Q. What is OneDrive?

A. OneDrive (for Business) is a file hosting service where you can store, share, and sync your work files from any device. You can even work on Office documents with others at the same time. OneDrive for Business and Office 365 make it easy to manage your work files, share them, and collaborate with others from any device.


Q. Does EWU IT recommend Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive?

A. IT supports both solutions and has no plans to end support for either product or require anyone to migrate from OneDrive to Google Drive or vice versa. In general, though, we recommend Google Drive over OneDrive for a few reasons, including:

  • Google Drive offers unlimited storage
  • Google Drive is supported on more platforms
  • Google Shared Drives are easier to use and sync than OneDrive Shared Libraries

However, circumstances vary, so please consult your IT Coordinator (faculty/staff) or the Help Desk for more guidance.


Q. Why should I consider switching from NetStorage (the N: and S: drives) to OneDrive or Google Drive?

A. Both OneDrive and Google Drive offer considerably more features than NetStorage currently or will ever provide, including:


More storage. Google Drive has unlimited storage. OneDrive has 1 TB of personal storage (OneDrive shared libraries offer effectively unlimited storage). NetStorage personal drives have 10GB of storage and shared folders are also limited.


Accessible from anywhere and anytime. Google Drive and OneDrive can be accessed from the web, mobile devices, or any Mac and PC. By comparison, NetStorage is only accessible when on-campus or by using the VPN and mapping a drive using the SMB protocol.


Real-time collaboration. With Google Drive or OneDrive, multiple people can work on a document without having to constantly email the latest copy. Instead, everyone has always has access to the latest version. NetStorage does not have this capability and never will.


Automatic Versioning. With Google Drive and OneDrive, changes to documents are saved automatically. If you, or someone you've shared the file with, makes a mistake, you can easily and safely revert to an earlier version (or even make a copy of an earlier version). NetStorage offers limited ability to restore documents through snapshots, which are only periodically taken throughout the day.


Sharing. Google Drive and OneDrive offer robust options to share documents and files with other EWU faculty, staff, and students and external collaborators. NetStorage offers limited options to share documents and files internally, requiring you to use our web tool to manage access. NetStorage does not allow you to share documents with external collaborators.


Automatic sync and backup. When you use Google Drive or OneDrive, your files are automatically synchronized and backed up to Google and Microsoft's servers. By comparison, your computer's files are only backed up if you are either working with them directly on the NetStorage servers or if you manually copy them there.


Q. What's the difference between OneDrive (personal) and OneDrive for Business?

A. In practical terms and for everyday usage, there is no significant difference. The main difference is the technology used for each system, with OneDrive for Business using SharePoint.


Q. How much storage space do I get?

A. OneDrive provides 1 TB of storage.


Q. How do I access my OneDrive Account?

A. To access your OneDrive account, go to inside.ewu.edu and click on the OneDrive link. Or, from any Office 365 application or Outlook on the Web, click the grid icon in the upper left corner and select OneDrive. If you have the OneDrive for Business client installed on your computer or mobile device, just launch the app or access the OneDrive folder in the Windows Explorer or macOS Finder.


Q. Do I need to be connected to the VPN to access my files as I do with NetStorage?

A. No, you can work online with your files or synchronize files between computers or mobile devices and Office 365 with only an Internet connection.


Q. What devices does OneDrive support?

A. OneDrive is available for Windows, macOS, iOS and ipadOS, Android, and Windows Mobile. To use it with ChromeOS, install the Android OneDrive app from Google Play.


Q. What does it mean to Sync data to my local computer?

A. Syncing your data means that you will have a copy on a local computer as well as in the cloud. You can easily save documents directly into your local folder. The data is then "copied up" to the cloud.


Q. What is file streaming (also called Files On-Demand)?

A. "When you turn on Files On-Demand, you’ll see all your files in File Explorer or Finder and get new information about each file. New files created online or on another device appear as online-only files, which don’t take up space on your device. When you’re connected to the Internet, you’ll be able to use the files like every other file on your device."

File On-Demand is supported on current versions of both Windows and macOS. Specifically, you'll need Windows 10 (version 1709 or newer) or macOS (version Mojave 10.14 or newer).


To learn more about Files On-Demand, see Microsoft's articles for Windows and Mac.


Q. Can I put sensitive data on OneDrive? Does OneDrive comply with FERPA or HIPAA?

A. OneDrive for Business is a Microsoft cloud-based storage solution that is a part of Office365. The data is stored off-campus in a non-university owned data center. Eastern Washington University has an agreement with Microsoft that protects data, making it safe for sensitive data. Files are encrypted both at rest (in OneDrive storage) and in transit (between your workstation and the cloud). Office 365 is FERPA and HIPAA compliant.


Q. How do I create a new folder?

A. From a web browser, click on Files in the upper left-hand corner. Click on "New Folder". If you have installed the sync client, you can create a new folder just like you normally would on your local computer.


Q. How do I upload a file?

A. You can upload a document by logging on to your account with a browser, and dragging/dropping a document into your document depository in the area where it says "drag files here". You can also install the sync client. Once you have done that, it is just like a document library on your local computer.


Q. How do I share a file or folder?

A. To share a file or folder, click on the 3 dots next to the folder name (...) or click on the "lock" symbol. Select "Invite Others". To add users with EWU OneIDs, type in the user's last name and select from the directory.


Q. Can I share a file or folder with someone outside of EWU?

A. Yes, you'll just need their email address.


Q. How do I tell who I have shared a document with?

A. Highlight the file name and select the "group" symbol (looks like 3 users). You can see who you have shared a file with from here. You can also click the 3 dots next to the file name and it will open up "Share with" section.


Q. Can OneDrive do real-time online collaboration?

A. Yes, OneDrive can do real-time online collaboration. You have to open the document in Office Web Apps. In the upper right-hand corner, you will see when someone you shared the document with is also editing. You will see a flag while the other person is typing.


Q. Can I create a new document in the browser?

A. Yes, you can create a new document by clicking on "new document" in the main area of your document repository. It will automatically use Office Web Apps to create the document. You can switch to using your "full" Office application (e.g. Word) by going to the File menu and click on "open in Word". This will give you the full functionality of your local Office apps.


Q. What happens when I delete a file? Can I get it back?

A. When you delete a file, it goes into the Recycle Bin for 90 days. After 90 days, it gets deleted permanently. To get a file back from the recycle bin, go to the "gear" in the upper right-hand corner and select "Site Contents". The Recycle Bin is on the right. You may restore a file from there or permanently delete a file.


Q. Are there any training resources available?
A. Yes. There are videos in LinkedIn learning, which is available to all faculty, staff, and students. Microsoft has also published a number of videos to help you get started. Some links are included below: