OneDrive provides a place in the cloud where you can sync and store your work files, and share them with others.

Table of Contents

What is OneDrive?

OneDrive is an integral part of Office 365, and provides a place in the cloud where you can store and sync your work files, and share them with others. You can update and share your files from any device with OneDrive as long as you have an internet connection.

OneDrive also facilitates easy collaboration. When you share a file amongst coworkers, everyone you’ve shared with will be able to remotely and simultaneously access and update a single file or folder, and changes made by any individual to the shared item will sync for all users.

Migration information

The Executive Office of Technology Services & Security will be working with executive branch secretariats and agencies to bring their employees Microsoft Office 365, which includes OneDrive. 

You will be notified via email in advance of each part of this process. It is very important that you look out for any emails from the Executive Office of Technology Services & Security, as well as from your secretariat SCIO and End-User Support Services team regarding OneDrive and Office 365. Be sure to read them carefully, as certain parts of the migration to OneDrive will require your cooperation! 

As part of the upgrade to OneDrive, we will be moving all of your network drive (e.g. "H: Drive") data to OneDrive. The OneDrive desktop app will be installed on your workstation, and you will be provided with directions for downloading the OneDrive app on both your phone and tablet (where appropriate) and accessing the OneDrive web interface.

After migration, your network drive will be read-only. This means you'll be able to access and transfer your files but you won't be able to edit them or save any new files to your network drive.

In the future, your network drive will be decommissioned. OneDrive will be your primary source for storing and accessing files.

How to access

There are two ways to access OneDrive - via the web and the desktop app. 

What is the difference between the web portal and the desktop app, and how do I access them?

When you view your OneDrive account via the web portal, what you see is everything you own that has been saved to the cloud. Saving to the cloud allows you to access your files and folders from any internet-connected device via See the instructions below to sign in.

You can also access your OneDrive account via the desktop app. The desktop app manages a folder named "OneDrive - Commonwealth of Massachusetts" that is available via File Explorer on your computer. To start the desktop app, search "OneDrive" in the start menu on your computer, click the app, sign in with your Commonwealth credentials, and click through the prompts.

If something you own appears on your desktop, but you do not see it in the OneDrive web interface, that means that it has not been synced to the cloud, and you will not be able to access this item via the internet. Scroll down to the "How to Use" section to learn how to fix this.


PLEASE NOTE: Have you received a notice that multi-factor authentication was enabled for your account? If you still need to set up multi-factor authentication, click here to visit the help page. After you're all set up, click here for instructions on logging in to the Office 365 online portal using multi-factor authentication. If multi-factor authentication has not yet been enabled for your account, continue reading below.

See the directions below to learn how to access the web interface via

STEP 1: Open up your internet browser, go to, and click “sign in”. 


STEP 2: Enter your Commonwealth email address.


STEP 3: Log in via the Centrify portal with your Commonwealth credentials.



STEP 4: It is recommended that you do not stay signed in on public or shared devices.


STEP 5: Select OneDrive from the applications list.


How to use

What if something appears on my desktop, but not online?

You can solve this problem by making sure that every time you save something to your desktop, you save it in your "OneDrive - Commonwealth of Massachusetts" folder in File Explorer or upload it directly to OneDrive via the web portal (see the "How to Use" section for instructions). The "OneDrive - Commonwealth of Massachusetts" folder is managed by the OneDrive desktop app; when you save an item to the "OneDrive - Commonwealth of Massachusetts" folder on your desktop, the desktop app functions by automatically uploading that item to the cloud on your behalf!

Once OneDrive has been enabled on your account, you can find the desktop app by searching via the Start Menu. To get started, you will simply click the icon and sign in using your Commonwealth credentials. Click through the prompts to complete the set up.


What if I want to access my files while offline?

Any time you save a document to the "OneDrive - Commonwealth of Massachusetts" folder on your desktop, a copy of the document is saved on your hard drive. Any changes you make to this copy will automatically sync to the cloud the next time you connect to the internet.

When you upload a document directly to the cloud or create a file online, you may also manually download a copy to the desktop app if you'd like to access the item via the "OneDrive - Commonwealth of Massachusetts" folder in File Explorer on your desktop. This will allow you to access the item from your work device while offline.


How does document sharing work?

When you share a document stored in your OneDrive, you have two options: share a link, or share a copy. Sharing a copy should be familiar to you - a new, separate copy of the file is generated and sent to the recipient to own and edit, while the owner retains their own original copy. Sharing a link is different, however. When you choose to share a document via a link, OneDrive does not create a new copy. Instead, it generates a stable URL that allows all the recipients you specify to access and edit YOUR copy of the document. This makes it easy for a group to collaborate on a single document!

Please note: when you generate a shared link, the recipients you specify will receive permission to edit the document by default, so be careful when sharing! You do have the option to change this - you may specify that recipients only receive permission to view the document without making changes. This can be done when generating the link, and also after the fact via the OneDrive web interface. 

To learn how to do all of the above, see the list of features and functionalities in this section, below.


How does the sync feature work?

Any time you edit an item that is saved in both places - whether you accessed it via the internet, or via the desktop app - the changes you make will save automatically and sync as long as you have an active internet connection.


Learn how to use the features and functionalities of OneDrive by visiting the pages below.

What you need to know

  • You cannot bulk sync files to local storage on non-work devices, but you can still work on files from any device and save them to OneDrive via the web interface or mobile app. If you'd like to work on files offline, they may be downloaded on an individual basis to non-work devices.
  • This link contains information about the technical restrictions and limitations that apply when you use OneDrive for Business
  • One of the reasons the Commonwealth is moving to Office 365 is to improve our security posture. Read more about how Microsoft secures your personal data and protects the Office 365 environment from malware.

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