OneDrive finally lets you sync shared folders

Microsoft's cloud storage service now lets users automatically sync items in folders shared with others

OneDrive's web user interface

OneDrive's web user interface

Microsoft has finally begun rolling out support for syncing shared folders to a user's computer through its OneDrive cloud storage service.

Now, people browsing a folder shared via OneDrive online or through a mobile app can click a button labeled "Add to my OneDrive" and have the folder added to their account. Changes made to items in that folder will automatically be pushed out to the computers of everyone who it's shared with, assuming they're compatible with the feature.

Syncing shared folders was one of the features OneDrive users have requested the most. A thread on a user feedback forum calling for the feature garnered nearly 6,000 votes of support. Until now, users have had to navigate a complicated mess of permissions to share a folder, and then recipients wouldn't actually get a syncing version of the folder on their computer.

That's a marked difference from OneDrive competitors like Google Drive and Dropbox, which already support syncing shared folders. Right now, OneDrive's version of the feature only supports syncing folders a user can edit, so they'll still have to check the web for changes to files they have read-only access to. Support for shared folder syncing is going out gradually to all OneDrive users, so it may be a while before it's available to everyone.

The feature works for people on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Windows Vista and Mac OS X. Users of Windows 8.1 need to upgrade to Windows 10 in order to get access to it. Microsoft is "focusing our investments on Windows 10," according to a forum post by OneDrive Director of Product Management Angus Logan, which is why Windows 8.1 isn't supported. It's not yet clear whether this functionality will make its way to OneDrive for Business, Microsoft's storage service for corporate customers of its Office 365 service.

Improving the sharing of files through OneDrive is an important component of Microsoft's plans for workplace collaboration with its forthcoming Office 2016 suite. One of the key benefits to Office 2016 is support for real-time collaboration on documents shared in OneDrive, so it's in Microsoft's interest to try and promote sharing through its service as much as possible.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags servicesMicrosoft

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?