Should I save my documents to OneDrive for Business or a team site?

It’s tempting to save all your documents to OneDrive for Business. The link to your OneDrive for Business library is always sitting there at the top of the page, ready for you to upload or create new documents. However, you also need to think about who can and can’t access the documents you save to OneDrive for Business. If a document is a collaborative effort related to a project, then saving it to a team site might be a better choice. This article provides some guidelines to help you decide which route to go.

Save documents to OneDrive for Business when…

  • You don’t plan to share them.
    Documents you place in OneDrive for Business are private by default, unless you place them in the Shared with Everyone folder. This makes OneDrive for Business your best option for draft documents or personal documents that no one else needs to see.
  • You plan to share them, but they have a limited scope or lifecycle.
    You may sometimes work on documents that aren’t related to an ongoing project, which are important mostly to you, but that you still want to share. For example, perhaps you’re writing an article to appear in a blog, and you’d like to ask selected colleagues to review and edit it before you post it. In this case, you expect people to use the document once and then be done with it. People don’t need any additional context information, or need to know where in particular you’re keeping the document. All they need is a link to the document and editing permission.
  • You can’t identify an existing team site where your document belongs, and you don’t think the purpose of the document warrants creating a new one.

Save documents to a team site library when…

  • You want team members to recognize the document as being relevant to an ongoing project.
  • You want to spread ownership and permissions across a wider collection of people. If a document is important to the success of a project, it’s a good idea for there to be people other than yourself who can control what happens on the site.
  • You want permissions to be granted on a site basis, instead of on individual documents. If people have access to the team site, then they have access to documents stored in the site.
  • Other project-related documents are already saved to the team site library, and others expect to find it there.
  • You want to create a check-in workflow that assigns the document to someone else.

Moving document from OneDrive for Business to team sites

Sometimes individual documents grow in importance and become relevant to a project. When that happens, it may make sense to move them from OneDrive for Business to a team site.

Moving a document from OneDrive for Business to a team site library is a manual operation. You can either copy or cut and paste the document. The easiest way to move files between libraries is to use Explorer. In the library, click the Library tab, and then choose Open with Explorer.

Open with Explorer command on the Library tab of the ribbon

Here’s a short training video that demonstrates moving documents:

Note SkyDrive is now OneDrive, and SkyDrive Pro is now OneDrive for Business. Read more about this change at From SkyDrive to OneDrive.

Troubleshoot moving documents from OneDrive for Business

There are a couple of issues to keep in mind when moving documents from OneDrive for Business to a team site library:

  • Hyperlinks to the original document stop working, because you’ve deleted the document in OneDrive for Business. You may want to share the document you moved to the team site to give people on the site an updated, working link.
  • If people followed the original document, links in their newsfeed to that document will stop working. To restore this association, people will need to follow the document in its new location.
 
 
Applies to:
SharePoint Online Enterprise (E1), SharePoint Online Enterprise (E3 & E4), SharePoint Online Midsized Business, SharePoint Online Small Business, SharePoint Online Website, SharePoint Server 2013 Enterprise, SharePoint Server 2013 Standard