OneDrive is a cloud storage service offered by Microsoft. If you have never heard of them, cloud storage services are like online "hard disks" that allow you to store files on the Internet, to automatically synchronize them on a wide range of devices (through special apps) and to easily share them with others people.
One of OneDrive's main strengths is cross-platform compatibility. The Microsoft service, in fact, is compatible with all the most recent versions of Windows, with macOS and with the main operating systems for smartphones and tablets, namely Android and iOS / iPadOS. It is also accessible from Xbox and directly via the browser, where it allows you to view all the files stored on your space and edit them through the Office Web applications.
How much? The basic version of OneDrive is totally free and offers 5GB of storage. For those who need more space, paid plans are available that allow you to expand your "drive" up to 1TB. Are you interested? Would you like to know more? Well, then take five minutes of free time and keep reading: below you will find explained how OneDrive works step by step. I assure you it's really a breeze! I just have to wish you a good read!
Let's start with a brief overview of the plans OneDrive, their prices and the amount of storage they offer.
You must know that OneDrive is a free service that offers 5GB space for anyone with a Microsoft account. Should this space be insufficient, you can upgrade by increasing the space to 100GB. This increase is not free and costs 2 euro / month.
Furthermore, you can get additional space completely free of charge through the invitation program: for each friend who signs up for Microsoft's cloud storage service as a new customer (using a specific link), they will be added for free 500MB of additional storage space, up to a maximum of 10 GB.
Finally, you can switch to version Premium OneDrive: the latter consists of purchasing a license to Office 365 (now Microsoft 365) which allows you to get 1TB of additional storage space. Through 365 Office Staff, at the cost of 7 euro / month or 69 euro / year, you get 1TB for 1 user.
Alternatively, the license a Office 365 Home guarantees the same space as 1TB per user, up to a maximum of 6 users, for a total of 6TB. The cost of this subscription plan is 10 euro / month or 99 euro / year.
How to Sign Up for OneDrive
To use OneDrive, you need a Microsoft accountThen an email address with the suffix Outlook Live or Hotmail. If you do not have one yet, linked to this web page, click on the item Create a Microsoft account and fill out the form that is proposed to you.
If you have any doubts or difficulties in the process of registering a Microsoft account, I recommend that you consult my tutorial on how to create a Microsoft account.
How to Use OneDrive on PC
Now let's see how OneDrive works on PC. As mentioned at the beginning of the post, the service is compatible with all major versions of Windows, but there are a couple of important clarifications to make.
- OneDrive is not supported by Windows XP.
- OneDrive is included “standard” in Windows 10 and Windows 8.1, so if you have one of these versions of the Microsoft operating system installed on your PC, you can use the service without downloading additional software.
For all other versions of Windows, ie Windows 7 e Windows 8.0, to use OneDrive you need to install a client available on the Microsoft website: to download it on your PC, click on the button Download collocato sotto the dicitura OneDrive per Windows.
A download completo, apri il file OneDriveSetup.exe you just downloaded on your PC, click on the button Yes and wait for all the components necessary for OneDrive to work from the Internet. It shouldn't take long.
I warn you that the application is also available OneDrive on the Microsoft Store. This only allows you to upload documents to the cloud and browse folders online, while the desktop client also allows synchronization of PC data.
At the end of the installation procedure or if OneDrive is already installed on your PC, you can find the OneDrive client icon (the one with the symbol of a speech bubble) in the lower right area, on the taskbar, near the Windows clock.
So double-click on the icon in question and press the button Log in. At this point, log in to your Microsoft account and choose whether to confirm the default location of the OneDrive folder (the one where all the files synchronized with the service will be downloaded) or to change it by clicking on the button Change position.
Once you have passed this step, click on the buttons Not now, forward, forward e Open my OneDrive folder, but will conclude the setup.
OneDrive automatically syncs all your cloud folders to your PC. If you want to change this behavior, click its icon on the taskbar and select the items More> Settings nel riquadro che ti comes mostrato.
In the new screen you see, click on the tab Account and press pulsating Choose folders. At this point, all you have to do is remove the check mark next to the boxes relating to the names of the folders you do not want to synchronize. Confirm the changes by pressing the button OK.
To access the folder of synchronized files on PC, click on the OneDrive icon on the taskbar and press the key Open folder, in the on-screen pane. OneDrive is also accessible via File Explorer Windows: you can find the quick shortcut to the folders in the cloud by clicking on the entry OneDrive found on the left sidebar.
If you want to share a file or folder publicly, you can easily do this right from your PC. To do this, open the OneDrive folder via File Explorer or the client panel, using the appropriate button Open folder.
Once this is done, right-click on the folder or file to share, so as to show the contextual menu: among the options you see, select the one called Share, to open the advanced panel for managing file shares.
Now, you have to consider whether to share publicly or with specific contacts. In the latter case, you have to type theemail address of the recipient in the appropriate field Enter a name or email address. Finally, press the button Submit, so that an e-mail notification is sent to the recipient regarding the sharing made by you.
Alternatively, you can generate a link that you can share with anyone: in this case, you don't have to enter any email address, but simply manage the file editing options. If you want anyone with the link to be able to edit the file you shared, you must make sure that the wording is indicated Anyone with the link can edit.
Otherwise, if you want the document to be read only, preventing any type of modification to the file, click on the previous wording and remove the check mark from the box Allow modification. If you have a OneDrive paid plan, you can also set a file access password or share expiration date. Then press on Apply, to confirm your choice. In this case, the sharing option will be changed to Anyone with the link can view.
The sharing link is available by pressing the button Copy link, located at the bottom. This way, the link will be copied to the Windows clipboard to be pasted into an email or sent via an instant messaging service. By clicking the button Other apps, you can share the link directly through other third-party services.
You can check if a file or folder is currently being shared from thelittle man icon next to his name, in the column State File Explorer. To stop sharing, right-click on the shared file or folder, select the item Share from the context menu and, in the panel that is shown to you, press the icon (...) placed at the top, choosing the option Manage access give the purpose menu.
Now, to remove a share of a file or folder, you just have to press the button X next to the generated URL or the name of the user with whom you shared the file. Immediately, file sharing will be deleted.
How OneDrive Sync Works
OneDrive it also includes a function for automatic loading of screenshots taken on Windows and for photos imported from devices connected to the PC. To enable this tool, click on theOneDrive icon present in the notification area (next to the Windows clock) and select the item Settings give the menu to compare.
In the window that opens, select the tab Backup and metti il segno di spunta accanto alla voce Automatically save photos and videos to OneDrive whenever I connect a camera, phone, or other device to my PC or next to the item Automatically save screen captures taken to OneDrive, depending on the function you want to enable.
In general, each file can be synchronized in the cloud: all you have to do is open the OneDrive folder on your PC, using File Explorer, and move the files directly to the main folder or to one of the subfolders present.
You can also manage the automatic backup of files on the desktop or in the Documents and Pictures folders. To do this, click on the OneDrive icon on the taskbar and select the item Settings.
At this point, in the screen that is shown to you, reach the tab Backup and premium tasto Manage backup. Select folders Desktop, Documents and / or Images and premium tasto Start backup, to back up all data in the folders you have selected.
OneDrive Per Mac
If you use a Poppy, you can download the official OneDrive client directly from the Mac App Store. All you have to do is reach the link I provided and press the button Ottieni / Installa, to automatically download and install OneDrive. You may be asked to verify your identity with an Apple ID password or Touch ID.
Alternatively, you can download the file .PKG for the "manual" installation of the client from the official Microsoft website, by pressing the button Download. When the download is complete, double-click on the file obtained and, in the screen that is shown to you, press the keys Continue e Install. Once this is done, enter your Mac password and press the button Install software.
The two clients are exactly the same, therefore, you can download it both from the Mac App Store and through the official website, but I recommend the first solution, as it is more immediate.
Furthermore, the operation of the OneDrive client is practically identical to that of the Windows counterpart, which I told you about in this chapter. The difference is that in the client for macOS it is not possible to perform automatic synchronization of multimedia files or backup of user's personal folders. These procedures must be performed manually, by moving files and folders within OneDrive on the Mac.
How to Use OneDrive on Smartphones and Tablets
Like any self-respecting cloud storage service, too OneDrive is available with a special app for smartphones and tablets. It is compatible with Android devices and the iPhone and iPad.
After you have downloaded and installed the OneDrive app on your device, you must launch it in order to access the login screen, where you must enter your Microsoft account data.
The app interface is the same regardless of the operating system in use: the position of your account card varies, where the data relating to the space used, the app settings panel and the Recycle Bin are present. Up Android find the section in question via the tab Me below, while up iOS / iPadOS you have to press onicon with your initials top left.
Via the card Fillet you can browse the files contained in OneDrive. By pressing on the icon + placed at the top, however, you can upload your data on your smartphone / tablet. In the card Recent you can see files that have recently been uploaded to OneDrive or have been modified.
The board Shared (Shared items on iOS / iPadOS) allows you to access all files and folders on which data sharing is active. In this section you will find both the files and folders shared by you, and those of other users who have shared with you.
Finally, in the tab Photos, you can view the multimedia gallery of your cloud: using the appropriate button Attiva, at the top, you can enable the automatic upload to the cloud of the multimedia files on your device.
How to Use OneDrive on the Web
OneDrive can also be used directly from the web browser. Just connect to onedrive.live.com, log in with your Microsoft account and you will immediately have the complete list of your files, with the ability to view, edit, share or download them to your PC.
The operation of the service is so simple that there is not much to add: in the left sidebar there is the menu through which to access fillet, photo, recent items, shared items e basket; while clicking on the icon of a file it is possible to view it directly in the browser through the Office Web applications (Word Online, PowerPoint Online, etc.).
To upload a file to OneDrive, however, all you have to do is press the key Charge, which you find in the top bar, and select the file that is on your computer.
To download or share files, just put the check next to their icon and click on the corresponding buttons that appear at the top. As for file sharing, you can also refer to what I have indicated to you in this chapter, as the sharing panel is exactly the same as that of the desktop client.
Manage Your OneDrive Subscription
To switch to a paid OneDrive plan, select the entry Further information, which is located at the bottom of the left sidebar, just under the heading Switch to Premium. In the section that is shown to you, you can choose the different subscription plans to extend the storage space limit.
In this regard, all you have to do is to carefully follow the instructions that will be shown on the screen, through which you will be guided to the online payment of the upgrade. If you want to have more information on OneDrive prices, I suggest you read what I have already indicated in this chapter.