How to Use OneDrive: Getting Started with Microsoft OneDrive

We all know, before the digital devices like computers, phones, tablets, etc came into the market, all the data was handled manually and all the records were handwritten in registers, files, etc. In banks, stores, hospitals, etc. where a huge amount of data is created every day (as these are the places where lots of people visit every day and it is important to maintain their records) all the data was maintained manually and due to huge amount of data, lots of files need to be maintained. This created a lot of problems like:

  • A large number of files need to be maintained so it occupies lots of space.
  • As new files or registers need to be purchased, expenses increase drastically.
  • If any data is required, then all the files have to be searched manually which is very time-consuming.
  • As data is maintained in files or registries, chances of misplacing or damaging data increases.
  • There is also a lack of security as any person with access to the building can access that data.
  • As a large number of files are available so, it is very difficult to make any changes.

With the introduction of digital devices, all the above problems were either eliminated or solved as digital devices like phones, computers, etc. provide with the facility to store and save data. Although, there are some limitations, but still these devices provide a lot of help and made it very easy & convenient to handle all the data.

No chance of misplacing any files as a backup of the data can be made. Making any new changes in the existing data is very convenient as all the files are stored at one place i.e. one device.

But, as we know nothing is ideal in this world. The digital devices can be damaged over time or with their use they start to wear out. Now once that happens, then you should ask yourself that what will happen to all the data stored under that device? Also, what if somebody or you format your device by mistake, then also all the data will get lost. In scenarios like this, you should use OneDrive to backup your data on the cloud.

Microsoft introduced a new storage service where you can save all your data without worrying about damaging the device because the data is stored on the cloud itself rather than the device. So even if your device gets damaged then also the data will always remain safe and you can access your data anytime & anywhere on the cloud with the help of another device. This storage service by Microsoft is called OneDrive.

OneDrive is an online cloud storage service that comes attached with your Microsoft Account. It allows you to store your files on the cloud and later on you can access these files anywhere & anytime you want on your devices such as a computer, phone, tablet, etc. The best part, you could easily send any files or folders to other people directly from the cloud.

Core features of OneDrive

  • As a free user, you can store up to 5GB data on your OneDrive Account.
  • It provides cross-platform sync which means you can access the same file you are working on from your computer as well as from your phone or other devices.
  • It also provides Intelligent search feature.
  • It keeps file history which means if you made any changes in files and now you want to undo them you can do it easily.

Now the question arises, how to use OneDrive. So, let’s see step by step how to use OneDrive.

How to Use OneDrive: Getting Started with Microsoft OneDrive

create a restore point  just in case something goes wrong.

Method 1 – How To Create a OneDrive Account

If you already have any account whose email address is like or or have a Skype account, it means you already have a Microsoft account and you can skip this step and sign in using that account. But if you do not have one then create one using the below steps: using web browser.

2.Click on Sign up for free button.

3.Click on Create a Microsoft account button.

4.Enter an email address for a new Microsoft account and click on Next.

5.Enter the password for your new Microsoft account and click Next.

6.Enter the verification code you will receive on your registered email address and click Next.

7.Enter the characters you will see to verify the Captcha and click Next.

8.Your OneDrive account will be created.

After completing all the above steps, you can start using OneDrive.

Method 2 – How to set up OneDrive on Windows 10

Before using OneDrive, OneDrive should be available on your device and should be ready to use. So, to set up OneDrive in Windows 10 follow below steps:

1.Open start, search for OneDrive using the search bar and hit the enter button on Keyboard.

download OneDrive from Microsoft, unzip it and double click on the file to install it.

2.Enter your Microsoft email address which you have created above and click on Sign in.

3.Enter the password of your Microsoft account and click on Sign in.

Note: If you forget your password, you can reset it by clicking on “Forgot your password”.

4.Click on the Next button.

Note: If one OneDrive folder already exists then it is safe to change the location of the OneDrive folder so that later on it will not create any problem of file synchronization.

5.Click on Not now if you are using the free version of OneDrive.

6.Go through the given tips and finally click on Open my OneDrive folder.

7.Your OneDrive folder will open up from your computer.

Now, your OneDrive folder has been created. You can start uploading any images, documents, files to the cloud.

Method 3 – How To Upload Files To OneDrive

 To upload files using the File Explorer just follow the below steps:

1.Open the File Explorer by clicking on This PC or by using shortcut Windows key + E.

2.Look for OneDrive folder among the folders list available on the left side and click on it.

Note: If more than one account is configured on your device, then there may be more than one OneDrive folder available. So, choose the one you want.

3.Drag & drop or copy & paste the files or folders from your PC into the OneDrive folder.

4.After completing the above steps, your files will be available on your OneDrive folder and they will automatically sync to your account by the OneDrive client in the background.

Note: Instead of first saving your file into your computer and then relocating it into OneDrive folder, you can also directly save your file into OneDrive folder. It will save you both time and memory.

Method 4 – How To Choose Which Folders To Sync From OneDrive

As your data on the OneDrive account grow, it would be difficult to manage all the files & folders on your OneDrive folder inside the File Explorer. So to avoid this issue, you can always specify which files or folders from your OneDrive account should be accessible from your computer.

1.Click on cloud icon available on right bottom corner or on notification area.

2.Click on three dotted icon (More).

3.Now from the More menu click on Settings.

4.Visit the Account tab and click on Choose folders buttons.

5.Uncheck the Make all files available option.

6.From the folders available, check the folders you want to make available on your computer.

7.Once you are done, review your changes and click OK.

8.Click OK again to save changes.

Once you have completed the above steps, only the files or folders which you check marked above will be visible on your OneDrive folder. You can anytime change which files or folders you want to see under OneDrive folder under File Explorer.

Note: If you again want to make all files visible, then check the box “Make all files available”, which you have unchecked before and then click OK.  

Method 5 – Understand the Status of OneDrive Files which are Syncing

OneDrive provides several badges to keep users updated about the status of files syncing.

Given below are some of those badges.

  • Solid white cloud icon available at the bottom left corner indicates that OneDrive is running properly and OneDrive is up to date.
  • Solid blue cloud icon available at bottom right corner indicates that OneDrive for business is running properly without any problem and is up to date.
  • Solid grey cloud icon indicates that OneDrive is running, but no account is signed in.
  • This symbol indicates that OneDrive is successfully uploading files on to the cloud or successfully downloading files from the cloud.
  • This symbol indicates that OneDrive is running but there are some problems in synchronization which needs to be fixed.

Icons showing statuses of files and folders

  • It indicates that file is not available on local storage and you cannot open it offline. It will only open when you will be connected to the Internet.
  • Solid green with a white check inside: It indicates that file is marked as “Always keep on this device” so that important file will be available offline and you can access it whenever you want. 
  • White icon with green borders & green check inside it: It indicates the file is available offline in local storage and you can access it offline.
  • It indicates that file has a problem while syncing and it needs to be fixed.
  • It indicates that the file is currently syncing.  

So, above are some badges which will let you know the current status of your files.

Method 6 – How To Use OneDrive Files On-Demand

Files On-Demand is a feature of OneDrive that allows you to see all the content stored on the cloud using File Explorer without first downloading it on your device.

1.Click the cloud icon present at the bottom left corner or from the notification area.

2.Click on three dot icon (More) and then click on Settings.

3.Switch to the Settings tab.

4.Under Files On-Demand, checkmark “Save space and download files as you use them” and click OK.

5.Once the above steps are completed, your Files On-Demand service will be enabled. Now right-click on files and folders from OneDrive folder.

6.Choose any one option according to the way you want that file to be available.

a.Click on Free up space if you want that file to only available when there will be an Internet connection.

b.Click on Always keep on this device if you want that file to always available offline.

Method 7 – How To Share Files Using OneDrive

As we have seen earlier that OneDrive provides a facility to directly share the files with others without downloading those files on your device. OneDrive does so by creating a secure link which you can give to others, those who want to access the content or files.

1.Open OneDrive folder by pressing Windows key+E and then click on the OneDrive folder.

2.Right-click on the file or folder you want to share.

3.Select “Share a OneDrive link”.

4.A notification will appear on the Notification bar that a unique link is created.

After performing all the above steps, your link will be copied to the Clipboard. You just have to paste the link and send it through email or any messenger to the person you want to send.

Method 8 – How To Get More Storage On OneDrive

If you are using the free version of OneDrive then only 5GB space will be available to you to store your data. If you want more space, then you have to take the monthly subscription and have to pay some cost for it.

If you want to know how much space you have used and how much is available follow the below steps:

1.Click on Cloud icon at bottom left corner.

2.Click on three dot icon and click on Settings.

3.Switch the Account tab to see the available and used space. Under OneDrive you can see how much storage is already used.

So, after completing the above steps you can see how much storage is available. If you need more than either free up some space or expand it by taking the monthly subscription.


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I hope this article was helpful and you can now easily Get Started With Microsoft OneDrive on Windows 10, but if you still have any questions regarding this tutorial then feel free to ask them in the comment’s section.