Access files and revoke “Access Files” for OneDrive in Office 365 portal

As an administrator you may need to access someone’s OneDrive in your company. Under special circumstances.

Gain access to OneDrive

To gain access to those files, this should be one of the easiest ways:

  1. Go to the Office 365 portal (https://portal.office.com/adminportal),
  2. Search for the user, and click on it
  3. Scroll down to OneDrive Settings for that particular user, and
  4. Click Access Files, next to “View and edit folders and files. You will be granted permission to manage this user’s OneDrive“.
  5. You are now presented a direct link to his/her OneDrive (actually it’s a SharePoint site under water)

View permissions on OneDrive files (especially Owner rights)

However, there’s one caveat: how to revoke your permissions on the personal OneDrive? You can see for yourself that it’s visible to the user that you have access. Follow these steps (and see image below):

  1. After you have clicked Access Files (step 1)
  2. and have clicked the URL to https://your_tenant_name.my.sharepoint.com/personal/emailaddress/ (step 2)
  3. Right click any folder (step 3)
  4. Choose Details (step 4)
  5. On the right sidebar, note it says “This items is not shared”. Click Manage Access (step 5)
  6. Now you can see 2 users with Owner status: the original user, and your admin account (step 6)

Onedrive Access Files Azure Office365

Restore permissions / Remove yourself from Owner rights

So, to remove your account as owner of this personal OneDrive environment, do the following (see also image below):

  1. From the user’s OneDrive site, click the Settings wheel at the right top (step 1)
  2. Click Site Settings (Go to site settings for this site) (step 2)
  3. On the Site Settings page, click Site collection administrators (step 3)
  4. In the Permissions -> Site Collection Administrators page, note there are 2 accounts: the user’s account, and your Global Admin account. Click the cross to remove yourself and click OK (step 4)

Remove Site Collection Administrators after Onedrive Access Files Azure Office365

Done! You have now revoked your permissions from the user’s OneDrive.

Users may be informed that you have gained access to their site, or that you have changed permissions. If you don’t want this hassle, always make sure first to verify with a test account. It may be hard to explain why you gave yourself access to their personal files ;-)

The direct link to this Site Settings page of the user is
https://your_tenant_name-my.sharepoint.com/personal/your_upn_or_emailaddress/_layouts/15/mngsiteadmin.aspx

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