Microsoft OneDrive

Tags Onedrive

Microsoft OneDrive is the designated cloud-based file storage service for Ithaca College. This platform allows you to upload, store, create, view, edit, and share files online. One of its key benefits is the protection of your data in the cloud, ensuring its safety even in cases where your computer is lost, stolen, damaged, or compromised. This feature is particularly useful for facilitating smooth technology updates and renewals.

As a part of Microsoft Office 365, OneDrive provides you with 1 TB of storage space at no additional cost. When you use the OneDrive sync client, it creates a folder on your hard drive that automatically syncs with your cloud storage. Any files you place in this folder are instantly uploaded to OneDrive, allowing you to access them from multiple computers and devices.


  • OneDrive - Ithaca College Folder: A dedicated OneDrive - Ithaca College folder will appear in Windows File Explorer or macOS Finder.
  • OneDrive Folder Backup: Securely back up crucial folders like your Desktop, Documents, and Pictures on your Windows device using PC Folder Backup, or your Desktop and Documents folders with macOS Folder Backup. This feature ensures that the contents of these folders are safeguarded and accessible on other devices. For more information, refer to Back up your folders with OneDrive (
  • Files On-Demand: Optimize your disk space with OneDrive's Files On-Demand feature. For further details, visit Save disk space with OneDrive Files On-Demand for Windows (
  • Share Files and Folders: OneDrive enables you to share photos, documents, and entire folders with others. Your stored files and folders in OneDrive remain private until you choose to share them. You can also track where a OneDrive file is shared and revoke sharing permissions at any time. For additional guidance, see Share OneDrive files and folders (
  • OneDrive Dock Icon: A OneDrive icon will automatically appear in the dock in macOS and can be used to quickly access your OneDrive files. 
  • Automatic Login: Upon signing into your Windows device, you will automatically be logged in to OneDrive.


2023 Update

The 2023 update to OneDrive introduces significant changes. Key enhancements include:

  • Unified Interface: A single interface now presents Office documents, PDFs, Loops, Lists, meeting recordings, videos, and other files in a cohesive manner.
  • 'For You' Section: Utilizing AI, the OneDrive app's 'For You' section offers personalized file recommendations, prioritizing the most relevant and time-sensitive content. It also displays a list of your recently accessed documents, including details like the last opened time, the owner, and recent activities.
  • Shared Files Interface: The revamped Shared interface in OneDrive simplifies the process of locating files shared with you. It consolidates all shared files, irrespective of the original sharing source, whether shared internally or externally.
  • People View: This feature organizes files based on your collaborations. It adapts to the context and displays files related to your work with specific colleagues. You can pin individuals for quick access, and preview their recent activities without opening the files.
  • Meetings View: This view showcases all files related to your meetings, including chats, notes, Loops, and materials from both upcoming and past meetings. It even includes files from meetings you couldn’t attend.
  • Files App: The Files app in Microsoft Teams has been replaced with OneDrive.
  • Colored Folders: Customize folder appearances with different colors.
  • Favorites: Mark files as favorites by clicking the star icon next to their names. Access these files easily in the Favorites view.
  • File Shortcuts: Create shortcuts to files within your OneDrive folders, allowing for efficient organization and access.


Web Browser

  1. Go to in a web browser.
  2. Select OneDrive.

Microsoft Teams

  1. Open the Microsoft Teams app or go to in a web browser and select Teams.
  2. Select OneDrive in the left navigation to view your OneDrive and shared files.


You can access OneDrive in several ways on a Windows device:

  • Via the Taskbar: Select for the OneDrive icon in the notification area (system tray) at the bottom right of Windows. If you don't see it, click the upward arrow to show hidden icons.
  • Via the Start Menu: Click on the Start menu and scroll through the list of apps to open OneDrive. You can also type "OneDrive" into the search bar next to the Start menu for quicker access.
  • Via File Explorer: Open File Explorer and look for OneDrive listed in the navigation pane on the left side.


You can access OneDrive in several ways on a macOS device:

  • Via Spotlight: Press Command (⌘) + Space to open Spotlight, type "OneDrive", and press Enter.
  • Via the Applications Folder: Open the Applications folder from Finder, and double-click on the OneDrive app.
  • Via the Dock: If OneDrive is added to the dock, select the OneDrive app to open it.
  • Via the Menu Bar: Selecting OneDrive in the menu bar will provide quick access to OneDrive files and settings.

iPhone, iPad or Android App

  1. Open the OneDrive app on an iPhone, iPad, or Android device.

Labs and Classrooms

  1. If you wish to access your files from a lab or classroom computer, go to in a web browser.
  2. Select OneDrive.



OneDrive comes pre-installed on Windows devices.


  1. Go to in a web browser.
  2. Select Download to download the OneDrive app.
  3. Open the downloaded file in your Downloads folder and double-click the OneDrive.pkg file to install OneDrive.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.
  5. Once installed, open the OneDrive app from your Applications folder or search for it using Spotlight.
  6. If prompted, log into OneDrive with your Ithaca College email address and password and authenticate with Duo if requested.
  7. After signing in, you'll be guided through the setup process. This includes choosing the location for your OneDrive folder and selecting which folders you want to sync to your Mac.
  8. Once set up, you can start using OneDrive to store, share, and access your files. The OneDrive icon will appear in the menu bar, and you can access your OneDrive folder from Finder under the OneDrive - Ithaca College folder.

iPhone and Android

  1. Download and install the Microsoft OneDrive app from the Apple App Store ( or Google Play Store (
  2. Once installed, open the OneDrive app.
  3. When prompted, sign in with your Ithaca College email address and password and authenticate with Duo if requested.
  4. Follow any additional setup instructions provided in the app. This may include setting up backup options for photos and choosing what you want to sync.
  5. Once you are signed in and set up, you can start using OneDrive to access, store, and share your files.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I sync items between macOS and Windows systems using OneDrive?

A: Yes, OneDrive allows you to sync your files and folders across both macOS and Windows systems seamlessly. When you use OneDrive on both operating systems, it automatically handles the differences in file systems and compatibility, ensuring that your documents, photos, and other files are accessible and up to date on both platforms. However, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:

  • File System Differences: macOS and Windows use different file systems, which may affect file metadata or attributes. OneDrive strives to preserve file integrity across systems, but it's wise to be aware of potential discrepancies, especially with file permissions or package files specific to macOS.
  • File Formats and Compatibility: While most file types can be synced between macOS and Windows without issues, some applications have platform-specific formats. Ensure that the software you use on the other platform can open these files or use a compatible format for cross-platform accessibility.
  • File Naming Conventions: Windows and macOS have different restrictions on file names and paths. Avoid using characters that are not supported on both platforms to prevent sync issues.
Q: What if I have files I do not want backed up?

A: OneDrive only backs up the Desktop and Documents folders on Windows and macOS, and also the Pictures folder on Windows. If you have files you prefer not to have backed up, just move them to another folder, such as C:\Users\username\personal on Windows and /Users/username/personal on macOS.

Q: How can I create a personal folder on my Windows device?

A: Open the File Explorer app. In the left sidebar, select the location where you want to create the new folder that does not include the Desktop, Documents, and Pictures folder. Select the “Home” tab in the top menu bar and select “New Folder” or right-click in the main window and select “New” then “Folder.” A new folder will be created in the selected location. Type in the desired name for the folder and press Enter.

Q: How can I create a personal folder on my macOS device?

A: Open the Finder app. In the left sidebar, select the location where you want to create the new folder that does not include the Desktop and Documents folder. Select on the “File” menu in the top menu bar and select “New Folder." A new folder will be created in the selected location. Type in the desired name for the folder and press Enter.

Common Issues

Occasionally, OneDrive may experience syncing issues. The most common problems include:

  • Duplicate File Names: Sometimes, OneDrive creates a duplicate of a file, appending your computer's name to the filename. This usually signals a need to refresh your credentials. For more information, refer to Duplicate files in OneDrive (
  • Invalid Characters: OneDrive cannot sync files or folders named with these characters: " * : < > ? / \ |. If it encounters such characters, OneDrive tries to resolve the issue automatically. If it can't, you'll need to rename the file or folder manually. For macOS users, IT has provided a tool in the Self Service application to automate renaming:
    1. Open the Self Service application on macOS.
    2.  Select OneDrive Fix Invalid Characters and select Run.
  • Processing Changes: If OneDrive is continuously "Processing changes," it might be due to an open online file, a backlog of files waiting to be synced, or a large file in the process of syncing. For further details, OneDrive is stuck on Processing changes (

For additional guidance, refer to Troubleshoot issues with OneDrive (

Further Reading

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Article ID: 627
Wed 9/25/19 9:52 AM
Thu 3/14/24 4:18 PM

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