OneDrive for Business Quick Start Guide

Features and Benefits:

  • 1 TB storage
  • 180 day self-managed restore from Recycle Bin
  • Microsoft Office Online tools available from anywhere, at any time

Login: and use to login. Once you are logged in, click on the OneDrive “tile”.

Microsoft Office Online: You have access to all Microsoft Office products online through Office365.  Your file will automatically be saved as you work. To get back to your document, use the “back” browser button or click on your name or click on the “waffle”.

Create a new Folder/File:  From your main document area, click “New” and select New Folder or select the type of file you would like to create (e.g. Word, Excel) from the list.  To change the name of a document, type a name in where it says "Document". 

Delete a file: From your main document area, highlight the file and select "Delete" from the dropdown menu.

Check for versions: From your main document area, highlight the file and click on the three dots... and select Version History. This will allow you to see the versions that have been created.

Share a file or folder:  Both the Share and Copy link commands now default to the same permissions and use the same link settings.  Share uses the automatic email messaging inside of Office 365.  Copy Link allows you to send your own email message through Outlook.

  • Specific people:    Grant permission only to the people you list. This link will only work for users who have a Microsoft account (either at another institution using O365 or a personal Microsoft account such as, or   You cannot forward this link.
    • When would I use this:
      • Use for files and folders that are sensitive.
      • Use if you do not want anyone to forward your link.
      • This is the default selection.
  • Anyone with this link:    This is anonymous sharing.  Anyone can forward the link to another person.  This option does not require recipients to sign-in.  You do NOT have to have any Microsoft account to use this.  You can uncheck the “Edit” if you only want recipients to view. 
    • When would I use this:
      • Easiest way to share files and folders.
      • Use for files and folders that are not considered sensitive.
      • Use for files and folders that you easily want to share with Healthcare users or others that are not sensitive. 
  • People in University of Iowa:    This is only useful if you are sharing with other University of Iowa folks.  This will still not work for sharing with Healthcare users unless you select the Iowa account and copy the link.  The “automatic email” link will not work for Healthcare users.
    • When would I use this:
      • Use for files and folders when sharing internally with other UI people in the Iowa Domain.
      • Use with Healthcare users if the document is sensitive.  Select their Iowa Domain account, copy link, and send from your email client (e.g. Outlook).

Sharing a Document from Word and Excel is very simple and easy. The document must be opened up from within OneDrive online or through the OneDrive client.  You must be done editing the document. Click on “Share” in the upper right side and the OneDrive sharing box will open. Proceed to share your document the same way listed above.

Collaborating on a Document from Word and Excel will allow multiple people to work on a document at the same time. To do this, share the document. If another person is editing the document at the same time, it will show up in the upper right hand corner.  Collaboration can only be done in the Online version of Word, Excel, etc.  If you open the file with your local copy of Word or Excel, it locks the file so only you can edit.

Uploading a Document

  • You can upload a document multiple ways in OneDrive for Business. The first is just to click on the “upload” button in your web browser and browse to the document on your local hard drive.
  • A second method is to drag the file up and “hover” until it says “Drop here…”.
  • You can save or drag the document into your OneDrive for Business sync client. 

Mobile Devices: OneDrive for Business is fully functional with mobile devices.

Syncing Features of OneDrive for Business

You can sync your data to your local computer if you are the only one who uses that computer.  This is for Macs and Windows PCs.  "Selective Sync" which allows you to decide which files and folders to sync.  Make sure you have enough room on your hard drive (C:) before starting this process.  To watch your documents sync, go to the Windows notification area (lower right hand side of your window) and select the blue cloud.  Please note:  You do not want to sync your data if you are on any type of shared computer.  Login to if you are on a shared computer.

Recycle Bin: To access the Recycle Bin, go to the left side of your browser screen and double click. Documents are saved for 180 days after they have been deleted.

Sync Client:  All managed machines at the University of Iowa have the OneDrive sync client installed by default.  Consult your local IT Consultant if you have questions.  If you are on a personal workstation, please follow these instructions to install the sync client.

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Last updated: 
May 21, 2019