Working with files in Microsoft Graph

Important: APIs under the /beta version in Microsoft Graph are in preview and are subject to change. Use of these APIs in production applications is not supported.

You can use Microsoft Graph to create an app that connects with files across OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, and SharePoint document libraries. With Microsoft Graph, you can build a variety of experiences with files stored in Office 365, from simply storing user documents to complex file sharing scenarios.

Microsoft Graph exposes two resource types for working with files:

  • Drive - Represents a logical container of files, like a document library or a user's OneDrive.
  • DriveItem - Represents an item within a drive, like a document, photo, video, or folder.

Most of the interaction with files occurs through interaction with DriveItem resources. The following is an example of a DriveItem resource:

  "createdDateTime": "2016-09-16T03:37:04.72Z",
  "lastModifiedBy": {
    "user": {
      "displayName": "Daron Spektor",
      "id": "d4648f06c91d9d3d"
  "file": {

Drive and DriveItem resources expose data in three different ways:

  • Properties (like id and name) expose simple values (strings, numbers, Booleans).
  • Facets (like file and photo) expose complex values. The presence of file or folder facets indicates behaviors and properties of a DriveItem.
  • References (like children and thumbnails) point to collections of other resources.

Commonly accessed resources

Most API requests for file interactions will use one of these base resources to access a Drive or DriveItem.

Path Resource
/me/drive User's OneDrive
/me/drives Enumerate OneDrive resources available to the user.
/drives/{drive-id} Access a specific Drive by the drive's ID.
/drives/{drive-id}/root/children Enumerate the DriveItem resources in the root of a specific Drive.
/me/drive/items/{item-id} Access a DriveItem in the user's OneDrive by its unique ID.
/me/drive/special/{special-id} Access a special (named) folder in the user's OneDrive by its known name.
/users/{user-id}/drive Access another user's OneDrive by using the user's unique ID.
/groups/{group-id}/drive Access the default document library for a group by the group's unique ID.
/shares/{share-id} Access a DriveItem by its sharedId or sharing URL.

In addition to addressing a DriveItem within a Drive by unique ID, your app can also address a DriveItem by relative path from a known resource. To address using a path, the colon (:) character is used to escape the relative path. This table provides an example of different ways to use the colon character to address an item by path.

Path Resource
/me/drive/root:/path/to/file Access a DriveItem by path relative to the user's OneDrive root folder.
/me/drive/items/{item-id}:/path/to/file Access a DriveItem by path relative to another item (a DriveItem with a folder facet).
/me/drive/root:/path/to/folder:/children List the children of a DriveItem by path relative to the root of the user's OneDrive.
/me/drive/items/{item-id}:/path/to/folder:/children List the children of a DriveItem 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 files operations will start by addressing a specific drive resource.

A drive resource can be addressed either by the drive's unique ID or by the default drive for a User, Group, or organization.

DriveItem resource

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

DriveItems have facets that provide data about the item's identity and capabilities.

DriveItems with a folder facet act as containers of items, and have a children reference, which points to a collection of items under the folder.

Shared folders and remote items

OneDrive personal users can add one or more shared items from another drive to their own OneDrive. These shared items appear as a DriveItem in the children collection with a remoteItem facet.

For more information about 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 document libraries is sharing content with other people. Microsoft Graph allows your app to create sharing links, add permissions and send invitations to items in a drive.

Microsoft Graph also provides a way for your app to access shared content directly from a sharing link.