What is Onedrive? | How to use Onedrive?

what is onedrive


In today’s digital age, cloud storage has become an integral part of our lives, offering convenient and secure ways to store and access our data from anywhere. Microsoft OneDrive is a prominent player in the world of cloud storage, offering a range of features and functionalities that make it a valuable tool for individuals and businesses alike. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore what OneDrive is, how to use it effectively, how to sync your files, and how to stop OneDrive from syncing.

What is OneDrive?

What is OneDrive

OneDrive is a cloud-based storage service provided by Microsoft that allows users to store, share, and access their files and data from virtually any device with an internet connection. It seamlessly integrates with Microsoft’s suite of productivity tools, including Microsoft 365 (formerly known as Office 365), making it a powerful tool for both personal and professional use.

Check out: Microsoft office Support

Key Features of OneDrive:

1. File Storage: OneDrive offers ample storage space in the cloud, allowing users to store documents, photos, videos, and more. Depending on your membership package, the quantity of storage accessible may differ.

2. Cross-Platform Compatibility: OneDrive is accessible on various platforms, including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and web browsers, ensuring that you can access your files from any device.

3. Collaboration: OneDrive simplifies collaboration by enabling users to share files and folders with others, set access permissions, and collaborate on documents in real-time using Microsoft 365 applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

4. Automatic Backup: It provides the option to automatically back up your photos and videos from your mobile device, ensuring that your precious memories are safely stored in the cloud.

5. Version History: OneDrive keeps a history of versions for your files, allowing you to recover previous versions if needed.

6. Security and Privacy: Microsoft employs robust security measures to protect your data, including encryption, two-factor authentication, and compliance with various industry standards.

Check out: Windows Support

How to Use OneDrive?

How to use  OneDrive

Using OneDrive is relatively straightforward, but maximizing its potential requires some knowledge of its features and settings. Check out the step guide on how to use OneDrive effectively:

1. Sign Up or Sign In:

  • If you don’t already have one, create one. You can use your existing email address or create a new one.
  • If you have a Microsoft account, sign in to OneDrive using your email and password.

2. Install OneDrive:

  • If you’re using a Windows PC, OneDrive may already be pre-installed. If not, download and install the OneDrive desktop app.
  • For macOS users, download and install the OneDrive app from the Mac App Store.

3. Add Files and Folders:

  • Start by creating folders to organize your files. Right-click in the OneDrive folder on your computer and select “New” to create a folder.
  • To add files, simply drag and drop them into your OneDrive folder or use the “Upload” option.

4. Access Files from Anywhere:

  • Install the OneDrive app on your mobile devices to access your files on the go.
  • Use a web browser to access your files by signing in to your OneDrive account on the OneDrive website (https://onedrive.live.com).

5. Share Files and Collaborate:

  • Right-click on a file or folder and select “Share” to generate a link that you can share with others.
  • Specify sharing permissions, such as view-only or edit access.
  • Collaborate on documents in real-time using Microsoft 365 apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

6. Automatic Photo and Video Backup:

  • Enable automatic backup of photos and videos from your mobile device by installing the OneDrive app and enabling the feature in settings.

7. Version History:

  • To access the version history of a file, right-click on it and select “Version history.” You can view and restore previous versions if needed.

8. Security Settings:

  • Customize your security settings by enabling two-factor authentication, setting up a recovery email, and reviewing privacy options.

Check out: Outlook Support

How to Sync OneDrive?

How to Sync OneDrive

One of the core advantages of OneDrive is its seamless synchronization across devices. When you sync OneDrive, your files are automatically updated across all your devices, ensuring you have the most recent version at your fingertips. 

Here’s how to sync OneDrive:

1. Install OneDrive App:

  • Ensure you have the OneDrive desktop app installed on your computer. If not, go to the official website and download and install it.

2. Sign In:

  • Open the OneDrive app and sign/log in with your Microsoft account.

3. Choose Folders to Sync:

  • By default, the OneDrive app syncs your entire OneDrive folder. However, you can choose specific folders to sync by clicking on the OneDrive icon in your system tray (Windows) or menu bar (macOS), then selecting “Help & Settings” > “Settings.”
  • Click “Choose folders” in the “Account” tab and select the folders you want to sync.

4. Monitor Sync Progress:

  • The OneDrive icon in your system tray (Windows) or menu bar (macOS) will show sync status. Green checkmarks indicate that files are up to date, while syncing files will display a blue cloud icon.

5. Access Synced Files:

  • Your synced files will be accessible in the OneDrive folder on your computer. You can also access them via the OneDrive app on your mobile devices or the OneDrive website.

6. Automatic Camera Upload (Optional):

  • If you want to sync photos and videos from your mobile device automatically, enable the “Camera Upload” feature in the OneDrive app settings.

Check out: Email Support

How to Stop OneDrive from Syncing?

There may be situations where you want to temporarily or permanently stop OneDrive from syncing your files. Here’s how you can do that:

1. Pause Syncing Temporarily:

  • If you need to temporarily stop syncing, you can pause it without disconnecting your account.
  • Click the OneDrive icon in your system tray (Windows) or menu bar (macOS).
  • Select “Help & Settings” > “Pause syncing.”
  • Choose how long you want to pause syncing: 2, 8, or 24 hours.

2. Stop Syncing a Folder:

  • To stop syncing a specific folder, right-click on it in the OneDrive folder on your computer.
  • Select “Choose OneDrive folders.”
  • Uncheck the box next to the folder you want to stop syncing and click “OK.”

3. Disconnect OneDrive Account (Windows):

  • If you want to stop syncing entirely and disconnect your OneDrive account from your computer:
  • Click the OneDrive icon in the system tray.
  • Select “Help & Settings” > “Settings.”
  • In the “Account” tab, click “Unlink this PC.”
  • Follow the prompts to unlink your account.

4. Sign Out of OneDrive (macOS):

  • On macOS, you can sign out of OneDrive to stop syncing:
  • In the menu bar, select the OneDrive symbol.
  • Select “Settings.”
  • Click “Sign out” on the “Account” tab.

It’s important to note that if you disconnect or sign out of OneDrive, your files will no longer be synced to your computer. However, your files will remain accessible on the OneDrive website and any other devices where you’re signed in.


Microsoft OneDrive is a versatile and powerful cloud storage solution that simplifies file storage, sharing, and collaboration. In this comprehensive guide, we’ve covered what is OneDrive, how to use it effectively, how to sync your files for seamless access across devices, and how to stop OneDrive from syncing when needed. By following these guidelines, you can make the most of OneDrive’s features while maintaining control over your data synchronization.

Whether you’re an individual user looking to keep your personal files organized or a business professional seeking efficient collaboration tools, OneDrive offers a robust and user-friendly solution for all your cloud storage needs. Embrace the convenience and productivity that OneDrive brings to your digital life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is OneDrive and why do I need it?

OneDrive for Home is an online personal storage service that you get when you sign up for a Microsoft account to use services like Outlook.com or Xbox. Save documents, photographs, and other items in the cloud with OneDrive, share them with friends, and even collaborate on material.

What is the disadvantage of using OneDrive?

OneDrive’s downsides include limited sharing options, limited file management, and desktop synchronization settings. Limited Sharing Options: When compared to other cloud storage services, OneDrive’s sharing options are limited, making it difficult to exchange data with non-Microsoft customers.

How does OneDrive work?

To utilize OneDrive on Android and iOS mobile devices, download the app and sign in to your business account. Once OneDrive is launched, you can create new folders, upload or edit needed files, and manage data on your mobile device. By sharing files or folders with others, you can invite them to see or collaborate with you.

Can I use OneDrive for free?

OneDrive offers a number of solutions for different types of customers, and it is one of the finest free cloud storage services, with 5GB of free storage. If you wish to use collaboration tools like Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, Publisher, and Access, you must upgrade to a premium membership.

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