OneDrive turns 15: Delivering new and intuitive experiences


  • Staff
Today, we’re celebrating the 15th anniversary of OneDrive. We’d like to take a moment to thank you for using OneDrive, whether you’re tackling a big project at work, planning a family reunion, backing up important content to your new device, or connecting with friends and loved ones through photos and videos.

OneDrive: A brief history​

Timeline showing the evolution of OneDrive from its inception in 2007 up to the present day.

Figure 1. Evolution of OneDrive.

Our story started in August 2007 when Microsoft first launched its cloud storage system to enable people to share and synchronize their files in the cloud. A little more than a year later, we added the ability for people to store and access photos and videos as well. Our first five years were a time of keeping up with rapid growth, especially as businesses increasingly moved their productivity and collaboration solutions to the cloud with Microsoft 365 (formerly Microsoft Office 365) and people began relying more on their mobile devices for managing everything from their personal photos to their work email and files.

As the amount of content—both business and personal—stored online began to grow by leaps and bounds, we continued to work on ways to simplify how people manage their files and collaborate with others.

For life outside of the office, we introduced features that provide consumers with peace of mind. With features like camera roll backup and PC folder backup, you didn’t have to worry if your personal device is damaged or lost because your files are protected in the cloud. If you had a malicious attack or needed to recover accidentally deleted files, we had your back there too. We also realized that for the super important personal documents, you needed an extra layer of security and the ability to access them from anywhere, so in 2019 we launched Personal Vault.

Since 2016, Gartner® has recognized Microsoft as a Leader in the Content Services Platforms Magic Quadrant. The value OneDrive provides has evolved from “you can share a file” to “you can collaborate with internal team members and external colleagues reliably, seamlessly, and securely across all form factors—desktop, mobile, and web.” In the past five years, OneDrive has increased monthly active users by 240 percent. In addition, Microsoft customers like Expedia Group, Nestlé, GAP Inc., and Ecolab have come to rely on OneDrive to ensure secure collaboration and productivity for their employees in the new world of hybrid work.


Video description: Expedia Group improves their collaboration, productivity, and security with Microsoft OneDrive.

We are proud of how our offerings continue to evolve—OneDrive has evolved into the core system for powering all files experiences across Microsoft 365. We are grateful to you, our customers, for the ongoing feedback and support we receive to help us make sharing and collaborating in OneDrive the best possible experience.

We’re excited to share even more features to help you access everything you need, whether you’re working alone on a project, collaborating with your team, or sharing photos and videos with your family.

Introducing a new OneDrive Home experience​



Video description: Introducing a new landing experience for OneDrive for web.

We’ve redesigned the OneDrive Home experience to help you easily resume your work and catch up on what you missed while you were away. Soon, OneDrive will surface your most relevant files and list your most recent files along with any activity updates, so you can see everything at a glance and quickly prioritize where to start working.

We have evolved the Recent view to OneDrive Home. This will ensure that in the morning—or whenever your workday begins—you can easily find the files you need to work on first. Do you have a product launch guide to wrap up or a customer roadmap you’ve submitted to your teammates for feedback? Now you can filter by file type (.docx, .pptx, .xlsx, and .pdf) using the buttons at the top of the Recent file list. Simply select the Word button to navigate to that launch guide and complete the finishing touches.


Video description: Filter your recent files by type. Stay up to date with the most recent activities on your files.

Through OneDrive, you can access all the collaboration tools that help you and your team deliver high-quality results like threaded comments, @mentions, real-time coauthoring, and highlighted changes. To ensure you are always up to date with these actions, we’re introducing an Activity column in OneDrive that surfaces the most recent, unseen edits, and comments on your shared documents.

The Activity column also appears in the My files view, showcasing all the shares, @mentions, comments, and assigned tasks from collaborators, so you can see which reviewers have provided remarks for you to address.

For example, if you’re working with your team on a white paper for a new product release, you can review the Activity column to see any edits or comments that require your attention or anyone you need to remind to address action items.

Finally, to easily find and access the places where you continually work, you can pin document libraries to the Quick access section in the left navigation of OneDrive Home.

OneDrive Home will be available in the coming months. This new landing experience on OneDrive for web will roll out to OneDrive for work and school users.

A familiar, consistent experience across all your files​

We’re dedicated to providing a coherent collaborative files experience across Microsoft 365 with OneDrive. This is why we’ve been working on delivering a more intuitive sharing experience across Office apps, OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams that provides you a quick, robust way to grant access to information, set granular sharing controls, see everyone you’ve shared files with and manage access settings across individuals and groups.

PowerPoint sharing experience consistent with that of OneDrive.

Figure 2. Coherent and intuitive sharing experience across Microsoft Teams.

We’ve also created a familiar files experience across OneDrive, SharePoint, and Microsoft Teams, so you can quickly locate the files you work with on a regular basis to share them with colleagues. Whether you’re browsing, moving, or copying files in OneDrive or Microsoft Teams channel, adding shortcuts to your OneDrive from a document library in SharePoint site or Teams, or accessing your Teams standard and private channel files—your experience will be coherent and consistent.

Use “Add shortcut to OneDrive” feature within Microsoft Teams to add shared folders directly to your OneDrive.

Figure 3. Add shared folders to your OneDrive for easy access directly within Microsoft Teams.

A new way to share your memories​

Since 2007, OneDrive has been committed to giving you peace of mind knowing your photos, videos, and files are protected in the cloud, and now we’ve extended that commitment to a refreshed photos sharing experience to relive a lifetime of memories.

Images of people and food shared with privately with family and friends.

Figure 4. Share and relive your beautiful moments with OneDrive photo story.

OneDrive photo story, recently made available in preview, brings all your memories into a private, invitation-only feed that you can share with family and friends. It supports comments, reactions, and notifications to spur authentic interactions through photos that people care about. The feature is available now in Australia on the OneDrive mobile app for Android and iOS, and from your favorite web browser. We plan to roll out the new feature in the United States and other regions later in 2022, as we continue to listen to your feedback and develop and improve feature capabilities

We are committed to bringing you features that protect your important files and memories, and securely connect you with those who matter most. This is possible because of your continued support and feedback!

Thank you for the last 15 and for so many more great years to come!

Want to learn more?​

Listen to the latest episode on The Intrazone podcast, OneDrive turns 15! Go behind the scenes with the OneDrive team: Steven Bailey, Corporate Vice President for OneDrive and SharePoint engineering, and Arwa Tyebkhan, Principal Group Product Manager for OneDrive, celebrate OneDrive’s 15th lap around the sun and reminisce on the early days while sharing some exciting new announcements rolling out soon.

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