SharePoint FAQ

How do I move my files to SharePoint? 

If you want to maintain file metadata (current date, owner, properties), you will need to use the migration tool. You must be a team site owner to use the migration tool — if you're not sure who is the site owner, please contact the IT Help Desk. Note: when using the migration tool, DO NOT "check" the option to maintain existing permissions because it will result in unique permissions for each file and when you try to add new people to your site, they will not be able to access any files without granting them access to each file one at a time (or removing the unique permissions on every file)
If keeping metadata isn't necessary, you can simply drag-drop files from your PC, sharedrive, email, etc., into the Team's SharePoint document library. Please see this link to help you with moving/copying files.

How do I save using the online application? 

When editing files through SharePoint, if you select "Edit in Browser" it will constantly save all your changes so you don't have to. 

Can more than one person edit the same file at the same time? 

When editing files through SharePoint, if you select "Edit in Excel/Word (other program)" then only you will be able to edit the file — it will be locked to others who try to access it in SharePoint. The full functionality of the program will be available. If you edit files using the "edit in browser" option, anyone with access to the file will be able to edit the file simultaneously.

Can I co-author online? 

When you open a shared document in a desktop or mobile app, it doesn't matter if you're connected or not, you can keep working.  If there are others editing the same document, they won't be able to see your changes while you're offline.  When you go back online; you'll be notified of any changes that are available AND others will see that you have changes.

When working in Word, the paragraph you're working in is locked so that no one can overwrite what you're working on.  When you go offiline with Word, it is possible to work on the same paragraph as someone else in your group.  When you save your changes, you'll get a pop-up message saying there is a conflict.  You can then click through to where you'll be able to sort it all out (compare changes).

If you're working on a file that is in a sync folder (such as OneDrive or OneDrive for Business), it syncs when you come back online, regardless of whether the app (Word, PowerPoint) is running.  When you reconnect, your file automatically syncs.  If there are conflicts, you'll get an alert.  For more info, see Sync files with OneDrive in Windows.

Does using SharePoint mean I can tell my users they don’t have to rely on VPN? 

Yes! Businesses have traditionally used VPN as the access point to remotely connect to the server. While it’s a secure connection, it can be buggy and annoyingly slow. With SharePoint, accessing your files remotely is as simple as opening a web browser and logging into your company’s Office 365 account. No more VPN and no more connection manager software.

I like VPN because it is secure. Does SharePoint secure my data as it travels over the internet? 

Yes! As part of Microsoft Office 365, SharePoint enjoys the same highly secure environment, including physical data center security, network security, access security, application security, and data security. Every file — and every update of every file — is encrypted using its own encryption key.

What if I don’t want to edit files in my web browser, can I edit them using my client application? 

Yes! You can do both. SharePoint allows you to edit your file in your web browser or your client application. SharePoint’s browser-based Office apps are designed so you can edit your Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or OneNote file in your web browser. If you want to edit using your client application instead, you can still save your work in your SharePoint document library.

What if I lose my internet connection while I’m working in SharePoint. Is my work still saved? 

Yes! Let’s say the coffee shop is closing and you’re halfway through edits to an Excel spreadsheet using SharePoint’s Excel web app. You close the hood on your laptop, drive home, and pick back up on your project later that evening. You may have severed the WiFi connection at the coffee shop, but as soon as you re-establish a network connection at home, SharePoint automatically updates your file for you, so you don’t lose a thing.

Does SharePoint allow me to search the contents of files instead of just by filename? 

Yes! Think of SharePoint’s search tool like a web search for your business. It’s constantly crawling your network analyzing file contents, titles, dates, and metadata to deliver you relevant results and detailed previews. Find that file right away! In addition, once your team site is connected to a hub/communication site, you will be able to search across all the sites associated with the hub/communication site to locate any files, news, information, etc.

Can I assign unique permissions to each employee in SharePoint? 

Yes! You can set up varying levels of permissions for each user or specific permissions for a directory or file allowing you to apply security on a granular level. You can set a rule that requires users to check out documents in order to edit them or you can specify how many historical versions of a document should be kept.

Can I create forms in SharePoint? 

SharePoint on its own does not offer the ability to create forms. If you would like to create a simple form or survey, consider using MS Forms. For more complex forms, you may want to consider using Qualtrics. This PDF gives a high-level overview of the features of Qualtrics.

What characters are not allowed in a file or folder name? 

Invalid file or folder name characters are " # % * : < > ? / \ |

Is there a preferred browser when using SharePoint? 

IE and Edge are preferred. You may experience issues with layout and/or functionality when using other browsers such as:

  • If you open an office document in Firefox browser to edit, the only option if you decide to print is PDF. If you want to actually print the document, you'd need to open the document in the application (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) when editing — if you're using Firefox ... or use a preferred browser instead.
  • If the left navigation items/titles are lengthy (site names, group names, etc.) ,they may cover the main content area rather than wrapping to another line within the navigation area. The navigation wraps correctly in the preferred browser.

When using Edge, some embedded content is not appearing. It appears fine in other browsers. 

Security settings defined in IE will automatically apply to Edge.  Open IE and go to Internet Options from the gear icon in the top right corner.  Then pick security tab, go to trusted sites area - and make sure you have the SharePoint site URL ( in the list of trusted sites.  Restart your browser for the changes to take effect.

Who can log in to the campus SharePoint instance and is considered part of our organization? It is possible for avisitor to log in any other way (other than using a 365/MS account)? 

Organization account authenticates against our campus Active Directory. Only users who have been assigned Office 365 licenses in the Campus 365 tenant or other 365 tenants would be considered an organization account. Users will need to have a 365 or Microsoft account. For users who do not have one, they will create one with the same email address that the invitation is sent.

What is Microsoft Teams and why would I use it? 

Microsoft Teams is a messaging app for teams in which all conversations, meetings, files, and notes can be accessed by everyone, all in one place. It works in conjunction with your SharePoint team site's content in order to improve collaboration amongst a working team/group of individuals as they discuss and share files, calendars, lists, etc.

Here's why you should use it:

  • It makes communicating one-on-one and with groups a snap.
  • Collaboration happens in real time.
  • Everything your team cares about (all your files, docs, contact info, and more) is in one place.