OneDrive is useful for accessing your data from anywhere you have an internet connection as well as from various mobile devices.  OneDrive offers 1 TB of storage as well as real-time collaboration.

To access your OneDrive account, go to and sign-in with your and your HawkID password. 

Note: If you have Two-Step Login with Duo Security, you will be prompted to complete login using Duo beginning in May 2019.

Syncing your data means that you will have a copy on a local computer as well as in the cloud.  You can easily save documents directly into your local folder.  The data is then "copied up" to the cloud.

OneDrive for Business is a Microsoft cloud based storage solution that is a part of Office365. The data is stored off-campus in a non-university owned data center.  The University of Iowa has an agreement with Microsoft that protects data in the following manner, making it safe for sensitive data:

The University has a signed Business Associate's Agreement (BAA) with Microsoft to reasonably safeguard personal data against inappropriate use and or disclosure. 

There is system wide auditing turned on OneDrive for Business which allows administrators to audit activity.

Files are encrypted both at rest (in OneDrive storage) and in transit (between your workstation and the cloud). 

If you want to add one more level of security, such as when sharing a file with someone outside of the University, you may zip the file up and add a password.  Then share the file, and send the zip password in a separate email. 

From a web browser, click on Files in the upper left hand corner.  Click on "New Folder". 

If you have installed the sync client, you can create a new folder just like you normally would on your local computer.

You can upload a document by logging on to your account with a browser, and dragging/dropping a document into your document depository in the area where it says "drag files here".

You can also install the sync client.  Once you have done that, it is just like a document library on your local computer currently called OneDrive@University of Iowa.  You can save directly from all Office products (e.g. Word, Excel) by clicking “Save As” and selecting your local synced folders.  If you put a file or folder in the sync area on your local computer, it will automatically sync to the cloud. 

Be thoughtful about the data you put in your sync area. OneDrive is always available through any web browser from any computer, anywhere with internet access.

To share a file or folder, click to the left of the file or folder.  When a checkmark appears, select "Share" from the top of the menu bar.  The default is to share with anyone in the name field.  To change the options, click on the clink that says "anyone with this link can edit this item".  Other choices will appear including setting a link expiration date or only allowing viewing and not editing.

Highlight the file name and select the "group" symbol (looks like 3 users).  You can see who you have shared a file with from here.  You can also click the 3 dots next to the file name and it will open up "Share with" section.

Yes, OneDrive can do real-time online collaboration.  You have to open the document in Office Web Apps.  In the upper right hand corner, you will see when someone is also editing the file.  You will see a flag while the other person is typing.

Yes, you can create a new document by clicking on "new document" in the main area of your document repository.  It will automatically use Office Web Apps to create the document.  You can switch to using your "full" Office application (e.g. Word) by going to the File menu and click on "open in Word".  This will give you the full functionality of your local Office apps. 

When you delete a file, it goes into the Recycle Bin for 93 days.  After 93 days, it gets deleted permanently.  To get a file back from the recycle bin, go to the "gear" in the upper right hand corner and select "Site Contents".  The Recycle Bin is on the right.  You may restore a file from there or permanently delete a file. 

Follow the directions here or contact your local IT Support person for help.  If you are on a managed machine, your local IT Support person can push it down for you.

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Last updated: 
August 13, 2021