Difference Between SharePoint and OneDrive

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between SharePoint and OneDrive

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How often has one been burdened with the task of collection and distribution? It happens more often than you think. You go out on a picnic with your friends and you have the best phone. The designated cameraman? You, of course. Or rather, your phone. The camera on your phone is the camera that clicks the best pictures after all and what is the point of these outings? Not the enjoyable long drive, not the pleasant weather that we rarely experience, not the scenic view that we’ve driven so far for. Why it is the pictures. Pictures are proof that we did all of those aforementioned things. Even if we didn’t DO those things.

Well, let us blame the lack of enjoyment of the trip on the hustle of our jobs. Once everyone has struck a million poses and infinite pictures are clicked from precarious angles, the burden of storage fall on you – the owner of the phone with the fantastic camera. The phone storage is never enough, it is filled with pictures of your pets and secret selfies that will never see the light of day. How else to pacify your friends? Not only storage but following storage is the task of distribution. And every single one of your friends has a different branded phone which is incompatible with the sharing mode on your phone. Don’t you just want to jump off that cliff overlooking the sunset just about now? If not, perhaps you have more patience.

Storing immense data and sharing data from one device to another can be a task. It primarily requires patience and diligence to make certain that you are sharing data just once and not repeatedly. Also, it is important that you have shared the data with the right person – that road is a tricky one to get back from. Cloud storage makes this task a dream.

Cloud storage solutions are such that a massive amount of data can be stored in an off-site location i.e. not your device. Such sites are made available by a provider and a certain amount of space is allotted to you. Once you exceed this space, you might have to purchase more space as per your requirement. SharePoint and OneDrive are such cloud storage products that help you store your memories, however many you create.

SharePoint vs. OneDrive

SharePoint and OneDrive are both products of Microsoft and thus can be accessed on the Office365 platform. Both products provide cloud-storage solutions and allow for the files to be accessed as long as one has a device like a desktop, laptop or even a phone. Another necessity is internet access. As long as one has a reach to the worldwide web, they can view their stored files and documents from anywhere in the world.

Security is a big concern when it comes to cloud-based platforms. And since it is a widely known concern, Microsoft ensures high-level encryption and coding for the data stored in the cloud. Thus, there are many similarities between SharePoint and OneDrive. While they both function as storage sites, they are very different from each other in terms of their functioning. 

Differences Between SharePoint and OneDrive in a Tabular Form

Features SharePoint is a Microsoft’s feat to establish a collaborative platform. Here, there are multiple users who can collectively store, share and access data. It also allows managing projects, creating online forms and much more. OneDrive, also a product of Microsoft, only functions as a storage area for files. It also allows sharing and accessing these files.
Ownership The ownership on SharePoint in site based or at an on-site level. The data on SharePoint can be accessed by accessing the site. The ownership on OneDrive is centralized. Here, the data can only be accessed by the owner. They can allow access to other people for a period of time to view the data.
Collaboration The main objective of SharePoint is collaboration. It can be used for the high-level collaboration between teams. OneDrive has limited use for collaboration.
Custom Development For the purpose of more effective collaboration, SharePoint offers custom level development depending on the needs and can be used to develop automated workflows that improve efficacy. OneDrive is the solution created by Microsoft that is based on the SharePoint framework but it does not offer as many customizations.
Out of the box features The main feature that is out of the box for SharePoint is the intranet solution that offers secured access to a variety of documents, calendars, media, library and allows the members to view and share as well. There are no out of the box features in OneDrive.
Intranet As afore-mentioned, the intranet can be created in SharePoint. This feature allows creating and internal web pages that can be accessed by the members of the team. Intranet is not a feature of OneDrive.
Permissions In SharePoint, the authority to grant access lies with the team leader. In OneDrive, the authority solely lies with the user. They have complete control over who views and accesses the documents.
Pricing SharePoint comes at a modest price depending on the number of users and requirements of additional features. OneDrive is a free product and offers 5GB data for free. Additional features and space must be paid for.

What is SharePoint?

Created by Microsoft with business on the mind, SharePoint is a platform that greatly benefits collaborations. It is essentially a virtual workspace that allows for the creation, sharing and viewing of documents and applications across organizations. It is the ultimate cloud storage solution that improves the productivity and performance of the companies involved.

The basic objective of SharePoint is content management while offering collaborations. It allows for multiple departments to be involved and work together in real-time. They can also be separated by offering them their web pages by intranet. The intranet is a feature of SharePoint that lets one create a web page that can be accessed by only the team members that are allowed access. This feature is especially advantageous to larger companies with many employees that need to be divided into multiple teams. Another use of the intranet is done by the human resource department. They are required to maintain separate records of the employees’ details and credentials.

Many organizations today work based on SharePoint. Especially now in the era of the COVID pandemic, working in remote areas has been made easy by this online working platform.

What is OneDrive?

Like SharePoint, OneDrive is also created by Microsoft. But unlike SharePoint, OneDrive alone is not as suitable for business as SharePoint. The main function of OneDrive is to provide a storage solution. It is also cloud-based i.e. the data is stored off-site. In the simplest of terms, OneDrive can be considered a storeroom for all the data be it files or photos or documents that one is not yet ready to share with the world.

There are two versions of OneDrive available. A personal OneDrive and a business OneDrive. The personal version allows for the storage of personal documents like photos, videos and other files while the business version stores work files and documents in collaboration with Microsoft office 365. The storage location is centralized and can be accessed solely by the user or the business team depending on the version being used.

Unlike most other cloud-storage solution products, OneDrive has the advantage of operating as an offline synchronization engine. This means that the user can access their files even with poor or limited internet access.

Differences Between SharePoint and OneDrive in Points

Here are the main differences between SharePoint and OneDrive:

  1. SharePoint is more of a business venture of Microsoft. It offers a storage solution for massive collaborations and access to multiple users within the team. OneDrive on the other hand is a storage solution for a singular user be it for personal uses or for business in storing work files.
  2. The location for SharePoint is not centralized. The data can be accessed by the team members on a shared platform. The location for OneDrive is centralized in that all the files are stored by the user in one location.
  3. In SharePoint, since there are teams involved, the ownership lies with the team leader and the team whereas, in OneDrive, the ownership lies only with the user.
  4. The main use of SharePoint is to work on projects in real-time alongside the team members while accessing the stored data. In OneDrive, the main purpose is to store the data while keeping it private. The data can be shared and viewed by outside parties but only by those that have been granted access by the user.
  5. In SharePoint, there can be multiple collaborations and teams that can access and share the data but in OneDrive there is limited scope for collaboration since it is focused on one user.
  6. SharePoint offers custom development which is not an offer provided by OneDrive. With custom development, production can be made more efficient by tailoring the files, workforce and timelines according to the need of the projects and team members.
  7. SharePoint also has out of the box features like the Intranet which cannot be said of OneDrive.
  8. The creation of Intranet, which allows for web pages to be created that can be shared amongst the users of SharePoint, is available only in SharePoint. OneDrive does not have an intranet.
  9. In SharePoint, when a team is involved, the authority to grant access to the documents lies primarily with the team leader. Since there is only one user on OneDrive, the authority to grant access lies with the user.
  10. SharePoint is a product that has to be paid for while OneDrive is free of cost for the first 5GB storage area.


While both SharePoint and OneDrive were products of the same creator – Microsoft, and their prime function is storage, their range of applications varies. SharePoint is more suited for business organizations and workforces that require constant collaborations and inputs from various sources. It enables one to have real-time interactions with other members of the team. Along with storage and collaborations, it also offers the creation of specific web pages depending on the needs of specific teams. This happens because of the feature of the Intranet. Also, SharePoint comes at a price and the services have to be purchased.

Now, OneDrive is better suited for personal business. It does come in two versions – the OneDrive for personal uses and the OneDrive for Business. The personal one is used by an individual when they want to store their files like photos, videos and other documents of the like private. The OneDrive for Business is to store work files and can be done using Microsoft Office365. In both cases, the owner of the content or the user has exclusive access to the cloud and the data. They can choose to share the data with other people for a specific period. Only once granted access by the user can one access this data. Another important fact about OneDrive is that, unlike other cloud storage solutions, it uses an offline synchronization engine that permits the user to access the files with limited or weak internet connectivity. A bonus point for OneDrive is that the first 5GB of the data for storage is free. Additional storage and services have to be purchased.

Ultimately, it can be concluded that SharePoint is more suited for businesses and massive organizations. OneDrive is more suited for personal use and private files. Thus, in the scenario mentioned at the beginning, it can be deduced that OneDrive could prove fruitful for your endeavours. You can save the countless crazy pictures of your friends on this cloud-based storage solution, secretly edit all the embarrassing images, delete the images where you don’t like the way you look and also, delete or photoshop images of the person you don’t like. Then you can give them all access to the drive and have an oops moment when they ask about the missing pictures. Having clicked that many pictures, the others are unlikely to even remember the missing ones, so you will mostly be safe.


  1. https://www.ibm.com/cloud/learn/cloud-storage
  2. https://star-knowledge.com/blog/sharepoint-vs-onedrive-for-business-when-do-you-prefer-sharepoint/
  3. https://kwizcom.com/blog/sharepoint-vs-onedrive/

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"Difference Between SharePoint and OneDrive." Diffzy.com, 2024. Thu. 13 Jun. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-sharepoint-and-onedrive-258>.

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