Microsoft 365 - Introduction to OneDrive, Teams and SharePoint


  • When should I use OneDrive, SharePoint or Teams for file storage and collaboration?


  • Oregon State University
  • Office 365, Microsoft 365


The Office 365 suite is OSU's recommended tool set for file storage and collaboration.

OneDrive and SharePoint Online are applications within the Office 365 suite and offer many similar features. Both applications allow you to share files with other people, but SharePoint has more collaboration and integration features. 

When a team is created in Microsoft Teams, a corresponding group and SharePoint site are created for that team. Private channels in Teams also have their own Microsoft 365 group and SharePoint site. Files that are shared within teams are stored in the matching SharePoint site and permissions within the site match the Teams membership.

In general, you will want to use OneDrive to store your own files, and use Teams/SharePoint for collaboration with a project team or within a unit.

In addition, OneDrive content is associated with a user account and is automatically removed when the user account is removed. Content stored in Teams/SharePoint persists even if the individual user accounts are removed.

OneDrive and SharePoint are both integrated with Office. You can easily save files directly to OneDrive or SharePoint from Office products such as Word or Excel.

OneDrive versus SharePoint Online Feature Overview

  OneDrive Teams + SharePoint
Store files online and access them
from anywhere using the web or mobile apps
Sync files to your device
Share files with specific people
Publish documents for view and download
by anyone
Data persists after the user account is
Storage limitsM Max is 5 TB per user 1 TB default quota; can be increased to max 25 TB per Team/Site Collection
(More details)

Additional Information

Recommended Training:

For more information about OneDrive and SharePoint Online, see:

Q & A

  • Q: Is Box going away? Do I have to move from Box to OneDrive or SharePoint?
    A: OSU still has access to Box and likely will for some time. If you are deeply invested in Box, you do not need to migrate at this time. However, if you are looking to set up something new, OneDrive and SharePoint/Teams are the recommended collaboration tools.
  • Q: Can we request a Team for our lab?
    A: Yes. Teams can be requested for any group of people, including a department, lab, project team, club, etc.
  • Q: Is there a cost for using OneDrive or Teams?
    A: No, the Office365 environment is available free-to-use for all OSU members.
  • Q: Do I need to install software to use OneDrive or Teams?
    A: There are desktop clients for OneDrive and Teams, and they are already included with the Office suite. Your work computer likely already has these applications installed. For personal devices, you can install Office 365 for free.
  • Q: Is data removed from OneDrive after the user account is removed? What about Teams and SharePoint?
    A: Yes, data is removed from OneDrive after the user account that owned it goes away. This is the same as the behavior for Google Drive and Box. We have a short period of time to restore data that is lost in this way. This is also why we recommend using Teams and SharePoint to share group files, because files stored with a team site persist even after the user accounts go away.
  • Q: Can I have a folder in OneDrive where anyone can drop files without logging in?
    A: Yes, this is called a "File request". For details, see: OneDrive: Request Files, Create a File Upload Location
  • Q: I don't really want to use the chat functionality of Teams. Should I just request a SharePoint site?
    A: You can request a stand-alone SharePoint site, but a Team makes it easier to manage access and share files.
  • Q: Are there any restrictions to who can request a team? Does it matter who requests the team?
    A: The requestor should be a current OSU employee or student. It does not matter who requests the team, but note that teams should have at least two owners designated at all times. If an owner leaves, they can designate a new owner. If all owners of a team are gone, contact the Service Desk for help and they can escalate it to our Office 365 administrators to fix (see: Team or Private Channel with No Owners or Members).
  • Q: Can we share data with someone outside the university who doesn't have an OSU account?
    A: Yes. To do this, you will want to request a team, and then request to add external people to the team. Another option is to request a sponsored ONID account for the external person.
  • Q: How long does it take to get a new team created?
    A: Typically less than one day.
  • Q: How do I sign into Teams? I've never used it!
    A: See MS Teams - Getting Started
  • Q: I have a team now. How do I add members or another owner?
    A: See MS Teams - Invite Members to a Team and MS Teams - Change or Add a Team Owner.
  • Q: I have a question that was not answered here.
    A: Please contact the Service Desk.


For assistance, contact the Service Desk.

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Article ID: 108205
Wed 5/20/20 2:32 PM
Fri 11/17/23 10:56 AM