OneDrive vs OneDrive for Business


A common question asked by customers when migrating to a Microsoft 365 cloud service is “What is the difference between OneDrive and OneDrive for Business?”

Whilst cloud-based services have been around for years, the recent COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced and validated the value in such services. The ability to access important data, files, and documents anytime, anywhere, from a secured space is an incredibly convenient and useful asset for any business.

Whilst OneDrive and OneDrive for Business share a similar name and both are powerful tools, they have different capabilities. Here are the key differences between the services to help you choose the cloud-based solution that is right for you.  

What is OneDrive?

OneDrive is a personalised cloud service that allows a user to upload, share and manage their documents securely and is the default file saving option in Microsoft computers. What’s great about this solution is that OneDrive lets you store your files securely in the one place which you can access with any device that has internet access. It’s Microsoft’s version of iCloud or Google drive. When you sign up for a Microsoft OneDrive account, Microsoft will give users 5GB of free storage where they can sync and save their files (documents, videos, photos etc) with all files located in the file explorer. 


What is OneDrive for Business?

OneDrive for Business (ODFB), whilst it sounds very similar to OneDrive, it has many different features.  


ODFB is a cloud storage service intended for business purposes. It is a part of Office 365 which allows you to synchronise offline the files you need to continue working on. ODFB is managed by the administrator of the Microsoft 365 tenancy and allows users to collaborate and work on documents with their co-workers at the same time. This tool is subject to policies that are set and managed by the Microsoft 365 tenancy administrator. The other notable difference is that it was designed to be used in conjunction with Microsoft’s SharePoint online as a syncing tool. ODFB allows a user to create a symbolic link to a SharePoint site that will appear in ODFB as a building icon.

When setting up OneDrive there are some limitations that should be considered. 
One of these is backups. When there are two ODFB accounts on a computer, only one of those accounts can perform the backups for the desktop, documents, and pictures.  

Both OneDrive and ODFB are useful tools and have different capabilities, depending on your personal and professional needs. If cloud storage is the priority, then OneDrive has you covered. If you are looking to collaborate on documents with other users, than ODFB may be the better solution.  

If you would like help implementing OneDrive or OneDrive for Business, please get in touch with one of the team members at CommSys. 

About CommSys 

CommSys Australia specialises in computer and office phone systems with a focuson cloud and mobile workforce technology, internet security and IT training.  Established in 2004, CommSys provides medium-sized businesses with personalised services to decrease ongoing technology costs whilst increasing workforce productivity and efficiency. 

In 2008, CommSys’ innovation and customer service was recognised by Deloitte Australia, resulting in CommSys becoming Australia’s 4th Fastest-Growing Technology Company. 13 years later. our attention to customer service and innovation remains our key priority. 

Celebrating over 15 Years of Delivering Innovative IT Solutions 


Zoher Salem

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