Upload files and folders to OneDrive for Business (Video)

This lesson demonstrates how you can upload existing files and folders from your local machine or a shared network drive to your OneDrive for Business. Doing so puts your files in the cloud, giving you access to your files anywhere, anytime, on any device.

This video is part of my FREE 30+ lesson self-paced online training course called Collaboration in Microsoft 365 (OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams). Enroll today at https://www.NateTheTrainer.com for the full learning experience including lesson discussions, quizzes, exams, and a completion certificate.

You can also watch the entire course as a YouTube playlist as well (just without the course discussions, quizzes, exam, and certificate). Be sure to subscribe to support my channel and for easy access to future content.

Notes

You can use the Upload button to upload one or many files, or a folder (or several) which will include any sub-folder structures and their files.
You can also drag-and-drop files from a local location (shared network drive, your desktop, etc.) via File Explorer into your browser with OneDrive open. This includes the ability to drag into a specific folder in OneDrive.

Additional resources

How to organize, copy, and move files in OneDrive for Business (Video)

Learn how to manage your OneDrive files through organization, copying and moving, and more in this lesson.

This video is part of my FREE 30+ lesson self-paced online training course called Collaboration in Microsoft 365 (OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams). Enroll today at https://www.NateTheTrainer.com for the full learning experience including lesson discussions, quizzes, exams, and a completion certificate.

You can also watch the entire course as a YouTube playlist as well (just without the course discussions, quizzes, exam, and certificate). Be sure to subscribe to support my channel and for easy access to future content.

Notes

Organizing, moving, and copying

  • In OneDrive, you can use folders (whether uploaded or created from the New button) to organize files. You can have multiple levels of folders.
  • You can drag-and-drop files into and out of folders (use the breadcrumb menu to drag files up a level).
  • Select files and/or folders and use Move to and Copy to to move files inside or outside your OneDrive. If moving or copying files outside your OneDrive, you can select a SharePoint site’s document library as a destination. You can also create new folders from the Move to and Copy to panels.

Sorting, filtering, and searching

  • Use column headers in My filesRecent, and Shared to quickly group, sort, or filter your files.
  • Use view settings (upper right) to change sort or style.
  • You can use the filters pane in Shared to narrow down results and find what you’re seeking more quickly.
  • You can use search to find files quickly as well – it searches file names as well as their contents.

How to share files and folders in OneDrive for Business (Video)

Your OneDrive is your place to store and manage files you use regularly. Occasionally, you may wish to share files and folders with others, however. Learn how to share with different levels of access (i.e. view vs edit) in this lesson.

This video is part of my FREE 30+ lesson self-paced online training course called Collaboration in Microsoft 365 (OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams). Enroll today at https://www.NateTheTrainer.com for the full learning experience including lesson discussions, quizzes, exams, and a completion certificate.

You can also watch the entire course as a YouTube playlist as well (just without the course discussions, quizzes, exam, and certificate). Be sure to subscribe to support my channel and for easy access to future content.

Notes

Sharing files

When you share a file, you have four link types to choose from. The image below color codes the options you get with each. Anyone with the link gets the most configurable settings. People in your company and Specific people get everything except expiration date and password. People with existing access doesn’t modify permissions at all so it has no unique settings.

You’ll only see Open in review mode only as an option if the file is a Word doc and you’re allowing editing.

You can only Block download (includes print) if disallowing (unchecking) editing.

After you click Apply, you don’t have to enter a name or message. In most cases, it’s fine to click Copy link and share that with whomever you’re granting access. And sometimes you may use that copied link on a SharePoint page, org-wide email, etc. rather than sharing with just a few people.

Specific people is the only link type that requires a signed in user to be someone you’ve specified. It is the most secure option (other than People with existing access which doesn’t change permissions at all).

Co-authoring with people you’ve shared edit rights with

Co-authoring allows anyone with edit permissions to a file to be in the file simultaneously making edits. This works for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. If you’re wanting to use the desktop apps for co-authoring, be sure you’re using the most current (Office 365) version of Office and not a year-specific version like Office 2016.

Sharing folders

You can share folders in the same way you share files, but the benefit to sharing folders is that each file inside the folder inherits the shared folder’s permissions (so it saves you time sharing each individual file). You might use this for processes where you drop files in a particular folder regularly that someone else can access (or even help contribute to).

You can add additional access to a particular file inside a shared folder by sharing the file itself (but it’ll still be shared with those granted rights at the folder level).

Managing access

Manage access by clicking Share > More options () > Manage access -or- by selecting the file > open the details pane (i) > Manage access.

You can click Stop sharing to remove all links and direct access other than yourself (in OneDrive) or all owners (in SharePoint).

You can remove links shared previously individually by using the ellipsis (three dots) next to a link shown in the Manage access panel.

You can also make changes to the settings of a shared link if the the link was Anyone with the link or Specific people type.

Shared with you and Shared by you

Click Shared from the left navigation to easily find files shared with you and shared by you. You can also share files again or manage access from this page.

Additional resources

View and manage OneDrive for Business version history (Video)

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to find and use version history for files in OneDrive for Business. You can access version history multiple ways, and you can view, restore, or delete any particular version.

This video is part of my FREE 30+ lesson self-paced online training course called Collaboration in Microsoft 365 (OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams). Enroll today at https://www.NateTheTrainer.com for the full learning experience including lesson discussions, quizzes, exams, and a completion certificate.

You can also watch the entire course as a YouTube playlist as well (just without the course discussions, quizzes, exam, and certificate). Be sure to subscribe to support my channel and for easy access to future content.

Notes

Access version history

You can get to a file’s version history in one of two places: either from the file’s menu (ellipsis or select and use the ribbon), or from within the document itself (click on the title in the title bar and choose Version History).

From outside the document (so using a file’s menu via the ellipsis or selection), Version history shows you last modifier, a timestamp, version number, and allows you to open each version independently in the desktop app (whether it is Word, Excel, or PowerPoint).

From inside the document (you’ve opened it), Version History shows you when there were multiple co-authors (so not just one of the last modifiers, but all involved), and you can quickly click from one version to the next to preview it without having to open and close each one.

Open, restore, or delete a version

From outside a document, you can open, restore, or delete a version using that version’s ellipsis. If you restore a version, it copies the selected version as the latest version and doesn’t not affect previous numbering. If you delete a version, it goes to the site recycle bin (where you may wish to delete it again).

From inside a document, you can switch between all versions within the active tab, restore a version, or save a version as a separate file. You can’t, however, delete a version from within the document. You must do this from OneDrive (ellipsis > Version history).

Additional resources

Sync OneDrive for Business files for offline access (Video)

You can sync your OneDrive files to your desktop for easy access via File Explorer or for offline access. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to sync and understand sync status of files and folders in your libraries.

This video is part of my FREE 30+ lesson self-paced online training course called Collaboration in Microsoft 365 (OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams). Enroll today at https://www.NateTheTrainer.com for the full learning experience including lesson discussions, quizzes, exams, and a completion certificate.

You can also watch the entire course as a YouTube playlist as well (just without the course discussions, quizzes, exam, and certificate). Be sure to subscribe to support my channel and for easy access to future content.

Notes

A common misconception is that Sync is “Refresh” but it isn’t – just refresh your browser if something looks amiss. Sync is to access OneDrive via File Explorer on your machine to be able to work with files locally as opposed to through a browser.

First-time sync

The first time you set up sync, you’ll be walked through a wizard. But if you choose to sync SharePoint libraries in the future, you won’t have to do the wizard each time.

Sync statuses

Synced files aren’t available offline until you open one (making it available On this device) or you right-click a file and choose Always keep on this device (making it Always available). If a file is Online-only, you won’t be able to access it if you lose your internet connection. 

How to use synced files

Simply double-click a file to open it in the desktop version of its app (i.e. Word, Excel, etc.). Since the file is cloud-based, Autosave will be active so you can close the application once you’re finished making changes and those changes will automatically be synced with the cloud (assuming you’re connected to the internet at the time).

How to delete and restore files and versions in OneDrive for Business (Video)

You can delete whole files or just specific versions of files in OneDrive for Business. You can also restore those deleted files or specific versions from your OneDrive’s recycle bin.

This video is part of my FREE 30+ lesson self-paced online training course called Collaboration in Microsoft 365 (OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams). Enroll today at https://www.NateTheTrainer.com for the full learning experience including lesson discussions, quizzes, exams, and a completion certificate.

You can also watch the entire course as a YouTube playlist as well (just without the course discussions, quizzes, exam, and certificate). Be sure to subscribe to support my channel and for easy access to future content.

Notes

You can delete files, folders, and specific versions of files. These can all be restored from your Recycle Bin(s) to their original locations.

To delete a file, select it and hit enter on your keyboard or choose Delete from the file’s menu.

You can delete a specific version of a file by viewing a file’s version history, using the ellipsis menu for the specific version, and choosing Delete. 

To restore a file, visit the Recycle bin (or Second-stage recycle bin), select the file(s) and choose Restore from the ribbon menu.

Items are available in the recycle bin(s) for 93 days from the date of deletion after which they’re permanently deleted. That 93 days is shared between both recycle bins. You can permanently delete items sooner by manually emptying the first- and second-stage recycle bins.

Additional resources

Request files from others securely using OneDrive for Business (Video)

Learn how you can request files from others by sending them a file request link where they can drop files without seeing anyone else’s. For this to work and to see the option, you must be allowed to share externally (some admins and orgs choose to disable this ability for security reasons).

This video is part of my FREE 30+ lesson self-paced online training course called Collaboration in Microsoft 365 (OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams). Enroll today at https://www.NateTheTrainer.com for the full learning experience including lesson discussions, quizzes, exams, and a completion certificate.

You can also watch the entire course as a YouTube playlist as well (just without the course discussions, quizzes, exam, and certificate). Be sure to subscribe to support my channel and for easy access to future content.

Notes

Requesting files from others is not the same as sharing a folder with others to which they’ll add and edit files.

When you share a folder normally (with edit permissions), users can add files but they can also see others’ files and edit anything in the folder.

When you request files, users can add files but they can’t see any files in the folder (including their own) and they can’t modify anything after uploading (including their own). It’s basically a file drop or an FTP replacement to allow secure file submissions.

Restore your entire OneDrive for Business library to an earlier time (Video)

Learn how you can undo any changes made in your OneDrive for Business library by using the Restore feature. You’ll be able to restore your entire library in one action to a point in time you specify.

This video is part of my FREE 30+ lesson self-paced online training course called Collaboration in Microsoft 365 (OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams). Enroll today at https://www.NateTheTrainer.com for the full learning experience including lesson discussions, quizzes, exams, and a completion certificate.

You can also watch the entire course as a YouTube playlist as well (just without the course discussions, quizzes, exam, and certificate). Be sure to subscribe to support my channel and for easy access to future content.

Notes

If you’ve been working in OneDrive and something has gone wrong, you can restore your entire OneDrive (undo all changes across all your files and folders at once) by using the Restore your OneDrive feature. You can restore to a specific time such as yesterday, a week ago, or a custom date/time. Every edit, deletion, etc. that’s reversible will be reversed.

While the restore is in progress, your OneDrive will be in read-only mode (for existing content) but you can continue to access the content, create or upload new content, and access your Shared content as well.

Solution: You can’t share this folder because there are too many items in the folder

If you’ve run into either of the following error messages, you may be attempting to share too large a folder, or share within a high-traffic list or library that has too many files or items already shared individually:

  • “You can’t share this folder because there are too many items in the folder.”
  • “You can’t share this item because too many items have already been shared in this library.”

If you want to share a folder, item, or file, there’s a limit of 50,000 uniquely shared items per list or library. So between you and your colleagues, if you’ve shared 50,000 items, files, and/or folders individually (one-off shares using the share button), you’ll need to do some sharing cleanup (remove links and access no longer needed) and consider creating additional lists/libraries or establishing improved best practices for more efficient sharing.

Additionally, the list, library, or folder for which you’re trying to initiate a new share can only have up to 100,000 items total (regardless of share count) before breaking and re-inheriting permissions is allowed. So, for example, if you want to break inheritance on a folder that has 150,000 files already, you’ll need to temporarily reduce the file count to 100,000 or fewer so you can break inheritance, then move the additional files back into it.

See these references for additional information:

Possible solution: “Sorry, something went wrong. The file is locked for exclusive use by…”

I recently ran into the following error when someone tried to edit a shared Excel file from OneDrive (we’re running SharePoint Server 2016).

“Sorry, something went wrong. The file {address} is locked for exclusive use by {name}.”

Troubleshooting

The user in question, who had it “locked for use,” had the file open in Excel (client, not online) when their computer unexpectedly shut down. This locked others from editing the file. The first few things you should try (stop if one of the steps fixes the issue):

  1. If the user still has it open, have them save and close out. If it really was checked out, check it in with their account.
  2. Make sure the user who has it locked has closed all office apps (Task Manager is a good way to see if anything is running in the background)
  3. Have that user restart their machine used to edit the file in the first place for good measure
  4. You can try waiting a day to see if the lock lifts overnight or after a few hours.

What worked for me

Now that you’ve confirmed the individual who had the file locked can’t really have it open or locked, you can try the solution that worked for me. At the bottom of this post, I’ve listed more ideas I tried that might work for you.

  1. Open the user’s OneDrive in SharePoint Designer (the address may resemble https://mysites.COMPANY.org/personal/USERNAME)
  2. Navigate via “All Files” via the left nav to the file in question. It probably has a padlock icon on it.
  3. Right-click the file name and select “Edit File in Advanced Mode”
  4. Save the file in SharePoint Designer.

I can’t explain why this worked, I know it’s completely illogical, but it worked.

Here’s a thread on SharePoint’s user voice regarding this error.

What might work for you

Here are some things you can try that were not successful for me (but might work for you):

  • I tried copying the file and deleting the original but could not delete it (in browser, PowerShell, or SharePoint Designer)
  • I tried this PowerShell solution and it told me who had it “checked out,” and when it would expire which was helpful, but it was unable to release the lock
    • P.S. I waited for the expiration, but it renewed itself
  • I tried checking it in via browser and SharePoint Designer (because it appeared checked out) but got a message saying it wasn’t
    Click to enlarge
  • From the owner’s OneDrive (where the file was stored/created) I disabled check-out requirement via Site Contents –> Library Settings –> Versioning settings
    Click to enlarge