What is OneDrive?
OneDrive is Microsoft’s Cloud storage formerly called SkyDrive but renamed due to a lawsuit with Sky and formerly before that called Windows Live Sync. Its use requires a Microsoft Account.
The following diagram illustrates how OneDrive Cloud service works.
- Computer 1 is is signed in with a Microsoft Account and a series of subfolders and files are added to the local OneDrive folder stored on Computers 1 SSD/HDD. All the files in this folder can be opened, viewed, edited or saved with Applications installed on Computer 1 like any file. However all the contents in the OneDrive folder are synced to OneDrive Cloud Storage (backed up on multiple Microsoft storage servers.
- These files are automatically downloaded from the Microsoft storage server (OneDrive Cloud Storage) to the all other computers and devices that this is Microsoft Account is logged into e.g. Computers 2-5 which have large SSDs/HHDs so one may work with these files on these other computers. For low capacity devices such as Tablets 1-2 and Phones 1-2. These files are displayed in the OneDrive App so the user can see the file name and file type but the files are not downloaded (if they were the internal SSD would be full). If a user clicks to open the file the file will download allowing them to view or work with it.
- A public device the user doesn’t own e.g. a library computer. The user may use open their Outlook email in the web browser e.g. Microsoft Edge and work with Office files using Free Browser based Office WebApps or the full version of Office 2016 if the public device has Office 2016 installed.
- Any changes to the OneDrive folder in Computer 2-5, Tablet 1-2, Phone 1-2 or a public device accessing the OneDrive folder will be automatically synced to the OneDrive folder (Cloud storage) and in turn synced to Computer 1 and all other devices.
- Some folders/files may be shared with read only permissions or editing permissions with other users. Other users will be able to log into their OneDrive and open the folder/files using their web browser and OneDrive account. If they have editing permissions they will be able to open it in Office WebApps or if they have Office 2016 installed they will be able to open the file using their Office Desktop Apps. Other users only see the files within folders you opt to share and can only edit files/folders that you give them permission to.
Each user gets 5 GB of Free Cloud Storage. This used to be 15 GB and 25 GB for those who were early adopters of Windows Live Sync. Supposedly the free storage limit was dropped because the service was abused by some users who made as many multiple accounts in order to obtain as much free storage as they desired. In my opinion this is a silly move from Microsoft and Microsoft should give the 5 GB free base level per account and assign users additional free storage based on the number of Windows 10 Devices a user has registered with their Microsoft Account. e.g. 10 GB for each Windows 10 TH2 Device, 20 GB if its a Surface and 5 GB for a Windows Phone.
Users with an Office 365 subscription however get 1 TB of OneDrive Cloud Storage bundled as part of their subscription.
Using OneDrive within the Windows 7/10 TH2 Desktop
One of the most convenient ways of working with OneDrive is via the Windows Desktop.
For Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 TH2 OneDrive is inbuilt to the operating system.
For Windows 7 the OneDrive Desktop App has to be downloaded and installed:
The OneDrive App will be present in the notification tray, open the notification tray and launch OneDrive:
Sign in using your Microsoft Account (sometimes this is necessary even if you are logged into Windows 10 with a Microsoft Account:
Enter your username and password:
To use the Default Location recommended if you have only one Hard Drive/Solid State Drive select next.
Alternatively select to Change the Location recommended if you want to use multiple SSDHDDs:
In this case I will change the location to the E:\ Hard Drive.
Select the folder you want to move the OneDrive folder to for example:
The App will always call the folder so will make it
Select okay and then next:
Opt to select all folders from your OneDrive or a selected subset. Select next:
Select Open my OneDrive folder:
You will see your OneDrive folder is present in the default location or moved to your desired location.
Using Office WebApps and OneDrive in the Browser
Login with your Microsoft Account:
Upon your first login in you will be told about Outlook:
Select the menu button to the top left. Here you will be given Outlook, OneDrive and Office Online Applications.
I am going to click Word Online:
Then select a new document:
You will see a user interface similar to the Word 2016 Desktop Application:
This Word Online doesn’t have all the features of the Word 2016 Desktop Application however allows for basic functionality. I list the main tabs so you get so you can see whats available:
You may go to file and save as (the document automatically saves):
You can then select a folder within your OneDrive to save to:
Type in your file name and select Save.
It will save:
You can now see the file in your OneDrive. Select the menu to the top left and select OneDrive:
You may then open the folder. Options to move and delete the folder are available when you right click it. You may also share the folder with friends or make it public (accessible with a link). When sharing you can opt to make something read only or allow one permissions to edit it:
Open the folder by left clicking it, here you can see your document like you would if you were looking at a document in Windows Explorer. When you click the document you will see there are options to open in Word Online or the Word Desktop Application (if Office 2016 is installed):
Now lets open the menu to the top left again and select Excel:
I will click to open a new blank workbook:
Again it resembles the Excel Desktop Application.
Again this Excel Online doesn’t have all the features of the Excel 2016 Desktop Application however allows for basic functionality. I list the main tabs so you get so you can see whats available:
The workbook can be saved using save as:
Select the folder you want to save the worksheet and then select save:
Name the file and then select save:
It will save:
Now lets open the menu to the top left again and this time look at Powerpoint online:
I’m going to select a new blank PowerPoint presentation:
Again it resembles the PowerPoint Desktop Application.
Again this PowerPoint Online doesn’t have all the features of the Powerpoint 2016 Desktop Application however allows for basic functionality. I list the main tabs so you get so you can see whats available:
The best video on the WebApps, I’ve found is here:
Note: The latest version of Internet Explorer and SilverLight are recommended to be installed and used when using WebApps and OneDrive. Microsoft Services generally work better in Internet Explorer. Sometimes there are minor issues when using other browsers if some of the services are updated but this is rare.