OneDrive Basics 01

Again and again you see the comparisons OneDrive vs DropBox, OneDrive, Box and Dropbox in comparison, what is the difference of OneDrive to Onedrive for Business,…

OneDrive is more than just another network drive with or without a drive letter. It is Microsoft’s foundation for collaboration.

More and more inquiries reach me, which show me that there is a lack of an overview.

  • What is OneDrive anyway?
  • Where and how can I access OneDrive?
  • Which programs work together with OneDrive?
  • What can I synchronize where and how

  • I also wrote this overview because it goes beyond the scope of the possible answers in my BOT, Mr.OneDrive’s BOT. And because you can explain certain things better with pictures.  Many things I have written in the last years, are different Posts. And these I will include as links.

Yes, you have to bring some time with you. For companies I offer OneDrive Workshops. And they last 1.5 days by now. And such a workshop contains about 400 single PowerPoint slides. They are also mainly intended for administrators. And many administrators simply want to lock something. Because they have not yet fully understood the principle of collaboration. You should follow the blog. (Scroll down the right sidebar) Then you won’t miss the individual chapters.

Before we get started: This is an excerpt that tries to explain the most important things in a nutshell. Visit my blog post and search there in the search window on the top right. And if you still have questions, feel free to contact me. All communication channels are listed there.


Let’s start with the servers and services in the Microsoft 365 Cloud:
OneDrive: Server and services of the Microsoft 365 Cloud

The figure shows different services

  1. Exchange Online
  2. SharePoint Online
  3. Document libraries
  4. OneDrive for Business
  5. OneDrive Personal
    1. Echange Online

Everything that has to do with e-mail is handled in Exchange Online. Of course there is also a client: Outlook as a native application on a small computer and Outlook on the Web, an application that runs completely in the browser. Newer functionalities are usually first published by Microsoft in Outlook on the Web (formerly OWA = Outlook Web Access).

What does Exchange Online now have to do with OneDrive?
I explain this in the next blog posts, where the different clients are added

2. SharePoint Online

SharePoint Online is the more modern file storage. Compared to the file server, it can do much more. We will not discuss 95% of the functionality here, we will stick exclusively to functionalities with and around OneDrive.

3. Document libraries

For the storage of files of these document libraries.  And not just one. Countless document libraries can be or are built. The rights system of SharePoint cannot be compared to that of file servers. Not every user has access to all document libraries. These libraries are behind pages and are mostly site collections.

4. OneDrive for Business

While information in document libraries is available to multiple people, each user in Microsoft 365 gets an additional store in SharePoint Online called OneDrive. Actually not quite right, it should be called OneDrive for Business. The size of the storage varies and can be changed by the administration. This storage for each user is an extended hard disk in the cloud and exactly a separate site collection. 200 users == 200 site collections.

5. OneDrive Personal

OneDrive, here OneDrive Personal or OneDrive Consumer is a storage in Azure, which every user can get independently of Office 365. Free of charge. Not included in SharePoint Online. Has nothing to do with OneDrive for Business. Has nothing to do with Microsoft 365 or Office 365. Data is stored in Microsoft Azure.

For many user is OneDrive (Personal) the first point of contact with the cloud. Its predecessor was called SkyDrive. And everyone who wants to have a OneDrive account can have one. Or several. But you can only synchronize one account with your computer. One (1) OneDrive Personal Account.  He got a black and white icon in spring 2019.

And I hope you read the terms and conditions carefully before you accept them. You should only know that a program at Microsoft scans your pictures fully automatically without any human intervention. And if there is too much skin to be seen on children, maybe from the last holiday, it can happen that this account is then blocked. Unfortunately, it is not told which picture it is. And sometimes you do not know anything about it. Because the integration of programs like Whatsapp, where many have a group.  If someone sends a photo there, it is often automatically saved in OneDrive.  And without any notification (This can be switched off!).

There is a lot that only OneDrive (Personal) can do. For example it has a vault. It is private. It’s free. But Microsoft makes the rules!


OneDrive Basics 01 (Server and Services)
OneDrive Basics 02 (Clients and Apps)
OneDrive Basics 03 (Outlook and Outlook on the Web, Web Browser)
OneDrive Basics 04 (Windows 10)
OneDrive Basics 05 (Windows 10, more than one tenant)
OneDrive Basics 06 (Windows 10, B2B Sync)
OneDrive Basics 07 (Office Integration)
OneDrive Basics 08 (Synchronisation  Shared with me)
OneDrive Basics 09 (mobile Sync with iOS and Android)
OneDrive Basics 10 (Teams)

for those who want to read it in german language

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