The college where I work has a license agreement that provides MS Office for faculty, staff, and students. This includes OneDrive for Business accounts and an Azure Active Directory instance.

We also have on-premise domain controllers. I have things set so our on-premise AD syncs to Azure AD for account management and provisioning for Office 365. I also have SAML authentication working for Office 365 services, pointed at our on-premise AD. Machines are joined to the on-premise DCs.

Additionally, our Windows 10 desktop/laptop deployments already have OneDrive running in the system tray when users login. However, OneDrive is not logged in.

I want OneDrive on our domain-joined PCs to automatically use the Active Directory credentials or authentication token to connect to same Office 365 account in our Azure AD tenant. In this way, the user will already have access to their OneDrive files just from logging into the computer.

How can I accomplish this?

  • OneDrive and OneDrive for Business are two different things. OneDrive cannot be connected to an Office 365 account. It sounds like you need to install the OneDrive for Business client on the client machines.
    – joeqwerty
    Mar 16 '18 at 17:20
  • @joeqwerty The OneDrive for Business client is installed, but it does not pick up my account automatically. If I start the client manually it prompts for a library address first, and then makes me finish the login process manually. I really need it to do both of those things automatically: login first, and then discover the library based on the account. If that means I need to remove and re-deploy OD4B that's fine, but I need to know what a "good" deployment for this looks like.
    – Joel Coel
    Mar 16 '18 at 17:27
  • Well, now I'm confused. Microsoft has really borked the separation between OneDrive and OneDrive for Business. Maybe these will help: support.office.com/en-us/article/… - support.office.com/en-us/article/…
    – joeqwerty
    Mar 16 '18 at 17:37
  • @joeqwerty It's definitely OneDrive for Business. And it works fine on any station once I've been through the process once, and remembers the info so I don't have to do it again at that station. But we have lab and classroom stations where you might end up at a different PC every day. I want OD4B on those stations to already know you just from the domain login.
    – Joel Coel
    Mar 16 '18 at 17:42

The new OneDrive client is just OneDrive. It’s a unified client called Next Generation Sync Client. You should install the latest version of OneDrive downloaded directly from onedrive.com and it can connect to both personal OneDrive accounts and business accounts.

There is an old OneDrive for Business client still available known as the Groove client.

There are some limitations in the next gen client, if you want to connect to SharePoint libraries. But if you are just syncing and sharing file to Office 365 or others, the next gen client works great. It also is installed by default in Windows 10 and is updated shortly after a new user logs in, automatically.

Now, what you are asking for is seamless single sign on. Good news for you is that the next gen client just recently added the feature to be able to do this.


Two things are required.

  1. Enable ADAL with a registry tweak:



  2. Enable the Silent Account Config group policy:



You should read the above link, because there are additional group policies required for a completely silent and automatic configuration of OneDrive. The link will tell you how to obtain and use the latest group policy templates.

Microsoft is doing a great job on the Next Gen client and I’m thrilled to finally see this feature. Just one year ago OneDrive was useless. Now it’s fully capable of handling our cloud storage and sharing needs.

We’ve been using it successfully for at least a month or two now. New users sign in and OneDrive is up to date and ready to go without a single prompt to the user. Coupled with folder redirection we no longer have to worry about users storing data on their computers.

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