What are SharePoint and OneDrive?
In order to understand synchronisation, we first need to understand what we are synchronising.
SharePoint is the Microsoft document management and Intranet tool – organisations can use it to store all their company files/data/folders and to restrict user access to them.
SharePoint is a cloud-based product with advanced features built-in such as collaborative editing (you and others can work on a document at the same time), version control (as you make changes, it keeps a history of previous versions) and much more.
OneDrive started off as a file backup/sync tool similar to other products such as Dropbox, Box, etc. that provide a storage folder that synchronises a copy of everything in it to the cloud. You can install OneDrive across multiple different computers have and it will keep a copy of the same files and folders on each of them, copying new files and changes as you make them.
OneDrive is also tightly integrated with Microsoft 365 (Office 365) and SharePoint, this means that company folders such as Accounts, HR, Marketing, etc. that you are authorised to access can be synchronised in a similar way on your computer.
If other people make changes to documents in these folders, they are automatically copied to your device (and vice-versa). Another big advantage of OneDrive is it allows users to keep a local copy of files directly on their device – very useful if you need to work offline (for example on a plane).
How to sync SharePoint folders
Selecting folders to synchronise from your companies SharePoint application to your computers one drive can be done in a few simple steps:
Login to Office 365
Click the waffle menu in the top left corner
Click the site you want to synchronise the folders from, as an example we’ll use Resources:
When the site loads, you will see the storage folders on the left (called ‘Document Libraries’ in SharePoint), click on the storage folder you want to syncronise on the left (the default one is simply called Documents):
You will see the folder and folders within the document library.
To synchronise the entire contents to your OneDrive, click the Sync button in the top right corner:
You will see a pop-up confirming that SharePoint is attempting to sync the older to OneDrive:
If you look in your computers windows explorer, you should see the folder you have synchronised: