OneDrive by Microsoft provides a place to store, share and sync your business or school files. It offers easy sharing, security and mobility for all your files. It is a kind of tool that if you use once, you can’t imagine working without it.

  • With Microsoft OneDrive, you can get your files quickly from any computer, mobile, or tablet.
  • You can create a file on your phone at one time, edit it on your tablet the other time, then access it back on your computer the next time.
  • You can also share and give permission to others so they can also work on your file simultaneously.
  • It even acts as a backup of files. You can get your files from cloud storage even if by chance you lose them on your local system.

It’s an incredible tool.

In this article, we will discuss different features and benefits of OneDrive, and how to make the most from them.

What is OneDrive?

Previously known as SkyDrive (until January 2014), OneDrive is a cloud storage service by Microsoft for hosting files. Though highly flexible, it is mainly used to store, sync, and share the files across the organization, in a way that the storage and sharing of these files are completely secure.

On Windows 10, Microsoft OneDrive is used to synchronize system settings, current theme, visual customizations, app settings, including the tabs, browsing history, and passwords from Microsoft Edge.

You can access OneDrive files directly from the web, Windows10, or the Microsoft OneDrive app itself on your computer or device. OneDrive can be accessed on Android, iOS, Mac, Windows device, and Xbox.

For those, who use mobiles and computers every day, there are many benefits of OneDrive:

  • You get free 5GB storage space on OneDrive, and 100 GB, 1 TB, 6 TB storage options separately with different Office 365 subscriptions.
  • You need to save a file to the OneDrive folder once and then you can access it from any device you log into as the files are stored in the cloud.
  • You can sync files between the cloud and the local drive.
  • You can automatically backup your documents, images, and folders to OneDrive using the AutoSave feature to ensure your device’s important files are continuously backed up to Microsoft’s cloud storage service.
  • You can easily share specific files or folders with other users and permissions can be granted from read-only to complete access for document editing.
  • You can protect your most sensitive documents with Personal Vault feature. The files kept in this area can only be accessed using identity verification, such as face identity, fingerprint, PIN, or a code sent to you via SMS or email.

Also Read: Zoom vs Microsoft Teams: Which video conferencing app is better?

What is the difference between Personal OneDrive and OneDrive for Business?

Personal OneDrive and OneDrive for Business sounds almost similar but they don’t offer similar services. Read below the main differences…

Personal OneDrive

When you start Windows 10 on your device, this is the OneDrive that you see. Once you log into your Microsoft Account, you immediately get access to the cloud storage present in File Explorer. Personal OneDrive in Microsoft devices is the default option to save files to help you keep extra space on your drive. Personal OneDrive offers free 5 GB storage to its users. You need to pay more to get extra space in the cloud.

There are various Microsoft Home or Personal plans that provide you free 1 TB space on OneDrive. These plans also come with the Personal Vault feature to provide an extra security layer to your personal files. Also, if you’re an Office 365 user, you should get unlimited Personal Vault space.

OneDrive for Business

OneDrive for Business is a managed cloud storage service specifically designed for businesses. It enables a company to provide personal storage space to the employees and manage the same from a central location. The admins in your organization have full access to the online storage to control what you can access in the library.

OneDrive for Business works offline too, through its offline sync capability feature. This feature allows users to work on their business files offline in OneDrive and these changes are later synchronized when they come back online.

How to use OneDrive – common how-to pointers to use it like a pro

From basic setup to advanced management, here are some prominent ways of how to use Office 365 OneDrive effectively. These will help you get the best out of it:

1. Getting started: install and set up OneDrive

The best part about using Microsoft OneDrive on Windows 10 computers is that it comes pre-installed and is ready to use. When you set up Windows 10, you get the message if you want to use OneDrive or not. In case, you forgot to enable it there, you still can see the OneDrive icon in the System Tray.

To set up OneDrive, open the OneDrive set up screen, then enter your email address and select Sign in.

Microsoft OneDrive

You can confirm the default folder location for your OneDrive files, or you can change the location if you want and select Next. See the tutorial screens once and click on the Next button. You can now open your OneDrive folder.

2. Manage and sync files in OneDrive

Your OneDrive files and folders will show in the File Explorer under the OneDrive folder.

You can now choose the files and folders you want to add and sync with OneDrive storage. From File Explorer, you can see all the files, and move anyone to sync with OneDrive. You can create more folders in OneDrive or include them from your system as a part of your OneDrive synchronization.

Microsoft OneDrive

You can browse and open these files and folders anytime, offline, or online. You can delete or edit these files, which will be synced and updated on your other devices too.

3. How does OneDrive Sync work?

You can sync OneDrive files locally on any device. This is the feature that makes OneDrive so usable. Click on the Sync option on the top of your OneDrive menu.

Microsoft OneDrive

This creates a OneDrive location that has same files and folders stored at your OneDrive in the cloud. No matter from which location you work on these files, they will get synchronized and you’ll get the latest version at both the places. This allows you to be mobile, take your computer anywhere and work even when you have no internet.

When you plug in back to the internet, your work will be synced, and your files will be available in the latest version.

4. Back up files with OneDrive

Once your OneDrive is up, you can also use it to automatically back up important files and folders (Desktop, Documents, and Pictures). In the windows notification area, right-click OneDrive and select Settings. Go to Backup, then Manage Backup.

Select the items you want to backup and click on Start backup.

Microsoft OneDrive

You can also opt to save pictures and videos to OneDrive automatically every time you connect a camera, phone, or any other such device to your PC. There are also options to automatically save screenshots to OneDrive.

Finally, you can access your backed-up items from anywhere in Desktop, Documents, or Pictures.

You can also expand your file storage space. See OneDrive additional storage plans.

5. Check version of your document from version history

When you log in to Office 365 portal and go to your OneDrive, you can see a list of files that you have stored there. Infront of individual files, you can see three vertical dots. When you click on it, you can see that a complete menu opens. From there, select Version History. This is one of the best features of OneDrive. Every change that you make and save gets recorded as a different version of the file. You can select one and restore it. You get flexibility to recover any old file, if needed.

Microsoft OneDrive

6. Share OneDrive files internally/externally

If you want to share a file stored in your OneDrive folder, then there’s a super quick and easy way to do this task. Go to the File Explorer, right-click the file, and select Share. The following pop-up will open.

You can enter a name or email address, add a message (optional) and select Send. The file will be shared with the person(s).

Another method is to click on Copy Link option. The link will be copied to your clipboard. Now, you can paste it into any program, email message, or chat window to share it.

You can share large files of up to 15GB this way. So, you don’t need to worry about FTP download site. You can share all from OneDrive.

Microsoft OneDrive

7. Co-author the documents

Through this feature, multiple people can work on a single document at the same time. You can also see live edits in Word, PowerPoint, Excel and other Office applications.

To permit a user to make changes to the document you share, simply choose Share, then click on Anyone with the link can edit to further customize the link permissions, then under More Settings or Link Settings, click on Allow Editing and Apply. Now, copy the URL below and share it with others.

You have to edit the document in online version to see the live changes taking place. It allows you to collaborate with your co-workers in real time.

8. Add a security layer to your file sharing

There’s this situation when you have to quickly share your most sensitive file with someone, and you are afraid that your file can be reused if someone else comes across the link. You definitely want to add more protection to the files you share, right?

You can do this by right-clicking on any file or folder in your browser, select Share, then Link Settings, there you can set an expiration date and password to your file-sharing link and apply.

Microsoft OneDrive

Now, copy the link and share it with anyone. If you’ve added a password too, then share it secretly with anyone. This link will work till the expiration date, and once it expires, you’ll need to create another to share again.

Also Read: 5 powerful cybersecurity solutions every business needs

9. Restore removed files in OneDrive

If somehow you removed a file from your folder, and you want to recover it, then the OneDrive web app is the place from where you can restore it. Simply, navigate to the notification area, right-click the OneDrive app, and choose View online. Now, select the Recycle bin from the left sidebar, choose the file(s) you want to get back, and then click on Restore.

Microsoft OneDrive

The files kept in the OneDrive Recycle Bin are automatically deleted after 30 days for personal accounts and after 93 days in case of work or school accounts. The files deleted from your recycle bin can be found in the second stage recycle bin. To get them back, go to the recycle bin, then select the Second stage recycle bin, choose files, and select Restore. You can now view these files in their original location.

10. Create a common folder for your friends, family, and teammates

If you would like to make one OneDrive folder dedicatedly available to you and other people, then you would need to create a folder in OneDrive, give it a name that defines the purpose. For example, you can call it 2020 pictures – where all can add the pictures that they had taken from their devices and those pictures will be accessible to everyone. Now, you need to sync that folder to the cloud storage and share the OneDrive folder’s link (allow editing) with the people you want to share it with.

11. Plan network utilization

Companies do have issues with their important services becoming slow when many people who are synced to the OneDrive for Business start downloading the content at the same time.

If you are thinking to plan about the network bandwidth consumption in your organization, you can do this easily with OneDrive. You need to right-click OneDrive and select Settings. Now, click on the Network tab. Under the Upload rate section, select Limit to from Don’t limit (default). You can specify here the new upload rate in kilobytes per second. Click on Save to proceed.

The minimum upload rate is 50 KB/sec, and the maximum rate is 100,000 KB/sec. The minimum the rate, the longer time it takes to upload or download. This way, you can limit your users to upload data by only using the unused network bandwidth. This will help you quickly improve your company’s internet performance. However, you can always pause syncing during a slow network.

How to stop OneDrive syncing?

If you have a slow internet connection, you can pause and resume OneDrive syncing. Select the OneDrive in the notification area, select more, and click on Pause syncing. You can also choose how long you want to pause the file syncing. 

So, these were a few ways you can use Office 365 OneDrive. If you want to take benefit of all the OneDrive features and benefits, then you can buy Microsoft 365 from ZNetLive, and get the best in quality service affordably. Plus, there’s 24/7 support with quick problem resolution that helps enhance the technology experience.

If you’ve got some tips and tricks or questions regarding OneDrive, feel free to add them in the comments section.

Image Credit: Microsoft; Featured Image: Microsoft OneDrive

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