OneDrive for Business – Getting access of user’s OneDrive

If you have been using OneDrive for business then you should know that OneDrive behind the scene is SharePoint site collection which only users have access. For example I will be the Site Collection Admin on my OneDrive and no one can access my OneDrive unless I decide to share document or folder sitting in my OneDrive. This is perfectly fine as long as user is active.

What if user left the organization and you would want to get access. Once the user leaves the organization OneDrive is smart enough to give access of that OneDrive to user’s manager and gives them about two weeks to take any backup etc.

In other scenarios where user is active but running into some issues like lost files etc.

In both of the above cases you have another option to get user’s OneDrive as long as you are SharePoint Administrator on your tenant.

  1. Visit the SharePoint admin center using the URL (Replace tenant with your tenant name).
  2. Click on User Profiles and then click Manage User Profiles.
  3. Find the user and click “Manage Site Collection Owners” for that user using the dropdown menu.
  4. This would open the popup dialog where you would user is set as Primary Site Collection Owner as well as Site Collection Owner.
  5. You can simply add the backup person’s name under Site Collection Owner and click OK.

Now I have validated the above steps works just fine as long as user is active but in some cases when user is disabled the above steps does not work. It will let you add the Site Collection Owner but that change will not take place.

In that case you can user the following PowerShell to work around this issue.

$creds = Get-Credential

Connect-SPOService -Url "" -credential $creds

Set-SPOUser -Site "" -LoginName "[email protected]" -IsSiteCollectionAdmin $true

I hope this helps.

Office 365 OneNote – “Sorry something went wrong”

For anyone new to OneNote, its an amazing tool for either taking personal notes or collaborating with your colleagues on various things. You can either access this after signing into Office 365 or use the desktop client and connect to your OneNote using your Office 365 credentials. I am not going to go into the details of what OneNote is and what it can do for you. I am sure there are plenty of videos and how to documents that you can refer to learn more about it.

This blog post is about an issue that you may run into when using OneNote. When you try to open the OneNote using your favorite link after signing into your Office 365 you may run into the following error.

“Sorry something went wrong”

Its not very helpful message as it does ont say much about the real issue.

If you share the URL of your OneNote with your colleague then they will get different error message and I think that error message is lot more descriptive and may point to the right issue.

The error message it throws is something along the lines of “Document does not exist or it has been deleted”. That is definitely interesting.
Before I can go into the details of what the real issue is it is important for everyone to know how OneNote works behind the scene in Office 365.

When you first time click the OneNote from your Office 365 it creates the OneNote file under your OneDrive for Business. Now by default it will create it under a folder called Notebooks. So as an end user if you are not using OneDrive then you will have no idea that your OneNote document is stored under your OneDrive.
Many times users when bulk deleting the folders under their OneDrive may also end up deleting the Notebooks folder. This is where you will run into the above problem.

Once you know what the real issue is, fix is very simple. You simply go to your OneDrive for Busienss and click Recycle bin. You should see your Notebooks folder right there and you can select the folder and click Restore. This would work just fine if you did not end up creating another Notebooks folder. In process of fixing the issue you may click the OneNote again and which in turn will create a brand new folder and new OneNote document. In that case simply rename the new folder that get created and then restore the folder again. This time it should work.

I hope it helps you understand how OneNote works and what you can do to recover accidentally deleted OneNote documents.