Using UW Groups with UW OneDrive for Business

UW OneDrive for Business (formerly UW SkyDrivePro) provides a simplified method of sharing files with individuals, but it may work better for you if you use UW Groups to manage permissions for UW OneDrive for Business resources. Using a group to grant access to files, folders, libraries, lists and sites streamlines sharing with the same set of people because it frees you from having to specify each individual UW NetID when you want to share something new.

Before You Begin: Privacy Protected Groups

Privacy protected groups (for example, course groups) are groups that don’t make group members visible. Such groups are not synchronized with UW OneDrive for Business, so they are not available for use in UW OneDrive for Business.  

  1. StepsActions
  2. To check whether a group is privacy protected, go to
  3. To locate a particular group, click Find groups or My groups.
  4. Select the link to a particular group and view its general properties. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to view Access Control. If the Membership viewers property says "no restrictions," the group will be available for use in UW OneDrive for Business.

Getting Started

Ask about existing UW Groups 

Your department may already be using UW Groups to manage other services at the UW. Be sure to check with your department's IT staff, or any other department administrators that may be in charge of UW Group creation. You may be able to use a group that already exists instead of creating a new one. Searching available groups is also a great way to see what groups have already been established. You may search for groups using the UW Groups Service

Establish a new UW group 

If you would like to establish a new UW group, start at the UW Groups Web page, which includes an overview of what groups are and how they are typically used. 

If your department does not yet use UW Groups, learn how to choose a Home Group

If you're ready to create a new group, refer to the step by step instructions

Share Resources Using a UW Group 

You can grant permissions to resources in UW OneDrive for Business in the same way that you would share with an individual. The example below shows how C. Garfield would share the Claims-Authentication folder with the UW-IT Academic and Collaborative Applications unit. 

  1. StepsActions
  2. Open UW OneDrive for Business in a web browser. 
  3. Select the ellipsis to the right of the Claims-Authentication folder.
    Share Resources Step 2
  4. Select Share.
  5. On the Share ‘Claims-Authentication’ window, type the group display name in the invite people box. A lookup box will display choices that match what you have typed. Select the UW Group that you want to share with.
  6. From the dropdown menu next to the invite people box, select either Can edit or Can view.
  7. Click SHOW OPTIONS. If you do not want to send an email to the whole group, clear the Send an email invitation check box.

    Note: Email will be sent only to UW Groups for which email is an active application. You will have to review the properties of the group in the groups service to see whether email is active or not.

    Share Resources Step 6

  8. Select Share.

Display Name versus UW Group Name 

When selecting a UW Group in UW OneDrive for Business, make sure to select the display name, not the UW Group name. In many cases the display name and group name will be the same, but in some cases they differ.  If you have difficulty finding your UW Group in UW OneDrive for Business and you know that it is not a privacy protected group, then the display name is probably different from what you are typing.  Go to the UW Groups Service and view the group properties to see the display name of the UW Group you wish to use.

SharePoint Help 

Microsoft maintains an excellent SharePoint Help page that describes how to share documents or folders in UW OneDrive for Business.  You can follow the instructions in this help page and substitute your UW Group where the instructions mention an individual or other group.  

Additional Considerations 

  • Changes to the membership of a UW Group may take up to 24 hours before they are reflected in UW OneDrive for Business. 
  • You cannot view the members of a UW Group in UW OneDrive for Business directly. You must use the UW Groups service to view group members.
  • You can also create groups in UW OneDrive for Business (called SharePoint groups). You can add individuals and UW Groups to these SharePoint groups.  Using SharePoint groups allows you to further streamline access to your UW OneDrive for Business resources.  For more information on creating SharePoint groups, see these instructions, published on a UW-IT employee's blog. This blog is accessible to everyone at UW, but you will have to log in because UW OneDrive for Business is not accessible to the public. 

Last modified: April 21, 2014