Overview - OneDrive Cloud Storage

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Jump to a category: Available to | Terminology | What is OneDrive? | Why use OneDrive? | Resources | Accessibility | Security

Available to

Full-time faculty and staff, enrolled students and alumni, certain unpaid affiliates


Understanding these terms makes it easier to work with your OneDrive storage.

  • Microsoft 365. Subscription to productivity platforms and apps managed through Microsoft. Includes ECU Outlook email, OneDrive cloud storage with Office on the web, Teams collaboration space with chat, SharePoint web portal, Office app downloads and many other available apps.  
  • Cloud storage. An online storage location. Microsoft 365 includes OneDrive (5TB) that includes document editing and collaboration.
  • Co-author/collaborate. Multiple users make edits to one document. There is only one version of the document. You can go back to a previous version.
  • ECU OneDrive vs. Personal OneDrive. If you set up a personal OneDrive account, you have personal OneDrive space. This is a separate cloud storage space from your ECU OneDrive, and the two accounts cannot be merged. Microsoft Teams and SharePoint sites also have an associated OneDrive folder for file storage.
  • Sync. Automatic upload/download of documents (and updates) between your computer and OneDrive. Gives you a backup and access to your files from anywhere. Must have enough hard disk storage for the number of files you sync between your computer/OneDrive. Window or Mac.

What is Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage?

Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage is available through your Microsoft 365 subscription and alumni email and is the only approved cloud storage for ECU data. OneDrive is easy to use and works seamlessly with other 365 services like Teams and SharePoint. Links in this document reference how-to articles in the Microsoft help and learn support website. Having issues? See these troubleshooting articles or call the Pirate Techs Service Desk at 252-328-9866 | 800-340-7081.


  • Save. 5TB of storage for sensitive and non-sensitive data for employee/student accounts. Alumni accounts are 100GB. More space can be requested. Also use your OneDrive with Microsoft Teams and SharePoint. NOTE: Do not save sensitive data to your desktop, laptop or mobile device or sync sensitive data from OneDrive to your computer.
  • Access. Log in to your Microsoft 365 account at https://pirate365.ecu.edu. Click the OneDrive app icon. Files can be uploaded manually or synced with your computer and are available anywhere through any device with internet access - just log in.
  • Files on Demand. Open OneDrive files on your computer without having to manually download or sync. Uses no hard drive space on your computer. Recommended for Macs.
  • Sync. Users add their ECU account to the OneDrive sync app. Mac users download the sync app. You have total control over which files and folders are synced with OneDrive. Folders shared with you can also be synced. NOTE: While OneDrive is approved for sensitive data storage, DO NOT sync HIPAA, FERPA or other sensitive data to your devices. See the Microsoft Help and Learning/sync how-to's to manage files and folders.
  • Create and Edit. Create new documents within OneDrive using the Office Online apps. Edit files through your browser using Office Online or download to use the full version of Word, Excel or PowerPoint. Shared files can be simultaneously edited by multiple users. The autosave feature saves your changes to OneDrive so there’s only one version of a file.
  • Share and Collaborate. Share files or folders with ECU and non-ECU users. Stop sharing at any time. Collaboration allows simultaneous editing with one or more users Through Office Online. You must first share the file with and give edit permissions to another user. Edits are labeled with the user’s name. You are allowed to share files with non-ECU users (must create an account).
  • Mobile apps. Use the OneDrive mobile app to access files through a tablet or phone. NOTE: When you open a OneDrive document on your device, a copy of that file is downloaded to the device.
  • Learning Tools. Improve reading and writing skills using read aloud features, immersive reader and other comprehension tools. Learn more from Microsoft’s Learning Tools page.

Why use OneDrive?

OneDrive is a versatile and ECU-approved way to manage your documents and is the only approved cloud storage for ECU data. OneDrive is also available within Teams and SharePoint.


Recorded sessions from November 2021 training series: Sync, Share, Collaborate:


Accessibility Support for OneDrive (Microsoft website)


ECU data cannot be stored external to the university network (in the "cloud") without the proper authorization and approval of the department head, data owner and CIO (Chief Information Officer).  Other cloud storage services like Dropbox and Google Docs do not meet university storage standards and should not be used to store any ECU data without proper authorization. Visit the cloud storage security page for a detailed explanation.

OneDrive is approved for storage of general and sensitive data. However:

  1. Never store sensitive data on your computer or mobile device.
  2. If you plan to store sensitive data in OneDrive, see this policy page from University Data Governance for guidance. Contact the Office of Research Integrity and Compliance (328-9474) to determine whether research data, technical specifications or information falls under these categories.
  3. See the Guidelines for Protecting Sensitive Data article for specifics.
  4. You may need to contact the data steward for permission to store a particular type on OneDrive. See this University Data Governance web page.
  5. Never sync sensitive data from OneDrive to your computer (sensitive data should not be saved to your devices). See this Microsoft support article: Choose which OneDrive folders to sync to your computer.
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Article ID: 67425
Fri 11/8/19 4:22 PM
Tue 5/7/24 2:56 PM
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Unified Communications

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