OneDrive for Business: First Experiences

An email went out at the large college where I am an administrator and teach a psychology class or two: “OneDrive for Business is now available for everyone, rejoice.” (OK, I added the “rejoice.”). I immediately installed it on my work MacBook Pro and it didn’t work. First, I had to sign out of Microsoft 365 and restart my laptop. Then, OneDrive didn’t think it was online. I emailed Microsoft and had a response in about 5 minutes! The difference emailing from an enterprise account makes. Their step by step instructions worked.

I still don’t have it working on my personal MacBook Pro, because our network security people require you to be hardwired to the network to authenticate on a computer, but not on a phone or tablet. Of course, connecting your personal equipment to the network is forbidden. Also, our network security has decided that you can’t share files for anyone outside of the college.

So OneDrive is not a solution for me. Also, I have to say I don’t trust OneDrive to work and not give me these errors. I can see me being at a conference ready to present and getting an error message that OneDrive has installed an update and I need to connect to the college network to re-authenticate. This is why I begrudgingly pay for Dropbox, it just works and I have never had errors of any kind.

The one device where OneDrive installed and worked flawlessly… my iPad Pro. No issues at all.

My university (where I study, not work) has something similar for our Office 365 deal. You’re not supposed to be able to sign in on a desktop. They weren’t pleased when I told them it works perfectly on macOS :rofl: (Somehow they didn’t disable it correctly.)

Not being able to share outside of your college seems like a poor decision, don’t you collaborate with other institutions?

OneDrive never really worked reliable on a Mac.
Also many functions from the Windows counterpart are missing.
Using Dropbox initially, I switched to Box and found this to work better with my team and cross platform.

My experience is that, every fall when iOS and macOS get their annual major upgrades, OneDrive gets weird for a while on those platforms even though, by then, it’s been months since WWDC and there’s obviously been plenty of time for Microsoft to get ready for the new versions.

My only use of OneDrive these days on my Mac is to be one of the two online places to which I backup from Arq, since my Office 365 subscription includes a terabyte of storage and I’m not using it for much else. For backup, it’s OK; for syncing from Apple devices, not so much. YMMV, of course.

Seems like this is more of a problem with your institution’s implementation of OneDrive (or the license that forces this behavior) than OneDrive itself.

For what it’s worth, OneDrive (as part of 365) has been bulletproof for me.

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Same here. Very good experiences with OneDrive (family plan) for me. Knock on wood…

I find OneDrive for Business sluggish on my Windows 10 PC at work, but it’s possible that I’m just asking too much of it or our upstream internet connection is holding it back. I have a few major changes coming soon with how the company has my computer set up and expect weird stuff to happen related to OneDrive.

I have been using it for automations and sharing and have had zero issues. My home server always syncs straight away and it works seamlessly with my laptop.

I get an unrestricted account from my work so have not seen any of the issues you describe. It seems that the problems stem from the implementation at your work and do not reflect OneDrive for most users.

You’re right about the implementation being the source of most if not all of the problems! Would love to have an unrestricted account.

I tried to explain the need to work with other colleges, etc. The solution I was offered was Microsoft Teams (I haven’t looked at it yet). I set up a team, then email IT with a list of email addresses of outside people I want to access it. All of this security, and yet many departments just give up and use set up a Google account to collaborate.

And this usually goes against everything IT was supposed to be fixing in the first place, yay for bureaucracy! :wink:

OneDrive is excellent if you’re using the iOS Office Suite though.

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Non of my clients successfully used or liked it.
Drop Box has the clear lead!

Why didn’t they successfully use or like it?

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Confusing to use, clunky just did not like it.

Interesting as I find it operates basically the same as Dropbox.

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For the user, that’s more or less true. However:

  • Dropbox can sync files between computers on the same LAN without uploading to the server and then downloading. OneDrive does not, AFAICT
  • Dropbox seems to only send the changed portions of a file over the wire, up to a certain threshold. OneDrive has to re-upload the whole file every time. Not a big deal if you’re working with MS Office docs; if you’re working with files measuring in the tens or hundreds of megabytes, it can make things very slow.

My work IT department has blocked access to Dropbox from our PC based computers. This made for some significant challenges in my workflow with my iPad as I had used Dropbox syncing as a critical part. With the company purchasing Office 365 access, I now have great integration through both my Mac at home, my iPad Pro and my Microsoft Surface Pro (whose pencil has no where close to the tactile response of an Apple Pencil). The integration Microsoft has done on both the iOS and Mac applications is great. Now if we could get some of the Apple developers to utilize either Webdav or OneDrive for their syncing solutions, and not just Dropbox or iTunes ( ie. Scrivener for iPad).

Thanks for the explanation! I didn’t know that about Dropbox over the LAN. That’s pretty slick!