UW OneDrive for Business


UW OneDrive for Business (formerly UW SkyDrivePro) is the University of Washington subscription to OneDrive for Business, a Microsoft online service that provides resources for file storage, collaboration, and  communication with other UW users. The OneDrive for Business service, aimed at enterprise users, is not the same as the OneDrive service offered by Microsoft to individuals. For information on the differences, see How is OneDrive for Business different from OneDrive? on the Microsoft Office Web site.

UW OneDrive for Business offers you the following capabilities.

Store and share files

  • Store up to 1 TB of data in the cloud
  • 2 GB maximum file size
  • Store HIPAA and FERPA protected data
  • Share files with UW users (A UW NetID is required, more below)

Access and synchronize files easily

  • Access files using Web browsers or mobile devices
  • Access files directly from Microsoft Office desktop applications
  • Synchronize your local files with files in UW OneDrive for Business document libraries (with appropriate client software installed)

Create and edit Microsoft Office files in the cloud with Office Web Apps

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • OneNote

Create SharePoint sites

  • Create SharePoint sites and document libraries accessible by other UW users.
  • OneDrive for Business is built using Microsoft SharePoint technology, and you might see references to SharePoint while using it.

Note: Microsoft originally released this service under the name SkyDrive Pro. In January 2014, Microsoft announced that they would be rebranding SkyDrive and SkyDrive Pro to OneDrive and OneDrive for Business, respectively. In February 2014, the name change began appearing in the user interface and in the supporting Microsoft Web pages. As of February 2014, the terms SkyDrive and SkyDrive Pro were still appearing in certain places in both the user interface in the Web pages, mixed in with the new terms OneDrive and OneDrive for Business. For more information on the name change from Microsoft, see From SkyDrive to OneDrive.

Who Can Use UW OneDrive for Business

  • UW OneDrive for Business is enabled automatically for all current UW students, faculty, and staff.
  • Eligible users receive a confirmation email.
  • For shared UW NetIDs and sponsored UW NetIDs, accounts will be available on request. Send requests to help@uw.edu.
  • Retires are not entitled to MSCA services, but they may receive endorsements for services to facilitate active involvement with the UW community.

When you leave the UW:

  • Current student, faculty, or staff accounts are disabled and the files are automatically deleted.
  • Faculty and staff accounts are disabled after 14 days.
  • Student accounts are disabled after one academic quarter.
  • Emeritus faculty accounts remain enabled.

Your UW OneDrive for Business Account Name and Password

The format of your UW OneDrive for Business account name is:

your-UWNetID@uw.edu (where your-UWNetID is replaced with your own personal UW NetID)

Your password is the one associated with your UW NetID.

Accessing UW OneDrive for Business

You can access UW OneDrive for Business by using a Web browser. You can also install OneDrive for Business applications that allow you to synchronize Microsoft Office files on your local drive or mobile device with your UW OneDrive for Business document library.

Web Browser

You can access your UW OneDrive for Business account using the UW Office 365 URL.

To log in:

  1. StepsActions
  2. Open the UW Office 365 page.You might be redirected to the standard UW weblogin page (enter your UW NetID and password). If you have already supplied your UW NetID credentials in the current browser session, you might not need to log in again. For more information on the login sequence, see the FAQ.The first time you access UW SkyDrive Pro, you might experience a one-time delay. See Account Activation on First Access. After login, the Newsfeed page appears.
  3. From the top menu bar, click OneDrive. Your UW OneDrive for Business document library is displayed.

Note: You can bookmark the UW Office 365 link page in your browser for easy access later.

Account Activation on First Access

The first time you access UW OneDrive for Business you might get a message that UW OneDrive for Business is almost ready.


This message indicates that although your account has already been enabled, it is still being activated. During activation, you will see the message: “We’re almost ready.” This one-time activation usually happens within a day but may take longer. You can close your browser, do other work, and return later without interrupting the process.

OneDrive for Business Applications (Client Software)

The OneDrive for Business applications are:

  • OneDrive for Business app for Windows 8 and mobile devices
  • OneDrive for Business sync client for Windows 7

With OneDrive for Business applications, you can:

  • Synchronize your local files with files in OneDrive for Business.
  • Access your OneDrive for Business files from your desktop.
  • Access Microsoft Office files stored on OneDrive for Business directly from local Office applications.
If you have local technical support for your department:
Before installing software, contact your local technical support person for further information. Departments typically have different timetables, deployment plans, upgrade strategies, or distribution methods for software installations and upgrades.
If you do not have local technical support for your department, or if you've been instructed to install the software yourself:
Follow the instructions in the table below for the operating system that you are currently using.

The following table summarizes support for the SkyDrive Pro applications on several platforms.

Operating System Client Get Software
Windows 8 and Windows 8 RT (Surface) OneDrive for Business App Instructions from Microsoft From Windows Store
Windows 7 OneDrive for Business sync client Instructions from Microsoft From Microsoft Download Center
Macintosh OS X OneDrive for Business Mac sync client. You can also access OneDrive for Business on a Mac through Office 2008 and 2011. From Microsoft Download Center
Apple iOS 6.0 or higher (e.g. iPhone/iPad) OneDrive for Business Pro App Instructions from Microsoft From Apple Store
Android TBD

Synchronizing Files

Synchronization (or sync) allows you to designate one or more OneDrive for Business folders to be replicated on your local computer or mobile device. Once you establish sync, you can change a file in OneDrive for Business and the local copy of the file is updated automatically. Likewise, when you change a local file, it is updated in OneDrive for Business.

For Microsoft information on how to set up sync, see Sync a library to your computer.

Office Version Sync Support
Office 2013 The OneDrive for Business sync client is built-in.
Office 2011, 2008 (for Mac) Download and install the OneDrive for Business sync client. Download client from Microsoft Download Center.Alternate methodWhile it is not a true sync client, the Document Connection program (distributed with Office for the Macintosh) provides a folder view in which you can open files and also drag and drop files to add them to OneDrive for Business. Configuration instructions from Microsoft When adding a Sharepoint ("OneDrive" is powered by Sharepoint) location to Document Connection use a URL similar to: https://uwnetid-my.sharepoint.com/personal/Your-UW-NetID-here_uw_edu/Documents/

replace "Your-UW-NetID-here" with your own UW NetID.


Office 2010, 2007 Download and install the OneDrive for Business sync client. Download client from Microsoft Download Center.

Accessing Office Web Apps

You can access Office Web Apps when you create a new file or edit an existing file.

To create a new file using Office Web Apps:

  1. StepsActions
  2. Log in to  UW Office 365 and click SkyDrive to display your document library.
  3. Click new document, and then select the type of document that you want to create.
  4. Enter a name for the new document, and then click OK.
  5. The document opens in the Office Web App appropriate to the document type.

To edit an existing file in Office Web Apps:

  1. StepsActions
  2. Log in to  UW Office 365 and click SkyDrive to display your document library.
  3. Open the document that you want to edit.
  4. Click EDIT DOCUMENT, and then click the option to edit in the Web app.

SharePoint Subsite URLs

From OneDrive for Business, you can create SharePoint subsites. The URL for a subsite is:



your-UW-NetID =Your own UW NetID

your-subsite-name = The name you gave the subsite when you created it

To create a subsite

  1. In the upper-right corner of the screen, click the gear icon Gear icon, and then click Site contents.
  2. At the bottom of the screen, click new subsite.
  3. Follow the prompts to complete the subsite.
    Note: When creating a subsite, be sure to select Use unique permissions because you do not want to use the same permissions as your root site. For more information, see Create Subsites in UW OneDrive for Business.

Usage Policies and Guidelines

UW OneDrive for Business is subject to University appropriate use guidelines and electronic records policies. For more information, see Usage Policies and Guidelines for Cloud Services.

UW Medicine Users: Before using UW OneDrive for Business for patient data, please see the UW Medicine guidance at Being Secure in the Cloud.

More Information on UW OneDrive for Business

Information from Microsoft

Microsoft provides extensive online help for OneDrive for Business. When using OneDrive for Business, click the question mark icon Help icon in the upper-right corner of the browser window to access Microsoft help.

Other useful information from Microsoft:

Last modified: April 15, 2015