OneDrive adds new features: sync shared folders to desktop, edit notifications, better search

Kip Kniskern

OneDrive adds new features

Using OneDrive just got a little bit easier, thanks to three updates announced this morning on the OneDrive Blog.  The first, and possibly the most useful of these additions is the ability to now sync a shared folder to your OneDrive account, making it accessible on a PC, Mac, or mobile device.

Up until now, you could share OneDrive folders, but to get to them you would need to log in to OneDrive on the web, and access the Shared Folders list.  Now, by selecting a shared folder and clicking on “Add to my OneDrive”, you can sync the shared folder to your OneDrive account, and access it from anywhere.  You can also download the folder, as you could before, which brings the contents of the folder down to your desktop (or where ever), but doesn’t sync it.

Shared OneDrive

Once you have the folder synced, you can not only edit it, but with the latest version of Office and Windows 10, you can have multiple people working on and editing files in the folder at the same time.

Microsoft has also added two new ways to be notified of edits to shared documents.  On a mobile device (including the Apple Watch), you can get real-time edit notifications both for when a file is edited and who edited it. You can also get a daily summary of shared file edits emailed to you:

Also, we’ll email a daily summary of edits to files you’ve shared – this is especially powerful when you are working on a group project and want to quickly see which documents have a latest version you might not be aware of. Changes made to the document will be saved in its version history, so you can always go back and restore a previous version if you don’t like the newest changes. 

These changes are being rolled out and will become more widely available in the coming weeks.

 Sharing and editing files is great, but searching for the files you need is also very useful, and Microsoft has extended recent work on its powerful search capabilities in OneDrive to work on shared folders, too.

Shared folder sync works on Windows 10, or Windows 7, Vista, or on the Mac, but not on Windows 8.1,  and requires the latest versions of Office for the shared editing capabilities.