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UW OneDrive for Business and File Ownership

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UW OneDrive for Business, a part of UW Office 365, is a powerful tool for storing and sharing files, and collaborating on work.  However, the frequent sharing of UW OneDrive for Business files can also create confusion over file ownership.  This page offers some tips for avoiding file loss in this modern file sharing environment.

Records Management: What Files Should You Keep?

When saving and storing files, it is important to keep in mind that the UW must maintain compliance with state and federal laws and regulations relating to the preservation and destruction of information created and received by the UW.

It is the general policy of the UW to:

  • Create only the records it needs
  • Retain records according to legally approved records retention schedules
  • Maintain active and inactive records in appropriate storage equipment and locations
  • Discard records when no longer required
  • Preserve records of historical significance
  • Identify and protect vital records

If you have specific questions about Records Management at UW, please contact Records Management Services.

If you have specific questions about Records Management at UW Medicine, please contact UW Medicine Records Management Services (RMS).

File Ownership: Yours or Shared with You?

Not all files you access in your UW OneDrive for Business are owned by you.  Many will be shared with you, and appear to be your files, but are actually owned by another individual at the UW.  That’s fine for collaboration, but when an owner of a file is no longer a student or employee of the UW, their files will be deleted 20 days after their departure date from the UW.

If you depend on those files, it’s important to preserve them before your collaborator departs the UW.  To do so, follow the process below.

Please note: This process should be followed for each individual who has already departed the UW, and as a regular offboarding task when an individual is preparing to depart the UW.

How to Keep Files & Folders Shared With You

Follow the steps below to view UW OneDrive for Business files and folders that have been shared with you.  Every file and folder you see is a file and folder that is owned by someone else.  As a result, every file and folder listed can disappear without warning when the owner departs the UW.

View Files & Folders Shared With You

  1. Login to UW Office 365 OneDrive for Business with your UW NetID credentials
  2. On the left side of the page click Shared
  3. You are now looking at Shared with me, a list of OneDrive for Business files and folders that have been shared with you by another individual at UW
  4. Files and folders shared with you after September 2017 will have information listed in the Date shared and Shared by
  5. You can sort by this information by clicking Date shared and clicking Group by Date, and Shared by and Group by Shared by
  6. Look for files and folders shared with you by former UW members that you wish to keep

Please note: Any items shared with you for which the permission was set to Anyone with the link can view and edit won’t appear in your Shared with me view, even if the person entered your email address when they shared the item.

Save/Download Files & Folders

To save/download individual files

  1. Click a file and it will open in your browser in a new tab
  2. From this new tab you will have the option to either save a copy of the file or download a copy of the file to your local device
  3. Your save/download options will vary depending on the type of file and the configuration of your local device
  4. To open multiple files at the same time, hold down CTRL and click multiple files, which will open in multiple new tabs in your browser

To save/download folders

  1. Click a folder and it will open in your browser in a new tab
  2. Use your mouse to hover over an individual file or folder
  3. You will see a checkmark button appear to the left of the file or folder
  4. Click the checkmark button to select the file or folder.  You can select multiple files/folders or select the checkmark button above the checkbox column to select all of the files and folders in the list
  5. Now, on a gray toolbar above the list of files and folders, you will see a Download button and a Copy to button appear
  6. Use the Download button to download a copy of the files/folders to your local device and the Copy to button to copy the files/folders to your OneDrive for Business or a SharePoint Online site collection
  7. DO NOT click the Move to button as this will move the files/folders to a new location

Use UW SharePoint Online and Microsoft Teams

What are UW SharePoint Online and Microsoft Teams?

UW SharePoint Online is a web-based productivity suite that is used at the UW to meet a range of needs such as file management, departmental intranets, small group work (e.g. search and other committees), and business process automation (e.g. travel requests).  Microsoft Teams is a modern productivity platform built on top of SharePoint Online.  A UW SharePoint Online site collection or Microsoft Team can be used by collaborative groups as a central file storage and management platform to help prevent data loss when collaborating on files.

Files stored in a UW SharePoint Online site collection or a Microsoft Team are not owned by an individual, but are instead “owned” by the SharePoint Online site collection/Microsoft Team and the people assigned to the SharePoint Online site collection/Microsoft Team.  Moving files to a SharePoint Online site collection/Microsoft Team will ensure they are not deleted when the original owner of those files leaves the UW.  If you work on a collaborative team, consider creating a SharePoint Online site collection/Microsoft Team to store your team’s data.

Request a UW SharePoint Online Site Collection or Microsoft Team

Click here to request a UW SharePoint Online site collection or Microsoft Team.

Deletion of UW SharePoint Online Site Collections and Microsoft Teams

A UW SharePoint Online site collection/Microsoft Team and all data contained within the site collection/Microsoft Team will be deleted when the last UW member is removed from the site collection/Microsoft Team, or the last UW member separates from the UW.