At the beginning I didn’t know what this function would bring me, because I still belong to the generation "I work with the native apps and with the File Explorer" and don’t want to switch to the browser all the time. Because while I’m writing this blog post, I have 23 tabs of content open. But maybe it’s "Old fashioned". If someone shares a folder with me, I find this folder in OneDrive for Business under "Shared" and after the click I find it under "Shared with me". So that I don’t have to search here all the time, in the future I will have the possibility to add this folder to my My Files with one click. This will also synchronize it automatically.
Microsoft is talking about rolling it out in July 2020 as a public preview, and it will be available worldwide until end of September 2020.
The following gif animation shows the basic process:
This principle solves a lot of problems. I no longer have to search for the link for the folder in my Outlook. Nevertheless, 5 clicks are left.
- Start OneDrive in the browser
- Click on Shared
- Click on Shared with me
- Select the folder
- Add shortcut to my files in the menu
However, there are still a few limitations, which are described in a Microsoft support article that is already available:
Find shared folders in your OneDrive
Here an important part is described, if the selective synchronization was activated, which is especially relevant for all older operating systems, because there were no “Files on demand”
Moving shared files and shared folders in your OneDrive
Here it becomes interesting, because problems can occur when moving in Windows Explorer. I have described this in January 2018 and during my last visit in Redmond the responsible engineer was introduced to me: His comment: uuuh, difficult.
I have now submitted the inquiry about this OneDrive problem to Microsoft again.
It is also interesting that you can now rename these folders, but this change only exists in my OneDrive for Business and the synchronized folders, but is not synchronized back to the origin. This is where it gets complicated. I know, many people want to change name structures and there are many attempts on the Internet, but none of them work. And now Microsoft comes with the first attempt, at least for the "Add Shortcut to my files" section. And is easy to explain. The description is taken over, but it is only a copy, and its name can be changed. I’m curious how this will work and if there won’t be support problems: "I can’t see your folder XXX anymore" – because I renamed it myself
I’m curious to see how this feature is received. Because when the link arrives by mail, it depends, if I click on it, I end up with the content of the folder. And now one click is enough for synchronization. Unfortunately I can’t present any pictures of the desktop integration yet.
Microsoft wants to present this and other OneDrive innovations on 28.07.2020 in a webinar.