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OneDrive: Easy, Secure Storage of Your Personal Files


Moving Your Data From Homespace to OneDrive

With the impending retirement of the HomeSpace system, we urge you to move your personal files from Homespace to OneDrive as soon as you can. Click here for instructions on how to retrieve files from HomeSpace and put them on OneDrive.

Store and Work on OneDrive

Formerly, we recommended backing up your personal files on HomeSpace; with the enhanced functionality of OneDrive, we recommend that you store your personal files in OneDrive, and open them through OneDrive to work on them.

With OneDrive, many of your files will never be saved to your personal computer or device at all. The exceptions, of course, will be any files not associated with the Office 365 applications, and any files you will need to work with while disconnected from the Internet. Even these files are best stored on OneDrive, downloaded to work on only when necessary, then returned to OneDrive.

In OneDrive, you are allotted one terabyte of file storage, a capacity as great as that of many computers' hard drives. And the data on OneDrive is stored securely and backed up securely in the Office 365 system, keeping it safer than you might be able to.

How to Access OneDrive

screenshot of Outlook online, showing the OneDrive icon

To access the web version of OneDrive,

  • open any web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Internet Explorer, etc.)​;
  • login to your University of Toronto email account​;
  • click the App Launcher (9-tile or waffle) icon located in the upper left corner​;
  • locate the OneDrive icon and click it to open the OneDrive wep application



Uploading Your Files

You can upload almost any kind of file to OneDrive, including

  • Documents​
  • Powerpoint presentation​s
  • Spreadsheet​s
  • Photos​
  • Research analyses
  • Music and videos ​

screenshot of OneDrive upload folder

Notice the menu choices under Upload on the OneDrive toolbar. You will gain efficiency if you upload whole folders full of files at once, rather than a single file at a time, whenever possible.

Be aware that the largest filesize or foldersize you can upload at once is 100 gigabytes.

Creating New Files and Editing Files

Because OneDrive is part of the Office 365 suite, it offers a great deal more than file storage. In OneDrive, you can create new fies in any of the familar Microsoft Office formats (e.g., Word, Excel. PowerPoint), and you can edit those files from inside OneDrive.

To create a new file or folder, click New on the OneDrive toolbar and select whatever you wish to create.

screenshot of the OneDrive new file menu

To edit any file you have created, simply click on its filename in OneDrive, and it will open in its associated Office 365 online application.

Sharing Files Through OneDrive

With OneDrive, you can share files with others. There are different methods of doing so, each having different results. In addition to the notes below, see Microsoft's more detailed page about file sharing in OneDrive.

1. Access that will expire after thirty days

To give others temporary access to your files, you can provide them with a link to the file. To do so, follow these steps.

  1. Select the file in OneDrive and click Share on the OneDrive Toolbar.
  2. In the Link Settings window, select either Anyone with the link or People in the University of Toronto with the link.
  3. When you click the Apply button, you will be able to enter the email addresses of the people you want to send the link to. 
  4. At this point, you can alternatively choose to copy the link for pasting into a message, document, or web page, where those who click it will get access. 

This link will continue to work for only thirty days. If you want to share any of your own files on a more permanent basis, use method 2.

2. Access that will not expire

Permanent access is given using the same tools as the temporary access in method 1, but different options are selected.

  1. Select the file in OneDrive and click Share on the OneDrive Toolbar.
  2. In the Link Settings window, select Specific people.
  3. When you click the Apply button, you will be able to enter the email addresses of the people you want to share with.
  4. If you choose to copy the link and send it to people through other channels, the link will still only work for those whom you have specified here.

As the owner of this file in your OneDrive account, you can take away the access you grant, at any time.

Access that will expire:
Screenshot, link settings, temporary, for anyone
Access that will not expire:
screenshot: Link Settings, permanent, for specified people