Microsoft OneDrive is a cloud storage solution that syncs folders and files from a local device to storage on the internet. Every person who has a Union email account has access to OneDrive, which includes one(1) terabyte of storage. Please be aware that you will lose access to data in OneDrive after your Union email account is terminated. For employees, this happens immediately after they leave their job with the college. Undergraduates retain access for one year after they stop taking classes, and graduate students three years.

OneDrive is also a way to securely share data with other OneDrive users. This type of sharing is also built into Microsoft Teams, which will come into more use as departments around campus start using it for internal communication and file sharing.

*Microsoft is constantly changing their online experience. The screenshots below may not exactly reflect what Microsoft is currently using. However, the processes should remain mostly the same. If you notice something that is outdated in a confusing way, please email us at



OneDrive Online

You can access OneDrive on virtually any computer which has an internet connection and a web browser. Click this link to sign into Office 365 online. Alternatively, you can search Office 365 login the top search result should be the right one. This will take you to your Office 365 home, where it will give you a choice of apps to use. OneDrive will be one of those.


Here’s a view of OneDrive home:




Activating OneDrive on your Computer

If you have a single computer that you use most of the time, or if you are an employee and have a Union computer assigned to you, you may want to use OneDrive via File Explorer on your computer. Please note that these instructions are for Windows computers.

Windows 10 comes installed with OneDrive. Simply open a File Explorer, and on the left sidebar, click OneDrive.

A window will come up with a few steps. Here is the progression:


After your OneDrive is activated on your computer, this is the one to open in File Explorer:






Sharing Folders with OneDrive

OneDrive is a secure way to share folder (and the files within them) with other people. Union College departments can use it as a way to share folders internally. This can be associated with the use of Microsoft Teams. If both people are members of the same Team, then there will already be a shared OneDrive folder established. We’ll get to that later.

Sharing Folders with Another Person

First, we’ll cover sharing folders that are in your OneDrive folder on your Windows PC. Navigate to the folder in File Explorer, right click on it, and follow these steps.

One the receiving end, the person will receive an email which will look like this:

When you click the link, it will either open your default web browser and take you to OneDrive to have you sign in, or if you’re using webmail, it will open a separate tab or window to take you to OneDrive online.

Here’s the view of the shared folder within OneDrive:






Finding and Syncing a OneDrive Folder Shared with You

If someone has shared a OneDrive folder with you, you may want to access it on your local Windows PC in File Explorer. To do this, navigate to the folder in Office 365 online (after you’ve opened OneDrive online, click Shared near the top left, then Shared With Me on the next page). Once you’ve found the folder and clicked into it, click on Sync.

It will ask you if you want to open the OneDrive application. Click yes. Then you can open File Explorer and click in the left sidebar as indicated below to see the files shared with you.



Syncing Shared Microsoft Teams Folders

As mentioned before, folders and files can be shared in OneDrive via Teams. As departments increasingly have their own Team, their network shared folders will be transferred to their Team. You can see these in Office 365 online this way, and sync them to your Windows PC through the same process described in the previous section.

In Teams, find your department’s Team (click All teams toward the top left to see every Team you’re a member of), then click on the General channel. You can now click Files in the top middle to verify that the shared files are there in Teams. After you see that they’re there, click the three dots on the top right, and choose Open in SharePoint.


A web browser will be opened, and will look like this. Use the Sync link if you want it to show in the file folder system on your computer (Windows PC).


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