UA OneDrive for Business is the University of Alaska's branding of the Microsoft Office
365 OneDrive for Business, an online service that provides resources for file storage,
collaboration, and communication with other UA individuals. The OneDrive for Business
service, aimed at enterprise users, is not the same as the OneDrive service offered
by Microsoft to individuals. For information on the differences, visit Microsoft's
What Is OneDrive for Business page and read the section titled How is OneDrive for Business different from OneDrive.
OneDrive for Business is a personal document and file storage hub. It's easy to upload,
download, and share files. You can also create, view, and edit documents online using
the integrated Office Online applications, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. For those
times you need the complete set of Office features, you can open your files in the
full version of the applications and save them to your hard drive or back to the cloud.
Because OneDrive for Business is associated with your relationship to the University
of Alaska, everything stored in it will be inaccessible should you leave the university.
For this reason, it's best to use it to store materials that are your own personal
university related (e.g. homework, business) use, like OneNote notebooks. For storing
materials that are important for departments, schools, colleges, or other groups at
the university indefinitely please consider using a SharePoint Online site instead.
OneDrive for Business is included in the University's Microsoft campus agreement for
all current UA students, staff and faculty.
- UA OneDrive for Business is enabled automatically for all current UA students, staff,
When you leave the University of Alaska:
- Faculty and Staff access to UA OneDrive for Business is disabled automatically after
14 days from their employment end date.
- Student access is disabled automatically after 1 year from their last active course
Store and share files
- Store up to 5 TB of data in the cloud.
- 15 GB maximum file size.
- Any files created in Office Online are automatically backed up in your OneDrive space.
- Easily recover deleted documents or roll back to previous versions.
- Share files with anyone across the University of Alaska system
Access and synchronize files easily
- Access files using a Web browser or mobile device.
- Access files directly from Microsoft Office desktop applications (with appropriate
client software installed).
- Synchronize your local files in UA OneDrive for Business.
- Keep folder and file names short.
- Keep nested folder depth to a minimum.
- Review sharing/permissions at the beginning of each semester.
Create and edit Microsoft Office files in the cloud with Office Web Apps
OneDrive for Business works well with all major, current web browsers. To access your
UA OneDrive for Business just point your browser to https://portal.office.com and sign-in with your UA username (e.g. UaUsername@alaska.edu) and password. Click the App Launcher icon in the upper left (it is made up of nine squares), and select the OneDrive tile.
Alternatively, OneDrive for Business also comes with the ability to sync your files
and folders to your desktop or mobile device.
To create a new document, click the + New icon, then select the desired file type. To open a file or folder, click on its name. To share a document, while viewing it in Office Online, click the + Share, enter the people you would like to share it with and whether they should be able
to edit or just read, then click + Share.
To go back to a prior version of a document, while looking at the list of documents,
hover over the desired document, then click the circle to the left of its name. Select the ellipse (...) from the menu above the list, then click Version history.
To retrieve a recently deleted document, click Recycle bin in the left-hand menu.
OneDrive for Business client guides
Information from Microsoft
Microsoft provides extensive online help for OneDrive for Business. When using OneDrive
for Business, click the question mark icon in the upper-right corner of the browser
window to access Microsoft help.
Other useful information from Microsoft:
Frequently Asked Questions
How much space do I get in my UA OneDrive for Business storage area?
Each individual has 5 TB of space available.
Is there a size limit on the files that can be uploaded?
Yes, the largest individual file is 15 GB - 1 byte.
Why do I see references to SharePoint, SharePoint Online, and/or SkyDrive Pro?
Microsoft originally released OneDrive for Business service under the name SkyDrive
Pro. In February 2014, Microsoft changed the name to OneDrive for Business. Regardless
of which name they use for the service, the underlining technology which supports
the service is called SharePoint Online.
How can I choose which OneDrive content to sync to my computer, tablet, or smartphone?
If you don't want to sync all of your folders, and files in OneDrive to your computer,
you can specify which content you'd like to sync.
In the case of Android, and iOS devices (e.g. tablets and smartphones) the OneDrive
client by default does not sync any content locally, instead opting to use a Wi-Fi
or Cellular data connection to access the individual's online OneDrive storage. With
these devices you can optionally select which files to make available for offline
- If you uncheck a folder you are syncing to your computer, the folder will be removed
from your computer. The folder and its contents will still be available online.
- The sync settings you choose are unique to each computer unless you're syncing everything
everywhere. Also, if you're choosing folders on two computers and you create a new
folder on computer A that you want to sync to computer B, you'll need to go to computer
B and select the new folder there.
Is there a limit to the number of items that can be synced?
Although SharePoint Online can store 30 million documents per library, the sync performance
of OneDrive may start to decline when you store more than 100,000 files in a single
OneDrive for Business site/library. If you have more than 100,000 files in a OneDrive
for Business site, you may need to wait an extended period of time with OneDrive continuously
syncing before sync can complete.
Is there a character limit for file and/or folder names?
In SharePoint Online, file name paths can have up to 400 characters. The limit may
be less than 400 characters in some scenarios, especially if you have a very long
URL path for the library.
Are there any characters which cannot be used in the file or folder name?
The following characters are not supported when you sync files with OneDrive for Business.
< > : " | ? * / \
Also do not start a file name with a tilde (~) character, nor name a folder _t, or
_w. Additionally, you may not have a folder named "forms" at the root level of OneDrive.
Are there any invalid or blocked file types with OneDrive for Business?
There are not blocked files in OneDrive for Business, through there are some restrictions.
For security reasons, a number of file names and extensions can't be uploaded since
they are executable, used by SharePoint Server, or used by Windows itself. Additionally,
you can't upload types of files that are blocked on the SharePoint site. For more
information, see Microsoft's support article on Types of files that cannot be added to a list or library.
Can open files be synced?
A file that's currently opened by an application can't be synced by OneDrive for Business.
To sync the file, close the application where the file is currently being used, and
then sync the file.
This limitation doesn't apply to co-authoring scenarios when you use the Microsoft
Customize How You Sync Your Documents
If you want to sync a different set of Office 365 files, click Sync A Different Library
Instead and then provide the URL of the library. You'll be prompted for an account
and password that can access that library. Alternatively Use your Web Browser and
navigate to the library you wish to sync and select Sync.
What happens if I delete a file? Can it be recovered?
If you delete a file stored in OneDrive for Business, it will be in your OneDrive
for Business recycle bin for 365 days. During this 365 day period you can "un-delete"
the file be accessing your OneDrive for Business through the a web browsers and clicking on the Recycle Bin link on the left, selecting the desired file(s) and clicking the Restore button. After the 365-day window, it is gone and can not be recovered. There is no
Checking the Status of Your Files
- A green check on a folder means that it has been successfully synced.
- A blue circular arrow means it is currently being synced.
- A red arrow indicates a folder or file that is out of sync.
- Once the file synchronization starts you can click on the Show My Files button and
open the local folder to see the files that are being synced.
More than one person can have a shared file open at the same time, this will be indicated
one of two ways.
If you have the document open in the installed application on your computer, there
should be an indicator at the bottom of the application window similar to this:
Clicking on the icon will display a list of the users that have the document open
When changes are made to a document by one user they are noted in the Web App by an
icon. If you mouse over the icon it will tell you that changes have been made to the
document and that saving the document will refresh and show you those changes.
In the Web App, you can click UPDATES AVAILABLE link in the information bar at the
bottom of the browser window to refresh the page.
Then the other user's changes will be highlighted with a green overlay.
Why am I prompted to login sometimes and not at other times?
Windows workstations owned by the University of Alaska Anchorage and joined to the
UA Active Directory domain are configured to support single sign-on with Office 365
services. If you've signed into the workstation with your UA Username and password
you should automatically gain access to all Office 365 related services without the
need to sign-in again.
Accessing Office 365 services, such as OneDrive for Business, from workstations not
joined to the domain, or not able to support single sign-on will result in a prompt
to login with your UA Username and password.
Is the data held securely? Is OneDrive for Business suitable for storing documents
which include personal data?
Yes. Data held in OneDrive for Business is encrypted at rest. It is also encrypted
when in transit: being copied into, or downloaded from OneDrive for Business.
Encryption at rest includes two components: BitLocker disk-level encryption and per-file
encryption of user data. Further, every update to every file is encrypted using its
own encryption key.
I'd like to keep my files private. What do I need to do?
By default, any files you put into OneDrive for Business are only available to you.
They are help privately. To make them available to other users, you would need to
If I'm using OneDrive for Business to share files, do I need to consider the copyright
applying to those files?
Yes, depending on what you are sharing and who you are sharing it with, copyright
may apply. Make sure you have the rights to share the material if there is copyright
in it. You should not be using OneDrive for Business to share your music and/or video
collection with your friends.
How can I check what I'm sharing to make sure I'm still not making something available
to someone who does not need to see it?
We recommend regular review of your shared documents. You should turn off sharing
when collaboration has concluded. More information about sharing is available from