How to Disable OneDrive for Business in Office 365

Note: This article is true as of Summer 2015. Since OneDrive for Business is ever changing service, many of the features discussed may differ in your Office 365 tenant. Based on my knowledge, there are no foreseeable backend architectural changes for OneDrive for Business which would keep this article valid for foreseeable future.

“Is there anyway to disable OneDrive for Business in Office 365?” – That was interesting question came from one of my colleagues over the last week. Office 365 being ever changing service and even though OneDrive for Business is becoming standalone product, my first response was – Yes, based on what I knew being SharePoint professional.

To disable OneDrive for Business in Office 365, there are two distinct steps you need to configure as a Office 365 and SharePoint Online administrator.

Step 1 – Hide OneDrive for Business from Apps Launcher

You can hide OneDrive for Business App from the Apps Launcher by changing the app visibility setting from the SharePoint online administration site. Please keep in mind that – if users know the OneDrive for Business Site URL (ie., they can still access their OneDrive for Business site.

Here is the Apps Launcher from my tenant prior to hiding OneDrive for Business App

0-OD4B in App Launcher

Here is the screenshot of SharePoint Online administration center from where you can change the OneDrive for Business app visibility.

1-Hide OD4B

Here is the Apps Launcher from my tenant after hiding OneDrive for Business App. Please note it also hides Office Online apps which would hide the ability to create new Office web app files. You can still upload and edit these files in SharePoint online but ability to create them would be hidden.

2-OD4B hidden in App Launcher

Step 2 – Disable OneDrive for Business in the Office 365 tenant

As of June 2015, OneDrive for Business in Office 365 is still using SharePoint Online as backend and SharePoint Online MySites infrastructure for documents library. If you are seasoned SharePoint professional, you may recall of option to disable MySites was to remove the Personal Sites creation permissions for the users from the SharePoint Online administration site. We can take same approach to disable OneDrive for Business sites creation option.

From the User Profiles tab, you can alter or remove personal sites creation permissions for specific users or group of users. This would disable future personal sites (aka. OneDrive for Business) creation ability of those users.

3-Mysites Permission

4-Current Permission

In this specific example, I have removed personal sites creation permissions for everyone, which would disable the ability to provision future OneDrive for Business sites for the users.

5-Remove Permission

Verification Steps

One of the key things to keep in mind is disabling OneDrive for Business creation ability doesn’t mean it would cleanup or delete existing OneDrive for Business sites. If OneDrive for Business sites are already provisioned for the users, they would still able to access using URL. In most cases, this shouldn’t be an issue but something to keep in mind.

6-Updated User-OD4B

If OneDrive for Business is disabled prior to user provisioned their OneDrive for Business sites, accessing URL would return Delve user profile page and their OneDrive for Business sites would never provision. This would ensure OneDrive Sync client wouldn’t pick up any OneDrive for Business sites to sync locally.

7-New User-Delve

Parting Thoughts

OneDrive for Business is soon becoming consumer interface for files in the Office 365. Microsoft aiming for making OneDrive for Business UI as a centralized hub for files access whether it’s personal files, SharePoint online files, or new Office 365 groups files pertains to you. It’s important to understand the implication of disabling OneDrive for Business in Office 365 and how it would impact future features availability to end users.

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