Microsoft OneDrive provides secure cloud storage as part of Office 365. It is a personal storage service in which all files are associated with individual IT accounts. You can access your files from anywhere via a web browser, mobile apps and from your PC or Mac.

You can access OneDrive on any device by going to lancaster.ac.uk/office365 and logging in using WebLogin.



To increase the security of your data and communications in Office 365, you should enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) on your IT account if you have not already done so.

Looking for help with using OneDrive? Access the Managing files with Microsoft OneDrive online course or register for a OneDrive training session.

We also recommend joining the Office 365 User Group where you can get updates on the latest features, understand best practice around the University and post your own questions about OneDrive and other Office 365 apps.



Frequently asked questions

 Should OneDrive be used for all files?

OneDrive is provided for secure cloud storage of your files. All of the files in it are associated with individual IT accounts, so it should not be used for all files, or for archiving information, as your OneDrive account and files are deleted when you leave the University.

Various other services are available for storing university data (for example departmental files, research data etc), such as Microsoft Teams.

For information about all file storage services and guidance about which service is best to use in what circumstance, see File storage, sharing and collaboration services.




 What apps can be used to access OneDrive? Can I get access in File Explorer?

You can use OneDrive apps to access your files on Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad and Android.

The OneDrive app for Windows is already installed by default. You should download the apps for Mac, iPhone, iPad and Android from your devices app store, then log in using WebLogin.

Instructions for getting access to your files via File Explorer (Windows) and Finder (Mac) are available: Accessing OneDrive and Teams files in File Explorer or Finder.




 Is there a difference between OneDrive and Teams? Which one should I use?

 Video explaining difference between Teams and OneDrive

OneDrive is a service for storing your files. Files are owned by individuals, though others can be invited to folders as collaborators if desired and files can be shared using links. As files are owned by individuals, your files are deleted when you leave the university.

Teams is designed for wider collaboration beyond just files, including on-going conversations, collaborating on planning, linking to other content such as web content and holding online meetings. It allows groups to be formed across departmental boundaries to collaborate. Files stored in Teams aren't owned by any single user, but can be updated, discussed and distributed by all members of the Team.

OneDrive

Teams

Personal filestore

Group / Team filestore & wider feature set

Associated with individual IT accounts – deleted when you leave

Not associated with individual IT accounts – not deleted when you leave

Can share your files with others

Can collaborate on Team files with the Team

Can share Team files widely with the university

Security, methods of access and features are the same across both

Quota level 2TB per person for OneDrive, 250TB per Teams team


For more information about Teams see Microsoft Teams help and training.




 What classifications of information can be stored in OneDrive?

You can store Ordinary, Confidential, Restricted and Personal information in OneDrive, including special category personal information.

Restricted and Personal information must have appropriate access permissions set if sharing files.

When sharing personal data externally a data sharing agreement or contract with GDPR clauses should typically be in place (unless we have consent of the individuals). These should be in place for any data sharing arrangements that are already set up, but you are advised to check it is the case. For any new arrangements, the Information Governance Team can be contacted for advice.


Note that you are responsible for the security of data that you store, share and access in cloud services such as OneDrive, and should take particular care when working with confidential, restricted and personal data.

See the Security of data and information for further information when storing, sharing and transferring information.




 Who else can access my data?

You have control over who can access files within your folders. The owner of any folders shared with you is responsible for controlling access to those folders.

You are able to check who has access to files in your folders through the OneDrive web application.

 Check who has permissions on a shared folder in OneDrive

  1. In the OneDrive web app, navigate to the shared folder.

  2. Hover over the folder, click Show actions () then click Details.

  3. In the Details pane to the right, you can see what users and groups have access to the shared folder under the Has Access heading.

  4. To change permission levels or remove permissions, click Manage access to open the permissions panel.


Note that your OneDrive files are deleted when you leave the University and there is no method for recovering the deleted files of someone who has left.

For more on how to handle data please see our guidance on the Security of data and information.




 Can I share files with people outside the University?

You are able to collaborate on files with named external collaborators without them needing a University IT account.Inviting an external collaborator works the same way as inviting a member of the University - you just use their external email address to invite them. Instructions on how to share folders is shown in the Sharing section of the Managing files with Microsoft OneDrive online course. Instructions for external parties on how to accept sharing invites are available at: External collaboration with Microsoft OneDrive.

When sharing personal data externally a data sharing agreement or contract with GDPR clauses should typically be in place (unless we have consent of the individuals). These should be in place for any data sharing arrangements that are already set up, but you are advised to check it is the case. For any new arrangements, the Information Governance Team can be contacted for advice.

You can't use OneDrive for creating publicly accessible links to files. For further advice about how to publish files, see File storage, sharing and collaboration services.




 Is my data stored in the EU / on site at Lancaster University?

Data is stored in the United Kingdom by Microsoft and is GDPR compliant.




 Are there any file size limits on OneDrive?

The overall default quota limit is 2TB per user. Individual file upload size limit is currently 15GB.




 Do I need to use the VPN for OneDrive access off campus?

No, you don't need to use the VPN to access any Office 365 service.




 How can I avoid the risk of downloading data to personal devices?

Files that you share or access in OneDrive can be downloaded to other devices by default. Most of the time that’s likely to be what is wanted, but in some cases (e.g. for confidential, restricted and personal data) you may wish to disable download.

Files that you share

To prevent a file that you share being downloaded from OneDrive you can:

 Edit sharing settings to block collaborators downloading a file from a folder

When inviting new collaborators, set invitee permissions to block collaborators downloading files from a folder:

  1. Select the OneDrive folder/file to be shared.

  2. From the toolbar at the top, click Share, and click on the option to edit sharing settings where it says 'Only the people you specify who have this link can edit'.

  3.  Set the link settings to either:

    • Anyone with the link
    • People in Lancaster University with the link

    You cannot block download for People with existing access or Specific People.


  4. Turn on Block Download (Allow editing must be unchecked), and select Apply.





Files that you access

If you access files from OneDrive, and you use OneDrive Desktop App, you may be unintentionally downloading files to the device you’re using. To prevent this, you will need to deselect the files and folders visible for syncing in the App settings.

 Deselecting files and folders for syncing
  1. Open the OneDrive desktop window by clicking on the OneDrive icon on the taskbar of your computer.



  2. Click More, and then click Settings.



  3. On the Account tab, click on Choose folders next to the location you want to deselect items for syncing.



  4. Deselect the items you want to be unavailable for syncing onto your computer, and click OK.


Note that you are responsible for the security of data that you store, share and access in cloud services such as OneDrive, and should take particular care when working with confidential, restricted and personal data.



 What happens to files stored in OneDrive when someone leaves the university?

OneDrive accounts are associated with individual Lancaster University IT accounts. When you no longer have access to your IT account, you will also have no access to your OneDrive account. For staff, this will be on the day you leave. For students, this will be 3 months after you leave.

You should ensure any private, personal files that you wish to keep are transferred elsewhere prior to leaving.

Any University files stored in OneDrive are always associated with one particular individual, known as the owner of a folder. If there are any folders of which you are currently the owner to which other members of the university require continued access after you leave, you should follow the advice below.

Prior to leaving

You should transfer the contents of OneDrive folders that need to be retained by the University either to a team or to other members of the university prior to leaving.

For guidance, see: Moving files between different file storage services or alternatively Changing ownership of a Microsoft OneDrive folder.

After leaving

If a member of the university has already left and prior to leaving did not transfer the ownership of their folders, you can follow this process to gain access:

Ask your Head of Department to make a request, stating:

  • The specific folder(s) to be transferred (blanket requests for access will not be considered)
  • The name of the person to whom ownership should be transferred
    • In a folder which is already shared, this must be one of the people who currently has access




 Why do I have a FromBox folder? Can I move files out of it?

You can move files out of your FromBox folder if you wish. This folder was created and used as part of the move of files from Box to OneDrive, but doesn't need to be used going forward.

To move files out of the FromBox folder, go to lancaster.ac.uk/office365 and select OneDrive. Open your FromBox folder and find the folder you wish to move. Select the ... menu and select Move. Select the destination you want to move the folder to.

As long as you use this method for moving folders, the access other collaborators have to folders, or any shared links you have set up for folders, will continue to work as they did before you moved them out of the FromBox folder.




 Why is Box Orphan or Box Special the owner of one of my folders?

In these cases, these folders were moved from Box to OneDrive in March 2020. The person who owned the folder in Box had left the university and the files were moved to special accounts to avoid loss of data.

If you see a shared folder for which an 'orphan', 'special' or similar account is the owner in OneDrive, please make a request to take ownership of the folder.




 Where can I find out more about records management, retention and governance for university data?