Easily share OneDrive on your network

Since recently signing up for Office365 I’ve been thinking of ways to make use of my new 1TB OneDrive allowance.
Currently I use it for documents, photos and other generic items. This works great and with the client installed on my Home and Work PCs means I am never without my most important data.

But what if you have multiple PCs at home? Do you really want to sync anything up to 1TB of data to every PC or laptop you own.. I’m guessing probably not.

The answer to this for me was to look into sharing my OneDrive folder on my network at home to a server that is always on.

If anyone has tried this before, you’ll know that you cannot just share the parent folder and access it remotely, this doesn’t work and you’ll find the share is empty.
The trick here is to access it via the PC/Server’s admin share.

  • I added a new disk to an existing server with a size exceeding the amount of data in my OneDrive folder and gave it the label of ‘OneDrive’

drive

  • Create a folder on this volume to use as the target for OneDrive to sync to. I used ‘OneDrive’ but you could call it anything you like.
  • Download and install the OneDrive client from here.
  • During the Setup, look out for the option to change the location of your OneDrive folder. Click it and select the folder you have created above.
  • Follow the rest of the setup and when completed, OneDrive should begin syncing its contents to the new folder.
  • Go to another PC on your network and open windows explorer, navigate to \\[computername]\[driveletter]$\[foldername]Example:
    \\DC1\E$\OneDrive
  • Make sure you can see the contents of the folder.

You could also map the shared folder as a network drive if you wanted to.

Optional

If you wanted to and you run active directory, you could also push this folder out to users with group policy.

  • Open group policy management.
  • Create a GPO and call it ‘Map Storage’ (or something similar)
  • Add ‘Domain Admins’ into Security filtering and then edit the GPO.
  • Drill down to User Configuration -> Preferences -> Drive Maps

gpo

  • Right-click and select New – > Mapped Drive.
  • Configure the¬†new mapped drive¬†broadly in line with below and click OK.

newMappedDrive

  • Now to test, open an elevated command prompt and run ‘gpupdate /force’

gpupdate

  • Fingers crossed, you should now see your OneDrive folder as a mapped drive on any PC you login to with you domain credentials.

OneDrive Mapped

Considerations

Please bear in mind that I did all of this using a Domain Administrator account and only ever log on with this account meaning I did not need to worry about permissions.

As far as I know, there is no way to change permissions for administrative shares (if there is, please tell me in the comments) so this will only work if you are an administrator.

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