Enterprise icon vs OneDrive icon

Iron Contributor

What are the rules on the icons (and placement) when OneDrive is synced with File Explorer? I have my OneDrive synced and another that is shared with me under different hierarchies - all very confusing.


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15 Replies

I'm pretty sure @Salvatore Biscari can help here :)

AFAIK, the icons put in the left bar by NGSC should follow these rules:

  1. Blue cloud named "OneDrive - Personal" contains data synced from OneDrive consumer. There should be only one, because NGSC allows to sync only one OneDrive consumer account.
  2. Blue cloud named "OneDrive - <Tenant>" contains data synced from ODfB in the tenant <Tenant>. As you can see, there can be several of them, because NGSC allows to sync more than one ODfB account from different tenants.
  3. Blue building named "<Tenant>" contains data sinced from SPO in the tenant <Tenant>. This includes TeamSites, Groups and Shared with Me from the tenant <Tenant>. There can be several of them because NGSC allows to sinc SPO doclibs from different tenants.

The NGSC icons arre arranged alphabetically in their section.

Hope it helps...

Thanks for the rules ... I think they should be changed :) as content from the same location should always go under the building icon. I know we still have OneDrive and SharePoint as different things but content from the same URL should be in the same place
Ping ... so who do we need to talk to about getting these icon / rules consistent?

Hi David, 

I can appreciate it when you say that OneDrive for Business content and SharePoint content both originate under the same tenant, and so could be combined within the FIle Explorer under the same icon. 

Perhaps Microsoft will end up doing that in the future.

I think there are good reasons, however, for them to be separated, and fo rthe time being, when I teach others about how to best leverage synchronized files from OneDrive for Business and from SharePoint, I point out a few differences. (I'm not speaking about OneDrive (consumer) in this post, so I'll use "OneDrive" in place of "OneDrive for Business" going forward here).


Custodian of File Permissions

The origin/ownership of a file is signifcant from a permissions point of view.
Whether a file is in "MY FILESPACE (MYWORK)" (OneDrive) or in a "SHARED FILESPACE (OURWORK)" (SharePoint document libraries) is very significant. When teaching a user how to think about permissions, the user is completely responsible for sharing and permissions management for their individual OneDrive files. This custodial relationship is not the same for SharePoitn document libraries, which pertain to the site owner(s), not the individual user.


Compliance Rules and Impact

As content labeling and retention/deletion rules start to come into awareness across customers, a user will find comfort in being able to easily determine the difference between their own filespace and a shared filespace.


Work In Process and Individual File Storage

Users can be taught to understand that their OneDrive also serves as a convenient Work in Process storage area for their individual documents, and that when they are ready to publish to a shared work area, that SharePoint document libraries are a good place for that.


Within the Windows file explorer, the icons used to distinguish these can be leveraged to make a difference here.  Even if Microsoft, in its wisdom, decides to combines the icons into one (or allows a tiny corporate logo to be used in its place, on a per-tenant level), these concepts of the separation of MYWORK and OURWORK will need to be taught and explained. 


You may also have other, tenant-specific, categories for distinguishing the differences between OneDrive and SharePoint storage in the file explorer. 


I couldn't find a UserVoice entry for making the icons the same in this group (https://onedrive.uservoice.com/forums/262982-onedrive/category/86090-onedrive-for-business), so you might want to create a suggestion there. That might be the right way to further the conversation.


Have a great week.




Owen, thanks for keeping the discussion alive and great comments. My original point however was that similar content with the same url structure is under different icons. If you look closely at the screenshot you will see: tenantA-my,sharepoint.com/personal/user1 under the building icon tenantA-my.sharepoint.com/personal/user2 under the cloud icon Both windows clearly also show they are Office 365 OneDrive windows. This is wrong.

Hi David.

I hear you, but the current logic is clear to me: what is under OneDrive - <sometenant> is your personal (work) stuff, while what is under <sometenant> is shared with you by someone else or anyway not just  your personal stuff.

To be honest, I don't think that this will be changed anytime soon... ;)

Hi David, 

I did not notice that in the original post - thanks for pointing that out! I wonder if it might be based on the technique that was used to initiate the synch relationship. However, that is somethig that support should be aware of. I'd bet that @Stephen Rose will know the right way to get this addressed. He may want you, David, to open a support ticket for this.


I like @Salvatore Biscari's rules with the icons, but because this is a case with OneDrive content under a building icon, it breaks the rules, so it must be a bug. :)


Hope to see you all at Ignite!



Updated thanks to Salvatore setting me straight. It is not a bug. David's screenshot is taken from the machine running as v-david, and the other content is Shared With Him, so pertains to the blue building icon. No bug. Salvatore's rules still rule. :) Sorry for adding to the confusion!




Hi Owen.

Maybe I am missing something: what's the bug?

The stuff in your ODfB in some tenant in which you are an user is correctly under OneDrive - <sometenant> (i.e. a cloud icon, meaning that it is YOUR own stuff).

Instead the stuff in someone else's ODfB (i.e. shared with you), since it is from an SPO library (exactly like stuff in a team site or a in Group), is correctly under <sometenant> (i.e. a building, meaning that it is not YOUR own stuff).

Again, the logic is clear and perfectly adheres to the rules I stated above...

You are not missing anything - I was. I updated the previous post. You are correct!
So what you are saying is that my WORK stuff is under OneDrive because it is personal but when other colleagues at work share stuff with me (from their OneDrive) then it goes under the building icon? Now I am even more confused. Work stuff should be under the building and my OneDrive (Hotmail) should be under the white cloud. Seems you are using not using the BLUE cloud icon in file explorer properly (as you do on the task bar)

@David Slight So what is happening today is that any shared group or team recieves the Blue buidling icon, even when your create the group or team and share it with others. The thread above suggest the blud bldg. icon only appears when someone shares with you. It also appears for groups or teams that you share with others.

@Salvatore Biscari We are also very confused here. 

We have a handful of 365 accounts and we use a generic one for shared files. We sync to the folders under the generic account.

When trying to set up a new PC we cannot get the enterprise symbol to appear in explorer. 

Sync from personal 365 account? or share from generic 365 account? or vis versa or both??


Nothing we are trying at present helps and it doesn't make any sense to us!

@Salvatore Biscari I have no idea what you are saying because you are using acronyms that only expert users will understand which is totally worthless.  How about spelling it out for us that actually need the help?!


This might help a little:

ODfB - OneDrive for Business (the older name for the service that syncs files stored in SharePoint document libraries with your PC)
SPO - SharePoint On-line (ie as part of Microsoft 365, previously Office 365 cloud service)


The issue here is exactly as you point out - it is all obfuscated with arcane and overlapping acronyms that only geeks understand and yet this is all supposed to seamless and easy to use by mere mortals.

FIVE, yes five years after my original post, nothing has changed, and my files are still in arbitrary places (although the use of the Tower Block icon for organization ODfB stores is now more consistent).

Screenshot 2022-11-10 132546.png

And it gets worse: for example, Teams now stores RECORDINGS in these different places based on how you schedule the meeting.