* About: OneDrive (cloud file storage)

Service overview

IMPORTANT: New OneDrive storage capacity starting May 31st 2024

On May 31st, 2024, OneDrive storage capacity for all students, will be adjusted to 20GB, to comply with Microsoft’s new Storage quota for its educational sector clients.

If you are a McGill student, please verify your current storage using the instructions in this article: How to check file storage usage in OneDrive.

If your current storage exceeds 20GB, empty the recycle bin, remove shared items and application installers. Move older, unused files and large files such as videos, PowerPoint presentations or picture libraries, off your OneDrive, to another location right away so you are ready for May 31st storage space reduction.

The OneDrive storage provided to staff or faculty members will not be affected.

More details about this initiative can be found in this announcement on the ITS website.

This service provides secure cloud-based file storage and sharing via Microsoft’s OneDrive for work or school (formerly OneDrive for Business). This is a secure environment where your intellectual property and personal data are protected.

OneDrive allows you to:

This service eliminates personal file storage on McGill's central servers. Think of it as your personal drive in the cloud.


Information about data security:

    • Regulated Data - Although OneDrive for work or school is a McGill-approved cloud service where you can store protected and personal data, it must not be used to store certain types of Regulated Data. For example, using Payment Card Information (PCI) is not permitted.

      For definitions of the various types of institutional (enterprise & research) data and guidance on which types can/cannot be stored in OneDrive, see the list of cloud services that have been approved/rejected for McGill use (sign in to view the page)

    • Protected Data can be stored on OneDrive for work or school. However, the master copy of the final document needs to be saved on a group storage solution (such as D2, Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, or shared network drives). If you retire, graduate or otherwise leave McGill, your access to McGill's OneDrive for work or school is terminated, and your files are permanently deleted.
    • Sharing files: One of the benefits of OneDrive is the ease of sharing and collaborating. However, be sure to only share with people who need to see your file; never share Regulated or Protected Institutional Data using the option where anyone who has the link can access the file. 
    • File backup and recovery: Microsoft backs up OneDrive files. Users have two options to recover files that are accidentally deleted:
    • Two-Factor Authentication: Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) for your McGill account to make your OneDrive data even more secure.

Who can use it

This service is available to active students, faculty, and staff, except casual staff.

What happens after you leave McGill:

  • Non-academic staff members: Your supervisor can access your OneDrive directory for 30 days after your departure to copy and move any important work-related data to a more permanent McGill-provided storage repository.
  • Students and Academic staff (including Professors and Deans): You will lose access to your OneDrive repository after you leave McGill; the timing varies depending on the situation. For details, see IT services available after leaving McGill.
  • See the FAQs for OneDrive for additional information on what happens when you leave McGill.

How to request & access the service

Microsoft 365 web interface:
Log into the Microsoft 365 site using your McGill Username and Password at: https://office.com.
When you enter your McGill Username, you will be redirected to McGill's authentication server to sign in.


You must log in through the Microsoft 365 web interface at least once before accessing OneDrive from a mobile device.

Once in the Microsoft 365 portal, click OneDrive to access your cloud storage space.

screenshot of Microsoft 365 web interface showing the OneDrive icon

OneDrive applications:
The OneDrive for work or school sync application allows you to view and work with files locally and synchronize changes to the web. To install the OneDrive for work or school sync app on your desktop or laptop, or to install the OneDrive for work or school mobile app, visit the Microsoft website.

How to store/retrieve/share files

Using the web interface, you can drag and drop files from your computer directly into the OneDrive space. For example, if you have Office 2016 or the local version of Microsoft 365 installed, you can open and save files directly from the applications to your McGill OneDrive. See the Training & documentation section below for links to self-serve documentation.


There is no cost associated with this service.


The service is available 24 X 7, except during planned maintenance or outages. Check the IT Support home page for announcements regarding service interruptions.

Frequently asked questions

Are there any limitations on my usage of OneDrive for work or school?
Your usage must be in accordance with the Policy on the Responsible Use of McGill IT Resources and the Cloud Directive.

I’m a staff member. Can I use OneDrive to share permanent work files that I share with my team?
Do not use OneDrive to store permanent work files that you share with your department. If you leave McGill, those files will be deleted. Instead, use SharePoint as a central repository for all your team’s permanent work files.

See all FAQs for OneDrive

Best practices & policies

Training & documentation


When using OneDrive on the web, click the ellipsis next to a filename for options.

screenshot showing ellipsis and file options

Instructions on the Microsoft Support knowledge base:



For access/authentication issues and basic assistance using OneDrive for work or school, contact the IT Service Desk.

Microsoft Support: