Default Save to Cloud for Office ProPlus

Now Available for the Semi-Annual Update Channel

First announced in Office 365 notification MC172548 in January, MC188516 (published August 21) brings the news that users of the Semi-Annual Channel for Office ProPlus (click to run) will see that “save to cloud” is now the default. In other words, instead the default being to save to a local PC folder, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel will opt to save to OneDrive or SharePoint. Tenants running targeted release can expect to see the change show up in September while those using standard release will see it in January 2020.

Easier for Cloud Collaboration

With just a hint of marketing hyperbole, Microsoft says that changing the default save location will “make it easier for your users to take advantage of the rich cloud collaboration capabilities in Office 365.” Although it’s true that putting files in cloud repositories makes it easier to exploit Office 365, some will still regret that Microsoft doesn’t give organizations the chance to control the default save location.

You’ve always been able to save Office documents to cloud locations, albeit if the navigation to the desired site or OneDrive folder was sometimes a little “interesting.” Making Office 365 the default save location simplifies the process, but only if Office includes the desired SharePoint or OneDrive location in the list suggested to the user. If not, you must hunt for the location as before.

Saving to the Cloud

I use the monthly update channel for Office ProPlus and have therefore had the cloud as the default location for months. In truth, it doesn’t make much difference in the way I save files because I typically need to save into a location that Office doesn’t show in its list. It would be nice if Office paid more attention to the most frequently used save location.

For instance, Figure 1 shows what I see when I saved a Word document this morning. The default save location is my personal OneDrive for Business account in my Office 365 tenant. You’d expect this because your OneDrive for Business account is the cloud replacement for “My Documents” on a PC. Clicking the down arrow exposes a list of other locations. The Documents folder is from my OneDrive personal account, while the other five locations are made up of two OneDrive for Business folders, a folder in a SharePoint Online document library, and two local folders.

Default save locations suggested by Office, including SharePoint and OneDrive
Figure 1: Default save locations suggested by Office, including SharePoint and OneDrive

What’s odd is that the SharePoint Online location I use most (where I keep drafts of blog posts) is not in the suggested save list. I don’t know why this is so because Office uses a MRU (most recently used) service to track this kind of detail. In addition, there’s no way to mark a cloud folder as a preferred save location, which I think would be a good change.

It remains to be seen how much this change will affect users. Some will no doubt be disturbed, but most will see this as just another step along the path to the cloud.

For more information about Office ProPlus and how the update channels work, plus a pile of other information about SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business, read the Office 365 for IT Pros ebook.

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