Using webhooks to receive service-to-service notifications

OneDrive provides service-to-service notifications through webhooks. Webhooks provide a simple notification pipeline so your app can be aware of changes to a user's drive without polling the service.

When items your app has access to in a user's drive are changed, the URL you provide will be sent a request notifying it that changes have occurred.

Common tasks

Task HTTP method
Create a new subscription POST /subscriptions
Delete subscription DELETE /subscriptions/{id}
Update a subscription PATCH /subscriptions/{id}


To register for webhooks, you add a new subscription to the item representing the top of the scope for which you wish to receive changes.

See adding a new subscription for details on how to register a URL for notifications.

Scope of notifications

Webhook notifications will be sent to your app only for changes that meet the following criteria:

  • A user has authorized your app to have access to OneDrive content.
  • The app has access to the item that generates the notification.
  • The subscription has not expired.

Your app will not receive notifications for items that have been shared with the user who has signed in or remote items in the user's drive unless separate subscriptions are created on the original items.

Receiving notifications

Once your subscription is created, OneDrive will send POST requests to your registered URL when items under the notification scope are changed. Multiple notifications to your service may be batched together into a single request, if multiple users have changes that occur within the same time period.

Example notification

The body of the HTTP request to your notification URL will contain a Webhook Notification resource similar to the following:

  "value": [
      "subscriptionId": "A640DFF3-0429-44FC-AF7E-30523A476864",
      "expirationDateTime": "2017-02-22T16:00:00Z",
      "resource": "/me/drive/root",
      "clientState": "client-specific string"

You'll notice that the notification doesn't include any information about the changes that triggered it. Your app is expected to use the delta verb to detect any changes to the state of items in OneDrive and store the syncToken value for the next time you are notified.

Error handling

If an error occurs while sending the notification to your service, OneDrive will follow exponential back-off logic. Any response with an HTTP status code outside of the 200-299 range, or that times out, will be attempted again over the next several minutes. If the request is not successful after 15 minutes, the notification is dropped.

Future notifications will still be attempted to your service, although the service reserves the right to remove the subscription if a sufficient number of failures are detected.


New subscriptions are automatically provided an expiration date if one is not provided when the subscription is created. By default, subscriptions are set to expire 6 months from when they are created.

Best practices

When you use webhooks there are some important things to consider:


You should not attempt to use webhooks to notify client devices directly. Each app has a single webhook URL that is called for all users. This URL should point to a service you control. You can choose to have your service parse the notification messages and forward appropriate push notifications to client apps as you want.

Respond quickly

Your app has limited time to respond to the request. You should queue information about notification updates, and then process those requests on a separate thread. You should not attempt to pull changes from the OneDrive service before responding to the webhook request.

Expect concurrent notifications

In many circumstances you might receive notifications for the same user multiple times in quick succession. For example, if a user is new or is uploading a batch of content to OneDrive, you can receive multiple notifications for the same user before you have processed the first notification. Ensure that the actions that respond to webhook notifications properly handle this case.