Unlocking OneDrive’s Potential: Pro Tips for IT Administrators
Published Nov 27 2023 09:30 AM 7,734 Views

Whether you need to get up and running quickly with OneDrive, or you’re an experienced OneDrive admin, we’ve gathered a list of quick tips to help you streamline management, ensure your users and data are secure, and provide the best possible user experience. OneDrive can be managed from the SharePoint Online admin center, where you can configure internal and external sharing, set user access controls, manage default storage limits, enable user device notifications, specify retention policies, and manage sync controls. If you require SharePoint admin access, you can request it from your global admin. Now, let’s dive into the tips…

1. Set retention policies and labels

To comply with your specific industry regulations or internal policies that require you to retain content for a minimum period of time, or to reduce your risk in the event of litigation or a security breach, you can set retention policies and labels for all files stored in OneDrive. Retention and deletion policies can also help you ensure that users can stay focused and productive by working with content that’s current and relevant to them. Learn more about retention policies and labels.

2. Enable folder backup to add file protection and anywhere access

OneDrive’s folder backup feature (sometimes called known folder move) syncs your users' Desktop, Documents, and Pictures folders to the cloud, so they can access them from anywhere and protect them from loss. Learn more about OneDrive folder backup for Windows or MacOS.

3. Unlock secure sharing for your users

Accidental sharing of sensitive information or sharing with unintended recipients can pose a threat to the integrity and privacy of your data, people, and devices. OneDrive helps you define secure virtual perimeters for sharing content, educate people about your policies for secure collaboration, and monitor how people share to discover and address gaps. You can customize secure sharing in OneDrive for your internal organization and with external partners, vendors, clients or customers. Learn more about managing sharing settings for OneDrive.

4. Use information barriers for compliance or security

In certain circumstances you may need to restrict sharing and collaboration between different parts of your organization. For example, when one division is handling information that shouldn't be shared with specific other divisions. Sharing restrictions are often used in highly regulated industries with compliance requirements, such as finance, legal, and government. As an admin you can use Microsoft Purview Information Barriers (IB) to help restrict sharing and collaboration in OneDrive, so users won’t be able to find or select files they shouldn’t have access to or share sensitive files with restricted users or groups. Learn more about using information barriers with OneDrive.

5. Know the tools that prevent oversharing

To prevent inadvertent sharing you can empower your end user to easily classify content by using sensitivity labels. These labels can optionally have encryption to further protect the file from unintended use. Labels can be applied manually or via automation. Additionally, you can protect sensitive data such as financial data, proprietary data, credit card numbers, health records, or social security numbers by using data loss prevention policies (DLP).

• To implement DLP, you can define and apply DLP policies for OneDrive in Microsoft Purview. Learn about applying data loss prevention policies in OneDrive.
• To implement Sensitivity labels and encryption to protect your content read Enable sensitivity labels for Office files.
• To learn about other advanced security policies and reporting read SharePoint Advanced Management overview.


6. Expedite discovery with built-in eDiscovery

You can use the built-in tools in Microsoft Purview eDiscovery (Standard) to identify and deliver electronic information that can be used as evidence in legal cases. The Content Search feature enables you to search for content using keywork queries and search conditions, export search results, and set role-based permissions for eDiscovery. Other standard eDiscovery features include case management and legal hold. For organizations that need it, Microsoft Purview eDiscovery Premium also includes custodian management, legal hold notifications, advanced indexing, tagging, analytics, predictive coding models, and more. Learn more about Microsoft Purview eDiscovery for OneDrive.


7. See OneDrive file usage and activity at a glance

In the Microsoft 365 Reports dashboard, you can drill into your users’ OneDrive activity to get more information. The OneDrive card on the dashboard gives you a high-level view of the value you are getting from OneDrive in terms of the total number of files and storage used across your organization. You can then drill into it to get more granular insight about when users are syncing content, how they are interacting with their OneDrive folders and files, and how they’re collaborating with other internal and external users. You can view trends across time (up to 180 days), and you can export data into an Excel .csv file for further analysis. Learn more about OneDrive activity reporting.



OneDrive activity reports give you a high-level view of OneDrive usage in your organization.


8. Review audit logs and sharing reports

You can use sharing auditing in the Microsoft Purview Audit logs to review users’ sharing activity to discover any suspicious behavior or to investigate and troubleshoot user issues. These reports include information both about the users who are sharing content (acting users) and the users who are receiving the content or links (target users). The audit log includes information such as user, operation, and date, as well as detailed information about target users such as whether they are a guest or member of any Security or SharePoint groups. You can also export detailed reports for further investigation. Learn more about sharing auditing in the audit log.



OneDrive audit logs provide information and shared files in your organization.


9. Provide training and support for users

To help you get the most out of your Microsoft 365 investment, you’ll want to ensure users are adopting and getting the most out of OneDrive. Here’s a getting started guide that can help new and existing OneDrive users to work with and find files quickly and easily. Microsoft-OneDrive-quick-start-guide.pdf


10. Migrate content with support from Microsoft

Microsoft provides tools and resources to help you migrate your content to OneDrive, whether you’re moving content from on-premises to the cloud, from tenant to tenant, or from another cloud provider:

• If you’re moving content from on-premises SharePoint sites to Microsoft 365, you can use the free SharePoint and OneDrive Migration Tool.
• For migrations from on-prem file shares, or from other cloud providers, you can use the Migration Manager.
• For tenant to tenant mergers or migrations, see the steps and guidance provided in this Cross-Tenant documentation.
• If you need expert help migrating your data environment to Microsoft 365, you can contact FastTrack to see if you are eligible for this service. If you are eligible, FastTrack can help you plan your migration and apply best practices to your Microsoft 365 environment.

Lastly, we invite you to join our OneDrive customer office hours where you can ask questions and engage directly with the OneDrive product and engineering team. Additionally, you can sign up for the OneDrive newsletter to get monthly news, feature announcements, tips, and details about OneDrive events and podcast episodes.

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