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Develop with the OneDrive API

Documentation validation and build status

The OneDrive API provides a set of HTTP services to connect your application to files and folders in Office 365 and SharePoint Server 2016.

This includes:

  • OneDrive Personal
  • OneDrive for Business
  • SharePoint Online
  • SharePoint Server 2016

Not only does the OneDrive API make it easy to connect your app to your user's files, but you can also access the advanced functionality of files in OneDrive and SharePoint.

Whenever possible, we recommend using a supported OneDrive SDK in your application. However, you can code your application directly to the HTTP endpoints if your preferred language/platform is unavailable.

The OneDrive API is also a part of the Microsoft Graph. You can use Microsoft Graph, to easily connect your app to data from many Office 365 services by using a single API end point.

Getting started

To quickly get started connecting your app to OneDrive or SharePoint document libraries, check out the SDK or getting started guide for your platform:

Windows / .NET | Apple iOS | Android | Python | HTTP


The OneDrive API exposes two major resource types:

  • Drive (top-level object)
  • Item (files, folders, and so on.)

The following is an example of an item resource.

  "createdDateTime": "2014-10-31T03:37:04.72Z",
  "lastModifiedBy": {
    "user": {
      "displayName": "daron spektor",
      "id": "d4648f06c91d9d3d"
  "file": {

Resources expose data in three different ways:

  • Properties (like id and name) expose simple values.
  • Facets (like file and photo) expose complex values. The presence of file or folder facets indicates behaviors and properties of an item.
  • References (like children) point to collections of other resources.

You can expand references in your URL with the expand query parameter, for example, ?expand=children. Request specific properties and facets with the select query parameter, for example, ?select=id,name. By default, most properties and facets are returned while all references are hidden. For efficiency, we recommend that you specify select and expand for the data you care about.

For details about resources and facets, see Resources and Facets.

OneDrive API root resources

Use these root API resources to access an item or drive.

Path Resource
/drive User's default Drive.
/drives List Drives available to the authenticated user.
/drives/{drive-id} Access a specific Drive by its ID.
/drives/{drive-id}/root/children List items in the root of a specific Drive.
/drive/items/{item-id} Access an Item by its ID.
/drive/special/{special-id} Access a special (named) folder by its known name.
/shares/{share-id} Access an Item by its shareId or a sharing URL.

Items can also be addressed by path, by putting a colon after any item or drive URL, and following it with the relative path to the item. The next table shows how to use a colon in the URL address. You might optionally transition back to addressing the resource model by putting another colon at the end. Ensure your request follows the path encoding requirements.

Path Resource
/drive/root:/path/to/file Access an Item by path under the root.
/drive/items/{item-id}:/path/to/file Access an Item by its path relative to another item.
/drive/root:/path/to/file:/children List children when accessing by path relative to the drive root.
/drive/items/{item-id}:/path/to/file:/children List children when accessing by path relative to another item.

Drive resource

The Drive resource is the top level object within a user's OneDrive or a SharePoint document library. Nearly all API accesses will start by addressing a drive resource.

Item resource

Items are the objects inside the OneDrive file system. They can be accessed by their id using the /items/{item-id} syntax, or by their file system path using the /drive/root:/path/to/file syntax.

Items have Facets that provide data about their identities and capabilities.

Folders act as containers of items, and have a children reference pointing to a collection of items under the folder.

Shared folders and remote items

On OneDrive Personal users can add one or more shared items from another drive to their OneDrive. These shared items appear as an item in the children collection with a remoteItem facet.

For more information on working with shared folders and remote items, see Remote items and shared folders.

Sharing and permissions

One of the most common actions for OneDrive and SharePoint is sharing content with other people. OneDrive API allows your app to create sharing links, add permissions, and send invitations to items stored in a drive.

OneDrive API also provides a way for your app to access shared content directly from the sharing link.

For more details on how to share and consume shared content, see Sharing items in OneDrive API.

Webhooks and notifications

OneDrive supports sending webhook-style push notifications when the contents of a OneDrive is changed. Your app can use these notifications to track changes in near real-time instead of polling the server for changes.

Programming notes

API Compatibility

The OneDrive API will continue to evolve and gain additional functionality. The API includes a version number as part of the URL path, to ensure that we can make breaking changes to the API without impacting existing implementations. Breaking changes will be made by incrementing the version number in the URL, for calls that work differently than before.

We define a breaking change as a change in the format of a request or response that removes an existing documented behavior, or alters an existing documented behavior.

It is possible that the API will expose additional undocumented features from time to time. These features should not be depended on until they are documented. Do not assume that current behavior that deviates from the documentation will persist.

We will continue to make non-breaking changes to the existing version of the API, including adding facets, properties, and resources to the API. As such, any code calling the OneDrive API needs to:

  • Be resilient to additional properties being added to JSON responses. Ignoring them is OK.
  • Have no dependency on the order of properties returned in JSON responses.
  • Use documented API paths, resources, properties, and enumerated values only. Non-documented values are not guaranteed to remain consistent.
  • All URLs returned by OneDrive API should be treated as opaque URLs. Your app should not make any assumptions about format or parameters in these URLs. They are subject to change without notice.


OneDrive has limits in place to make sure that individuals and apps do not adversely affect the experience of other users. When an activity exceeds OneDrive's limits, API requests will be rejected for a period of time. OneDrive may also return a Retry-After header with the number of seconds your app should wait before sending more requests.

HTTP/1.1 429 Too Many Requests  
Retry-After: 3600

Working with OneNote Notebooks

Note: Although OneDrive stores OneNote notebooks, you shouldn't use the OneDrive API to work with OneNote notebooks. Instead, use the OneNote API.

OData v4 compatibility

This API supports OData V4 at the minimum conformance level. Some of the features of the OneDrive API might not be available via the OData metadata or generated content. For more information, see OData Support.

Continuous documentation validation

As part of our commitment to high quality documentation, we've developed a process through which the samples and examples in our documentation are tested for validity as part of every check-in. We call this continuous documentation validation.

Each time a change to our documentation is made, we validate that everything works as documented in the service. When we create a new build of the service, we validate that the examples in our documentation also continue to work. This helps us ensure that everything we document works and works as expected even as new updates are made available.

For the latest build details, check out the AppVeyor build status page for our documentation repository.

Related topics

The following topics contain high level overviews of other concepts that apply to the OneDrive API.