In this article of the series – Mastering common challenges in Office 365 – it is all about OneDrive. You can directly click on the links below to jump to the specific part or you just scroll through everything. There are also a lot of other articles in the series.

You find Microsoft Forms, SharePoint, Teams and more in my Mastering common challenges in Office 365 series.

Getting ready

To get ready, the first time after you open the application you get promoted with the Set up OneDrive window where you enter your credentials to use the application.

Set up OneDrive
Set up OneDrive

After successfully entering your credentials and a few straight forward decisions, you are already almost done.

If you open your sync client and you don’t see the status indicator column or you are missing Files On-Demand you might wonder why… Well, check the next section on Files On-Demand.

Files On-Demand

It is quite easy to active the Files On-Demand feature. Just open the settings of the sync client, navigate to the settings ribbon tab and active it. This settings is most likely disabled if you sign in with an account which is connected to OneDrive for Business and you are using an older version of the client. Important here is that OneDrive Files On-Demand requires Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (version 16299.15 or later) and OneDrive build 17.3.7064.1005 or later.

Enable Files On-Demand
Enable Files On-Demand

After setting this feature to active, the sync client will shorty reconnect and after a few seconds you should see the status column in your Windows Explorer.

""</pNot only Windows is capable of this awesome feature. With Mac OS Mojave we also have this feature on Apple devices. That’s great.

Files On-Demand for Mac is now available
Files On-Demand for Mac is now available

Check out the article from Microsoft and start syncing your files. Have you noticed the dark-mode? Cool, isn’t it?

OneDrive Files On-Demand for Mac OS
OneDrive Files On-Demand for Mac OS

Sync status indicator overview

With the different sync status indicators it could get a little confusing. Therefore here an overview what those are.

Online-only files
Online-only files
Locally available files
Locally available files
Always available files
Always available files

OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, Groove etc.

You might also wonder what all those different names are you saw floating around in “that internet” 😉 . OneDrive, OneDrive Personal, OneDrive for Business (O4B), SkyDrive, Next Generation Sync Client (NGSC), Groove.exe etc.
To give a short answer which is not totally enough to understand everything is:

  • OneDrive for Business is most likely used in your company
  • OneDrive (Personal) is used at your home computer
  • Next Generation Sync Client is OneDrive for Business and OneDrive (Personal)
  • Everything else is almost outdated

Prior to the Next Generation Sync Client I felt like in the GIF below 🙂

OneDrive before the NGSC
OneDrive before the NGSC

Now, it is a solid ladder you are facing with OneDrive and their development. There are several articles out there where you find more detailed information. One website I want to give a shout-out is hansbrender.com – His articles are very detailed, he has great insights in the development process at Microsoft and is a really good source when it comes to OneDrive.

OneDrive File Restore

If you have checked a little bit what was on the roadmap at Microsoft you probably saw the File Restore feature. In my tenant it is active since the 6th of February. So check out your tenant for that.
In general it is an easy way for the user to “go back in time” in your OneDrive and restore files from a specific date and time. Currently it is possible to go back up to 30 days. In my opinion 90 days would be perfect, but well… let’s see what Microsoft thinks about that 😉
To access the file restore feature just open your OneDrive in the web and click on the gear icon in the top right. In the sidebar you should find the menu to go there.

File Restore
File Restore

When you are at the restore site you should see in the drop-down the options One week ago, Three weeks ago and Custom date and time. If you select option one or two you get directly “set back” to that time. The last option gives you the option to choose the point of time.

Restore Options
Restore Options

The Custom date and time selection does now work. Directly after it was available in my tenants it just showed the following picture:

Custom restore overview
Custom restore overview

Microsoft announced this feature a while back and also has resources you can check out here. In there, you find also a picture what the file restore from a certain point in time looks like.

Expected custom restore overviewIn my tenant it is now also shown, similar to the picture above, but I only have two out of the three options.

Known Folder Move

So what is Known Folder Mover or KFM? Microsoft says: Known folders are global pointers in Windows representing a location on the user’s drive. They help users to organize their most important files and access them across different applications. KFM helps you move your docs, desktop, and pictures into OneDrive. Even the Screenshots and Camera Roll folders are included when the Picture folder has opted into KFM.

To set it up, it is just as easy as the Files On-Demand feature. Open your settings, go to Auto save and click on Update folders.

Known Folder Move setting
Known Folder Move setting

You can then select which folders should be synced. You can also change these settings afterwards.

Selection of KFM
Selection of KFM

I only select my Desktop and Pictures for now. Then you get a little window with a cute picture and depending on how much you selected it is super fast ready.

OneDrive KFM currently in sync
OneDrive KFM currently in sync

If you know check you Windows Explorer you should see the indicators again.

KFM for Desktop and Pictures folder
KFM for Desktop and Pictures folder

This is a pretty easy and effective way to protect your users even more. To be honest, I don’t think it needed to be that “security-heavy” promoted, but as long as the feature is available, I am in!

OneDrive mobile app

An 4.7 out of 5 and 99.5k ratings in the App store plus a 4.4 out of 5 with over 1 million rating in the Play store is not that bad, right? At least that’s what I think of it. I really use my mobile OneDrive more frequently. Especially since I can mark also here my files for offline access.

Mark folders for offline access
Mark folders for offline access

Also the option to take a photo directly from the app is pretty neat and if you haven’t clicked on Scan… Do it, you will be surprised 😉

OneDrive app take a photo
OneDrive app take a photo

There is much more to discover in the OneDrive app. Just download it and give it a try. It is free and if you don’t like it you can uninstall it. But give the mobile app a chance.

Summary

There are still a few people out there who are not happy with OneDrive. The past wasn’t that great with the old Groove.exe, but this whole product improved fast and pretty great. If you’re still one of the people from the GIF below, okay… but please give it another try!

OneDrive nowadays

You know I need GIF’s to survive 🙂 With these view tips you have should have at least an brief overview of OneDrive. There are many things we still need, but the road-map shows that they are working on them super hard. There is also now a great new designed OneDrive documentation section available, check it out to learn more.

If you want to have more details about OneDrive let me know and get in touch with my via mail, Twitter or Facebook. Also stay tuned on my articles. There is already Part 1 about PowerShell, Part 3 about SharePoint, Part 4 about Teams, Part 5 about SharePoint HubSites, Part 6 – Teams reloaded and Part 7 – Microsoft Forms available and much more.

Next week, there will be a new article online. Same time, same place! Until next week, don’t be afraIT!

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