As the title suggests, today’s article is all about the confusion that is caused by OneDrive and OneDrive for Business. We may not be able to fully remove the confusion brought about by these Sync and Share and cloud storage products, but we can certainly clear up some of the misunderstandings.


Why is OneDrive and OneDrive for business confusing?

Okay, so OneDrive and OneDrive for Business can be confusing. That’s because they’re both Microsoft products with similar names that perform somewhat similar tasks related to cloud storage. In addition to this, there is also the multiple sync clients (technology that enables users to sync their files from anywhere); the newer “next generation” sync client which is an update of the older sync client which is still used widely (thereby adding an extra layer of confusion when you run into a synchronisation issue).

With that in mind, today we’ll provide you with an overview of these two OneDrive products. However, just to confuse you we must point out that OneDrive for Business comes in two flavours and this is one of the reasons why you might run into sync issues. We’ll also look at alternatives to Microsoft’s approach.

A lot of the time we’ve heard the explanation that OneDrive for Business is the ‘business’ or ‘professional’ version of OneDrive. That wouldn’t be so hard to understand, but it’s not as simple as that. Let’s look at each product individually to see their differences.


This is not the free OneDrive personal cloud storage that is available to the man or woman on the street for free. We are talking about the personal space your employees get as part of an Office 365 subscription that, confusingly, Microsoft also call OneDrive.

OneDrive for Business

While the name suggests that OneDrive for Business is the business version of OneDrive with a few added ‘business’ functions, OneDrive and OneDrive for Business have less to do with one other than you might think—in practice they have nothing to do with each other. However, we must point out that, confusingly, OneDrive for Business Next Generation uses the same code as OneDrive. So, what you have is three versions using two iterations of software. See here:

  • OneDrive is different software from OneDrive for Business
  • OneDrive is the same software as OneDrive for Business Next Generation

So the first issue we see many users run into is that of not fully understanding which product they are using. And an uncertainty of what they can or cannot do with their version of OneDrive and OneDrive for Business.

OneDrive and OneDrive for Business sync confusion

Along with the confusion over their names, OneDrive and OneDrive for Business have different sync       clients. This stems from the Peer to Peer sharing approach of OneDrive’s grandfather system (Groove Networks) rather than the environment that causes the disparity. For more on the history of where Microsoft’s OneDrive comes from, take a look here.

For OneDrive for Business, there are currently two sync clients: the “next generation” sync client and the previous “old” sync client. However, very soon that may well be up to three. It’s not clear if the new sync client—“Files on Demand”—will be the latest ‘revved up’ version of one of the current sync clients or if it will be a standalone version. If you’re not sure which sync client you’re using right now you can read a good overview here.


Skip the confusion and find an Easier solution

Sync issues in OneDrive and OneDrive for business can be brought on by several reasons (a list of sync issues faced by some versions of OneDrive for Business can be found here). However, skip this confusion and find an easier solution.

Instead of worrying about your potential OneDrive and OneDrive for Business confusion and sync issues, why not consider third party tools that can make your life much easier? This is where Easier365 comes in. Our tool can solve your OneDrive for Business sync issues. Built by OneDrive for Business and SharePoint experts, Easier365 exists to do the things OneDrive for Business cannot do and makes your sync and share experience much more practical and efficient.

Deploying Easier365 enables your users to, for example, select the specific files you need to sync with your Team Sites without having to sync every file in the folder. The Digi-link solution is just as compatible with SharePoint 2007 and 2010 as it is with SharePoint 2013, 2016 and Office 365, without having to worry about different generation sync clients. Along with these features, Easier365 also comes with:

  • An application interface to navigate Office 365 libraries, meaning you can find that specific file in one click.
  • Remote deletion, so you can delete files locally without also deleting them on SharePoint or Office 365.
  • Large, multithreaded and powerful processing, so no matter how many GBs of data you have, Easier365 can handle it.


To see even more features and what Easier365 can bring to your OneDrive for Business, SharePoint and Office 365 environment, get in touch with us today.