Understanding the OneDrive Sync Client


This article describes how to access and configure Microsoft’s OneDrive for Business to sync files and folders between the cloud and your local device (desktop, laptop, etc.).



How OneDrive File Syncing Works

OneDrive allows users to sync files and folders between their local device and the cloud for accessibility from any location (workstation, mobile device, Microsoft 365 website, etc.). If any files are added, edited, and/or deleted in their locally stored OneDrive folder, then that change will be reflected in OneDrive Online; the opposite direction is also true. Users may also access their synced files in the Windows File Explorer when offline. Once their device connects to a network, any changes made by the user or any others that have access to the file will be synced automatically.

Initial Setup of the OneDrive Sync Client

The section applies to the use case of adding a new Microsoft 365 account during the initial setup of the OneDrive Sync Client. It assumes a user has not already signed into OneDrive for Business on their device.

  1. Select the Start button on the Windows taskbar.

    Start Menu Icon

  2. Type “OneDrive” in the Search box.
  3. Select the OneDrive App. If you are already signed in, this will directly open your local OneDrive folder in File Explorer.
  4. In the Set up OneDrive window that appears, enter your VT username and passphrase.
  5. When the Your OneDrive folder screen appears, you will be able to change the location of the OneDrive folder. To do this, you should click the Change location link and select your desired location.

    Change folder location

  6. Click the Next button.
  7. On the screens that follow, you will be given general information about OneDrive file sharing and what different icons mean. Click Next until the setup has been completed. There are other personalized settings not shown in these instructions that may appear such as "Get the mobile app". You may select Later if you do not wish to complete that section of the setup instructions.
  8. On the final screen that says, "Your OneDrive is ready for you", click the Open my OneDrive folder button to view/manage the account’s OneDrive files and folders.

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Changing Synced Folders

After added their desired account, you may change the folders you wish to sync on your computer.

  1. On your desktop, click on the Up arrow in your taskbar to show your system’s hidden icons.

    Show hidden icons

  2. In the Windows notification area, select the blue OneDrive cloud icon.

    OneDrive Hidden Icon

  3. Click the Gear icon in the upper right.

  4. In the window that appears, click the Settings link.

  5. In the window, select the Account tab.
  6. Click on the Choose folders link on the Account tab.
  7. Select the folder you wish to sync.
  8. Click OK.
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