How to Configure OneDrive Next Generation Sync Client (Windows)

OneDrive is Microsoft’s cloud based storage solution similar to Dropbox and Google Drive. OneDrive allows you to securely access your files from any of your devices (desktop, laptop, home computer, and phone). You can store up to Level 3 data on your OneDrive account. Please review the page for additional benefits of the overall OneDrive service.

The OneDrive sync client will provide increased stability and an enhanced user experience when synchronizing your files to OneDrive. After configuration, the desktop application will allow you to access files stored on OneDrive through local folders on your computer.

The following directions will provide information on how to open and configure OneDrive if it has been installed on your computer:

Step 1. Select the Windows icon on the bottom left of your screen (Figure 1, A).

MS Logo

Figure 1

Step 2. Type in ‘OneDrive’ (Figure 2, A) and open ‘Microsoft OneDrive’ not OneDrive for Business Figure 2, B

MS OneDrive

Figure 2


Step 3. Enter your primary Harvard email address in the sign in box (Figure 3).

Set up OneDrive

Figure 3

Step 4. Click ‘Work or School’ on the right hand side of the Set up OneDrive window (Figure 4, A).

Please proceed to Step 5 if you do not see the screen below.

Choose Work or School  

Figure 4

Step 5. Please enter your primary Harvard email address and Harvard Key (Figure 5). If you have previously used OneDrive to sync files to your computer, you may be finished after this step is completed. OneDrive should pick up the preexisting synced folders on your computer.

  Sign in
















Figure 5

Step 6. The next screen allows you to select the location to synchronize your OneDrive files too. We strongly suggest using the default location that Microsoft recommends. To use the default location simply do not make any changes then click next (Figure 6)

  This is your OneDrive folder












Figure 6

Step 7. The next screen will allow you to select specific files or folders to synchronize. If you would like to sync all of your files currently on OneDrive, check the ‘Sync all files and folders’ button, then click next (Figure7, A).

  • If you already store large files or folders on OneDrive, you may want to consider unchecking these specific files and folders (e.g., video galleries or very large file archives). This will prevent unselected files from synchronizing to your machine locally, thus saving hard drive space.


Figure 7

Step 8. The final screen will ask you to click to open your OneDrive folder. Please open your OneDrive folder (Figure 8). If you have files downloading from your OneDrive, a green check mark next to a file or a folder indicates it has been synchronized (Figure 9). A red “X” next to a file or folder indicates a synchronization error. Please review the usage notes below to see what may have caused an error.

OneDrive is Ready 
Figure 8 


Figure 9

OneDrive Usages Notes:
  • Any files saved to OneDrive files must be no larger than 10GB each

  • Filenames or folder names containing any of the following invalid characters will need to be renamed in order to be saved to OneDrive: \, /, :, *, ?, ", <, >, |, #, %

Please contact the HUIT Service Desk at 617-495-7777 or if you experience any problems installing, configuring, or using OneDrive.