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SharePoint vs OneDrive: Which Is Better for Your Company?

Today we're going to cover a common question when it comes to using office 365. Where should I store my files, One Drive vs Sharepoint? What are their main differences? Well to start, One Drive vs Sharepoint are both places for you to store files but why do we need two places to keep stuff in office 365? Well, One Drive vs Sharepoint have notably several reasons to use them, and you should employ them in the way that they're really meant to be used. Yep, that's right.

You want to use them both and it's not difficult at all to juggle the two, once you know how to use them, you'll never go back, and if you're using shared files in outlook groups, complain or Microsoft teams, you're using SharePoint online in the background. The files tab in each app is a SharePoint document library in the background, and you just happen to be accessing it and editing files through a different interface, but it's still a team site in SPO (SharePoint online) plain and simple. It's also clickable to files in Outlook groups Yammer, and Microsoft Teams. Find out all about One Drive vs Sharepoint.

What is OneDrive?

OneDrive is a cloud-based service for you to store your personal files. Only you have access to it. So, you can work on your own stuff there and if you want to share it you can, but all files are set to private by default. OneDrive is a mechanism to both have your own personal storage area in the cloud as well as synchronize some of the content from SharePoint on the local computer so that you're able to work with it, whether you're offline, traveling or even if you just want to work with it a little fast. You can also find out more about the key capabilities/differences between OneDrive vs OneDrive for Business.

When and when not to use OneDrive?

OneDrive is meant for personal storage, work, or school related files, but files that are personal to you. Each person in your organization gets their own OneDrive. Each OneDrive account usually comes with at least one terabyte of space. OneDrive is perfect for two types of files, first, ones that you only want for you and personal files that just shouldn't be shared and second, drafts of files that you're not ready to move into SharePoint, or into teams yet, for collaborative input or reviews. Now you can collaborate with OneDrive, but it isn't recommended. Sharing the file or folder level quickly becomes a permissions nightmare. It's especially confusing, with a group of people, each sharing individual files from their own OneDrive, as you all work on. It makes things much easier if you upload and collaborate on files in a central SharePoint or team’s location. Plus, when someone leaves an organization, their OneDrive is typically retired within 30 days, so if your team is using that space to collaborate on something critical, you will not be happy to find out one day that those files are gone. That is one reason not to use OneDrive to collaborate too much. So, if you are saving files specific to you or drafting files you plan to move to SharePoint for input, reviews, or simply make them available to your team, OneDrive is your place. If you don't meet any of these criteria, see the difference between One Drive vs Sharepoint.

What is SharePoint?

SharePoint, On the other hand, is the place to store your team files, everyone in your team has access to it, and you can do team work there. SharePoint is the back-end storage that Microsoft provides in the cloud as part of the office 365 service and SharePoint is used very commonly used to store business libraries, information, documents, collaboration and knowledge, The default is to share. In SharePoint you can create pages and work with lists of data as well, so it's more flexible, but more complex.

When to use SharePoint?

It's best used in two ways, for collaborating on files with others, and for publishing files for everyone to see. There are several benefits of SharePoint that make it an excellent tool. Team sites are great for collaborating while communication sites are perfect for publishing. Team sites have few users, but most, if not all have editing access, you're doing work, so why hinder them with permission restrictions? They're also the file location behind Microsoft 365 groups including outlook groups, complaint communities and teams. Each member of the group automatically has edit access in that situation. So, to put it simply, SharePoint team sites are for the group or team (department) who have access to it, and usually not private to a single individual. Communication sites are usually accessible to everyone in the organization, but most people only have read access. You have a few people who have access to upload, edit and delete published files.

Why use SharePoint?

People work with SharePoint in many ways. Microsoft SharePoint is a lot more than just an application installed on your computer,

SharePoint allows you to create powerful websites and with those, you'll have access to features, allowing you and your team to work well together. SharePoint’s most useful feature is collaboration and sharing. We can create workflows and automate tasks that we do daily to help us stay organized and save time. We can also use it as a place to store documents and only have one version of that document. To accomplish this, we create websites using SharePoint. It can be used with other office applications that we already have. We can create and save documents in Word, Excel, we can integrate calendars for example in Outlook, we can save documents from PowerPoint, and we can even create shared notebooks using OneNote. One of the coolest parts about this type of management is the ability to access these documents from anywhere.

One Drive vs Sharepoint




The file belongs to group or team member

You're in control of your own files

Permission Management

Centralized and controlled by the people in charge

You control who has access to your files. You can keep them private or share them with people you trust.


You will be collaborating with others

Lightweight collaboration


Access via browser to utilize all features but files can be accessed through local folders

Can be accessed from the browser, local folder or the app


Uploads inherit permissions from the directory in which they're uploaded

All uploads are private until you decide to share them


Can be accessed via a company branded page, managed by the admin 

Users sign in to their own Onedrive for Business accounts


Now when it comes to juggling the two apps, One Drive vs Sharepoint. There's a simple set of guidelines to follow, feel free to start drafting your file and OneDrive for Business, and when you're ready, move your file to a SharePoint team site where colleagues provide input for it and review. You can also draft the file right in the team site and leave it there for the greatest visibility to the team, and then call them out later to bring them in to review the file. When the file is completed, and ready to be shared, publish the file to a communication site, if it's meant for wide distribution, or to a team site you know, if it's something like a template for Team specific documentation or for your team to use later. Keep a working copy in your team site so updates are easy to make and kept private from the rest of the world, while you work on your revisions. 

If you still feel you could use some more information, you can book a strategy call with us today!

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Last Updated 3 weeks ago

About the Author

Your routine healthcare physician and a technology enthusiast.

Farwah Aslam

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