, and what do they mean?

For faculty and staff computers, the three step installation, configuration, and synchronization of OneDrive makes a person's common folders (Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, and Videos) part of the OneDrive storage system. This means anything you put in any of these six folders will be automatically synchronized to your account in Office 365. The different icons are important so you know what files have been successfully synchronized and what files or folders are actively synchronizing or even having troubles.

Look at the icons next to the folders below for examples of each:

  • Green check marks next to your files and folders mean everything has been synced.
  • Blue arrows indicate that your files are currently being synced.
  • Red Xs generally indicate the file or encompassing folder name contains characters that cannot be used in OneDrive. See the limitations listed below to learn what characters aren't allowed.

OneDrive Synchronization Icons

How do I edit a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint document online?

The short YouTube video below (from ITTrainingSurgery) demonstrates how to edit Word, Excel, or PowerPoint documents when working online using Office 365. The video also provides helpful hints on navigating, naming and renaming files, and more. Files that are edited online synchronize to faculty and staff computers through the OneDrive client, allowing a person to work from different computers and easily pickup where they left off.

How do I temporarily share my files to others?

OneDrive provides tools for sharing your individual files with other people, both inside and outside of Drake. Students can work with group members in their course for discussion and collaborative editing; faculty can share publications with peer editors or publishers. Be sure to never share departmental or unit files from your personal OneDrive files. NOTE: Departmental shared files for faculty and staff will remain in blueSpace (aka XythosDrive). ITS will be working with units to move shared files into OneDrive beginning summer of 2018.

To learn about sharing files from OneDrive, check out the short YouTube video below (from GCFLearnFree):

How do I collaboratively edit and co-author documents in OneDrive?

Documents that have been shared to multiple people can be edited simultaneously. This feature is great for students working together on a paper or presentation. Edits can be viewed in real-time, allowing people to contribute and collaborate without boundary.

The quick YouTube video (from Grassroots IT) demonstrates how to co-author a Word document in Office 365:

How do I reference version history of files or restore previous versions of a file?

The quick YouTube video below (from Michael Hendrickson) demonstrates how to find and view a document's version history so you can view or restore old versions of documents stored in your OneDrive. This is particularly helpful if you make changes to a document and later change your mind.

What are the limitations while using OneDrive?

  • Storage Limit. Drake users may store up to 5 TB of content in their account. This is a substantial amount. We anticipate that very few of our faculty, staff, and students will exceed this limit.
  • Naming Files. Don't use the following characters in file names: <, >, :, ", |, ?, *, /, \   Files containing any of these characters will not synchronize into OneDrive.
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