Get started with SharePoint

When you sign in to Office 365, or your organization’s corporate intranet site, you’ll see links to Newsfeed or Yammer,OneDrive, and SharePointin the app launcher navigation. These are your entry points into SharePoint.

The app launcher with SharePoint highlighted.

Organizations use SharePoint to create websites. You can use it as a secure place to store, organize, share, and access information from almost any device. All you need is a web browser, such as Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox.

  • Newsfeed and Yammer    Stay tuned into conversations among your coworkers, and updates about their activities. Get started with Newsfeed.

    If your organization uses Yammer for its enterprise social network, then you may see a link to Yammer instead or in addition to Newsfeed. Learn more about Yammer.

  • OneDrive for Business   Your own place to keep work documents and other files. When you store your files on OneDrive for Business only you can see them, but you can easily share them with coworkers and access them from your mobile device. Get started with OneDrive for Business.

  • SharePoint    Easily find and access sites you’re following, and quickly create new team sites. Learn more about following sites and creating team sites.

  • Settings     SharePoint Online Public Website Settings button  Where you’ll find additional site actions for customizing your SharePoint sites.

Updated January 5, 2017 thanks to customer feedback.

10 things you can do with SharePoint, right now

SharePoint is powerful. There’s so much you can do with it. If you master a couple of these basic tasks, you’ll be well on your way to becoming an expert.

To do this…

Try this…

Upload files to OneDrive for Business, your online document library, so you can access them from anywhere

Click OneDrive > Upload.

Screenshot of the Upload button in OneDrive for Business in Office 365

Or you can drag files from your computer onto your OneDrive for Business page. See Upload files to a library.

To decide between OneDrive for Business and SharePoint team sites for your documents, see Should I save my documents to OneDrive for Business or a team site?.

(In SharePoint 2013, click New document > Upload existing file.)

Screenshot of new document dialog with Upload Existing File button highlighted

If you don't have Office 365 installed, you'll see just an option to upload a file.

Open a document in a document library

Click to open the document you want to work on and it will open in Office Online. If you have the application installed on your computer and want to use it, click Edit Document > Edit in <application name>. For info on document libraries, see What is a document library?

Word document opened from SharePoint library with Edit in Word highlighted

Work with others on the same document, at the same time

In a document library, click to open the document you want to work on. It will open in Office Online. The number of people currently editing the document appears at the bottom of the document.

Names of authors working in a file

See Document collaboration and co-authoring.

Share documents

Select the document you want to share, click the ellipses () to open the menu, and then click Share.

SPO Document right click menu with Share highlighted

See Video: Share documents in Office 365 or Video: Share documents in SharePoint Server 2013.

Share sites

If you have site owner permissions, click SharePoint or Sites, choose the site you want to share, and then click Share  Share button for SharePoint 2016 .

See Share sites or documents with people outside your organization (SharePoint Online only).

Create a team site

If you have site owner permissions, click SharePoint or Sites, and then click new site.

Screenshot of new site button on Sites page

When you create a group in Outlook or Office 365, you get a team site in SharePoint. See Create a site.

Add a list or library to your team site

On the site that you want to add the list or library, go to Settings > Add an app.

The settings menu with Add an app highlighted

See Add an app to a site.

Keep previous versions of a document while you make changes to it

Right-click the document, and then click Version History (you might have to scroll the menu)

Document library right click menu with version history highlighted

or, select the document, on the Files tab, click Version History.

The file tab with Version History highlighted

See How does versioning work in a list or library?

Search for something

Type a search keyword into the Search this site box, click the down arrow to elect a search scope, and then click the Search icon Search box magnifying glass icon ..

Screenshot of search box

See Find content that’s important to you.

Share information with your entire organization

Click the app launcher, then click Newsfeed or Yammer, type your message, and then click Post.

Screenshot of Newsfeed box and Post button

See Post something to everyone.

Ready to move beyond the basics?

Take a look at our beginner and intermediate SharePoint training to learn more about:

  • Creating and managing a blog to share information

  • Creating and setting up a list

  • Sharing documents

  • Using a list

  • Syncing libraries using OneDrive for Business

  • Updating profile and privacy settings

Copy and move files and folders between libraries

There are a number of ways to copy or move files, depending on the version of SharePoint you're using. In SharePoint Online, you can use the Copy to command to copy between libraries. For more info, see Move or copy a folder, file, or link in a document library.

Getting your SharePoint library into an Explorer view can provide a fast way to do all file operations. You can do it essentially two ways, syncing the folders, or opening in Explorer. The difference is that synced folders persist and can be used anytime, while Open in Explorer is a one time operation.

When you sync a library, you're making a local copy on your desktop machine. If you sync two libraries, you can copy or move files and folders, create folders, and delete one or more file or folder. Your synced library is automatically synced with the SharePoint library. To see how to sync libraries, see Set up your computer to sync SharePoint files or OneDrive for Business files when you’re not using Office 365 or Sync files to your computer from a document library.

Another way to use Windows Explorer to manipulate files is to open a library in Explorer. Like synced folders, ths allows you to copy, move, edit files and folders, and do all the things you can do on your desktop. Files are automatically updated in your SharePoint library. See Ways to work with site library files in File Explorer.

Want to control access to your stuff?

SharePoint is all about permissions. Get a better understanding of how permissions work, and you’ll understand how to control access to stuff on sites. Watch Video: Understanding permissions in SharePoint.

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