Many people know about Google Drive and iCloud, but what is OneDrive? In short, it’s a similar cloud storage option, but it comes from Microsoft.
You can do many of the same things with it as other clouds. But the great part is that you don’t have to worry about using a third-party tool on your Windows 10 computer. Now that you have a general idea about OneDrive, you need all the details to use it properly.
What Is OneDrive?
OneDrive is a cloud storage program from Microsoft. The cloud is part of Microsoft 365, but you can also get OneDrive by itself if you don’t need the other features.
Microsoft offers multiple OneDrive tiers so that you can get up to 6 TB of storage with a personal plan. Business plans come with 1 TB of storage, but one plan does offer unlimited storage.
Since it’s part of Microsoft 365, you may already have access to OneDrive. Then, you can get access to other features, like Microsoft Office and Skype.
You can use OneDrive on your Windows 10 computer as well as in a browser and on your mobile device. That makes accessing your files easier, and you don’t need to use the same computer all of the time.
How much does it cost?
You can start using OneDrive for free. You get up to 5 GB of storage on the free plan, and you can use many of the core features.
If you run out of storage, you can upgrade to the OneDrive Standalone plan to get 100 GB of storage. The plan costs a couple of dollars a month, so it’s perfect if you want to use the cloud for a lot of things.
You can also get OneDrive as part of a Microsoft 365 Personal subscription. The plan costs about $70 a year or $7 per month, and it offers up to 1 TB of storage as of this writing. You’ll also be able to use Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
Microsoft 365 Family has the same features as the Personal version, but up to six people can use one account. You’ll also get up to 6 TB of storage total.
How to Sign In
When you first use OneDrive, you may need to create an account. However, you can use your existing Microsoft account to sign in as well.
You can sign in to your account with the OneDrive app on your computer or through a browser. If you want to use OneDrive on your mobile device, you can also sign in there.
Each option has a few steps you can follow to sign in.
On a PC
If you have the latest version of Windows 10, you probably already have OneDrive on your computer. But if not, you can download it from the Microsoft Store. Here are the steps after the download.
- Go to Start to bring up your apps.
- Search for OneDrive to find the app.
- Select OneDrive from the list to open it.
- Use your Microsoft account information to log in.
Once you log into OneDrive, you can use it to store whatever files you have. You can customize it to fit your needs, and you can make sure you have enough storage space.
On the website
You can also sign in to OneDrive through the OneDrive website, and you can use whichever browser you prefer. Once you go to the OneDrive website, you can sign in with your Microsoft account.
Then, you can access your cloud storage and manage files and other features. However, you should also use the desktop app so that you can easily add files from your computer, and you can use the website later.
Another benefit of using OneDrive is that you can access your storage from any device. You can download the OneDrive app on your mobile phone, whether you have an Android or iPhone.
Then, you can follow similar steps to log in on the OneDrive website. Make sure you know your Microsoft account details, and then you can view and manage files on the go.
How to Save to OneDrive
Once you set up your OneDrive, you can start saving files as you create them. You can also copy and move existing files to the cloud. Either way, you can use OneDrive as your main form of storage or keep copies of documents on your computer.
As you set everything up, you can move some essential files to the cloud. But you can also add new documents to OneDrive over time. Consider how you can do both of those things.
When creating a file
Whether you’re working in Microsoft Word or another program, you can save the new file directly to the cloud. When you’re ready to save, you can select “File” then “Save As” to bring up a menu.
Then, you can select OneDrive as your storage option. If you want to organize your cloud storage further, you can also create folders. You can also select the specific folder you want to use.
After you save the file, you can go to your OneDrive and the right folder if you use one. You should be able to see your document there.
With an existing file
If you want to add files to your OneDrive after you set it up, you don’t have to create new ones. You can find files that exist on your computer, and you can copy or move them to the cloud.
First, open OneDrive on your computer. Then, you can create any folders you want to use to organize your files.
Next, open the File Explorer and find the files you want to move to OneDrive. Select a file you want to move and then drag it to your cloud storage. You can also copy files if you want to keep them on your computer, and you can move the copy to OneDrive.
How to Find Information in OneDrive
After you start using OneDrive, you may find you have a lot of information collected there. If you have one of the larger storage plans, you might end up with a lot of files, and it can be hard to find what you need.
When you need to find a particular document, you can use the search function in OneDrive to find it. You can see the option to search in the top bar. Then, you can type whatever you want to search for in the box.
Depending on how you’ve organized your OneDrive, you may have other options. If you use folders for different things, you can go to the folder that you need. Then, you can narrow your search and use the search function if you still can’t find something.
Another great way to organize and find information is with tags. You can use tags to find certain types of files. If you’re looking for an image, OneDrive can even tag images with things it recognizes to help.
How to Use OneDrive
Setting up OneDrive and adding files to it is one thing. You can get started relatively quickly, but you can also do a lot more when using OneDrive.
Whether you use OneDrive alone or as part of Microsoft 365, consider what you can do with the cloud. Then, you can make the most of your storage.
Download the app
If you’ve only ever used the web app, make sure your computer has the OneDrive app. Then, you can easily save files to the cloud.
While you can use the website to access your account, you may not be able to do everything you want to do. Luckily, the OneDrive app is free to download, so you don’t need to pay extra.
You should also add files that you want to access from anywhere. OneDrive can store anything from Word documents to PDFs to photos.
Of course, you should give yourself room to add more files, especially if you have the free version. But if you have a few files you use often, you can add them to the cloud for easy access.
Another excellent way to use OneDrive is to backup files from your computer. You can set folders from your computer to sync to the cloud automatically.
Go to OneDrive on your computer and then to Settings. Select the folders you want to sync between devices. However, be careful about deleting items because deleting will also affect your entire account.
If you use the OneDrive app on your phone, you can also back up your photos. Under Settings, go to the Backup tab. Select the checkbox under Photos and Videos.
Being able to back up your files and photos can be essential if you break or lose your computer. Setting up automatic backups takes away the stress of remembering to backup everything.
Share OneDrive files
If you want or need to share your OneDrive files to your computer or with someone else, you can also do that. To share your files, you can go to the File Explorer on your computer.
Right-click on the file you want to share, and select Share next to the blue cloud icon. You can then adjust editing permissions if you don’t want the recipient to edit the file.
Change the permissions so that the recipient can view the document. Then, you can enter the person’s email address and add a message and send it.
Restore old files
Have you ever deleted an old file or made changes but wanted to get it back? You won’t have to worry about that with OneDrive.
You’ll need to go to the OneDrive website to do this, and you can restore files you’ve deleted or find an old version. To find files you deleted, go to the recycle bin.
Note that Microsoft doesn’t store old files forever. Depending on your account, you’ll have 30 to 90 days to recover a file. When you find what you need, you can select the file and click Restore.
If you want to restore an old version of an existing file, you can go to the web app and find the file in question. Right-click and select Version History. That way, you can find the version you want to restore.
Check your storage space
If you have a lot of files, you may want to manage your storage. Doing so can help you determine if you need to delete some things or upgrade your account.
On your desktop, open the OneDrive app and click on Help & Settings. Next, select Manage storage to see an overview of how much storage you have left.
If you want to check your storage on your phone or tablet, you can still go to the OneDrive app. This time, you will need to tap the Me tab at the bottom of the screen. The tab will show you how much storage you’re using.
Add more storage
If you find that you don’t have as much space as you want, you can add more in a few ways. One of the easiest ways is to delete old files you don’t need.
You can go through your folders and files to see what you can get rid of. Make sure you also go through your recycle bin and permanently delete those old files.
If you need to keep the files but don’t need them in the cloud, you can also move the files to your computer’s local storage. Make a copy of the file and move it to your computer then delete the version in the cloud.
If you still don’t have enough storage, you may need to upgrade to a higher tier.
Floating on Cloud Nine
If you’re new to Windows 10, you may be wondering, “What is OneDrive?” But now you know! The cloud storage program from Microsoft offers many features and options so that you can store your files and customize your experience.
Make sure you choose the right storage option for you but don’t be afraid to upgrade later. That way, you don’t have to delete essential files to free up space.