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5 Tips on Navigating to Your Documents
  • Post type:
  • Knowledge
  • Posted by:
  • Sarah Chao
  • Published on:
  • 9/12/2018
  • Suitable for:
  • Teachers; Staff; Students
  • Level of difficulty:
  • Basic
  • Office tool:
  • General Usage; OneDrive
Last modified: 1/2/2020 9:43 AM by Sarah Chao

​​​​​Get to Your Files with Ease​

While the great benefit with storing files in Office 365 is that it provides you flexible access to them anywhere, sometimes locating the files can be challenging if you don't understand the basic. In fact, one of the most frequent issues that users encounter with Office 365 is ​​​​navigating to their files that they have stored in their OneDrive, accessing ones that others have shared with them or stored in a Collaboration Group. As long as you know you are familiar with logging into Office 365​, then being aware of the following tips​ will help you quickly get to your documents. 

Tip #1 - ​Locate Recent Files from Your Office 365 Landing Page

Please notes for this tip, "files" are only referring to these formats​​: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, ​OneNote, Sway​ and​ PDF

If you are looking for the files that you've opened or modified recently, you can often locate them further down on the landing page after logging into Office 365. Below is a screenshot of what the section might look like and it will display files that you have accessed last.​ Hovering over each ​of the files and clicking on the "  ​​​" will provide more action items for each of the files​. You 


Explore the interface of the Recent section

Upper left You'll notice that next to the "Recent" tab in this section of the Office 365 landing page, there are additional tabs "Pinned", "Shared with Me" available​. These list will surface up files that you have access to, but might not have worked on recently. Pinning a file​ is great way to quickly get to files you access on a regular basis​.

Upper right - You can change the "list view" to "tile view".

Bottom left - "Show more" allows you to expand the list to see up to 12 items.

Bottom right - Go to your OneDrive to access all of your documents

Tip #2 - Access Files in Your OneDrive

Please notes for this tip, "OneDrive" is referring to your OneDrive account provided by VSB.​

On the other hand, if you need to access files that you haven't worked on recently but know that they are stored in your OneDrive, then you can often navigate to them from within your OneDrive app in the browser.​​ ​​​


Tip #3 - Access Site Document Libraries in Your OneDrive

Please notes for this tip, "OneDrive" is referring to your OneDrive account provided by VSB.​

​Similarly, if you need to access files that you haven't worked on recently but know that they are associated with a particular collaboration group that you are a member of, you can quickly access all document libraries of sites that you are familiar with or are following​ via OneDrive in the browser as well.

Clicking on More sites will display all sites you have access to.


Tip #4 - ​Access Your Files from the Desktop Office Suite

​As long as you are connected to the internet and signed into Office Suite in your Desktop, you can also access your files from opening the corresponding Office Suite tool. For example, if you want to get back to the Word document you worked on yesterday, then it's likely that you'll see the file under "Recent > Yesterday" after starting the Word 2016 on your computer​.


Tip #5 - Search for Your Files

If you have not worked on or accessed a file in a while, you can often search for it in the same Office 365 landing page using keywords, via the upper right corner search box.​​ The search results will display all files that you have access to within Office 365, regardless of where they are stored (ex. OneDrive, Communication Sites, or Collaboration Group Sites, etc.).​search-files.png

Always pay attention to the details of the result items

​As there might be a chance that files are named the same way but stored in different folders or sites, always pay close attention to the pieces of information available for each result item.


  1. ​​Type of item file format - Brief glance at this will tell you what type of file the item is
  2. Title of the item - Clickable links to open the item
  3. Location of the item - Shows the location of where  the item​ is stored
  4. Some item metadata - Provides information such as who edited the file last and when, views, etc.

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