In Part 4 of my OneDrive for Business series, I’ll cover how IT can access user files in OneDrive for Business. I will also discuss the eDiscovery feature in SharePoint.

Accessing user files ^

At some point, you’ll either need to access a user’s files in OneDrive for Business or give access to another user. To do this, you’ll need to go into the Office 365 Admin Center, click Admin, and then click SharePoint.

Office 365 admin center

Office 365 admin center

Click User Profiles and then Manage User Profiles.

Manage User Profiles

Manage User Profiles

In the Find Profiles text box, you’ll want to enter enough of the user’s name that we can find them in the directory. Click Find. We should get a list of users matching the search term.

Find Profiles

Find Profiles

Click the user that you want to modify, and then click “Manage site collection owners.”

Manage site collection owners

Manage site collection owners

Add an Administrator as a Site Collection Administrator, and then click OK.

Site Collection Administrator

Site Collection Administrator

Click the user again, and then click Manage Personal Site.

Manage Personal Site

Manage Personal Site

This will drop you into the Site Settings for the user. Click Documents and you’ll be dropped into the user’s OneDrive for Business.

Documents

Documents

OneDrive for Business folder

OneDrive for Business folder

eDiscovery ^

At some point, you may need the ability to search the files in an end user’s OneDrive for Business. The built-in eDiscovery feature in SharePoint will allow you to perform searches against those files. First, you’ll need to follow the process in “Accessing user files” for each user you need to search. Because each user has a site collection under https://tenantname-my.sharepoint.com, you’ll have to give either an Administrator or group Site Collection Administrator permissions on the user’s files. If you want to give access to a group rather than to a single user, you can go to Admin > Exchange. Then, go to Recipients > Groups. Click the Plus and Security group to add a new group.

Security group

Security group

Go to the SharePoint Admin center by clicking Admin > SharePoint.

Admin  SharePoint

Admin  SharePoint

Next, we’ll need to create a new Site Collection by clicking New > Private Site Collection.

Private Site Collection

Private Site Collection

Name the new eDiscovery Site Collection and pick a web site address. Click the Enterprise tab and choose eDiscovery Center. Pick an Administrator, set the storage quota to 1024, and click OK.

eDiscovery Site Collection

eDiscovery Site Collection

Now, go to https://tenantname.sharepoint.com/sites/eDiscoverycentername and click Create New Case.

Create New Case

Create New Case

Create a title, supply an address, and click Create.

Web Site Address

Web Site Address

In the new case that has been created, click the New Item link.

New Item link

New Item link

Name the set and then click the Add & Manage Sources link.

Add & Manage Sources

Add & Manage Sources

Add the path(s) of the user(s) you want to search, and then click OK.

Path of the user

Path of the user

Add a filter. eDiscovery will start returning files that meet the search criteria. Specify whether the files need an In-Place hold, and then click Save.

Add a filter

Add a filter

In Search and Export, click New Item.

Search and Export

Search and Export

Name your query and enter additional search terms (if necessary). Here, you can view and export files found during an eDiscovery.

View and export files

View and export files

I have a few words of warning. First, in my experience, the search hasn’t been in real time. Some files appear almost instantly, whereas others show up a few minutes or hours later. Second, like I mentioned earlier, searching through your entire organization’s files in OneDrive for Business is a bit problematic at this point. For larger projects with groups of users, or at times when you know you’ll need to perform eDiscovery, encourage your users to use a Team Site or you’ll need to search each OneDrive.

In the next part of this series, I will discuss the things that you have to consider when managing OneDrive for Business.