Should I use the U: Drive or OneDrive to save files?

Please Note: OneDrive for Business is the modern storage solution for students, faculty and staff. The U: Drive is a deprecated system soon to be discontinued by the university.

What is OneDrive for Business?

Access OneDrive for Business

OneDrive for Business

U: Drive  


  • 1 TB of Storage!
  • Easy to access from any Web browser on any device
  • OneDrive apps are available for iOS, Android and Windows Mobile so you are never more than a few taps away from accessing your files from a smartphone or tablet
  • Share files or folders with others, even folks outside of Western
  • Edit files online using Web based versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote
  • Collaborate with others editing a document or Notebook in real-time.
  • Compare and restore previous versions of your files


  • Some software applications require your data to reside on a mapped drive letter rather than a Web-based location.
  • U: Drive storage is on our network, so it is faster when copying large files or when modifying large files.
  • The U:\myWeb folder allows you to create your own website using HTML.


  • OneDrive is Cloud storage you access through a Web browser. This can be a bit slower than browsing local network file storage using File Explorer. It is possible to browse OneDrive from File Explorer or from Office applications like Word, but again it might be slower than browsing local network storage like the U: Drive. There may be brief pauses or delays as you open folders.


  • Update: The U: Drive is a deprecated system and will soon be discontinued by the university. Please move to OneDrive or another storage option.
  • The default quota is 512 MB, while OneDrive gives you a full terabyte of storage. If you need additional storage for a class you can request it by emailing with the name of the course and the instructor. Ask your instructor how much storage you will need for the course.
  • While it is possible to access your U: Drive from off campus, it requires installing a VPN client and manually mapping the drive.
  • You cannot access the U: Drive from a mobile device running iOS, Android.
  • You cannot share files with others from your U: Drive


If you need a U: Drive and it does not map for you automatically when you sign into a Western-owned campus computer:

Submit a Request for a U: Drive

If you have a U: Drive and need to access it from off campus, you will need to request VPN access and then connect to your U: Drive manually.