Office 365 to Use OneDrive as Default Save Location Going Forward

Posted on January 26, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Office 365 with 31 Comments

Microsoft announced this week that its core Office 365 applications will use OneDrive as your default Save location, starting with a set of February updates.

“To protect against device loss or damage and to provide anywhere access to files, we recommend storing them in Office 365,” an Office Apps Team post to the Office 365 Blog explains. “We are announcing a new capability that makes it easier for you to create and save your Word, Excel, or PowerPoint document directly to the cloud.”

Now, when you save an Office document—using CTRL + S (or the Mac equivalent) or the Save button—a new dialog will appear that defaults to OneDrive, or, for Office 365 Commercial customers, SharePoint Online.

After that, you’ll be able to change the name of the document directly from the app’s title bar, just as you can do today in the Office Online web app versions of these apps. You can also change its location within OneDrive from here.

“These features, along with OneDrive Files On-Demand for Mac, are part of our investments in making it easier for you to get your files into the cloud,” the team says. “By saving to the cloud, you will be able to securely access your most important documents from any device and start collaborating with others from the get go.”

I assume this change won’t impact those who use other save locations. And I’m curious what the target of the “More save options” link looks like. But we should be able to test these changes via Office Insider presumably as well.

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Comments (29)

29 responses to “Office 365 to Use OneDrive as Default Save Location Going Forward”

  1. SvenJ

    1) Hope it is configurable, to not default there.

    2) Really would be nice if MS provided the option of buying more storage.

  2. gregsedwards

    My company pays for Office 365 licenses for everyone but, rather curiously, has decided to use Box for cloud storage. I'll be interested to see how my IT department responds to this, when it finally rolls out to us.

  3. justme

    Just as long as its configurable. I am not a cloud guy, and would prefer the default save location to be local but configurable. But I do understand where O365 users might like this. If it ever becomes non-configurable, then I would have an issue.

  4. mattbg

    I like the principle of saving everything to OneDrive, but what if you work with a lot of large documents such as Photoshop, video, etc? Do people really offload all of that to OneDrive as well? The sync may never catch up :)

  5. siv

    They had better not make this something you can't turn off or I will be closing my Office 365 subscription.

  6. bluvg

    Three things (please, Microsoft):

    - Build the integration directly into Windows Explorer instead (as an option/extension)

    - Support content types fully

    - This may be near useless if you have thousands of SharePoint site collections (projects)/doc libraries/folders, and you may need to work in any of them any given day. If it takes 16 clicks to get to your location because it just dumps you in your MRU folder and lists 4 other MRU folders, it's not effective. Why is this lost on almost every vendor, including Microsoft itself?

  7. hrlngrv

    As long as this is only a default and can be overridden, NBD. If it's difficult to alter this via application settings, NBD for me with Excel as it's simple enough to add yet another statement to PERSONAL.XLSB's Workbook_Open event handler to change the working directory. Now if this means Excel ignores the working directory, I'll find that a new annoyance.

    Minor PITA for most enterprises if this can't be changed via group policy. Dunno myself, just speculation.

    As for the window's title bar becoming an application control, long window captions are problematic for those who have their QAT in the window title bar and want more than just a few controls there.

  8. Daekar

    I've been doing this for years, and it really is the best way to do things as far as I can tell. No complaints from me, especially if it prevents my family members from losing their stuff.

  9. purpletango

    Nice, Almost there; Defaulting Windows Explorer to OneDrive would be the trifecta. A single simple option of Explorer | View | Options | Default = OneDrive. (At the moment we only have This PC / Quick Access)

    • silversee

      In reply to purpletango:

      This is already in place if you enable Folder Protection in OneDrive Settings. Works for Documents, Pictures and your Desktop folder (no messing with Library settings or Quick Access). When enabled, the OneDrive locations also replace the default shell locations in the "This PC" view.

  10. red.radar

    I am fairly anti-cloud, but I can see the benefit to most people who live in the cloud. However since I am on the 2019 disk image I don’t think this will effect me anyways

  11. Darekmeridian

    They have been doing this in the Insider builds for a while. I have gotten so used to it that I didn't realize that it worked different before. If you turn on AutoSave it does ask you where you want the file to be saved and gives you options of where, it's just that OneDrive is the default.

    I should get my OneDrive a little more organized right now it's pretty much a dumpster fire of random crap that I just used to throw up there for testing.

  12. sgbassett

    This is a good idea. I am a solo practice lawyer and also teach law practice management at a law school. One of the things solo and small firm attorneys, nearly all of whom have no IT staff, struggle with is securing access to their documents when they are not in their offices. Many attorneys today work from multiple locations, The number of attorneys without fixed offices is increasing. Think the movie and books featuring the "Lincoln Lawyer."

    The way lawyers and other independent professionals now work makes having a single local file and document storage location impractical and potentially insecure. Local backups of cloud-stored documents is a great idea, but the primary storage should be in the cloud.

    Documents saved to OneDrive are nearly always more secure and accessible by the owner than anything saved to the internal drive on a laptop, desktop, or local network storage. Changing the default to encourage the use of OneDrive for file storage is a good step.

    • chriscarstens

      In reply to sgbassett:I'm a psychologist in private practice. I worry about 1) HIPAA compliance and 2) access to my records if Microsoft account somehow becomes unavailable. [I imagine that the hackers and pirates may make the whole system unusable at some point in the next five or six years -- but that's my own paranoia.]

      Your thoughts?



      • wright_is

        In reply to chriscarstens:

        In Europe, we have GDPR, which pretty much precludes the use of most cloud services - data must be under your control, must be stored within the EU. If MS screw up, their customers face fines of at least 22M€ ($24M).

        The data can, theoretically be stored in other countries that have data protection rules that are at least as strong as ours. The USA has the Privacy Shield, but they have so far failed to fulfill their side of the agreement - after nearly 18 months, they still have to appoint an ombudsman.

  13. Tony Barrett

    So, MS will make OneDrive the default save location - I assume to ensure that eventually people have to start paying more for storage. I can't see any other reason for this, other than MS having direct access to user files to data mine them. Seems a bit underhand to me, but then, that's Microsoft these days.

  14. stephenf

    I would like to know the current state of the state when it comes to file security. For example, is the data encrypted in flight, is the data encrypted at rest, or both? I would like to know that for the home user and for the business user. Anyone have that answer?

  15. igor engelen

    I have a double feeling about this. I can see the advantages of doing this for a lot of non technical people. On the other hand there's me with office soft on my iMac normally saving to the Documents folder that's synced to my icloud drive.

    Let's wait and see.

  16. warren

    For those wondering, YES this is configurable. Has been for a long time. File -> Options -> Save.

  17. skramer49

    It says O365 will default to OneDrive. Hope there’s a way to change that default. My dear wife uses Word for everything from correspondence to journaling to archiving her quilting projects and has a filing system she’s built over the years in Dropbox. She’s not a techie and will not react well to MSFT messing up her system. (And I’ll have to find a fix for her!)

  18. navarac

    It'll be very interesting to see what happens then.

    I use Dropbox rather than Onedrive which is uninstalled on the PC. It - Onedrive - is too slow and has never been the same since Win 8.1 for me).

    (A problem for German users, of course, like wright_is, because of local data laws.)

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