Unveiling the Next Generation of OneDrive
Published Oct 03 2023 10:30 AM 164K Views

OneDrive has come a long way since it first launched as a cloud storage provider. OneDrive is now the center of your files experience in Microsoft 365. It goes beyond storing and protecting files. It also powers sharing, collaboration and file security, and it’s used by people and organizations big and small around the world. OneDrive hosts trillions of files, with nearly 2 billion more files added every day.

Now, OneDrive is adapting to meet your needs as the work landscape evolves. Today the files you work on span across OneDrive, extend to SharePoint document libraries, travel as attachments in meeting invites, and get exchanged through Teams chats. You need one place when you can easily find all the files, Loops, dashboards and design boards you need to work on, no matter where they live. Today, we’re officially unveiling the next generation of OneDrive where all your files are at your fingertips. The next generation of OneDrive includes new file views, governance controls, creation tools, and Copilot to help you quickly search, organize and extract information from your files. And, these new experiences aren’t just “in” OneDrive, they are coming to Teams and Outlook for a consistent and rich file experience across Microsoft 365. Let’s take a look at the next generation of OneDrive.


The October 3, 2023, event “Microsoft OneDrive: The Future of File Management is Here.”

Effortless File Management

The new OneDrive makes it easy to get back to all the files you’ve created as well as those shared with you. Finding the files you need is now easier than ever thanks to each of the features below that are available for you to use today in OneDrive for work and school.


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The next generation of OneDrive offers simple and fast access to your files and shared files.

OneDrive home: We’ve redesigned the home experience in OneDrive for Web to help you swiftly retrieve your files no matter where they live in your organization. Learn more.


For you: This section, at the top of the OneDrive home page, surfaces AI-powered file recommendations to you at the right time, so you have what you need at your fingertips.

Meetings view: The Meetings view shows your upcoming and past meetings along with meeting recordings and shared files. Whether these files were shared in chat or the meeting invite, you’ll find them all here. Learn more.

People view: Sometimes you don’t remember the name of a file, but you do remember the person who shared with you. Context is vital when looking for the right file. The People view organizes your files by the people you work with. Learn more.

Shared view: Any file that’s been shared with you, regardless of how it was shared or who shared it, now shows up in the Shared view. It’s your go to spot to get back to all the files you are collaborating on. Learn more.

Colorful folders: Express yourself by choosing the color of your folders and stay organized your way. Learn more.

Favorites: Keeping track of important files is now easier with Favorites. You can mark any file as a favorite and access it from your Favorites list across OneDrive, Teams, File Explorer, Microsoft 365 apps, and more. Learn more.

Shortcuts: For quick access to files shared with you or residing in shared team locations, just create a shortcut to them in your OneDrive. This simplifies collecting files for projects, regardless of their original location. Learn more.

Simplified sharing: Sharing files and copying links is now the most user-friendly it’s ever been, and there’s less clicks involved. Learn more.

Taken together these intuitive features streamline file access, enhance collaboration, and ultimately help you get more done in less time.


Coming soon to OneDrive

Today we’re announcing new features to assist you in file organization, access, and creation.


Open in app: In the same way that you can open a Word, PowerPoint or Excel file in their respective desktop apps, soon you’ll be able to open any file in its desktop app, edit it, and changes will sync to OneDrive. Want to make a quick edit to that PDF or CAD file? Now you can do it right from OneDrive, as a seamless experience. We expect this feature to become available worldwide by December. Learn more.

OneDrive in Teams: Part of the reinvention of OneDrive is a new approach to working with files in Teams. Coming this December we’re updating the Files app in Teams with our new OneDrive Teams app, providing clean access to all your files across SharePoint and OneDrive from Teams.  It takes advantage of all the recent updates made to OneDrive and SharePoint library experiences bringing you the benefits of performance improvements, new views, and feature enhancements in OneDrive.


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In the new Teams you’ll have direct access to the OneDrive app from the left-hand navigation.


OneDrive in Outlook: We’re soon adding the OneDrive app in the left navigation of the new Outlook for Windows and Outlook on the web. This addition makes it quick and easy to copy a sharing link and include it in an email or find a shared file…without leaving Outlook. We expect OneDrive to become available in Outlook by December.


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The OneDrive app will soon be easily accessible from Outlook.


Files On-Demand for Web: Offline file access and sync in fundamental to OneDrive. Now, we’re extending sync to the browser experience. When you want files and folders available for offline access on your device, just select them to be always available locally directly from OneDrive for Web. No more navigating away to Windows File Explorer or Mac Finder to perform this action. Once selected you’ll have offline access to these files. We expect this feature to become available worldwide in early 2024.


Offline mode: When your files are available for offline access you can open and work on them in your browser even if you are offline. All of the changes you make offline in the browser will be automatically synced back to OneDrive when your Internet connection is restored. Plus, you can launch OneDrive in your browser to view, sort, rename, move, copy, and delete files without internet access. We expect offline mode to become available worldwide in early 2024.


Add new: When you are ready to create a new file without leaving OneDrive just tap the “Add new” button. From here you can launch a blank document or choose from rich templates to jump-start your work. We expect to roll out this experience in Summer of 2024.


Create new files with rich templates right from OneDrive.


Media view: This new view will organize all your images, videos, and media in one place, and it lets you visually browse your content. We expect to release the Media view in Summer of 2024.


The new Media view in OneDrive will organize your videos and images in one place.


Copilot in OneDrive

AI is about to transform how you access, leverage and extract value from your files in Microsoft 365.


Copilot in OneDrive: As announced at Build in May and again in September we are bringing Copilot to your files in SharePoint and OneDrive so you can ask open-ended questions related to an individual file or get a summary of the content. And you can do this without opening the file and no matter where it lives, in OneDrive, SharePoint or Teams. We expect Copilot in OneDrive to become available by December for all customers who have a Microsoft 365 Copilot license.


Search for files with natural language, ask open-ended questions or a file summary with Copilot in OneDrive.

Microsoft 365 Chat: With Microsoft 365 Chat you can comb through your entire universe of Microsoft 365 data – including your files in OneDrive and SharePoint. Ask a question, and it will connect the dots across all your content to gather and deliver the information you need.

The future of Copilot in OneDrive: Now let's look at our vision for Copilot in OneDrive. We’re working on new Copilot skills that will help you find what you need and stay organized. Imagine you’ve just started working on a new project called Munson, and you need to quickly get up to speed. You ask Copilot, “Show all the files shared with me on Project Munson in the last week.” Once Copilot has helped you find the relevant files, it understands that you might benefit from adding them to a new folder. Copilot then adds these files to the new folder, and recommends other files related to Project Munson that were not part of your original search, so that you can add them to your newly created folder. What started as a simple natural language search has now resulted in your personal knowledge library on Project Munson.

When you want to share these files with other people, Copilot can generate summaries to include with the share links so your coworkers have more context. Lastly, Copilot can make it easier than ever to catchup on important updates to your content. Imagine seeing a daily digest in OneDrive that shows new files shared with you, changes to files you've shared, new comments, documents relevant to upcoming meetings, and suggestions for follow-up actions.

The future of Copilot in OneDrive will help you gather, manage and transfer knowledge in less time than ever. We are excited about the possibilities of Copilot and look forward to sharing more news in the months to come. Stay tuned to the OneDrive blog for more information.


Advanced Security and Governance

With the shift towards distributed work and the growth of file sharing, the importance of security has skyrocketed. The new tools available in the SharePoint Advanced Management (SAM) add-on empower admins to protect content from over-exposure, tighten access when needed, govern sharing, and even help migrate content safely during mergers and acquisitions. Each of the capabilities below are currently available to customers worldwide, unless otherwise noted.

Granular conditional access policies: You may want to fine tune the access requirements for people who use confidential files, so that they don’t accidentally access and leak sensitive information. For example, if a person often works with confidential files, you can now add multi-factor authentication to the site to impact only that person’s access requirements. 2 Learn more.


Restricted access control: As users share files, they give others inside and outside of your organization access to those files. The restricted access control policy for OneDrive lets you block people from accessing shared files in specific OneDrive accounts by limiting OneDrive access to members of a specific security group. For example, if you discover that people have access to certain confidential files you can fine tune the access so that only users in a specified security groups have access. 2 Learn more.

Moving OneDrive accounts across tenants: Mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures are a fact of life, and many organization go through them. In these scenarios, you may have a need to move OneDrive accounts from one tenant to another. Now with cross-tenant OneDrive migration, you can easily move OneDrive accounts across tenants and all existing sharing links will continue to work with the redirect feature. 2 Learn more.


Block download policy: As a SharePoint administrator or a Global administrator in Microsoft 365, you can block the download of files and Teams meeting recordings from SharePoint sites or OneDrive. This feature can be set for individual sites, but not at the organization level. When enabled users will have browser-only access with no ability to download, print, or sync files 2 Learn more.

Collaboration insights: External collaboration is the main source of data leakage due to accidental sharing. Now you can identify user centric collaboration and sharing patterns across your organization. This capability is currently in private preview, register for more information.


Data export for OneDrive sync client admin reports: For data-driven admins, we’re excited to announce that sync admin reports on volume, health, errors, and more will be available as part of Microsoft Graph Data Connect for SharePoint. Once the data is available in Azure, admins can analyze, visualize, and report on this data in a flexible way using Azure data tools like Azure Synapse and Power BI. We expect this feature to be available in public preview by January 2024.

These tools empower admins to protect content from intentional or unintentional exposure.


Improved search for consumer photos

If you use OneDrive in your personal life, we have exciting news around photo features that are coming to the consumer version of OneDrive. We’re making a big leap forward in how you find your important photos.

Search for people: The most important photos we have are of the people we care about, which is why we’re introducing a new feature that will let you search or browse photos based on people in them. With your permission, OneDrive can find photos based on the names you give to the people in your photos.


Soon you’ll be able to search for or browse by people in your OneDrive photos.


Search your photos using natural language: We’re also introducing natural language search in your photos experience. Just type what you are looking for and OneDrive will find it. This search goes far beyond object recognition, you can ask it to find specific places, settings, objects, and people all in one search. For example, if you are looking for a particular photo you can search for “camping in the fall, in the mountains with Caroline” and you’d see just the images you are looking for.


With natural language search in OneDrive you can quickly find the photos you want.

We’re rolling out these AI search features to consumers, in limited preview, beginning this month on OneDrive for Web and on the OneDrive Mobile app. We expect this feature to enter public preview early in 2024.

The next generation of OneDrive is here, and it’s now easier than ever to access, manage and use our content in Microsoft 365. Thank you for all your input and invaluable feedback along the way.


More resources:
OneDrive quick start guide
OneDrive SyncUp podcast
OneDrive newsletter sign up
OneDrive Office hours sign up

1 Requires a Microsoft 365 Copilot subscription.
2 Requires a SharePoint Advanced Management subscription

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‎Oct 06 2023 09:18 AM
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