Plan file sync for SharePoint and OneDrive in Microsoft 365

Even though users can upload, download, and interact with SharePoint and OneDrive files from a web browser, the ideal experience comes with the OneDrive sync app for Windows and Mac, and the iOS and Android mobile apps.

The OneDrive sync app has a variety of configuration options for compliance, performance, user experience, and disk space management. While these can be configured at any time, it's important to consider some of them as part of your rollout plan.

Key decisions for sync:

For information about the recommended configuration options for the sync app, see Recommended sync app configuration.

How do you want to deploy the sync app?

You have several different options for deploying the OneDrive sync app: manually, using scripting, using Windows Autopilot (for the sync app on Windows), using a mobile device management solution such as Intune, or using Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager.

The OneDrive sync app is included as part of Windows 10, Windows 11, and Office 2016 or higher. You do not need to deploy the sync app to devices running these, though you may need to update the sync app to the latest version.

To deploy the OneDrive sync app to Windows using Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager, see Deploy OneDrive apps by using Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager.

If you need to install the sync app on a single computer, see Install the sync app per machine.

For a full list of OneDrive sync app requirements, see OneDrive sync app system requirements.

How do you want to manage sync on Windows computers?

You can manage OneDrive sync app settings on Windows computers using Windows Group Policy or by using administrative templates in Intune. Using group policy requires that Windows computers be joined to an Active Directory domain. Using Intune requires that the device be managed by Microsoft Endpoint Manager.

For information, see:

Mac settings are configured using .plist files. For information, see Deploy and configure the OneDrive sync app for Mac.

Which update ring do you want to use?

You can select how soon your users receive updates we release for the sync app.

  • Insiders ring - In this ring, users get the first changes that are released to the public. We recommend selecting several people in your IT department to join this ring.

  • Production ring – In this ring, users get fixes and new features in a timely fashion. We recommend leaving everyone else in the organization in this ring.

  • Enterprise ring – In this ring, you have more control over the deployment of updates, but users have to wait longer to receive fixes and new features.

Configure the following policy to set the sync app update ring.

Policy Windows GPO Mac
Set the sync app update ring GPOSetUpdateRing Tier

For details about the update process for the OneDrive sync app, see The OneDrive sync app update process.

Do you want to limit network utilization for sync?

Depending on your network capacity, you may want to consider limiting how much network bandwidth the sync app can use. This can be useful during a migration phase when large amounts of content are being synced.

Use the following policies to limit the network bandwidth used by the sync app.

Policy Windows GPO Mac
Limit the sync app upload rate to a percentage of throughput AutomaticUploadBandwidthPercentage AutomaticUploadBandwidthPercentage
Enable automatic upload bandwidth management for OneDrive EnableAutomaticUploadBandwidthManagement N/A

Do you want to sync commonly used folders with OneDrive?

Users often save files to their documents folder or desktop. They may not realize that they should save these files in OneDrive. You can automatically sync these commonly used folders to OneDrive, prompt users to do so, or prevent them from doing so.

Use the following policies to configure how users commonly used folders are synced with OneDrive.

Policy Windows GPO Mac
Silently move commonly used folders to OneDrive KFMSilentOptIn KFMSilentOptIn
Prompt users to move their commonly used folders to OneDrive KFMOptInWithWizard KFMOptInWithWizard
Prevent users from stopping sync of their commonly used folders to OneDrive KFMBlockOptOut KFMBlockOptOut
Prevent users from moving their commonly used folders to OneDrive KFMBlockOptIn KFMBlockOptIn

For more information about syncing commonly used folder with OneDrive, see Redirect and move Windows known folders to OneDrive and Redirect and move macOS Desktop and Documents folders to OneDrive.

Do you want to limit which organizations users can sync with?

By default, users can sync shared libraries from other organizations. You can limit this to specific organizations or disable it all together.

Use the following policies to configure which organizations users can sync with.

Policy Windows GPO Mac
Allow syncing OneDrive accounts for only specific organizations AllowTenantList AllowTenantList
Block syncing OneDrive accounts for specific organizations BlockTenantList BlockTenantList
Prevent users from syncing libraries and folders shared from other organizations BlockExternalSync BlockExternalSync

For more information about syncing with other organizations, see B2B Sync.

Do you want to allow users to sync their personal OneDrive?

Depending on your governance practices, you can prevent users from syncing their personal OneDrive accounts to devices managed by your organization.

Use the following policies to specify if users can sync personal OneDrive accounts.

Policy Windows GPO Mac
Prevent users from syncing personal OneDrive accounts DisablePersonalSync DisablePersonalSync

Do you want to block certain file types from being uploaded?

You can specify if you don't want users to be able to upload certain types of files using the sync app. Use the following policy to configure this.

Policy Windows GPO Mac
Exclude specific kinds of files from being uploaded EnableODIgnoreListFromGPO EnableODIgnore

This can also be configured in the SharePoint admin center. For more information, see Block syncing of specific file types.

Do you need to sync files in a hybrid environment with SharePoint Server?

If your organization uses SharePoint Server 2019 or SharePoint Server Subscription Edition, you can sync files using the OneDrive sync app. For information, see Configure syncing with the new OneDrive sync app.

If you are using the previous OneDrive sync app (Groove.exe), see Transition from the previous OneDrive for Business sync app for information on how to move to the new OneDrive sync app.

Do you want to limit sync to computers joined to a specific domain?

To make sure that users sync OneDrive files only on managed computers, you can configure OneDrive to sync only on PCs that are joined to specific domains. for more information, see Allow syncing only on computers joined to specific domains.

Next steps

Plan for SharePoint and OneDrive in Microsoft 365