Moving N Drive Files to OneDrive on MacOS

Moving the files on your N: drive (nexus drive) to OneDrive on MacOS/OSX allows the files to be easily accessed remotely from any device via a web browser on

One Drive is not a replacement for departmental R drives, as the files on OneDrive are tied to an individual. For moving files that currently exist on the R drive, Teams is the equivalent solution and the files there will not be affected by changes in staffing. 

Close all open applications prior to beginning this process.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Ensure your device is connected to your N: drive and it has OneDrive installed

    1. Here are the steps to connect/map to your N: drive on MacOS

    2. Here are the steps to install OneDrive OneDrive on MacOS

  2. Open both windows of your N: drive and OneDrive in Finder, if you are having trouble finding these folders, follow these steps:

    1. Open Finder from your taskbar and under Locations click on your device name that has a laptop icon beside it

    2. Click on the drive that has your UWaterloo username labelled underneath it - this is your mapped N: drive

    3. Now, to open up a new window with your OneDrive folder, use the Spotlight Search function on your Mac and type in OneDrive

    4. Open the OneDrive - University of Waterloo folder and not the application with the cloud logo, which is usually the first result

    5. You should now see all of your OneDrive files in a new window

      If you are not able to find the OneDrive - University of Waterloo using this method, try the steps below:

      1. Open a new Finder window by clicking on the top screen taskbar for Finder: File > New Finder Window

      2. Following step 2. a. again to view all of your drives in the new finder window, then select your main hard drive which would be labelled with Macintosh HD or appears with the icon shown below

      3. Then, select the Users folder and open it

      4. Next, select the house icon which is labelled with your user account for your MacBook/Apple device

      5. You should now see all of the folders on your user account of your device, one folder labelled OneDrive - University of Waterloo


      6. Open the OneDrive - University of Waterloo folder to view all of the files stored in your UWaterloo OneDrive


  3. Now, you should have two Finder windows open, one with your N: drive opened and one with your OneDrive opened. With these two windows open side-by-side, highlight the files/folders in your N: drive window you would like moved over to OneDrive either by:

    • Clicking and dragging your mouse over the folders or...

    • Holding <shift key> and clicking on each folder
      **If you have a large N: drive, copy files/folders in batches by using <command key> and clicking on each folder you want

  4. Right-click on your selections to bring up the options you can do, select "Copy <#> items" or... Holding <command key> and <C key> at the same time to copy the folders


  5. In your OneDrive window, (the window with OneDrive - University of Waterloo at the top), paste these items into the window either by

    • Clicking in the window and holding <command key> and <V key> at the same time or…

    • Right-clicking in the window and selecting Paste <#> items

  6. You should see a loading bar which displays how long it will take to transfer the files over. Once it is complete, you should see your files listed in your OneDrive - University of Waterloo window

  7. You can use this method to also copy over other files that you have saved on your device to OneDrive

  8. To avoid the confusion of having duplicate copies of files, it is recommended to delete the files from your N: drive once you have confirmed that your files are on OneDrive.

View OneDrive Transfer Online

In order to check whether your files have successfully copied over, you can log into OneDrive at using your (Note: Your username is your 8-character UWaterloo username, i.e. j25rober)

Then, on the main screen after signing in, click on the OneDrive icon to be taken to your OneDrive. You should see your files there.

If you do not see your files listed on your OneDrive online, you can drag and drop files directly into the web browser window with OneDrive opened up. Follow the steps above, but treat your web browser window with OneDrive open as your OneDrive window.

You may experience issues transferring files to OneDrive if you are using invalid file names or file types - see troubleshooting steps for more information.