Syncing Docs to OneDrive for Business


After moving your documents to OneDrive for Business, one of the features you can turn on is Sync your Documents, Desktop, and Pictures folder to OneDrive.  This allows you to still save to these locations and have them stored online.

Sync and Backup Your Folders


If you follow the instructions, but you don't see the menu items mentioned below, you may need to update your client.  Check for Microsoft 365 Updates.

Table of Contents

Start Syncing to OneDrive

  1. Open OneDrive by either clicking the OneDrive icon in the task bar or, clicking Start → Search for OneDrive to open the application.
  2. Next, click  Settings → Sync & backup →  Manage backup.
  3. Change the toggle for the folders you want to start including in your sync and click Save Changes.
    1. We recommend syncing all locations with SPU-business content (usually Desktop and Documents).
    2. If for any reason, you receive an error when trying to toggle folders on, please contact the HelpDesk.
  4. Your files will begin syncing, if you have a lot of files, this may take a long time. 
    1. The sync will pause when network access is lost or the computer is off and will resume when access is restored or the computer is turned on.
    2. If you receive any errors, see the OneDrive for Business FAQ's or call the CIS HelpDesk for support.

Sync Only Files You Need

You can manage which of your OneDrive Folders are always available on your machine even if you're offline. This will let you manage space on your machine by only having those you need accessible, while still providing the flexibility for working offline.

  1. In the taskbar, on the lower right hand corner, you should see a blue cloud icon (you may need to click the ^ icon to see the application)
  2. Next, click on this icon and then select Settings (the gear icon) → Settings again → AccountChoose Folders
  3. Put Checkboxes next to the folders you want to sync and Press OK.
    1. You can select Make All files Available, but if you know you don't need certain folders, you can select specific folders.  This can also help save space on your computer if you've previously had storage issues.
    2. Files that you chose to not sync will still be accessible in the cloud, at


Setup OneDrive to Sync

  1. Make sure you have the OneDrive client installed–if not, you can download & install from the Microsoft Website to Download the OneDrive client
  2. Open OneDrive by going to Applications or pressing cmd + Space (Spotlight) and searching for it. Sign in with your SPU Credentials if you haven't already done so
    1. If you are signed into a personal account only, add your SPU account by clicking on the cloud icon on the top right corner of your screen. Click the three dots ... that say More, then select Preferences. Then select the Account tab → Add an Account → Sign in with SPU credentials. 
  3. When you see the This Is Your OneDrive Folder, hit Next → select Sync all files and folders in OneDrive. If you already have your SPU OneDrive setup, sync folders in the OneDrive client by navigating to MorePreferencesAccount. Then you will see your local OneDrive client and click on Choose Folders to select what is synced
    1. On devices with OSX 10.10 or higher, see your sync status by going to the Apple logo System PreferencesExtensions → Check the Finder box under OneDrive to allow integration. Now you can see the sync symbols on your files in Finder. 

Backup Your Local Folders

  1. Locate the OneDrive icon in the menu bar across the top (cloud icon) or open OneDrive from Applications.
  2. Click the icon and choose Settings (Gear Icon) → Preferences.  
  3. A new window will open, click BackupManage Backup.
  4. In the Window that opens, choose the Folders you want to sync and press Start Backup.
    1. You can choose Desktop & Documents.
  5. These files will begin syncing to your OneDrive 
  6. To view your synced files and folders, open a Finder window and in the left-hand menu under Locations choose OneDrive - Seattle Pacific University.

Each user has a large store of 1TB, so if you are running into issues with space, please contact the CIS Helpdesk by submitting a ticket at or calling (206) 281-2982 so we can troubleshoot the potential causes & solutions for your situation to ensure you have enough space to store all your SPU-sensitive data. 

Have Questions?

If you are experiencing issues syncing your files to OneDrive, we recommend reading the OneDrive for Business FAQ's page.