Getting Started with Microsoft OneDrive


IMPORTANT: The University ended its enterprise license with Box in August 2022. Microsoft OneDrive is the preferred cloud storage and collaboration solution. Pitt Information Technology migrated Box data to Microsoft OneDrive.

With cloud storage, you can store, access, edit, comment, and share files in real time, from any device–including your smartphone. Microsoft OneDrive is configured as the default save destination for all of your Office 365 applications and provides online storage as well as web-based collaboration. Cloud storage is a more secure way to store your valuable files when compared to using flash drives or depending on the hard drive of a dedicated laptop or PC.

Note: After you leave the University, you will you will no longer have access to your cloud account at Pitt. Please see instructions for transferring ownership of your files.

OneDrive Overview

Microsoft OneDrive for Business is a cloud storage solution where you can update, store, share, and sync your files from anywhere. These files are backed up regularly to the Microsoft cloud and your file space is conveniently configured as the default save destination for all of your Office 365 applications, including Word and Excel. You can delegate access to other users for seemless collaboration. All students, faculty, and staff have a quota of 5 terabytes of online storage available through OneDrive, for files up to 250 gigabytes.

There is no cost for student, faculty, and staff to use OneDrive. However, you need an Office 365 subscription to use any web-based Office 365 applications with the OneDrive space. By default, all students have access to the standard "Office" suite of web applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) via their Office 365 subscription. These applications are available for download and installation to all teaching faculty free of charge. Non-teaching faculty and staff can download these applications if they are members of a department that has purchased the Microsoft Campus Agreement.

Note: Sponsored accounts do have access to OneDrive by default. Alumni are not eligible for Pitt OneDrive accounts

> Take a quick tour to see how OneDrive works ...


Easy Steps to Get Started with OneDrive

You can access OneDrive from a smartphone or tablet using a web browser. The OneDrive app is available for iOS, Android, and Windows devices.

  1. Use a web browser to log into with your Pitt Email address and password.
  2. Click the Office 365 app launcher icon.
    Office 365 launcher
  3. Click OneDrive's dual-cloud icon.
    OneDrive image

Other Cloud Options (Box, Dropbox, Google Drive)

Box and Dropbox

Box and Dropbox are other cloud collaboration solutions used by some students, faculty, and staff. Before considering the use of Dropbox or Box, please keep in mind that they are not an enterprise service offered through or supported by the University of Pittsburgh. Box and Dropbox offer similar features to OneDrive, but OneDrive offers several advantages for University use.



Box Managed Box Unmanaged


Anytime, anywhere access to cloud files


Yes Yes


Simple sharing and collaboration features


Yes Yes


File versioning


Yes Yes


Integrates seamlessly with other Office 365
collaboration tools like Teams and SharePoint


No No


Automatically integrates with the University’s Multifactor Authentication (Duo) service for enhanced security


Yes No


Can be used as a storage solution for public (i.e., non-restricted) University data Yes Yes No No

Can be approved as storage solution for certain
classes of restricted data after consultation with Pitt IT


Yes No


Fully supported by Pitt Information Technology


No No


Cost  Included in Microsoft Campus Agreement Purchased separately
by users/departments
Purchased separately
by users/departments
Purchased separately
by users/departments

Because Dropbox is not supported by Pitt Information Technology, data stored on Dropbox is not eligible for a managed migration to OneDriveIf you would like to move data from Dropbox to OneDrive, you can do so by completing the following steps: 

  1. Log in to your Dropbox account and download individual folders and files to your local device. 
  2. Upload individual folders and files from your local device to your Pitt OneDrive account.

Google Drive

Pitt IT strongly discourages the use of Google Drive for several reasons: 

  • It is not permissible to store Protected Health Information (see the University's Data Risk Classification and Compliance matrix). 
  • Google is making changes that will eliminate options for storing flexible, large volumes of data. 
  • Free Google Drive accounts include only 15 GB of free storage.

Due to these and other limitations, we do not believe Google Drive is a viable, long-term solution for most University users.

View Google Drive Security Guide ... 

More ways to get the most from Cloud Storage:

Best Practices for Storing Data in the Cloud
Moving Files
More Box Resources


Related Information

Log in to OneDrive:

Log in to OneDrive

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Article ID: 290
Tue 8/8/23 10:01 AM
Mon 5/13/24 1:28 PM

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ONLINE FILE STORAGE Microsoft OneDrive for Business is a cloud storage solution where you can update, store, share, and sync your files from anywhere.