Useful Add Shortcut to OneDrive Feature for SharePoint Online Folders

Now Rolling Out to Office 365 Tenants

First announced in public preview in June as the “Add to OneDrive” feature, the Add shortcut to OneDrive option is now showing up in SharePoint Online sites in Office 365 tenants worldwide (Figure 1). The documentation is here. No Office 365 notification has appeared in the Microsoft 365 admin center nor can I find a roadmap item for the development.

The Add shortcut to OneDrive option in a SharePoint document library
Figure 1: The Add shortcut to OneDrive option in a SharePoint document library

Shortcuts to Important Folders

In a nutshell, when you use the option for a selected folder (rather than an individual file), it creates a shortcut link in your OneDrive for Business My files view. The idea is that you can use OneDrive for Business to assemble links for the SharePoint Online folders and other folders shared with you by other users to make them more easily accessible. In my case, my work tends to focus on a small number of folders spread across different sites for chapter and book files for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook, blog posts like this, and billing for consulting engagements. Figure 2 shows my setup. Note the different folder icon used for the shortcuts. Selecting a shortcut opens the folder in the My Files view.

A set of shortcuts in OneDrive for Business
Figure 2: A set of shortcuts in OneDrive for Business

Shortcuts Prove to Be Really Useful Feature

Creating shortcuts to folders in SharePoint Online document libraries is a simple but incredibly effective idea. Given the number of Microsoft 365 Groups and Teams in use today, Office 365 users might have access to hundreds of different sites, which creates the challenge of how to quickly access the files most important to you, or the “where’s my stuff syndrome.” Opening the SharePoint or Teams app to navigate to the files is one way to accomplish the goal as is using Microsoft Search to find individual files.

And then there’s Delve. Once the poster child for the Microsoft Graph and the preferred access point to documents created within Office 365 but lately ignored in the rush to Project Cortex and its offshoots, Delve is still offers an effective way to assemble sets of documents by adding them to one of its boards (Figure 3).

Delve lists documents added to a board
Figure 3: Delve lists documents added to a board

At this point, given that many have forgotten that Delve exists, adding shortcuts to OneDrive for Business is the most useful way of assembling pointers to the SharePoint Online folders you use most often. It’s just a pity and a little curious that Microsoft hasn’t told more people about shortcuts.

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