Sign In
Understanding How OneDrive Works
  • Post type:
  • Knowledge
  • Posted by:
  • Sarah Chao
  • Published on:
  • 7/18/2017
  • Suitable for:
  • Students; Teachers; Staff
  • Level of difficulty:
  • Basic
  • Office tool:
  • OneDrive
Last modified: 4/12/2019 1:24 PM by Sarah Chao

​​What is OneDrive?

OneDrive is like an secured online storage space that provides you access to your work files using your VSB email account. Unlike the H:Drive which is only available on VSB-network, you can access your ​OneDrive anywhere as long as there is internet access​.​ This storage space also allows you safely share documents with other VSB user to collaborate on documents and away from emailing documents back and​ forth. Documents that belong to a group or a project should be stored in a shared collaboration group​.

OneDrive is available as one of the common apps on your Office 365 dashboard after logging in. Please keep in mind that this is the OneDrive provided by the Vancouver School Board, meanings that you will sign in​ with your (for staff) and (for students)​ credential.​


Getting Started with the interface

Familiarize yourself with the labels and icons in OneDrive in Office 365​​, as well as accessing and organizing your files.​

Labels along the top
​Labels on the left sidebar
​1. New - Create a file from the dropdown
​1. Files - The landing page of your OneDrive
​2. Upload - Upload a file or folder* from your computer​
​2. Recent - Shows the 50 latest ​accessed files
​3. Share - Share a file or folder directly in OneDrive, discussed in later section of this post
​3. Shared/Shared with Me - Files or folders that other VSB users have shared with you via their OneDrive using the "Specific ​people"​ method
​4. Copy link - Get a link ​to a file or folder to be used elsewhere 
​4. Recycle Bin - Shows any files you have deleted from your OneDrive
​5. Sync - sync the OneDrive to your desktop computers or laptops​**

​6. ​Information icon - provide more details about the folder or file

*only Chrome and Firefox browsers have the dropdown option to upload a folder
** the post is intended for intermediate​ level users

Notice how the labels along the top changes when an item is selected? The additional action labels are pretty obvious in terms of what it describes:

Viewing and editing a file

By default, documents should open up in edit mode for you when clicked, but sometimes when you click on a file name in your OneDrive or on a shared document link someone has sent y​ou, it could opens with the appropriate tool in a preview mode. Until you take further action in highlighted in below screenshot, you can only view the file. The screenshot below​​ shows when a Word file is clicked.


What are the difference between the 2 "Open" options?

 In Word Online
In Word
​Do I need to have Office installed on my device?
Can multiple users edit the file simultaneously in re​al time? 
You would have to have the specific versions of Office installed.​ 
Are edits automatically saved?​
Unless you have "Auto-save" ON in ​Office 2016 and the file is saved in your OneDrive, you must save and then close the file on your computer/laptop, otherwise nobody can access the file​
Do I have t​he full functionality of the Office ​tools available?

Sync OneDrive

Syncing OneDrive​ to your devices allows you to access your OneDrive files on your desktop without going thru the browser​, which means you can quickly get to work as soon as you turn on your devices​ and edit your files with the full functionality of the desktop Office Tools. However, do keep in mind when you open files with the desktop Office (any version less than 2016), you must always save and close the files. Otherwise, the files remain locked out by you and cannot be edited by others. We recommend that you download the latest Office on your desktop​.

Files and device storage requirements​

​There are restrictions and limitations when you sync files and folders from OneDrive​ to your desktop or computer. Give the article a quick glance to see if your files or folders will have any problems. Please note that synced files will take up physical space on your device as well, so consider the storage available on your device BEFORE syncing​.

Files deleted accidentally from your OneDrive (if synced), can often be recovered​ from your computer trash can.​​​​

Related Articles

More Resources

​If you need more in-depth and self-guided support on the Microsoft Office Apps in Office 365, you can also take a look at the training videos in the Getting Started series provided by Microsoft. However, please note that DESKTOP application​ does require the latest version in most cases.

Let Us know!

Spot an error or make a suggestion for new content?

Please help us keep our information udpated and relevant by sending us comments.

You must sign in with your VSB credential in order to submit a feedback

Provide Feedback

Back to top