How to setup OneDrive and SharePoint on an iMac or Macbook

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We show you how to install Microsoft’s OneDrive and Sharepoint on a Mac, so you can share files with other Mac and Windows users

SharePoint Mac

If you or your company uses Microsoft OneDrive or Microsoft SharePoint for cloud data storage in a Windows PC environment as part of Office 365, it can also be setup to work the same way and access and edit files on a Mac OS device such as an iMac, Mac Mini or Macbook as follows.

SharePoint (OneDrive) stops syncing on older Macs from 10 Sept 21

There is no such thing as a “SharePoint-App“. SharePoint is basically the Business version of OneDrive but your computer (Windows or Mac) uses the “OneDrive-App” as the program that syncs files between your computer and the Microsoft Cloud.

To setup SharePoint initially, you need at lease one licence of   (Business,  E1, E3, E5, SharePoint Plan 1 and 2)

However, to access SharePoint files you only need the “OneDrive App” (available to all Office 365 Personal, Office 365 Home or higher. Office 2011 does not have the OneDrive App and was not built to use OneDrive or SharePoint (even though you may have limited success using)

Your mac should also be using Mac OS X 10.12 (Sierra) or later.

So if not already installed, start by downloading and installing the “OneDrive App

Firstly open the Onedrive App on the Mac (if already installed) or install it by either of the following methods:

  1. Download the app from the Microsoft Site
  2. or from the Apple App Store by clicking on the App Store icon

Onedrive App in MacOS


and searching for “Onedrive

Search for OneDrive in MacOS

Onedrive App in App Store MacOS

Get Onedrive for Mac


A comprehensive guide is also available from Microsoft at the following address

Once Onedrive is installed, you can then login to your companies Sharepoint or your personal Onedrive account and “sync” your files to your Mac using the OneDrive App

How to Sync SharePoint Files to a Mac

Login to your Microsoft Account using a web browser, there are a number of ways such as:

or directly to the company Sharepoint site such as

And open OneDrive or SharePoint in your web browser

accessing onedrive or sharepoint files

choose OneDrive or Sharepoint using a browser and depending on which files you wish to sync

Syncing OneDrive Files

How to sync onedrive files

Syncing SharePoint Files

SharePoint App in Microsoft Office Browser

Once in OneDrive or Sharepoint click on the “sync” icon

This should force the “OneDrive” app to open on your Mac (SharePoint uses the OneDrive App)

Select the files or folders you wish to sync.

On the top taskbar of your Mac, you should see the Onedrive icon start to become animated as the the files start to sync, depending on the number of files, these may take some time to download


To access the files that have been synced, right click the “Onedrive” icon, and select the Onedrive or Sharepoint folder you wish to access

MacOS Onedrive for Mac choices

Other available options here can be found under “Preferences

You can choose to have a “local” copy of OneDrive or Sharepoint files on your computer or choose to leave them in the-cloud and open them “on-demand” if you are running the latest Mac OS (Mac OS 10.14 or newer). This feature is not available on older Mac OS versions.

OneDrive for Mac Preferences

You are not restricted to only having data from OneDrive or SharePoint. You can have both and/or multiple accounts for different users (see below) to add a new account click on the “Add an Account” button

OneDrive for Mac Preferences - Accounts

The “Office” tab, allows All Office Applications to sync files and you can choose to automatically “merge” conflicts or keep copies of both files and manually work out the changes. Be careful choosing “Always keep both copies” in a situation where there are multiple team members modifying files simultaneously, as you could find yourself with multiple copies of every file.

OneDrive for Mac Preferences - Office

A recent development on Mac OS, is that if you also run Windows on your Mac using Parallels with OneDrive running, hitting the “Sync” button will force the Sharepoint sync to the Windows version and not the Mac version.

What should I use OneDrive or SharePoint. What is the difference?

Should I save files to SharePoint or OneDrive?

Beware of “Sync-Problems”

It is not guaranteed that all files will immediately sync, especially if you are “uploading” files to SharePoint or OneDrive from your local drive

You may see a warning such as this

onedrive needs your attention

Clicking on the “X” opens another window that highlights the problems with the syncing. Clicking on the magnifier symbol takes you to the file or folder and allows you to correct them.

onedrive illegal characters in file names

Common OneDrive/SharePoint Sync problems include:

Names or Folders containing characters that are not allowed” such as:

  • Blank leading Characters
  • Blank Trailing Characters
  • ~ ” # % & * : < > ? / \ { | }.

Click here for a full list

SharePoint/OneDrive Sync Issues

A Dummy’s Guide – Using Microsoft Sharepoint

OneDrive/Sharepoint Data Limits – Personal Users

Each personal users of Office 365 has up to 1TB of OneDrive storage included in their subscriptions.

OneDrive/Sharepoint Data Limits – Business Users

For Office 365 Business versions, each Office 365 individual user licence offers 1TB storage per person, combining licences over an organisation (tenant) gives an overall storage allowance calculated as follow:

1 TB plus 10 GB per user license purchased.

Example scenarios of increased storage allocation

100 user licenses = Total tenant allocation of 2TB

For “unlimited” cloud-data-storage plans, upgrade Office Business 365 to OneDrive Plan 2, Enterprise E1 or Enterprise E3 licences. Call us for pricing,

Cloud Data Storage

For our rates, charges and terms, please contact us.

HYBRID ICT are a Microsoft Silver Small and Mid-market Cloud Solutions Partner and Apple Consultant Network Partner

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