Microsoft 365: SharePoint vs OneDrive? What’s the difference?

SharePoint OneDrive

You have probably heard of Microsoft Office 365, now simply called Microsoft 365. It’s a package of tools that helps with creativity and productivity within your organization. People often wonder what the difference is between two of the tools within Microsoft 365: OneDrive and SharePoint. They both store documents, so what’s the purpose of having both? How are they different? Let us break that down for you.

In short, OneDrive is an online folder for your documents, like a file storage. SharePoint is a collaboration tool that offers dashboards, calendars and a variety project management tools.

What is OneDrive?

Person using Microsoft OneDrive on tablet and phone

OneDrive is an Internet based storage platform that keeps your files in one place, making sure your data is securely stored and files can still be shared. One key benefit of OneDrive is that you can easily connect to the Internet and access your files from anywhere. This means you can switch from working on a desktop to an iPad to your mobile device quickly and conveniently.

Microsoft offers apps for all of their tools which means you can create, edit, view or share files while on the go. Collaboration is easy with real-time updates on your working files. Simply send other employees the files you want them to see and make them Public, meaning they are open for viewing. Alternatively, keep other documents private limiting who has access to them.

What is SharePoint?

Person using

SharePoint is a website based collaboration tool that empowers teams to work together across their organization. It gives companies the ability to control access to their data and automate workflows across their business departments. It’s true, you can also store files in SharePoint but the collaboration piece is the value add-on to this tool.

Many companies use SharePoint as their main tool for document and file collaboration. It allows you to easily share and collaborate on files with real-time updates. The tool is an innovative way to engage with your employees but it’s also changing the way organizations set up their internal company processes. Some of SharePoint’s key features include:

  • Receive notifications when documents are uploaded or changed.
  • Create new workflows and use logic to automate actions. 
  • Approve complex workflows before employees get started on tasks to limit mistakes and downtime.

OneDrive vs. Sharepoint

In brief, OneDrive offers team members a place to easily access and store files. Sharing and tracking different versions of documents is easy, as the tool is essentially one large online folder system.

With SharePoint, you are giving your team a collaborative workspace with a variety of features like dashboards, calendars, notification and task updates. Both tools have their benefits, and based on your organization’s goals you can use them separately or together very effectively.


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