Online storage with Microsoft Office 365

OneDrive is the file storage and synchronization solution online from Microsoft. The app is installed as standard in Windows 10 and it allows you to share and sync your data.

The data is both stored on your computer and on Microsoft’s servers. This OneDrive tutorial explains how to use it.


What is OneDrive?

OneDrive is an application that allows any Windows 10 user to store personal data.

Historically it was called SkyDrive before being renamed OneDrive.

The goal being to synchronize on Microsoft servers in order to be able to consult them anywhere and to avoid data loss.

The OneDrive application is available on Iphone and Android. Word / Excel documents and even your photos are therefore accessible on your Phone or Tablet. Thanks to the cloud you can also consult your data from your internet browser such as Brave, Chrome or Firefox.

a personal microsoft account free allows you to benefit from 5 GB for free.

Users subscribed to Microsoft 365 services can benefit from 1TB of storage.

So there are two versions of OneDrive, the consumer version and the professional version called OneDrive for Business.

Test OneDrive for Business for free for 1 year.

Buy an Office 365 license

access to onedrive via web interface
Once logged into my Microsoft account I can access my ONE DRIVE data

Using OneDrive on Windows 10

OneDrive registration

It is necessary above all to create a microsoft account or one office 365 account for the OneDrive for Business version.

Obviously for sync files an internet connection is essential.

Once your account is created, OneDrive can be accessed from theWindows explorer.

OneDrive File Explorer

You can also search for it from the Windows 10 start menu.

OneDrive Start menu

Finally, it can be accessed from the icon next to the time at the bottom right:

OneDrive icon
The blue icon means that my account is connected. Otherwise the icon is grayed out. Clicking on it displays the list of synchronized files.

Sign in to OneDrive

If no account is configured, a window appears inviting you to connect:

OneDrive configuration window

For those who have both a personal OneDrive account and a OneDrive for Business account, you must choose the account you want to connect to.

OneDrive account choice

Now you have to choose your local storage location (on your computer):

choice of OneDrive folder
If you have two disks and one of your disks is full, it is possible to choose another location. In our OneDrive tutorial we will keep the default location.

Once validated you have a presentation of the service, do the following several times.

OneDrive Assistant
Take the time to read the instructions for use. This OneDrive guide explains the different features of the online storage service.

Once completed, the OneDrive environment is ready!

Good to know: If you already have files in your OneDrive storage, then these are not automatically synchronized. However, you will see them in your file. They will be able to download as soon as you click on them to consult them. This is convenient and avoids starting a long synchronization of files.

Everything is ready now we will explain how to get started with the tool.

Storage of photos, videos and office files


To synchronize files to Microsoft’s servers, they just need to be saved in your OneDrive folder.

Take the example of a Word file, I can write my document and then choose to save it in my OneDrive space directly from the software.

Word Saving to OneDrive

The file will be recorded AND synchronized, I can therefore consult it on my Iphone my Ipad or from any computer if I install the OneDrive application.

All office files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) are searchable AND modifiable online ! Best of all, multiple users can edit the same file at the same time.

You can also move files stored on a USB stick or your hard drive directly in the‘OneDrive space by doing a copy paste. The files are then synchronized.

We have presented office type files but you can synchronize your photos holiday, your music and your videos. OneDrive supports 100% this type of file and with 1TB of storage for the OneDrive for Business version, I let you imagine the number of files.

Finally in the explorer there is a color code to identify the files.

  • green circle : the file or folder is synchronized on your device (it consumes disk space)
  • blue cloud : the folder or file is available online (it does not consume disk space)
  • icon with a snowman : the folder or file is shared (therefore accessible by another user)
onedrive green icon
The file is synchronized on the computer.

OneDrive cloud icon
Our file is not synchronized on the computer.

bohnomme onedrive icon
Our “sharing-word” file is shared.

Storage management

Stored files can quickly take up space on your computer. OneDrive allows you to “release your file or folder”. This option deletes the file on your local hard drive, but leaves a copy online. So your file is always accessible.

This option does not exist with competitors like KDRIVE or DropBox.

To free your file it’s easy, you have to right-click then “free space” on the file or folder you want.

free up space on OneDrive

Web interface

We talk a lot about the file explorer but there is also a web interface that can be fully used from your browser.

OneDrive web interface
From the interface you can manage your files, create folders and files.

Above you can see the content of my OneDrive on the web space (at Microsoft).

The web interface is fully functional with Google Chrome and therefore you can create folders, Word or Excel files. You then have access to an online office suite. But that’s not all, you can move your files, share them too. In short, everything you do from the explorer you can do from a simple internet browser.

Share files with OneDrive

The strength of OneDrive is also power easily share files. It is very useful when working on a common project and the files are too large to be sent by email.

Nothing could be simpler, open your One Drive location:

OneDrive location

Make a right-click then “share” on the folder or file to share.

OneDrive share menu
Any file or folder in the OneDrive location can be shared.

You must define the sharing options by configuring the access rights to the file.

OneDrive share link
You can define a specific person, a group of people or anyone who will own the link.

OneDrive shared link

Well done, you have successfully shared your document!

As a security measure, you can also set an expiration time for the link so that it is inaccessible after X days.

Once the link has been sent, your contact can view your file and download it.

Manage your OneDrive folders

In order to limit the number of files to synchronize you can absolutely choose which folders to sync.

You have to go to the OneDrive settings by clicking on the icon at the bottom right next to the time.

Onedrive settings

Then in the Account menu> Choose File and folders.

choose the files and folder to synchronize in OneDrive

OneDrive settings

In this OneDrive tutorial we advise you to take a close look at the application settings.

Bandwidth and OneDrive

Indeed it is possible to limit the download and upload speed of files. This option prevents your internet connection from being saturated. To go to the OneDrive settings, you have to right-click then settings on the icon next to the time.

Then in the network tab you can define the speed.

OneDrive bandwidth
For connections with a low speed you can change the bandwidth.

Advanced settings on OneDrive

In the Settings tab, you can set the application to start automatically when your computer starts up.

For laptops, be aware that OneDrive can consume a lot of battery when syncing. In the settings you can choose the operating mode to save battery.

OneDrive advanced settings

Backing up your files

One last important point in this OneDrive tutorial. This hasMicrosoft’s cloud pplication is not a backup solution, but a synchronization solution.

Microsoft warranty 99.9% file availability but is not responsible for the loss of these.

Why is it not a backup solution?

In the event of a Ransomware virus, your data which is encrypted is also encrypted in OneDrive since it is synchronized. So yes if your second PC is not connected you can recover them but admit that it is stressful.

In the event of data deletion, are you sure you can restore them? It is not easy even if Microsoft says it keeps them in a recycle bin for a few days.

This OneDrive tutorial is coming to an end but I advise you to save your files by copying and pasting on an External hard drive. Even if it’s archaic it’s better than nothing.

Professionals and therefore those who benefit from an Office 365 license, you can use the Veeam tool called Veeam Backup for Office 365. a full tutorial was written by me a few months ago.

Finally, individuals can back up their OneDrive data at the same time as the computer backup. From my side I go through the excellent VEEAM Agent.

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