Office 365: OneDrive Sync client

What is the OneDrive sync client?

The OneDrive for Business Sync client is a program that creates and updates copies of your OneDrive for Business files on your computer. This allows you to edit the version saved on your computer in an offline environment (e.g. on the train) and have the changes synced to your OneDrive when you next have internet access.

Read the OneDrive sync client guide to find out about the installation and use of the software.


The benefits of using the new OneDrive for Business sync client on your computer include:

  •     An updated, stable sync client
  •     Selective Sync – choose which files and folders to download and update
  •     A maximum size of 10GB for individual files
  •     Removal of the 20,000 item sync limit. You can now sync unlimited items.

Limitations & Considerations

Things to know about and consider when using the sync client on your computer:

  • Documents are identified as 'local files' which means:
    - co-authoring does not work unless a file is opened from the cloud location
    - using the ‘share’ feature from within an Office application will not work
    - your changes will not be shared with collaborators unless the document is manually saved.
  • Windows 8.1 is not supported
  • SharePoint libraries are not supported as yet.
  • Re-syncing files could cause excessive bandwidth usage if you are on a metered connection.
  • Duplication of content on a hard disk may cause issues.

Notice: There is currently a small bug affecting people who edit Excel files saved in their synced OneDrive for Business folder. 

What happens: If you open, edit and save an Excel file, then continue working and save again, you may get a pop up saying 'the file may have been saved by another user and give you the option to save as a copy or overwrite the file. You can select "overwrite the file" and click OK.

How to fix it: This issue is caused by a setting in your OneDrive for Business sync client. Right click the OneDrive icon in the system tray and click 'Settings'. Click the 'Office' tab and remove the tick from the box. Click 'OK' and re-open your Excel file. You can now work with your files as normal.

If you have any further questions please contact Service Desk

How do I get the OneDrive sync client?

The OneDrive for Business sync client can be installed on demand on all University managed and personal devices.

Install at work
Windows users can install the Sync client from the Software Centre.

Mac users can install the Sync client from the Apple App Store

After the client is installed, you will be prompted to log in with your Plymouth University email address and password. Follow the instructions to select a folder to synchronise. (N.B. Mac users must select 'Open at logon' from the Preferences window when you open the client for the first time.)

Install at home
You can also install the OneDrive for Business Sync client on personal computers.

Windows users can install the Sync client following instruction on Microsoft's support page.

Mac users can install the Sync client from the Apple App Store.

Install on mobile devices
Search for 'OneDrive' in the Windows, Apple and Android app stores to find free apps for your mobile and tablet devies. 

University Information security policies apply to the synchronisation of restricted data to personal computers.

Update announcement:

The sync client now allows you to sync folders shared with you from other OneDrives. See the updated Sync client user guide to find out how.

If you experience technical issues with this process, please contact Service Desk.