Cloud Storage Options with Microsoft OneDrive

OneDrive is also a cloud storage solution that offers a free version for anyone to use. However, Microsoft Office 365 subscriptions come with a version of OneDrive that offers more cloud storage and additional features. If you have a subscription to Office 365 (O365), you may be missing many of the useful functions of OneDrive. Let’s look at some of the cool capabilities and how to set them up.

Which O365 Subscriptions Include OneDrive?

Actually, all O365 subscriptions include 1 TB of cloud storage with Microsoft OneDrive. There is one subscription called Exchange Online that does not include OneDrive. This is not technically part of the O365 family but may be seen on occasion. It was an early offering for businesses that wanted to move their Microsoft Exchange email server to the cloud. The cost for the basic O365 subscription, called Business Essentials, is only $1 more per month than the Exchange Online subscription.

Even the Home versions of O365 include OneDrive and 1 TB of cloud storage. Office 365 Home actually includes OneDrive for up to six users in your household and 1TB of storage space for each user. Keep this in mind the next time you buy a new computer. You could use this cloud storage space to save everything on your old computer’s hard drive. This would allow you to buy a new computer with a smaller hard drive than your old computer had. I recommend getting an SSD (solid-state drive) on your new computer for faster boot times and performance.

Initial OneDrive Set-up

When you first download and install your O365 applications, OneDrive will also be installed. You will see it as an available drive in your Windows Explorer menu. There will also be an icon added to your Taskbar that looks like a blue cloud. You’ll want to locate both of these to access different functions in OneDrive.  Visit this site for more assistance with your initial O365 installation.

One of the first things you’ll want to set up is called Syncing. Find the blue cloud icon on your taskbar and right-click on it. Choose settings from the menu that opens. The Settings menu will have several tabs across the top. Select the tab labeled Backup, then click the Managed backup button.

A menu will open that shows three folders that OneDrive can backup continuously, Desktop, Documents and Pictures. You can select any or all of these folders and OneDrive will begin syncing these folders from your computer to a folder in your OneDrive. If you have other folders that you want synced with OneDrive, you may move them into your Documents folder and they will also sync with OneDrive. This system provides a great way to backup files that are stored on your computer.

How can I tell how much space I have in OneDrive?

There are other functions in the Settings menu that are handy. For instance, under the Account tab, you can see how much storage space you have used. If you want to see all the files that you have on OneDrive you can click the link called Manage Storage. This will open a browser window and display everything you have stored in OneDrive.

OneDrive Recycle Bin

One thing to note about storage is the Recycle Bin in OneDrive. If you have deleted anything from OneDrive in the past, it will go into the Recycle Bin. It is a good idea to clear that out periodically. Just click on Recycle Bin and select the top radio button to select all the files shown. Click delete at the top left to remove these files permanently. You may have to do this a few times because only 100 files are displayed per screen.

You can also restore files from the Recycle Bin. For instance, if you accidentally delete a file, you can restore that file quickly. This kind of acts as a way to backup files even if they get deleted for whatever reason.

Look for part 2 of my discussion about features of OneDrive coming soon to this blog.

Dave HansenCloud Storage Options with Microsoft OneDrive

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