Why use OneDrive?

If you store your documents in OneDrive, you can access them from anywhere, on any device at any time. You can open your files in a browser or in an Office app on your desktop computer or mobile device.

You can also share your files with others. Files stored in OneDrive can be shared via a link rather than an attachment. Everything is private. You control the permissions on who can view a document, or view and edit a document.

OneDrive documents are synced to the cloud so the most recent document on your mobile phone is the most recent document on your desktop computer.  As an added bonus, devices remember where in the document you were when you were on that device. And, every time you open a document you shared, your app will tell you what was changed and who made the change.

OneDrive's flexibility makes it an ideal tool to use while working remotely.

Step 1: Access OneDrive

You can access your OneDrive folder from a browser, your computer or from any mobile device.

Use one drive in your browser:

  1. In your browser, sign in to https://www.microsoft365.com/ using your UM email address and password.
  2. Select OneDrive.

Use one drive on your desktop:

Save and open files in your Office apps:

  • If OneDrive is installed on your computer, you will see the option to save a file to your OneDrive folder from any Office 365 application.

Staff: Your personal H: drive on the UM shared servers will still be available to you. OneDrive provides you with an additional location to store your personal work files.

Step 2: Add your files to your OneDrive folder

OneDrive for UM staff, faculty and students includes 5TB of storage space. That is about 32.5 million document pages!

Staff and faculty may choose to transfer your entire H: drive to OneDrive or use the space to store your working documents only. It’s up to you!

Learn how to:

OneDrive supports previewing many different file types. Review the file types you can open in OneDrive.

A note about syncing files

You may have sync conflicts if you are uploading multiple files to OneDrive Online at the same time, or if you are making changes in your OneDrive folder while it is syncing at the same time.

Sync issues can also occur if you edit files offline. To reduce sync conflicts, rename the edited files or folders to something new or unique, and save them again.

Step 3: Share files and collaborate with others

OneDrive makes collaborating on working documents so much easier.

Instead of emailing a file to your colleagues, you can share a link to your working document. Any changes made to the file will be recorded as a new version. You will never have to keep track of multiple copies of the same file again!

Learn how to:

Use @mention in comments to tag someone for feedback.

File version history

Your OneDrive folder maintains a 30-day version history of all files. This means you can view and/or restore an older version of an individual file from any point in the past 30 days.

A note about sharing files

Please review the university's recommendations for using OneDrive, Teams and SharePoint to share files in the table below.


Teams SharePoint
  • Securely store all your files
  • Create, upload and edit files from all devices
  • Share files with colleagues
  • Team workspace
  • Use chat, calls, meetings and apps
  • Audio and video conferencing
  • Share and manage content, knowledge and applications
Ideal use for an individual user to save their own files and potentially share them with small groups of less than 5 people. Ideal use for sharing files among project teams or smaller operational groups. Ideal use for sharing files in a single repository across large teams, departments, or faculties.

Data Sharing and Storage Guidelines-Quick Reference (PDF)

Restoring and finding files in OneDrive

Easily restore deleted files and folders

In OneDrive, deleted files and folders are moved to the Recycle bin. Files you delete from OneDrive are stored in the Recycle bin for 30 days before they are permanently deleted.

If your OneDrive files were deleted, overwritten, corrupted, or infected by malware, you can restore your entire OneDrive to a previous time.

Find your files and folders using intelligent search

You can access your Microsoft SharePoint or Microsoft Teams files on the web or in the mobile app without leaving OneDrive.

If you are logged in to Microsoft 365, you can also find your personal OneDrive files and files that are shared with you using the Bing search engine in Microsoft Edge.  

Don’t panic! The search is customized for your eyes only. No one else will find your personal files unless you have shared a file with them. Remember, you are in control of what others may see!

Find out more about Microsoft's intelligent search and document security:

OneDrive backup and retention policy

OneDrive is backed up by Microsoft twice daily and backups are retained for 30 days.

Your OneDrive storage is deleted when your account is deleted or de-licensed (i.e. when you leave the University of Manitoba). However, it may be recovered by an administrator within 30 days. 

Use Teams or SharePoint for collaboration or long-term file storage for continuity. Please review the Data Sharing and Storage Guidelines-Quick Reference for more information.

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