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As businesses continue to shift their operations to the cloud, SharePoint Online has proven itself to be an essential tool for document management and collaboration. With its powerful features & seamless integration with Microsoft Office, it’s not surprising that more and more organizations are making the switch from on-premises storage solutions to SharePoint Online.

But with so many ways to access your documents, it can be confusing to know which method is best for your needs. Today, we’ll explore the top five ways to access documents in SharePoint Online. By the end, you will have a better understanding of how to access documents stored in SharePoint Online and be able to choose the most suitable option for your organization.

How Do I Access SharePoint Documents? (Best Approaches for You)

By leveraging the various features of SharePoint Online, users can collaborate more efficiently from anywhere. Here is an overview of five different ways to access documents in SharePoint Online.

  1. SharePoint Site
    The most straightforward way to access documents in SharePoint Online is by going directly to the SharePoint site. Once you are on the site, you can access your documents, as well as any other features and settings available to you. This method is ideal for those who need to quickly access or update a document, but it does require an internet connection and some familiarity with SharePoint’s web user interface.SharePoint Site

    • Access to all documents and files in one centralized location.
    • Easy collaboration with other users and teams.


    • Steep learning curve to navigate and use the site effectively.
    • Limited access to content when not connected to the internet.
  2. Microsoft Teams
    If you are using Microsoft Teams to collaborate with your team, you can also access your SharePoint document library from within Teams. Simply navigate to the Files tab in a Microsoft Teams channel and click on the SharePoint link to access your documents. If you wish to work in the Microsoft Teams environment or need to collaborate on a document with your team in real-time, this method may be your best option.Microsoft Teams

    • Direct integration with SharePoint, allowing easy access to documents.
    • Chat and collaboration features built in for quick communication.


    • May require additional training for team members unfamiliar with the platform.
    • Insufficient customization options for individual teams.
  3. OneDrive for Business
    OneDrive for Business is another useful tool to access your files stored in SharePoint Online. With OneDrive for Business, you can access all of the documents stored on a SharePoint site through your OneDrive web interface. This tool makes it easy to manage all of your synced documents from a single location, regardless of whether they are stored on SharePoint or OneDrive.OneDrive for Business


    • May take up significant space on the computer if all files are synced.
    • Fewer collaboration features compared to SharePoint and Teams.
  4. File Explorer
    File Explorer is the default files manager for Windows and allows you to manage files and folders on your device. Sync is an efficient option that can be used to store SharePoint files on your computer’s hard drive. To use Sync, go to your SharePoint document library, click on the Sync button, and follow the instructions. Once you’ve synced your files, you can find them on your device’s File Explorer under the SharePoint folder. This method allows you to easily work on your files offline, and any changes you make will be automatically synced to the SharePoint document library the next time you’re online.File Explorer

    • Simple access to documents through familiar file explorer interface.
    • Offline access to synced files.


    • Only synced and accessible documents are viewable.
    • May require IT support for initial setup.
  5. OneDrive & SharePoint Mobile Apps
    OneDrive and SharePoint Mobile Apps are available for both Android and iOS devices. These apps allow you to work and access documents in SharePoint Online while on the go. You can easily view documents, add comments, share files with team members & carry out your SharePoint migration plans too. These mobile apps also offer an efficient search function, making it easy to find the document you’re looking for.OneDrive and SharePoint Mobile Apps

    • Accessible from anywhere with mobile devices.
    • Lightweight and user-friendly interface.


    • Limited functionality compared to desktop versions.
    • May require multiple apps for full access to documents.

The Bottomline

SharePoint Online provides a range of simple and efficient ways to access your documents. With the five methods listed above, SharePoint users have numerous options to suit their needs. Whether you’re on the go and want to use the OneDrive & SharePoint Mobile Apps or prefer a more traditional approach with SharePoint Site, there’s an option for everyone. Moreover, if you have any specific requirements in relation to SharePoint migration then the Kernel Migrator for SharePoint tool is an excellent choice. All in all, when it comes to how do I access SharePoint documents and stay organized, resources like these provide helpful guidance for teams managing and using the platform.

Kernel Migration for SharePoint
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