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File Storage (DRAFT)

Where should I store my files?

We provide different options for where to save files. You can store and share files using these Microsoft 365 tools, which are available from any device, anywhere: 

  • Teams
  • SharePoint
  • OneDrive for Business

Which should I use?

Whilst anywhere you choose within Microsoft 365 can be shared with anyone so there is no wrong place, it is worth checking that you are saving a file in the best place for it. Here are a few questions to consider:

  • Who needs to read it?
    If it's just for you, then OneDrive for Business is suitable. If it's for others to collaborate and comment on, then Teams is best. 
  • Do you need to collaborate with others on it?
    Teams is the place for collaboration, it's designed to enable lots of people to work on things together. 
  • How long do you need it for?
    If it's short term, such as project documentation, a Team is perfect.
  • Will people need to read it if you leave?
    If it's a document that has a long lifetime or will be accessed by people in the future, SharePoint will be the best place. 

Table showing our recommendations:

  Recommended use Sharing and Privacy


Best for small or cross function groups, short-medium term storage

A collaboration space for discussions and meetings.

Project documentation, cross functional working, meeting notes, collaborating with external users (chat as well as files), reviewing documents

As the purpose of a Team is for collaborating with others, every member of a Team has access to everything by default.

You can create private channels for subgroups if you want to restrict access to some files.

If you need to, you can invite people from outside the University to your Team in order for them to share the collaboration space. 

 Note:  Teams expire 12 months from the last date anyone used it.


Best for larger groups, medium-long term storage

A traditional document library with extra functions. 

Group or team storage area for static documents (i.e. those which won't change often), or for files that would traditionally be held on the collab share.

SharePoint has more sophisticated permissions; user access can be set per folder or per document. Use if Teams isn't suitable as you want some people to have access to documents, but not to chat, for example.

You can share documents with people from outside the University from a SharePoint document library. You cannot share documents from a SharePoint site with people who are not members of that site.


Behind every Team is a SharePoint library, so you are already using SharePoint to store your files in Teams.

OneDrive for Business

Best for short term storage of your personal files

This is where you store files for yourself, with the added advantage that you can share with others if you want to.

Cloud back up for your "My Computer" and Desktop files.

Documents are private unless you share with others. 

You can share documents or folders with anyone, internal or external.

 Note:  OneDrive for Business belongs to your account, so when you leave it goes too. If a file needs to be accessed after you leave, OneDrive is not suitable.

Other options

The advantage of storing files in the Cloud is that the files are then accessible anywhere, you do not need to be on campus or using VPN. You are not tied to a device, you can login using any device with an internet connection. 

  • Local hard drive "My Computer" (C:). Not recommended. If your computer breaks, you'll never get the files back as they are not backed up. 
  • Collaborative shares or network drives (e.g. T: or Z:). We are moving away from these in favour of Microsoft 365 (Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive).

Lab and Classroom PCs

Use OneDrive for Business to save your files whilst you are working on teaching desk, Library or Lab PCs.

Please see the Teaching desk, Library & Lab PCs page for full details.


How to share your files in Microsoft 365

Share SharePoint files or folders

Share OneDrive files and folders

LinkedIn Learning - Store and share files - OneDrive, SharePoint or Teams?




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