OneDrive file management

Folder redirection

The contents of the following folders on your computer are automatically uploaded and stored in OneDrive: Desktop, Documents and Pictures. All files within OneDrive are accessible anytime you have an internet connection.

Local copies of files (a.k.a. "cached" files)

Every time you open a file that's stored in OneDrive, a copy of the file is downloaded and stored locally on your computer (as disk space allows). These files are accessible with or without an internet connection. Any subsequent changes to local files are automatically synced to OneDrive immediately, or when internet connection is restored. If you wish to make an entire folder always available offline (e.g. for travel) you can right-click on the folder and select "Always keep on this device".

OneDrive file/folder icons




Blue Cloud Icon

Blue Cloud IconIndicates that the file is only available online. Online-only files don’t take up space on your computer.
Online-only files cannot be opened when the device isn’t connected to the Internet.

Blue Cloud with People Icon

Blue Cloud with People IconIndicates the file or folder has been shared with other people.

Green Tick Icon

Green Tick IconWhen an online-only file is opened, it downloads to the device and becomes a locally available file.
A locally available file can be opened anytime, even without Internet access. 
If more space is needed, the file can change back to online only. Just right-click the file and select “Free up space.”

Green Circle with Check Icon

Green Circle with Check IconThese "always available files" download to your device and take up space, but they’re always there even when offline.

Red "X" IconA red "X" on a file or folder indicates a sync error (see below*)

*Sync errors

A red "X" icon on a file or folder indicates there was a problem copying your file(s) into the cloud. This could happen for several reasons, and it's important to resolve these errors. Data that is stored only on your computer is data that you risk losing! The OneDrive client will indicate a reason for the sync failure (screenshot below). Common reasons include duplicate or conflicting files, or invalid characters in a filename. Usually these can be easily resolved by the user. More detailed information about resolving sync problems is available from Microsoft here: Fix OneDrive sync problems - Microsoft Support. Please contact Tech Services if any sync issues persist.

Make "SettingsPackages" folder available locally (recommended for Windows users)

  1. Open your OneDrive folder in Windows Explorer.
  2. Under the "View" menu check the "Hidden items" box in order to reveal the "SettingsPackages" folder.
  3. Right-click on "SettingsPackages" and then select "Always keep on this device".

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