How to migrate from OxFile to OneDrive

Important: The OxFile service has been retired

OxFile was decommissioned on 19th June 2023.


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Share files from your OneDrive with other users. Disable the Allow editing option.

Features available

  • Send files up to your 100GB quota (hypothetically up to 250GB) using OneDrive. Can also send entire folders
  • Can send link to recipients, and can restrict to named users if required
  • Notifications available when link is used

Features not available

  • Anonymous recipients
  • Delegated owner controls
  • Automatic deletion of files / folders after expiry date


We recommend creating a Transfers folder for one-off transfers, so it’s easy to clean-up afterwards.

This works exactly the same as sending files to Oxford users, specifying external recipients by email address. A warning will be displayed when you enter the external recipient email address to remind you that you will be sharing content outside of our
organisation, however this does not prevent you from proceeding. A file sharing link will be created for you to send to the recipients.

Both Oxford and external recipients can be given access through a single share.

If you don't have an Oxford account and someone has sent you a file sharing link then you can access the files as follows:

  1. Open the link, and enter your (non-Oxford) email address to confirm your identity
  2. You will be taken to an Oxford-branded login screen - this is correct. Enter your (non-Oxford) email address on the Sign in screen and confirm
  3. If you are using a non-Microsoft account then follow the prompts to be sent and confirm a verification code. If you are using a Microsoft account then you will be prompted to complete your usual sign in process
  4. You may be asked to confirm permissions required to check your identity. (Microsoft provide more details in their article External or guest sharing in OneDrive, SharePoint, and Lists - Microsoft Support)

(This feature is not available in OxFile)

Share a folder from your OneDrive with other users. Enable the Allow editing option. Senders will be able to upload files to the shared folder.

Features available

  • Receive files up to your 100GB quota (hypothetically up to 250GB) using OneDrive. Entire folders can also be received
  • Can share with named recipients both inside and outside of the University's tenancy
  • Notifications available when link is used

Features not available

  • Anonymous senders
  • Delegated owner controls
  • Automatic deletion of files / folders after expiry date
  • Segregated upload: if you allow multiple senders to upload then they will be able to view and edit each other’s uploads. For small numbers of senders this can be avoided by creating separate folders for each sender


Recommend creating a Transfers folder for one-off transfers, so it’s easy to clean-up afterwards.

This works exactly the same as receiving files from Oxford users, specifying external senders by email address.

Both Oxford and external senders can be given access through a single share.

  1. Login to OneDrive online
  2. Browse to the file or folder you are interested in
  3. Select  > Details to display sharing details in the “Has access” panel on the right
  4. Hover over each of the profile icons to see who you have shared it with
  1. Login to OneDrive online
  2. Select Settings > OneDrive Settings > More Settings > Run sharing report and follow the prompts to choose a folder to save the report in
  3. Wait for an email confirming that the report is ready (this can take 5 to 10 minutes)
  4. Open the report from the folder you selected. The report filename will start with your name and includes information about when the report was generated, for example "Jo Smith_2022-7-5-8-13-47_1.csv"
  1. Login to OneDrive online
  2. Browse to the file or folder you are interested in
  3. Select  > Manage access
  4. Select  More options next to the sharing link you want to expire
  5. Select  Remove link and confirm that you want to delete the link

Files that other people have uploaded to a folder that you shared with them

Browse to your shared folder to see the uploaded files and them as normal.

Files that other people have shared from their OneDrive

Use the link they sent you to access the files or folders.

You can also find these files on OneDrive online under Shared > Shared with you.

Download files to a headless Linux system

The utility rclone can receive files from OneDrive on Linux (and other Unix-like) systems.

Establishing a shared folder between the sender and the recipient(s) will require all parties to do some one-off, interactive setup using a web browser. 

Once sharing configuration is in place then files can be sent or received using command-line-driven or scripted workflows similar to those using `wget` or `curl` operating on OxFile URLs.

Configuring rclone

Rclone will need to be set up to communicate with OneDrive in following the configuration instructions. Obtaining an authentication token involves running a web browser and performing an MFA login.

If you are unable to run a graphical web browser on the target Linux machine then the remote setup instructions detail several ways that you can configure the remote machine in conjunction with a desktop or laptop (which can run a web browser).

In practice it is often simplest to configure by copying the config file.

Establishing the shared folder

The person sharing the files should follow the instructions for sharing a folder from their OneDrive using the OneDrive web interface, creating a suitably named folder to hold the file or files to be shared if one does not already exist. The sharing must be at the folder (rather than individual file) level so that the intended recipient(s) can create the required shortcuts in their personal OneDrive. The person sharing the folder has the option of granting Edit permission or not, depending on whether they just want to distribute files or to have the option to receive files from others in the same shared folder.

The person(s) receiving the sharing link should open it in a browser and click on the "Add shortcut to My files" link.

Everyone concerned should then have the same folder visible in their personal OneDrive, which can then be used for file transfers.

Using rclone

Once a suitable rclone configuration is set up on the remote machine then extensive rclone command set can be used to send/receive/list/synchronise and otherwise manipulate files and folders in the shared area.

Here are a few example commands, to get you started, given an rclone configuration where the remote is called remote and the previously established shared folder called transfers.

  • Recursively list all the files in the transfers share, with file sizes: rclone ls remote:transfers
  • Copy the entire contents of the shared folder to a local directory called dir: rclone copy remote:transfers dir
  • Synchronise the local directory dir from the shared folder (including deleting from the local directory anything not present in the shared folder): rclone sync remote:transfers dir
  • Copy a specific file from the transfers share to a local directory: rclone copy remote:transfers/name-of-file dir

resulting in a file dir/name-of-file.

  • Copy a specific file, possibly renaming it in the process: rclone copyto remote:transfers/name-of-file new-name-of-file

resulting in a file named new-name-of-file in the current directory. The distinction between copy and copyto is that the target of a copy is always a directory; if the target directory does not already exist then it will be created.

  • Feed the contents of a remote file or files into a Unix command: rclone cat remote:transfers/wordlist.txt | sort -u

If the user has Can Edit permission on the shared folder it is possible to use rclone to upload files as well as downloading them. Be aware, however, that writes to OneDrive via the API that rclone uses can be quite slow and subject to throttling by Microsoft: uploaders of large files or folder structures may find they are better served by the OneDrive web interface.