OneDrive has long been Microsoft’s answer for cloud storage, allowing users to access their files from anywhere and collaborate in real-time. A recent update brings several new features to OneDrive Sync, the engine that powers many of OneDrive’s capabilities, including real-time collaboration, version history, and PC Folder Backup. Here’s a detailed look at what’s new for work and school customers.

Preventing Accidental Deletions

Accidentally deleting a shared file can lead to stress and hours of rework. To prevent such mishaps, OneDrive and SharePoint now offer an extra layer of protection. When you or a coworker attempt to delete a shared file, a new confirmation dialog will appear, warning that the deletion will affect all users who have access to the file.

Improvements to ‘Add to OneDrive’

The ‘Add to OneDrive’ feature allows users to add shortcut links to files in SharePoint, streamlining the user experience. Based on user feedback, Microsoft has refined this feature. Previously, deleting a shortcut also deleted the associated SharePoint file. Now, deleting a shortcut only removes it from your OneDrive, leaving the SharePoint files untouched. Users who wish to delete both can do so via the File Context Menu.

File Explorer Enhancements


File Explorer is getting smarter too. The Home node now includes easy access to ‘Recommended’, ‘Recent’, and ‘Favorites’ files, mirroring the OneDrive Home experience. Also in the pipeline is a new ‘Details’ pane that will offer a comprehensive overview of selected files, from thumbnail previews to shared statuses and related content.

Simplified Sync Settings

The OneDrive Sync Settings menu has been reorganized for ease of use. Most relevant settings now appear on the front page, while less frequently used options are nested under ‘Advanced Settings’ or secondary pages. For those in a policy-controlled environment, the settings will be locked, but users can still view details about their organization’s policies.

Advanced Controls for Admins

Soon, OneDrive will allow admins to set rules to include or exclude specific file types from syncing. This feature aims to meet the complex requirements of various organizations, especially those needing to comply with legal and privacy regulations.

Seamless Editing with ‘Open in App’

The new ‘Open in App’ feature will allow users to open any file in its desktop app directly from OneDrive, edit it, and sync changes back to the cloud. This feature is expected to be rolled out worldwide by December.

OneDrive in Virtual Environments

For users who cannot run the OneDrive Sync application directly due to security or compliance issues, OneDrive is now supported in Citrix Virtual Apps and will soon be available in Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) Remote Apps. This means you can access and collaborate on OneDrive files within a secure virtual environment.

User Feedback and Future Plans

Many of these updates were based on user feedback, highlighting Microsoft’s commitment to improving the OneDrive experience. Users can continue to offer feedback through any Microsoft 365 app to shape future enhancements.

The Road Ahead: More Than Just Storage

These updates signify that OneDrive is evolving to become much more than a mere storage service. From advanced admin controls to File Explorer enhancements and preventative measures against accidental file deletions, OneDrive is becoming an increasingly sophisticated tool that can handle a wide range of user needs. As Microsoft continues to roll out these features, OneDrive is set to become an even more integral part of the modern workspace.