Close menu Resources for... William & Mary
W&M menu close William & Mary

Safely Save Your Work

Where NOT to Save Files

The desktop, downloads, documents, music, pictures, and videos locations on most PAC lab and podium machines and multi-user (conference room) machines are not safe places to store your files long term.  They are meant as temporary storage and files in those locations are deleted a certain amount of time after you log off.  

There may be other files in these locations, but those are all temporary files and will not remain after logoff.

Where Not to Save Files

To ensure you don't lose the files you want to keep, you can keep them on a thumb drive or in the cloud storage of your choice.  William & Mary also supports OneDrive integration. 

Configuring OneDrive

When you log in, if your OneDrive is not configured, you may see a dialog box that asks if you would like to configure it:

OneDrive Opening Dialog

If you would like to configure OneDrive immediately, simply click OK and follow the steps it gives you.  You can also dismiss this dialog box (click the "Cancel" button or the "X" in the upper right corner), or wait for it to close.  If you do so, you can configure OneDrive later by choosing "OneDrive - William and Mary" from the Start Menu or the blue OneDrive "cloud" icon from the system tray (right side of taskbar at the bottom of the Windows screen).

If you do not wish to configure OneDrive at all, you can still view, edit (limited editing), download, and upload your files to, which is the online version of OneDrive.

If you DO choose to configure OneDrive by using one of the methods indicated above, the next step is to supply your email in the dialog box that appears:

OneDrive Setup Step 1 

When you click the blue "Sign in" button, you might be asked to then enter your password:

OneDrive Setup Step 2

After this, DUO 2 factor authentication will authenticate you.  Once you have authenticated through DUO, OneDrive will start setting up for you.  A dialog will appear introducing OneDrive.  For OneDrive to set up correctly, you MUST click "Next" here:

OneDrive Setup

After this, all dialogs are optional, though some are recommended.  

You MIGHT see a dialog about Backing up folders on this PC.  William & Mary strongly recommends you wait for the sliders to turn blue and click the "Start backup" button if you see this dialog box:

OneDrive Setup (Optional Start Backup for desktop, documents, and pictures)

After this, you can click the X in the upper right corner to bypass the rest of the introduction dialog boxes or continue through them as you wish.  One important informational dialog explains symbols that will be overlaid on all your OneDrive files and folders, so you can see the status of each one:

OneDrive Shortcuts Legend

Once you have finished configuring OneDrive and going through the necessary dialog box, your files will be available to you.

How to Access Your OneDrive

Once you have configured OneDrive, there are a few ways to get at your files.  You can select the "OneDrive (or sometimes your username) - William & Mary" item on the left-side navbar of any file explorer window:

OneDrive Access from File Manager Nav Bar

You can select "OneDrive - William & Mary" from the "pinned" Start Menu folders or by finding it in the Start Menu:

OneDrive Access from Start Menu

Or, you can access OneDrive from the system tray on the lower-right side of your screen:

OneDrive Access from System Tray

You can create new files directly in OneDrive and/or open files directly from within your OneDrive and edit, then save them.  All files created, edited, or saved within OneDrive will be preserved unless you deliberately delete them.  If you wish to keep files you create in temporary locations (For instance, both AD and DNA Master save files to your local Downloads folder), simply move or copy those files to your OneDrive or a folder within your OneDrive.


If you opted to "Backup folders on this PC" (see the "Configuring OneDrive" section), you may see the OneDrive overlay images appear over files on the PC desktop, documents, or pictures folders.  This means files in these folders or on the desktop, which are local to the PC, are being backed up to your OneDrive and are actually safe to save in these locations.  However, to avoid confusion, and to ensure large files are safely and completely backed up before you log off, we strongly recommend working directly with OneDrive rather than relying on the PC's native desktop, documents, and pictures folders to backup to OneDrive.  And, again, these are all UNSAFE locations if you have not configured "Back up folders on this PC".

If you do not configure or unable to configure OneDrive on the PC, you can always use the web version of OneDrive at to view, upload (save), download (copy to the local PC for viewing or editing), or edit (limited editing is available for files online) your files.