Microsoft 365

Enrolling Devices in Endpoint Manager

Suppose you’ve started to move toward managing your devices in Microsoft Endpoint Manager (Intune). There are a lot of methods available to do that. I’ll highlight just a few of the most interesting:

Windows Autopilot

If the device was set up with Windows Autopilot, enrolling to Endpoint Manager is one of the options to happen immediately as part of the setup. No further actions are necessary.

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Microsoft Conditional Access Policies

Passwords are inadequate. Even for standard consumer tools, you should have at least two more tools in your toolbox: a password manager and multi-factor authentication. Those help make passwords suck less. But they do leave open some questions like: should you need to perform multi-factor authentication every time you log in? Should access be all or nothing, or should there be any accounting for degrees of risk?

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Accessing Microsoft 365 Files

Suppose you’ve now set up all of your files for your organization in the ideal way, with some in individual user OneDrives and others in group SharePoint sites. The natural follow-up question is: now how do I access those files within my workflow?

There are a lot of options. This probably isn’t an exhaustive list, but in this post I’ll quickly mention several different ways to access your files that are housed in Microsoft 365 (OneDrive for Business and SharePoint). If you know of more that I missed, leave a comment.

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OneDrive vs SharePoint

The first question that typically comes up when moving files to Microsoft 365 is this: what’s the difference between OneDrive and SharePoint? Which files should I put where?

Permissions

The most important difference is the default permissions. In short, files that are for just you should be in OneDrive. Files that are for others should be in SharePoint. OneDrive is individual by default. SharePoint is shared by default.

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The OneDrive Family Plan Loophole

When you get a Microsoft 365 Home plan, you get 1TB of OneDrive storage per user. That’s a good amount of storage, but you might want more. For example, I have a lot of photos going back almost 20 years. Tens of thousands of photos. A significant subset of those also have copies of the original RAW file taken from the DSLR, which are much larger. 1TB is a lot, but it’s reasonable that even for typical consumer purposes you might hit your limit.

Microsoft Office logo

Fortunately, there is a bit of a loophole that you can get up to 6TB of storage at a very reasonable price.

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Using GitHub from Visual Studio Code

Working in Visual Studio Code but need that connected to your GitHub repository? No problem. Getting connected to GitHub from Visual Studio Code is straightforward. It’s also possible to connect to other Git servers, but the authentication process is a bit more complicated, so I’ll stick to GitHub which is now my primary code repository. I’m also sticking with Windows, but the general idea is the same for other platforms with Code.

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Microsoft Search: Introduction

Microsoft Search may be the most underrated feature available as part of Microsoft 365. Maybe that’s because Microsoft themselves haven’t been promoting it that heavily, or maybe it’s because it is associated with Bing, the mention of which usually prompts the question “Bing still exists?” But those people are missing out on the potential productivity benefits that comes from having one search tool to find your data across all your Microsoft systems as well as yes, public Bing search.

This was a common scenario for me in my previous job: I’m trying to help a client with an error they’re encountering. I have an error code or message to work with. I copy the error text into a new tab in my browser and hit enter to run a search. My results will include any company resources, e.g. if we’ve documented this problem before, or chatted about it in Teams. It will also include public Bing results. This makes it a one-stop shop to check the work resources first and then move on to public results if there isn’t anything.

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