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How Microsoft Storage Options Can Support Your Work Style and Needs

Related services: Microsoft Document Storage

This is part of a series of IT News articles about storage options available to Cornell faculty, students, and staff. Related articles focus individually on Microsoft options (OneDrive, Teams file storage, and SharePoint libraries) and which needs each is most suited for. The series will also include Box, Box departmental folders, and Google Drive and Groups in January 2023.

Microsoft offers several ways to store your documents and files. Each meets different needs, such as individual work, team collaboration, or heavy-duty document and file organization.

They all support a variety of file types and additionally provide rich feature sets and functionality for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint editing and collaboration. They also have the ability to provide access only to individuals or groups that you choose. This could be another person or group of people at Cornell, and can also include sending an invitation to specific guests outside of Cornell.

Though all the storage options can have access set however you want, they have different default settings that make each better suited for different sharing needs.

They are:

  • OneDrive: Files are private to you unless you choose to share them.
  • Teams file storage: Files are editable by everyone in a team when in a standard channel, or just by the channel members when it's a private channel.
  • SharePoint libraries: If you want more control over access, a wider range of actions for files, or to take advantage of SharePoint's broad feature set, they are all available by clicking through a team to get to SharePoint.


File storage that's private to you and files can be shared when you want to

OneDrive can store your private files and folders in the cloud. They’re then available to all your devices and Office apps, and also to your Cornell Microsoft account online for access through the web.

To view your current storage, visit Once there, you can upload and organize files and folders, and open and work on Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files right in your web browser. Files in OneDrive that you've recently used will even appear in the File section of the full versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint installed on your computer, tablet, or phone, ready to open no matter which device you’re using.

OneDrive provides the ability to share files, and information about what you’ve shared and who you've shared with. This provides fast and easy informal sharing, but for ongoing sharing and better organization, Teams may be a better fit.

Find out more about OneDrive.

Microsoft Teams File Sharing

Easy sharing for a set group, with a framework that can help you stay organized

Do you store your personal documents in one particular place, so you always know where to find them? When you work on files with other people, doing this can be a challenge. Often, shared files get dropped in the same mass location, making it hard to locate the specific one you’re looking for.

By design, Teams supports conversations and files organized by subject so they’re easier to find later. Just create a team for a group you regularly work with on a variety of topics, then make a channel for each topic. As everyone chats and shares files in the channel for each subject, organization happens naturally. You can also create folders within each channel's file space, allowing you to sort files into a finer level of organization.

Find out more about Teams.

SharePoint Document Libraries

Robust file management for power users

Every team in Microsoft Teams has a SharePoint site behind it, powering much of the functionality and providing advanced functionality that most Teams users don't need and don't have to worry about. If you are not sure about whether to choose a SharePoint site or a team for group file storage, create a team. However, some efforts may benefit from SharePoint's additional file and library management capabilities, such as automated actions, advanced sharing, and no-code web presentation.

Find out more about Microsoft storage options.

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