Home » end user training » How to Move Items from OneDrive for Business to Document Libraries in SharePoint Online, Office 365

How to Move Items from OneDrive for Business to Document Libraries in SharePoint Online, Office 365

End users with a need to move items out of OneDrive for Business and into document libraries in SharePoint Online, Office 365 can be challenged. It is not easy for them to find a simple method of successfully completing this task. There are even issues using Windows Explorer to accomplish this task. So this writer thought it might be helpful to add a post to this blog explaining how to accomplish this task with the browser.

Why Move Items Out of OneDrive for Business and into SharePoint Online Document Libraries?

One might ask why even consider moving items out of OneDrive for Business and into SharePoint Online document libraries?

After all, Microsoft is now offering 1 TB of storage to any Office 365 customer. If one is concerned about ensuring items will surface when searches are run across all of the information stored in SharePoint Online, this concern is unnecessary.

OneDrive for Business is, broadly speaking, just another document library* in SharePoint Online, with some special features, but also the same flexibility as any other document library as regards content columns, terms, metadata tags, etc.

But, from a risk management perspective, it may not make sense for an organization to simply leave data stored in OneDrive for Business. The issue is not the security of the Microsoft Cloud, but more a question of whether or not OneDrive for Business Sync has been enabled, or not. For readers otherwise unfamiliar with this App, OneDrive for Business Sync adds a local folder on a PC. This folder acts like any other Windows mapped folder (or drive). In other words, the content reposed in OneDrive for Business appears in the folder on the PC for which this App has been enabled.

Security policies may be set to permit users to work in SharePoint Online, Office 365 without a need to constantly re-authenticate throughout the working day. If this policy is, in fact, in use, then anyone logged into a PC with this App will have access to the data in OneDrive for Business. So it may make more sense to periodically move data out of OneDrive for Business and into other document libraries in SharePoint Online not synced to the PC.

It is actually very simple for an end user to self manage through the process. Here are the steps:

  1. Select the item to be moved by checking the box to the left of the title of the item in OneDrive for Business
  2. Then, as depicted in the following image, RCI-ribbon-screenshot, click on the “Files” tab from The Ribbon and then click on the “Send To” button in the “Copies” Ribbon Group (it took this writer over 2 hrs to figure this out, unfortunately)
  3. Select “Other Location”
  4. Open the other document library (it worked best for this writer to open the other document library in a new browser window), copy the URL of the destination document library and paste it in the form box below “Destination Document Library or Folder” and click OK. There is also a setting for versioning in this dialog but we opted not to use it
  5. Once the item has been copied to the target document library, this writer refreshed the browser page, confirmed the new location for the file, returned to OneDrive for Business and deleted the item

If there are many items requiring the above procedure, the best long term solution may be to add a “Quick Step” to the OneDrive for Business Ribbon. A “Quick Step” is a workflow, which can be built with either SharePoint Designer 2013 or Visio. Once the “Quick Step” has been built and added to the OneDrive for Business Ribbon, any/all users within an organization will be able to quickly move documents to what may prove to be more secure repositories in SharePoint Online, Office 365.

* (but with some unique features not shared with other document libraries. As well, this writer was unable to add a quick launch to our OneDrive for Business document library.)

Ira Michael Blonder

©Rehmani Consulting, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder 2014 All Rights Reserved