An additional file location in OneDrive for Business


With OneDrive for Business now having 1TB of space available, more and more people are looking to take advantage of it and reduce the amount of files they have stored locally. However, simply dumping everything from a server into OneDrive for Business is not generally good idea.

The major reason is that OneDrive for Business is a “special” SharePoint site that by default contains a single document library called Documents as you can see above. Now, a single document library has a number of limitations that you will find when you start pumping lots of data in there.

The first is the 5,000 view item limit. You can read about it here:

You can certainly have more than 5,000 items in library but above that limit you need to use views to limit the display to less than 5,000.

The second is that there is s 20,000 sync item limit. You can read about that here:

Thus, you can sync up to 20,000 items from your OneDrive for Business and up to 5,000 from other SharePoint document libraries.

Now it used to be that you could sync up to a maximum of 20,000 files per site collection with a limit of 5,000 per individual document library. I can’t find any mention of those specifics so I am going to assume that you can keep syncing as many additional document libraries you want provided they are below the 5,000 item limit.

Thus, I am going to assume you can sync:

20,000 items in OneDrive for Business

+ 5,000 items from Document library 1

+ 5,000 items from Document library 2

+ 5,000 items from Document library 3

and so on without a limit on the number of document libraries you can sync.

Another issue once you start getting a lot of files is that the OneDrive for Business desktop sync application does not allow you to select which files you wish to sync. Thus, you have no option but to sync the entire document library.

So how do you handle the situation when you exceed the 20,000 items in OneDrive for Business but still want to sync to your desktop? Here’ s an option that may work.

What you may not appreciate is that you can add additional document libraries to OneDrive for Business.


To do that access your OneDrive for Business and select the COG in the upper right corner. From the menu that appears select Add an app.


One of the apps you will see here is Document Library which you should select.

Some interesting points to note here is that there are only a limited set of apps that you can add, not like on a normal SharePoint Team Site. Secondly, you can however add apps from the SharePoint Online store!


Give your document library a name (here photos) and press the Create button.


You’ll now see that library has been added to the OneDrive for Business site. Select it to view its contents.


You should see the document library as normal as you can see. However, note that the library appears under the Newsfeed menu item on the top NOT the OneDrive item.


If you select OneDrive from the menu you are returned to the initial page and unfortunately there is no link on this page to the document library you just created. If you back to the Newsfeed page you will find it.

If you return to your newly created document library you can upload files to it as you normally can. You can also sync those files to your desktop using the sync client BUT is the limit of that 5,000 because it is an additional document library or is it 20,000 because this library is part of OneDrive for Business? I think it best to assume 5,000.

Unfortunately, from what I can see this newly create document library will not automatically appear on mobile devices using the OneDrive for Business mobile app. The only library that appears is the default Documents one.


Now if I sync this newly created document library to my desktop you’ll see that it doesn’t appear under OneDrive for Business it appears synced under the SharePoint document library area as shown above.

Therefore, although creating additional document libraries in OneDrive for Business can help you overcome what appears to be a 20,000 file limit and allow you to overcome the need to sync everything from a single document library, as you can see it still has limitations.

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