FAQs: How To Get The Best From SharePoint And OneDrive

May 28, 2020 | Blog | 0 comments

Top Tips for Using SharePoint and OneDrive for Business

File management tools like SharePoint and OneDrive exist to make our working lives simpler. But confusion over which platform to use when and how they dovetail with Microsoft Teams is common. And countless users have yet to realise all the benefits of these super-charged cloud-based services.

In the wake of the coronavirus and increased working from home, many organisations rushed to roll out SharePoint and OneDrive. Understandably, user training and best practice weren’t prioritised.

Our How to get the best from SharePoint and OneDrive webinar is available on demand. Here, we distil the webinar – by OneDrive and SharePoint guru Tom Moore – into bite-sized FAQs. Get the answers to your burning questions and learn about cool new features.


SharePoint, OneDrive and Teams – what types of documents live where?

Document Collaboration slide

As a rule of thumb:

  • Document drafts: OneDrive
  • Documents for review or sign-off: Teams or keep in OneDrive if you are not using Teams yet
  • Approved documents: SharePoint

What’s the best way to synchronise my documents in OneDrive across different devices?

Whether you’re new to OneDrive or have been using it for a while, we recommend:

  • Go to office.com to access your OneDrive.
  • From here, you’ll see your Office 365 dashboard – select the OneDrive icon.
  • Use the sync button on the toolbar to add the OneDrive app to your Windows Explorer. This action replicates your OneDrive folders, enabling you to access them on your desktop and other devices through Windows Explorer.

library ID screenshot

  • Now, when you add, delete or amend a document in your OneDrive folder, Windows Explorer will sync with your OneDrive in the cloud and automatically open the files within the desktop apps. The changes you make will show across all your devices.
  • If you’ve been offline, click the sync button at the top of the page, as shown:

syncing files

If you’re using an Apple Mac, the OneDrive app works in the same way.


How does OneDrive’s version history feature help me?

We’ve all been there; you amend a document then forget what you’ve done. Worse still, it’s corrupted. In this cloud age, this isn’t the issue it once was. And there’s no longer a need to continually rename your document; version one, two, three and so on.

Just right click on your doc and select version history from the dropdown menu. From here, you can view, download, restore or delete past versions of it.

version history


Tell me about OneDrive’s document sharing feature

Regardless of where you are working (Chrome, Internet Explorer, or in the OneDrive app in your Windows File Explorer) you can right click your document and choose share.

As shown above, you have the options to:

  • Choose who you want to share your document with.
  • Control what they can do with your document, for example, view but not edit.
  • Set passwords and expiry dates.
  • Block downloading.

And you can add a message for your recipients too.


Tell me about the co-authoring feature in OneDrive, SharePoint and Teams

This vastly underutilised functionality eliminates the need to send documents back and forth via email. Co-authoring enables two or more people to edit a document (be it Word, Excel or PowerPoint) simultaneously.

You will see who is working on the document at the same time as you, and what bit they’re editing. You can also override colleagues’ changes. This feature is available in OneDrive for Business, SharePoint and Teams.


Tell me how SharePoint’s search and filter features can save me time

Forget any pains you might have had with legacy versions; SharePoint has evolved. Its rapid search feature is no longer confined to document titles; it scans content too. And you don’t need to know where a document lives before beginning your search: the search spans the entire SharePoint environment.

In the filter pane (example below,) you can build a search query with a range of criteria, e.g. when modified and document type, or any other custom metadata your organisation uses.

SharePoint filter pane


How can I ensure the safety of my data in SharePoint?

Watch this short clip from our webinar for the answer:

If you enjoyed the clip, watch the complete webinar here: How to get the best from SharePoint and OneDrive webinar.


Can I use OneDrive for Microsoft Forms?

Yes, you can create surveys, quizzes and polls; use in your workplace and send them to your customers. They are easy to build, and the results are in a user-friendly format.

In your OneDrive, click New and select ‘Forms for Excel’ from the dropdown menu. It’s an intuitive process; you’ll be guided through each step.

Once you have created your form, you can get a link to share it. Use the link in an email, a Teams channel, your website or social media. And as people complete your form, the responses are available graphically, ready to export to Excel for further analysis.

Our Tom Moore demonstrates Microsoft Forms in his webinar, which you can watch here. And if you’re wondering, Microsoft Forms in OneDrive is the same as Excel forms.


Where do I go from here?

We hope you found these FAQs helpful. For a deeper understanding of SharePoint and OneDrive, watch our 40-minute webinar on-demand: How to Get the Best from SharePoint and OneDrive. In it, Tom answers even more questions, including:

  • Does SharePoint’s version history take up space from my total SharePoint space?
  • Are there storage space limits on SharePoint and OneDrive?
  • I have poor connectivity and a large user-base; are there risks when I’m syncing my SharePoint libraries?
  • How does SharePoint work offline, e.g. if I lose my connectivity?

You can also explore our COVID-19 Support hub and book a half-day with a subject matter expert for free. Meet more of our tech experts and request your complimentary consultation here.

Thanks for reading; we’re here when you need us and glad to help.



Complete Guide to Office 365 Adoption

Many organisations still struggle to get their employees to make good use of new technologies available to them. This guide will explore the top 10 mistakes that are commonly seen throughout an Office 365 roll-out and provide some simple measures that can be put in place to dramatically increase Office 365 adoption and usage rates.


Christine Ellis

Content Manager, IT Lab Group

Christine joined the IT Lab marketing team in 2017, following the acquisition of cybersecurity specialists Perspective Risk. Her focus is on delivering content that meets the needs of a diverse client base, and that demonstrates the group’s expanding portfolio of solutions and services. Quality and the customer are at the heart of everything she does.



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