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Access OneDrive without using Sync Client

If you want to access your OneDrive files through Windows Explorer (as files and folders), rather than using the sync client, you can do the following (note: this method requires an internet connection to access your OneDrive files, unlike the sync which stores a copy of the files locally):


This must be completed using Microsoft Internet Explorer (other web browsers will not work)


  1. Log in to your Office 365 account ( and navigate to your OneDrive
  2. Show the ribbon:

  • Select the ‘Open with Explorer’ button under the ‘Library’ tab:


    Having done this you should find an explorer window pops up with all your files in it (in which case you can skip the next 4 steps).

    If it does not and you get an error message, do not worry – this is quite common, and it is likely you need to start a service called ‘WebClient’
  • To do this open ‘services’ (this will require administrator privileges):

  • Locate ‘web client’ and you will probably find it is set to start manually and is not started. Enter properties and set it to start automatically:


  • Then click ‘Ok’, right click on the service again and restart:

  • Repeat the step 3 above to make sure the connection is made.
  • Copy the full address (URL) of the folder:

    Sync 7
  • Go to ‘Computer’ and select ‘Map Network Drive’:

  • Choose a drive letter and paste the URL in as the folder, tick the box ‘Connect using different credentials’:

    Sync 9
  • After pressing ‘Finish’ you will be asked to enter your Office 365 username and password. Enter them, ticking ‘Remember my credentials’.

After clicking ‘Ok’ your mapped network drive should open, and appear as a network location.

Now, when you are connected to the internet, you will be able to use your OneDrive folder exactly the same way you use local folders.

This procedure can also be applied to SharePoint libraries in the same way.