Upload files to a library

You can drag files from your computer to upload them to your OneDrive for Business library or SharePoint team site. You can also browse and upload your file.

Note: This article describes the experience in SharePoint Server, and the classic experience in SharePoint Online. If you're using the new experience in SharePoint Online, see Upload a folder or files to a document library.

Note: Before you can upload or create files in a library, your admin must give you permission to contribute to the library. Also, some file types in the library are blocked for security reasons. See Types of files that cannot be added to a list or library for more info.

See how to copy files and folders from your computer

Watch this video to see how to copy files to OneDrive for Business and your team site.

Your browser does not support video. Install Microsoft Silverlight, Adobe Flash Player, or Internet Explorer 9.

Upload files from Explorer to your OneDrive for Business or Sites library

  1. Open OneDrive or the SharePoint site library.

    Screenshot of a document library in SharePoint Server 2016
  2. Select Upload at the top of the documents library

    Document library with Upload button highlighted
  3. In the Add a document dialog box, you can select Browse to upload an individual file. Depending on the version of SharePoint you're using, you may also be able to upload multiple files by holding down either the CTRL or Shift key, and selecting more than one file.

  4. When you've selected the file or files to upload, select OK.

  1. Open OneDrive or the SharePoint site library.

    Screenshot of a document library in SharePoint Server 2016
  2. On your computer select Start Windows Start button in Windows 8 and Windows 10 and then File Explorer.

    Start menu with File Explorer highlighted

    Navigate to the folder with the documents that you want to upload.

  3. Drag the files to the space in the SharePoint library where it says drag files here. The library should display "Drop here" when you hover the file over it.

    Drag files to library
  4. You should see your files appear in the document library as they come in.

Notes: 

  • Drag and drop works best with the Google Chrome browser. The Upload command is a good alternative in other browsers .

If you are uploading large files, or many files that add up to a large total size to a library, you may get errors due to the file size limit in SharePoint or timeout errors in your version of Internet Explorer. Steps you can take to get around these errors include:

  • Upload 100 or fewer files when using drag and drop.

  • If you are an Office 365 or SharePoint Online customer, avoid uploading files larger than 15 GB, which is the maximum default file size.

  • If your organization maintains an server deployment of SharePoint, ask the server administrator to verify or increase the maximum file size limit to accommodate the size of the files you are uploading. The default size limit is 250 MB, but it can be increased up to a maximum of 10GB.

  • For file sizes exceeding 10 GB on SharePoint Server, or 15GB on SharePoint Online, if you see a "Working on it" message that never goes away, follow the instructions in Microsoft Support: Internet Explorer error "connection timed out" when server does not respond.

  • If you have the OneDrive sync app available, use it to upload large files or multiple files. Sync automatically uploads files in the background when you’re online. For more information, see Sync files with OneDrive in Windows.

When uploading files and folders, you need to be aware of path and file name length. SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business support up to 400 characters for the total file and path length. SharePoint Server versions support up to 260 characters for the total file and path length.

Site owners can set up a library to require you to check out files before you edit them (and check them in when you finish). If your library requires check out, the file is checked out to you when you first upload it. You have to check the file in before other people can edit it. To learn about checkout, see Check out, check in, or discard changes to files in a library

Site owners can set up a library to require approval of the content before it becomes visible to others who use the library. As the author, you can see the file listed and work with it, but nobody else can. For example, a legal department might require approval before documents become public. To learn more, see Require approval of items in a site list or library.

You can add a file to replace an existing file with a revised version of a file. If the library is set up to track versions, when you add a file, it becomes the latest version and the older file becomes part of the version history. When uploading a new version of a file, consider typing comments about what changed in this version so that you can more easily track the history of the file. To learn more about versioning, see How does versioning work in a list or library?.

To learn more, see these articles:

Expand your Office skills
Explore training
Get new features first
Join Office Insiders

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.

×