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HomeNEWSMicrosoft removes OneDrive groups, wants you to use shared folders instead

Microsoft removes OneDrive groups, wants you to use shared folders instead

Groups has been a feature of Microsoft’s Windows Live service before it was integrated into OneDrive. Each group received 1 Gigabyte of storage that did not affect user storage quotas and was shared among all members of the group.

All members of the group were allowed to read, create, modify and delete contents, i.e. files and folders, with a group folder. Groups provided members with additional features, such as group discussions, a calendar, options to send mass emails to group members using outlook.com, or options to easily upload and share photos.

OneDrive’s integration of the Windows Live group feature didn’t change that initially, but if you check out the groups page right now, you’ll notice that it’s no longer possible to create new groups in OneDrive.

The page states that you can’t create new groups or invite people to existing groups in OneDrive. However, all group members can still access groups that were created before.

onedrive groups

According to Microsoft support members, it should still be possible to invite other users to groups even if the Groups page indicates otherwise.

Support members recommend that users use the sharing functionality that OneDrive offers instead. While that allows you to share files with others, it still doesn’t offer the same functionality and focus as groups.

While you can share folders with users so they can edit files within them, you don’t get the same management capabilities that groups provided.

While users you’ve shared a folder or file with are also listed in OneDrive, the current feature lacks discussions, calendars, and other management features at the time of writing.

This means that you will need to use another service to make use of them if you want to replicate the functionality of groups using the Shared feature in OneDrive.

For example, there is no option to quickly send an email to all group members. Another difference is that you share using your own storage quota and not the group’s fixed quota which is separate from a user’s quota.

Microsoft has not yet released a statement as to why it removed the creation of new OneDrive groups. If you’re looking for an alternative, try Yahoo Groups which offers a similar but not identical set of features.

Have you used the Windows Live Groups feature or OneDrive Groups? If so, what is your opinion on the change?

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