Understanding How to Use OneDrive

Understanding OneDrive is key when using Windows 10 and 11. Learning how it syncs and structures files will make using a Windows PC easier.

What is OneDrive?

OneDrive is the cloud storage system created by Microsoft. All new Windows computers come with it integrated into the operating system if the user chooses to set it up that way.

When setting up a Windows device, users will be given the option to sync the files within their computers file structure with their Microsoft account.

It is also a storage option when using any of the Microsoft 365 apps. Storage is limited to 5GB initially, and requires a paid subscription plan to get more.

Storage is also included with Office 365 plans.

The File Structure

Depending on how One Drive is being used, the file structure may have some variations.

If set up to sync documents, pictures and desktop, then file explorer will reflect that structure in OneDrive. Users can also choose other specific folders to sync if desired.

These synced locations can show up multiple times on the left sidebar of File Explorer. They are reflections of each other, and are the same storage location since they are in sync.

Users will also see icons depicting the sync status of each file, as shown below. If there is a Red x it means there is a syncing error. All other status indicators are pictured below.

If users are accessing their files online, the interface will maintain the same file pathing and rules.

Though it will look a bit different than Windows File Explorer, it will show which files are synced.

OneDrive online

Similar to other cloud services, Microsoft offers a share button that makes sharing and collaborating easy.

For more information on sharing, check out the official support page for sharing OneDrive files.

Subscription options

If purchasing a Microsoft 365 plan, the amount of storage given depends on the plan.

Annual Personal Plans.
Business Plans

If you have specific questions about understanding OneDrive, or if our terminology isn’t clear, please use our contact form to send us a message. Thank you!

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