OneDrive vs. OneDrive for Business

7 Dec 2014 2-minute read Al Eardley
Office 365

Microsoft in their wisdom have chosen to name two products in a very similar way, In fact they are so similar that they are commonly mistaken for each other. So what are they?

They are both combinations of storage and synchronisation tools: both provide an area where content can be stored and both provide a way of synchronising the content to a computer to allow access to the content via Windows Explorer.

OneDrive for Business

The storage in this case is based on SharePoint document libraries, either on-premises SharePoint 2013 or SharePoint Online in Office 365. The synchronisation tool allows the user to synchronise particular libraries, either in their personal storage area, reached by clicking ‘OneDrive’ in the top navigation bar, or in any other area of SharePoint.

Each document library that is synchronised can be accessed via Windows Explorer and is represented as ‘folder’ within the file system.


OneDrive is the name of Microsoft’s cloud storage offering. It is available to both personal and business users and does not have any dependency on SharePoint. A user accesses the cloud storage through their Microsoft Account and when the content has been synchronised, it can be accessed through the file system.


Like all of Microsoft’s other cloud offerings, the capabilities of OneDrive are being expanded far faster than the equivalent on-premises offerings. In this case, the limitations in functionality for OneDrive for Business are being imposed by the underlying use of SharePoint.

As OneDrive increases the maximum file size to 10GB and allows theoretically limitless storage (at a cost), OneDrive for Business remains limited by a number of SharePoint constraints:

  • Maximum file size: 2GB
  • Maximum number of files and folders: 20,000
  • Maximum number of folders: 5,000
  • Maximum folder and filename length: 250 characters

Further details of these constraints can be found HERE

Comment on this post: