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Using Your OneDrive

On this page you’ll find:


Why use OneDrive?

Your Student Desktop H:\ Drive only has a limited amount of space, so you can store extra files on your University OneDrive. We recommend you keep files you are currently working on in your H:\ Drive, and transfer them to your OneDrive for storage – see Saving and Document Storage for more details.

But there’s another advantage to your OneDrive beyond additional space – although you can access the Student Desktop from anywhere on any computer, you can access your OneDrive through your StudentMail, without logging in to the Student Desktop at all. You can even edit files in your OneDrive online, without even downloading them, using Office 365 Online.


How to access OneDrive from your Student Desktop

Although your OneDrive files are stored online in the cloud, you can access them from the Student Desktop just like another folder. Just follow the steps below.

  1. It’s important to make sure you are fully logged in before accessing your OneDrive. If you get an error message or there is a red cross over your OneDrive icon, just wait a few more moments
  2. Open any folder and click on the OneDrive icon in the sidepane
  3. You can now see any files you have stored in your OneDriv. Use this folder in the normal way. For example, you can move files into your OneDrive using copy and paste, or drag and drop

screenshot of windows explorer highlighting your One Drive

Saving and Opening files within a program

If you would like to save or open files using your OneDrive from within a program such as Microsoft Word, use the folder OneDrive – University of Otago as demonstrated below.

  1. From within Word, choose to Save, Save As, or Open as normal
  2. Double-click on OneDrive – University of Otago
    • You can also single-click OneDrive – University of Otago and then click Browse
  3. The window that opens is your OneDrive and you can save or open a file as normal

Screenshot of Word Save As menu showing OneDrive - University of Otago selected


 How to access OneDrive from your StudentMail

  1. Log in to your StudentMail at
  2. Click on the “squares” symbol in the top corner of the screen and choose OneDrive from the menuScreenshot showing the "9 squares" menu containing the OneDrive icon
  3. You can now view and use all the files stored in your OneDriveScreenshot showing view of files in OneDrive online


Open, upload or create files online

From the online OneDrive, you can open, upload or create new files using the menu bar at the top of the screen. If you open or create a new file, it will open directly in your web browser using Office 365 Online.


 Download a file online

To download a file you have stored in your OneDrive so you can use it offline or on your own computer

  1. Select the file with a single-click
  2. Click Download in the menu at the top of the screen
  3. The file will download to your downloads folder, or you will be asked whether to open or save the file.
    Important! If you want to edit the file, make sure you download the file rather than  opening it or any changes you make may not be saved.