As part of your access to Office 365/SharePoint Online, you also receive

  • Your BU OneDrive – 1 Terabyte of space where you can store files and share them with others
  • Access to Office Online – Web-based versions of all the applications in the Microsoft Office suite

BU OneDrive

Your BU OneDrive is an implementation of Microsoft’s OneDrive for Business. It is part of your SharePoint Personal Site, located in BU’s tenant in Microsoft’s cloud-based Office 365. You can synchronize files you store in the cloud to multiple Windows-based personal computers and access them from a wide variety of mobile devices. A synch tool for Macs is due by the end of 2015. You can also share files and folders with people both inside and outside Boston University. Learn more about OneDrive for Business, of which your BU OneDrive is an implementation, in The OneDrive Blog.

Once you are licensed for Office 365/SharePoint Online, you can access your BU OneDrive using the login instructions for SharePoint Online. The first time you log in, Office 365 will begin to provision your Personal Site. Once you are logged in to Office 365, click on the “waffle” icon just to the left of the words “Office 365″ in the top navigation bar to display the app launcher and then click on the “OneDrive” button. You should do this one time to initialize your BU OneDrive before trying to access it from inside an Office application such as Word.

FAQs and How-to’s

  • What’s the difference between OneDrive (the consumer version) and OneDrive for Business (your BU OneDrive)? You may already have a standalone consumer version OneDrive, or one that came as part of a personal Office 365 subscription, e.g., one that came with a new computer.
    • Your BU OneDrive will appear in Office Save/Open dialogues as “OneDrive – Boston University”
    • If you have a personal, consumer version of OneDrive, it will appear as “OneDrive – Personal”
    • Watch an entertaining video that explains the difference and helps you understand them both in the larger context of personal editions of Office 365 and enterprise versions, such as Office 365 for Education
  • Should I save my documents to my BU OneDrive or to a SharePoint team site? Think of the two this way:
    • My BU OneDrive is for *my* documents, some of which I may wish to share, selectively, with others.
    • A SharePoint team site is for *our* documents that we share together.

    You might also find this Microsoft article useful: Should I save my documents to my OneDrive for Business [BU OneDrive] or a team site?

  • Sync OneDrive for Business or SharePoint site libraries to your computer – Instructions for Windows OS – a synch tool for Macs was released at the end of 2015 and we are evaluating it now.
  • Get the OneDrive for Business app that’s right for you
    • 2015-07-10: Until recently, a local software issue made it unlikely that you would succeed in connecting to your BU OneDrive using an App on an iOS device (iPhone, iPad). Recently, we have had success in cases where both the iOS and OneDrive apps were at the latest versions, i.e., at least:
      • iOS 8.4
      • OneDrive app version 5.4.3 (note, the new version of the OneDrive app works for both the consumer version of OneDrive *and* OneDrive for Business, so be sure to use this app rather than the now obsolete OneDrive for Business app).
    • If upgrading to both of these does not work for you, you may continue use a web browser on your iOS device to access your BU OneDrive.
  • Sharing content internally and externally with OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online – Everything you ever wanted to know about sharing, presented at the Microsoft SharePoint 2014 Conference by two of the people who designed the new SharePoint Sharing capabilities.

Office Online

You can edit the files in your BU OneDrive or anywhere else in Office 365/SharePoint Online (but not on your desktop) using web-based versions of Microsoft Office applications, collectively known as Office Online. When you view the list of your online files in a web browser, simply click on a file to view it in the Office Online app; then, to edit it, choose “Edit in Online” from the “Edit Document” dropdown menu.

Office Online apps offer simultaneous editing, so you can collaborate in real time on files you share with others.

Note that Office Online is web-based, so you can only use Office Online apps within your web browser, to view and edit files in the cloud.

BU OneDrive and Office Online are available to all faculty and staff. Requests for student use, e.g., for research, must be made by faculty or staff.