The F: network drive has always been a secure location where you could save your personal information without anyone else having access to it. However, over time, we’ve seen less usage of this personal drive on the UCT network by UCT staff members.

The F: drive has therefore been decommissioned for UCT staff members. This decommissioning took place as a phased approach, meaning that each faculty and department had a set date until when their respective staff members could access their F: drives. 

This process never impacted any of the other network drives, including the G: drive.

OneDrive for Business is the recommended storage option

We recommended that F: drive data be moved to the OneDrive for Business online storage solution. It allows you to easily store and access documentation and other files on any device via the app or online, which means that you can continue to work anywhere at any time. Your documents maintain their formatting and you can easily control versioning, ensuring that you always work on the latest document, while also having backups of previous editions.

UCT staff members were responsible for moving their data, using the detailed steps provided below.

Data migration process

There are three parts to the process that you need to complete.

Part one: Access your F: drive


Log on via OES network login

  1. When starting up your machine, enter your UCT staff/student number and password on the Log on to the OES Network screen to access the UCT network.
  2. If you’re already logged on to your machine but not the UCT network, in the system tray at the bottom right of your screen right-click the
      OES icon and select OES Login.
  3. Enter your staff/student number and password. Click OK.


Access your F:drive via NetStorage


  • When accessing NetStorage, you may receive a warning about the website's security settings. You can ignore these warnings, as this is a secure website and does not pose a security risk.
  • In some cases, you may also need to be connected to the UCT VPN.
  1. Navigate to and if prompted log on using your UCT username and password.
  2. Upon successful login, Netstorage displays your drives on the UCT cluster. Double-click on your F: drive to view its contents.

  3. Select the check boxes next to each file and folder that you would like to move to OneDrive for Business.
  4. Right-click and select Download.

  5. The data is downloaded to a .zip folder and saved in your Downloads folder.
Part 2: Set up OneDrive for Business


  1. Navigate to and enter then click Next.
  2. On the UCT sign-in page, enter your UCT password and click Sign In.
  3. When the Office 365 portal opens, click OneDrive.
    • OneDrive comes pre-installed with Windows 10. If you’re on Windows 10, in the bottom left corner of the screen click Get the OneDrive apps > Click here to download.
  4. The OneDriveSetup.exe file is saved in your Downloads folder.
  5. Right-click on the file in your Downloads folder > click Run as administrator.
  6. Once the installation is completed, a cloud icon
     appears in the taskbar at the bottom right of your screen.
  7. Click the cloud icon and sign in with your and password.
  8. When you open File Explorer, there is a OneDrive – University of Cape Town option in the left-hand column.
  9. You get the option to save files in your OneDrive folder.
    NOTE: Regularly click the cloud icon in the taskbar at the bottom of the screen to ensure your OneDrive – University of Cape Town is up to date.


  1. Either download OneDrive for macOS from the App Store or navigate to to install the application.
  2. Go to your Downloads folder and click the downloaded file entitled OneDrive.pkg to run the installation software.
  3. Open OneDrive for Business and if prompted to log in, enter the following:
  4. You may get a pop up message that says OneDrive wants to use your confidential information stored in "adalcache" in our keychain.
    • The Azure AD Authentication Library (ADAL) cache is associated to Office 365 authentication. If you get this pop-up, enter your MAC username and password.
    • Click Allow or Always Allow to update your keychain.
  5. Click Next to complete the setup.
  6. You can now access your OneDrive for Business folder.
Part 3: Move your data

Once OneDrive for Business is installed, we recommend that you copy your data using the desktop application instead of the web version. The desktop application offers a richer user experience. More importantly, it retains the actual creation date instead of only displaying the date it was uploaded to OneDrive for Business. If you use OneDrive for Business online, only the upload date is displayed.

Things to note before starting the upload to OneDrive for Business

  • If you’re on Windows, you will need to have you F: network open for the duration of the copying process. macOS users are only required to keep NetStorage open until the .zip folder is downloaded.
  • The length of the copying process is dependent on your internet connection. We therefore recommend that if your F: drive is quite big, that you rather copy content in batches instead of everything in one go.
  • The copying process may also affect your internet connection. We recommend that you move your data at a time when you have no scheduled meetings to avoid any disruptions.
  • The desktop application allows you to copy and paste your content whereas the online version only allows you to drag your content from your old F: drive window to the new one. This means that you will need to have the windows next to each other for ease of use.
  • When copying content, folders will be created first and thereafter it will be populated with the various files.
  • Please ensure that your file names comply with these naming conventions.

View our FAQs for more information.


  1. Open the OneDrive for Business desktop application and create a new folder called F: Drive Data.
  2. Go to your actual F: drive folder that you set up in part one and copy all the data.
  3. Go to your new F: drive folder in OneDrive for Business and click paste.
  4. A green tick appears when the all data has successfully synced.
  5. Ensure that all new data iis saved in One Drive for Business.


  1. Open your Downloads folder and double-click the downloaded .zip folder to extract its contents.
  2. Copy the extracted F: folder.
  3. Go to Finder and open the OneDrive – University of Cape Town folder in the left-hand column.
  4. Paste the copied F: drive folder in the OneDrive folder.
  5. A green tick appears next to the folder
     once all the data has successfully synced. 


Effectively manage file storage on your device

If storage is an issue on your device, you can save on space by using OneDrive Files on Demand. This feature allows you to save your files as online-only versions, which means you will need internet access to view or edit them. Alternatively, you can select which files must always be available on your device.

OneDrive Files on Demand options
  • Online-only: this icon appears next to all files that are saved as online-only versions. You need to have internet connectivity to open this type of file.
  • Free up space: When opening an online-only file, it automatically downloads to your device and is saved on your local drive. It can be edited whether you’re online or offline. If you no longer need the document on your device or need to free up space, right-click the name and select Free up space.
  • Always keep on this device: allows you to select which files should remain on your device. Even though they take up space, they’re always accessible.
Turn on OneDrive Files on Demand



  1. Ensure that you’re signed into OneDrive for Business on your device and click the cloud icon
     in the taskbar at the bottom right of your screen.
    NOTE: If the icon doesn't appear in the notification area, OneDrive might not be running. Click the Windows Start icon and enter OneDrive in the search box, and then select OneDrive in the search results.
  2. Click Help & Settings > Settings > Save space and download files as you use them box.

Get more information and helpful tips on OneDrive Files on Demand for Windows or watch this video.

  1. Make sure you’re logged on to OneDrive for Business on your device.
  2. Click the OneDrive for Business icon in the Menu bar > Help & Settings > Preferences.

OneDrive File on Demand is enabled by default in macOS Mojave, Catalina and Big Sur.

Find out more on how to use this feature on your Mac device.

Automatically backup your data on your Windows device

OneDrive for Business can also automatically back up your files that are saved in your default Windows folders (i.e. Desktop, Documents and Pictures), via the Known Folder Move (KFM) feature. This ensures that your data is protected in the event anything happens to your device.

  1. Ensure that you’re signed into OneDrive for Business on your device and click the cloud icon

     in the taskbar at the bottom right of your screen.
  2. Click Help & Settings > Settings.

  3. Select the Backup tab > and click Manage backup.

  4. You’re redirected to the KFM setup screen where you can select which folders should be automatically backed up. We recommend selecting all three.

  5. Click Start backup to automatically copy your content to OneDrive for Business.