Office 365

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For Google's set of similar online applications, see Google Apps.


Office 365 is Microsoft's cloud-based productivity suite. It includes the following elements:

  • E-mail, including Exchange (the system that hosts all Middlebury e-mail) and Outlook Web Access (aka go/webmail), a web-based mail client.
  • OneDrive, a file storage utility that allows you to either manage your files through a Web browser or sync them locally with a client application that you download to your computer or mobile device. (If you've heard of Dropbox, it's similar, but more secure.)
  • Office Online, a set of online software (including Word, Powerpoint, and Excel) that lets you create and edit Microsoft documents from within a Web browser and store them in OneDrive. (Some features are unavailable; for full-featured editing use Office 2016, which can save directly to OneDrive.)
  • Groups, a single collaboration solution for teams/groups that want a place to share discussions, files, calendars and notes in a unified way that is easy to find. Office 365 Groups is the new solution for email distribution lists here at Middlebury, replacing the Lyris solution previously available. Visit the Office 365 Groups wiki page to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I get the OneDrive client for my computer and how do I use it?

Be sure to specify these invaluable settings (explained in the linked instructions above):
  1. Set up OneDrive to open at login so your files will sync automatically.
  2. Turn on Finder integration to enable you to see the sync status of your files (available in OS 10.10 and above).

How do I decide what files and folders to sync locally?

In general, of the data stored on the server, it's best to only sync what you need down to your local machine, to avoid taking up unnecessary disk space. Sensitive data in particular should not be stored locally without extra security measures; please contact ITS if you have a need to store sensitive data on your hard drive. Of the data on your local hard drive, you should keep anything important to your work at the College in your OneDrive folder. Otherwise, it is vulnerable - viruses, ransomware, accidents, hardware failure, etc. can and do destroy your data with no way to get it back unless it is synced to OneDrive.

Specify what files and folders to sync locally - PC

To select which folders to sync to your computer, right-click in your "OneDrive - Middlebury College" folder and select Choose OneDrive folders to sync from the menu. Any folders you choose not to sync will remain on the cloud but will not be downloaded to your local computer, and will be deleted from your local computer if they are already there.

Choose what files and folders to sync locally - Mac

  • Click the sync app icon in the menu bar on top, and click Settings.
  • On the Choose folders tab, check the box of the folders you want to sync.

Any folders you choose not to sync will be backed up to the cloud but not downloaded to your local computer, and deleted from your local computer if they are already there.

Why doesn't my Mac show the sync status of my OneDrive files?

If the Finder window does not display the sync status of your OneDrive - Middlebury College contents with green check marks, etc., you need to turn on Finder integration. This feature is available for OS 10.10 and above. To do this, click the Finder’s Apple logo (top left) then select System Preferences, then Extensions. Under the entry for OneDrive, check the box beside Finder.

How do I upload and download files to OneDrive through the Web interface?

  1. Go to go/onedrive and login.
    • To add files, drag and drop them into the window, or click the Upload button. For a demonstration, see How to upload files to OneDrive (Microsoft video).
      • Folders cannot be directly uploaded in most browsers. Instead, create the folder in OneDrive in the web interface, then upload the contents. For this reason, if you have many folders and subfolders currently in Middfiles, we recommend using the desktop client to make the transition.
    • To download a file, select it and click the Download button.

What is the quota or limit for file storage?

5TB (5,000 GB).

Are my files safe?

Files stored in the cloud are secure and are encrypted while in transit. If you wish to add an additional layer of security, consider turning on multi-factor authentication so that even if someone gets your password, they still won't have access to your OneDrive.

Who can use Office 365 at Middlebury?

Middlebury's license covers current faculty, staff, and students at Middlebury College in Vermont, the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, the Middlebury Language Schools, and the Middlebury School of the Environment.

  • Note that the ability to download Microsoft Office for use on a personally-owned device is available but further restricted; see go/getoffice for details.

What about off-campus access?

The beauty of cloud services is that you have the same access from anywhere, no VPN required. If you have an Internet connection, you can use either the Web interface (go.middlebury.edu/onedrive) or the client normally. If you're going somewhere without reliable Internet access, you can use the client to sync files and folders to your computer, and they'll automatically sync your changes back up to the cloud once you're back online.

Migrating Files from Middfiles using OneDrive

We've created step-by-step instructions for migrating files from MiddFiles/MiddCloud to OneDrive, with troubleshooting steps to cover the most common potential issues. Please see the page Migrating Files from Middfiles using OneDrive.

Can I edit documents directly from the cloud?

Microsoft offers online collaboration with Office Online. However, this only applies to Microsoft Office filetypes such as .docx, .xlsx, and .pptx. Other files will need to be downloaded to your computer before they can be edited. Also note that Office Online offers limited features; for full functionality, you must open the files in the desktop version of Office (currently Office 2016).

How do I share files with colleagues?

You can right-click on any file and select either "Share" or "More OneDrive Sharing Options" depending on the context. However, there are several important caveats to consider.

Limited support

Office 365 and OneDrive sharing is new to the community. At this time, we can offer suggestions and links to further information, but collaboration features are not fully supported at this time and therefore not recommended for mission-critical tasks, as we cannot guarantee speedy resolution of issues or questions. Our currently supported solution for sharing work documents is the Orgs folder on Middfiles.

Microsoft Account Required

If you need to share your work with others in a different organization (either outside Middlebury, or a department that you do not have an Orgs folder in common with), you can still do that with OneDrive. You will need to share the files in question with a particular email address. If it's a middlebury.edu address there is no problem - all Middlebury faculty, staff, and students have access to Office 365. However, colleagues at other institutions may not, and may therefore need to create a (free) Microsoft account associated with the email address you created before they can authenticate to access the files you have shared.

How do I sync a folder shared with me to my computer?

Only folders can be synced, not individual files. Therefore, whoever originally created the file will need to put the file in a folder and "Share" the folder with others. Then, whoever they're sharing it with will need to do the following:

  1. Open the OneDrive web interface (go/onedrive).
    Sync shared folders.png
  2. Click Shared with Me on the left.
  3. Click on the folder in question to open it.
  4. At the top of the screen, click Sync and follow the instructions.

Additional Learning Resources

Microsoft's Resources

Lynda Online Learning

Microsoft Office Support

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