OneDrive for Business allows you to save and back up files on the cloud. You can save it on your machine and access it on another device online. It is included in the Microsoft 365 suite, and each staff member and student are allocated 1TB storage. 

The UCT community can easily store and access documentation and other files on any device via the app or online, making it convenient to continue working anywhere at any time. Documents maintain their formatting and versioning can be easily controlled, ensuring that the latest document is always available, while also having backups of previous editions.

More importantly, UCT already has an agreement with Microsoft where there are service level agreements in place to provide support and assistance as needed. 

Below is a comparison guide of OneDrive for Business vs Google Drive.

OneDrive for Business

Google Drive


UCT data is stored in Microsoft data centres that are located in South Africa and complies with POPIA legislation.

Security verification is also more advanced on this option compared to Google.

Google data centres are located overseas and currently do not comply with POPIA legislation.


1TB storage per person

100 Terabytes has been allocated to the UCT tenant

Note: this change was recently implemented by Google.

Data retention

While your data may be stored on either of these applications, UCT still owns the data. UCT does not back up the information on either the Google or Microsoft solutions. It is your responsibility to do so.

Your data is stored on both applications for the duration of your time at UCT. It will be automatically deleted once your leave or graduate from the university.

File sharing

Both options file sharing capabilities are similar, although OneDrive gives you the option to include passwords, set expiry dates, and limit the number of downloads.


Files retain their formatting

Formatting may change when uploading to Google Drive


Due to this option being part of the Microsoft 365 suite you can easily access it from any application that forms part of the suite. Files can also be saved directly on OneDrive for Business from any 365 application.

Limited integration

Migrate content from Google Drive to OneDrive for Business using desktop applications

Part one: Download and install the Google Drive desktop application
  1. Download and install the Google Drive application on your UCT computer. 
  2. Navigate to your folder where the installation file was saved to and open the applicable folder: 
    • GoogleDriveSetup.exe on Windows 
    • GoogleDrive.dmg on Mac 
  3. Follow the prompts on your screen.  
  4. Once installed look  for the Drive for desktop icon Google Drive icon either at the bottom (Windows) or top (Mac) of your screen. 
  5. Click the Google Drive icon icon to open the Google Drive desktop client. 

If you already have the OneDrive for Business app installed on your desktop, please skip to part three. 


Part two: Download and install OneDrive for Business


  1. Navigate to and enter your staff/ then click Next.
  2. On the UCT sign-in page, enter your UCT password, then click Sign In.
  3. When the Office 365 portal opens, click OneDrive.
    • OneDrive comes pre-installed with Windows 10. If you have Windows 10 installed, in the bottom left corner of the screen click Get the OneDrive apps > Click here to download.
    • If you're using any other operating system, click Download.
  4. The OneDriveSetup.exe file will be saved in your Downloads folder.
  5. Locate the file in your Downloads folder and right click it > click Run as administrator.
  6. Once the installation is completed, a cloud icon 

    will appear in the taskbar at the bottom of your screen.
  7. Click the cloud and sign in with your staff/ and password.
  8. When you open File Explorer, there will be a OneDrive – University of Cape Town option in the left hand column.
  9. You will now 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 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. Go to Finder and open the OneDrive – University of Cape Town folder in the left-hand column.

Part three


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



  1. Open your Google Drive desktop folder and copy the applicable files and folders. 
  2. Go to Finder and open the OneDrive – University of Cape Town folder in the left-hand column. 
  3. Paste the copied Google drive folder in the OneDrive folder. 
  4. 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.