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OneDrive and SharePoint Best Practices

What is OneDrive? 

OneDrive for business is a cloud storage service provided by Microsoft for your personal work files. OneDrive serves as individual storage space. It is valuable to use for documents the only involve you or are only meant for you, such as: 

  • Documents that you are in the process of creating before sharing 
  • Records sent to you for review 
  • Personal records such as a resumé 

This is similar to a home (F:) drive. Unlike a home drive, however, end-users are able to grant access to their OneDrive to others. 

Anybody granted access to a file in OneDrive with editing privileges can share that file with others. If you anticipate a file needing to be accessed by a large group of people, move it to your Teams site or other shared repository instead of keeping it in your OneDrive.


  • OneDrive reduces the reliance on email and therefore reduces email overload. 
  • By allowing web-based access, OneDrive eliminates the need to email files to yourself or download copies. 
  • Multiple people can edit a document remotely. 
  • Users can access their personal OneDrive accounts via the web without having to use a VPN to log into their desktop.  

OneDrive, MS Teams, and SharePoint 

OneDrive, MS Teams, and SharePoint form a network of functionality within the Office 365 ecosystem. It is important to use the appropriate platform when working on, sharing, and storing university records.


Acts as cloud storage for: 

  • Documents requiring collaboration but not other functionality associated with a Teams site. 
  • University documents not ready to be shared. 
  • Copies of university records whose originals are stored elsewhere (for example, unit to unit sharing as a better alternative to email). 

Records shared via OneDrive remain connected to their original owner. If you leave UFV and your account is removed, the original files will be difficult to recover if they had not already been stored elsewhere. Additionally, extensive sharing through OneDrive will create a complicated network of permissions since unique permissions will be set for each individual file and/or folder that is shared. 

MS Teams 

MS Teams is a collaborative tool that uses Channels, posts, and tags to enhance its functionality. The files uploaded within a Teams Channel are stored in an associated SharePoint site which can be accessed through the Teams page. 

Chats (Instant Messaging) 

Files shared in private chats (one-to-one or one-to-many) in Teams are subject to a 180-day destruction schedule. This does not include official Channels!

SharePoint Teams Sites

SharePoint acts as the storage location for anything uploaded to Teams channels or channel posts. All members of a Teams site have access to these document libraries. 

SharePoint Online Communication Sites or UFV Network Drive

Communication sites, when deployed and properly configured, are cloud-based repositories intended for storage and sharing of university records and information. Communication sites are intended to be accessed by a group of people who require access to a unit’s documents where rapid, remote or simultaneous access is beneficial. Communication sites can act as a unit’s long-term records repository for digital files because they are not subject to the same expiration rules as Team sites or OneDrive for Business document libraries, and avoid creating silos of university information and records. 

UFV's Records Management Office recommends that UFV's (G:) Drive is still the appropriate place to store your records long-term. While a well-managed SharePoint Online Communication site can act as a unit's long-term records storage, UFV has not fully moved to using SharePoint as a complete document management system. Our (G:) drives still serve as the primary storage tool for digital records. Whichever tool you choose, consistency is key. Managing records in multiple locations can become unruly!

Unless a unit has defined their recordkeeping system in SharePoint or another collaboration system, units using such applications for team collaboration should always consider the records in the system as a copy of what exists on the centralized (G:) drive. Use the same method of organizing the libraries and naming documents on SharePoint as on the (G:). Doing so will ensure that any bulk movement between systems is simple and seamless.

Be sure that any new or existing SharePoint site also has a named recordkeeper responsible for managing the site’s permissions and documents.

Managing Records in OneDrive

Your OneDrive is not meant to be a central location for storing university records. Records must be transferred to approved central storage locations or collaboration sites when documents are ready for review or for sharing. When staff leave the university it is more complicated to recover records from your personal storage.

What to Store in OneDrive

  • Information about you as an individual such as your resume or contract
  • Early drafts of document not yet ready for review
  • Personal research

What not to Store in OneDrive

  • Documents meant to be access by a team
  • Official documents
  • Personal materials not associated with UFVpage4image3814051248 page4image3814051536

Tips / Recommendations 

  • Have a schedule for reviewing and cleaning your OneDrive. Transfer records out of OneDrive and into your central repository regularly. 
  • Follow similar naming conventions and folder structures in your OneDrive as are used within your organization’s shared network drive. 
  • When leaving a position, transfer any relevant records to your unit’s central repository according to standard offboarding procedures, then delete all remaining material.
  • University records and information must be managed no matter where they are kept. Do not allow any system or repository to become a dumping ground for files!
  • The University’s records retention schedules must be applied to all university records regardless of where they are maintained. Premature or otherwise inappropriate destruction of university records is unacceptable.
  • When using Office 365 tools, access must be actively managed and reviewed on an ongoing basis. Updating access when changes to unit staffing occurs is critical.