Working with OneDrive

Working with OneDrive on Windows 10 computers at the University

OneDrive currently provides 2TB of online (EU-based) data storage. There are two ways to work on your files in OneDrive.

OneDrive online and desktop app
  1. OneDrive online, using a web browser.

    Works well if you're working with typical Microsoft programs such as Powerpoint, Word and Excel, or work at different computers (e.g. at home).

  2. OneDrive desktop app, which synchronises all changes to files you're working on with your online store.

    Can be preferable if you're working on certain programs, such as R Studio, or if you want to work offline.

Use the tabs at the top for information on each. Try both methods and decide what works best for you.

An introduction to OneDrive (UoB SharePoint site)

Working with the OneDrive desktop app (Microsoft page)

Viewing your files online using a web browser

Click the Microsoft Office 365 icon on the desktop if you can see one:

This opens a web browser (Edge) and takes you to your Office 365 apps. You can also get here by going to

Click OneDrive.

Sign in using, e.g.

Working on your files

Microsoft programs (Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc.)

Microsoft files open in the online version of Office when you click on them in your OneDrive.

You may prefer to open them in the 'full' application though, which has more functionality.

From within the online application there is an option on the menu bar to do this:

Opening a document in Microsoft Word

Or you can right-click on your file in OneDrive:

Opening a document by right-clicking

As you work on your documents, the changes are continually saved in your OneDrive.

Other applications (RStudio, SPSS, NVivo etc.)

First try launching the program and see if you can open your files from within it.

If you have problems finding the OneDrive folder from within the program, try the OneDrive desktop app.

Viewing your files through the desktop app

To open the OneDrive desktop app:

  • Click on the Windows button in the bottom left of the screen.
  • Start typing OneDrive.
  • Select OneDrive (desktop app) from the search results.
  • Searching for OneDrive from the Windows menu

    You should be able to view and open your OneDrive files.

    Viewing your OneDrive files using the desktop app

    If you don't see your OneDrive folders, check the toolbar at the bottom right of the screen for a small blue cloud icon:

    If you don't see this icon, or you see a grey one (like in the image below), you may need to wait a couple of minutes while the computer synchronises with your OneDrive account.

Working on your files through the desktop app

After logging in, you should see a small cloud icon in the bottom right of the taskbar:

As you open documents, make changes and save files, the small blue OneDrive cloud icon in the bottom right shows a small symbol. This indicates it's synchronising work between the computer and your online OneDrive account:

OneDrive syncing local and online files

If you want, you can click on it to see which files it's updating.

When you've finished working and have closed down your programs/applications, hover your mouse over the icon to check everything is fully updated. Do this before you sign out of the computer:

OneDrive finished syncing

As you work on your documents, changes are continually saved in your OneDrive.