OneDrive vs. OneDrive for Business

differentiating onedrive and onedrive for business

Cloud services have been around for years but the pandemic has reinforced and validated their value. The ability to access important data, files, and documents anytime, anywhere, from a secured space is an incredibly convenient and useful asset for any business. This is all made possible because of cloud computing technology, which paved the way for cloud storage, also known as online storage, online drives, shared drives, etc. 

Today, one of the most popular personal cloud storage tools comes from the tech giant Microsoft – the OneDrive. And there’s a fuller version designed for companies and organizations called OneDrive for Business

They share the same name, but how are these two different from each other? Do you really need them?  Here’s everything you need to know about OneDrive vs. OneDrive for Business.

SharePoint Analytics solution in LIVE DEMO - CTA banner general V5-1

OneDrive vs. OneDrive for Business: Differentiating the Two

OneDrive is the free, short, and personal version of Microsoft’s cloud storage tool. OneDrive for Business, on the other hand, is the business and full-scale version. The two are not the same tool and what is best for you depends on many factors, especially what you are looking to save in the cloud and how you want to access it.


OneDrive is free and intended for personal storage, as it is the default cloud storage for File Explorer in Windows and the default saving option for Microsoft computers.

In OneDrive, users can store their files securely and access them later through any internet-connected device.

With OneDrive, users can sync and save personal files (documents, photos, videos, etc.) in one secured place. It also allows users to share their files with others and organizes files based on type, making it easy for users to locate their files.

Basically, it is like the Dropbox or Google Drive version of Microsoft – perfect for personal use.

A quick sign up with a Microsoft account gives users automatic and free storage space of 5GB in OneDrive. You can of course subscribe for storage plans and get up to 6TB of cloud space.

Here’s what you can get with OneDrive’s free version:

  • More options available through web browsers. With any connected PC you can browse through OneDrive account and access files stored on devices not saved on OneDrive
  • Windows 8.1 (and later versions) and Office applications lets you save files straight to OneDrive
  • Backup your camera files automatically (photos and videos)
  • Mobile and desktop apps available as alternatives to web browser
  • Xbox integration lets you see saved images and videos from OneDrive directly on your TV

For security, OneDrive allows users to set two-factor verification which includes a code sent to their mobile phones, activated through PIN, or fingerprint identification in the mobile app. 

Should you wish to upgrade your OneDrive, here are the pricing and plans options:

OneDrive Basic

OneDrive StandAlone 100GB

Microsoft 365 Personal

Microsoft 365 Family

Storage space:  5GBStorage space:  100GBStorage space:  1TB (1000GB)Storage space:  6TB (1000GB/person)
Services included: OneDriveServices included: OneDriveServices included: OneDrive, SkypeServices included: OneDrive, Skype
Office apps included: N/AOffice apps included: N/AOffice apps included: Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPointOffice apps included: Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint


everything you need to know about onedrive

OneDrive for Business

OneDrive for Business at its very core is a sync tool that comes with a lot of extra features and tie-ins to Office 365, all designed to help businesses and organizations get the job done. Unlike OneDrive, OneDrive for Business is not free. 

The idea is similar to OneDrive, however; OneDrive for Business brings people together for collaborative work on forms of files, among other things. The main difference between the two is the platform that offers the storage service – SharePoint.

SharePoint allows companies to provide their employees with cloud storage that can be managed through a central location. Users share and collaborate on stored files. Site collection administration in the organization can manage and control what users can do in the library. 

OneDrive for Business with SharePoint

Released in 2013, SharePoint is a platform designed for collaboration; corporate websites can create teams and departments that have their own workspaces in the platform. Users can create, co-author, and share files with other users. This platform is either hosted in the cloud or installed on-site (your servers).

Each user has a “My Site” library, which works like a home drive (similar to My Documents on a corporate PC). Depending on its server integration, SharePoint allows integration of files with other applications, making it convenient for organizations to work on their preferred applications and file types. 

SharePoint Analytics solution in LIVE DEMO - CTA banner general V5-1

Benefits of OneDrive for Business

  • Exhaustive collaboration platform
  • Provides more control on workflows, content approvals, versioning, document templates, etc.
  • Has third-party add-ons for versatility and convenience
  • Available on almost all devices (through app, requires Office 365 login)
benefits of onedrive for business

OneDrive for Business without SharePoint

Does OneDrive for Business work without SharePoint? Yes, absolutely. 

Organizations can choose storage space for their users. Microsoft offers a 50GB paid cloud service for each user. The regular Office 365 Business plan does not come with SharePoint, rather, it comes with OneDrive. The premium version, on the other hand, includes SharePoint along with other services like OneDrive, Exchange, and Teams.

OneDrive for Business without SharePoint functions is much like Dropbox Business. It comes with extra features and functions for business use. Admins can also create setup restrictions for users, block certain sharing options, deactivate user accounts (useful when an employee leaves the company), adjust syncing, retention policies (to recover deleted documents), etc.

Plan 1

Plan 2

Microsoft 365 Business Basic

Microsoft 365 Business Standard

$5/user/month (annual commitment)$10/user/month (annual commitment)$5/user/month (annual commitment)$12.50/user/month (annual commitment)
File Sharing, OneDrive storageFile Sharing, OneDrive storage + advanced security and compliance capabilities$6 user/month (monthly commitment)$15 user/month (monthly commitment)
Services includes: OneDriveServices includes: OneDriveServices includes: OneDrive, SharePoint, Exchange, TeamsServices includes: OneDrive, SharePoint, Exchange, Teams, Viva Engage (Yammer)
Office apps included: NoneOffice apps included: NoneOffice apps included: web and mobile versions of MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint Office apps included: MS Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access (PC Only), Publisher (PC Only)

OneDrive vs. OneDrive for Business: file sharing and security

With OneDrive, you can simply share files by granting permission to documents, generating a link with permission, or sharing the document through an email address.

In OneDrive for Business on the other hand, users who wish to share files must be members of the same organization within the platform, or connected with the organization through federated services. This means you do not need to know the emails of each user to share files.

OneDrive for Business also allows customization of Permission Levels. OneDrive only comes with “Edit” or “Read”.

Both OneDrive and OneDrive for Business allow working on the same file simultaneously. The latter, however, comes with more features such as Content Approval, document workflows, and more, as well as social network integration such as Viva Engage (Yammer).

Bottom Line 

To sum things up, OneDrive is best for personal storage, providing individuals with easy, secure, and quick access anytime, anywhere. OneDrive for Business, when used with SharePoint, syncs data across different devices, provides corporate access, co-author files, and allows users to work at home or on the road. 

Click Here To Discover More About Sharepoint Products