As part of our ongoing commitment to provide a secure, efficient, and collaborative data storage environment, Syracuse University is migrating all user data from the traditional on-premise H: Drive storage to Microsoft OneDrive. This migration is a key step in our digital transformation journey, enhancing the way we store, access, and share files across the university community.

On This Page

Preparing for Migration

Why is my data being migrated?

OneDrive is managed by the University and utilizes Microsoft's cloud services. This service provides several benefits over the existing personal data storage service (H: Drive), including:

  • Restore accidentally deleted files within 93 days (extended from 30 days)
  • Access your files from anywhere, on any device with an internet connection
  • Securely control storage and sharing permissions for your data
  • Keep your files up to date across all devices with automatic syncing
  • Collaborate in real-time with co-editing and version control features
  • Automatically create file versions when making modifications in OneDrive

How will I be informed?

Faculty and staff migration dates will be scheduled by their academic or administrative IT support personnel. All of the Syracuse University community will receive multiple email communications before, during, and at the end of the migration. 

I received an email to prepare my data to migrate. What should I do?

  • If you're using a university-managed mobile computer, make sure it is on and connected to the internet.
    • NOTE: If the device is offline, the migration of your files may be delayed

  • Deleting any old or unnecessary files will streamline the migration process

  • Keep an eye on your email for further instructions or updates about the migration process

Learn More:

Syracuse University Managed Computers: Post Migration Changes

Will my Syracuse University managed Windows computer behave differently?

Overall, Windows computers managed by the university, including those on rds.syr.edu, will operate much as they did before, and the transition should be seamless.

Saving to folder locations such as the Desktop, Documents, and Pictures will automatically be synchronized to OneDrive.

However, the Downloads, Music, and Videos folders will not synchronize to OneDrive, and the files within will exist only on the computer on which they are saved.

screenshot of File Explorer showing OneDrive- Syracuse University folder

H: Drive no longer accessible

Once your data has been migrated to OneDrive, you will no longer be able to access the home directory data using the H: drive mapping in the Windows File Explorer. 

Your files from your H: drive will be found in the following new locations:
      H:\ OneDrive\Documents
      H:\Desktop OneDrive\Desktop
      H:\My Pictures (or Pictures) OneDrive\Pictures

Where are the files that were in the Downloads folder prior to migration?

To access files previously stored in the 'Downloads' folder of your home directory prior to your migration to OneDrive, navigate to your OneDrive and locate a folder named 'Downloads Archive-', where you will find your file securely stored.

The 'Downloads' folder serves as a temporary storage location for files downloaded from the internet, but it is not suitable for storing important documents long-term. To ensure proper organization and accessibility, it is recommended to save your important documents in the 'Documents' folder. 

Will my Syracuse University managed Apple computer behave differently?

Overall, Apple computers managed by the university will operate much as they did before, and the transition should be seamless. Saving to folder locations, such as the Desktop and Documents, will automatically be synchronized to OneDrive.

OneDrive does not support certain characters that are supported natively by macOS when naming files. Prior to your OneDrive migration, files on a computer running macOS will be automatically renamed to conform to the OneDrive supported character set. Characters supported by OneDrive are documented on Microsoft's website: OneDrive invalid characters

After a computer is configured to synchronize files to OneDrive, you may see a prompt requesting access to your Desktop and Documents folder when you are saving a file. Select the option to "Grant Access" in both the prompt and subsequent Finder window to allow the application to access OneDrive.

H: Drive no longer acessible

Once your data has been migrated to OneDrive, you will no longer be able to access the home directory data using the "Documents" drive mapping in macOS Finder.

How will the migration affect my existing files in Syracuse University OneDrive?

During the migration process, your files and folders from the H: drive will be seamlessly transferred to OneDrive. Even if you have files with the same names and located in the same folders within OneDrive, the migration software will handle it intelligently. It utilizes the modification dates of the files to preserve the most recent version.

After the migration, you will find all your data from the H: drive in OneDrive. However, if the system detects a file with the same name and path in OneDrive, it will leverage the file versioning capabilities of OneDrive. In this scenario, the version from the H: drive will be treated as a previous version of the corresponding file in OneDrive.

If you ever need to access the previous version of a file, OneDrive provides a feature called revision history. You can use this feature to view and restore previous versions of files that were migrated with the same name and path.

You can view those files here:

Post Migration - Access and Usage

My data has finished migrating; what are my next steps? 

You will receive two emails during the migration process. The first will let you know that the migration has started and the second email will arrive when the migration is complete. Depending on how you access your OneDrive, your experience may look different.

Windows Computers Not Managed by Syracuse University

  • OneDrive is integrated with Windows, and you can find it in the File Explorer on your computer (Sync files with OneDrive in Windows)
  • After authentication, File Explorer will show the OneDrive - Syracuse University folder.
  • You can now start saving new files directly to OneDrive. Remember, files saved in OneDrive can be accessed from any device with an internet connection.

Apple Computers Not Managed by Syracuse University (Jamf)

  • OneDrive application can be installed on macOS from the App Store (Sync files with OneDrive on macOS)
  • Look for the OneDrive folder or application.
  • You can now start saving new files directly to OneDrive. Remember, files saved in OneDrive can be accessed from any device with an internet connection.

Mobile Devices

  • If you haven't already, download the OneDrive app from Google Play Store or Apple App Store depending on your device.
  • Open the OneDrive app and sign in using your university credentials.
  • You can now access your files from your mobile device and save new files directly to OneDrive.

Learn More:

What's new with Microsoft Office and AutoSave?

Microsoft's Office applications, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, are seamlessly integrated with OneDrive. This synergy brings a key feature to the forefront, AutoSave, which is enabled by default when you work on files stored in OneDrive. 

  • AutoSave automatically saves changes to your files as you work on them. If you're accustomed to editing a document and then saving the edited file under a new name, AutoSave means your changes will be saved to the original file in real-time providing additional protections against lost work.
  • If you make a change to a file and want to revert to a previous version, OneDrive has the ability to easily restore a past version of the file.
  • While not recommended, it is possible to modify the AutoSave settings based on your preference. You can turn AutoSave off for a particular document or change the default AutoSave settings in your Office applications.

Learn More:

Further Queries and Support

How do I access OneDrive from the web?

The best entry point to OneDrive and the entire Microsoft 365 suite is via office.syr.edu 

I need to find a file; can I search for it in OneDrive?

All Office files stored in Microsoft 365 are indexed and searchable. 

Can I access my files when I'm offline?

Windows and macOS offer clients that allow for sync of files from OneDrive by installing the appropriate client. The sync client will leverage OneDrive Files On-Demand to keep local copies of recently used files or allow you to keep select files or folders offline automatically.

I deleted a file or folder; can it be restored?

Using the web interface for OneDrive, individuals can access the OneDrive Recycle bin to restore deleted files and folders. Recovering deleted items is possible for 93 days after deletion.

Getting Help

For support of the information above, contact the ITS Help Desk by calling at 315-443-2677, by emailing help@syr.edu, or by stopping into 1-227 CST.

Faculty and staff are highly encouraged to begin support by contacting their academic or administrative support personnel. 


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