We’re going to go through the steps to set up OneDrive. If you have a Windows 10 computer or did the free upgrade, you probably noticed a (perhaps) annoying box that popped up that asks you to sign into your OneDrive account in order to sync all your files. There is a intro to OneDrive video in this post for you too. (This is part 1 of a 2-part series.)
Have you seen this and wondered what it meant, but never did anything with it?
If so, let’s demystify OneDrive! We are talking about the consumer OneDrive – it is the white cloud in your system tray. (You could have up to 3 clouds), but we are just talking about the consumer OneDrive in this 2-part series.
What is OneDrive?
OneDrive is built into Windows 10 and it gives you the ability to store up to 5GB of files, photos, videos, pdfs, just about any type of document. It will store it for you in ‘the cloud’ and on your desktop. You can even tell your phone to send all photos directly to your OneDrive. That means even if you lose/break your phone, you’ll still have your photos.
Your Microsoft Account & OneDrive
Everyone talks about using OneDrive with your Microsoft account? What’s that? If you are using Windows 10, (and even 8.1), you may recall in the set-up process that you were asked to associate your computer with a Microsoft account. For most of us, this is a hotmail, live, msn or outlook account we have set up in the past.
(image from Microsoft website)
When you used one of these accounts to sign in, you are then linked to your email account and any other services you may have used from Microsoft. If you took the time to put a photo with your email account, this will appear at the sign-in screen – it makes your computer your own, personalizes things and is your foundation. From here, you can use OneDrive – both on-line and on your desktop (on your desktop as long as you have Office installed).
Let’s assume you used one of these when you set up your computer. Since you are signing into your computer with it, you probably won’t need to sign in to access your OneDrive.
How Do I Get To My OneDrive?
As I mentioned, it’s built into Windows 10 and is just waiting for you to start putting your files/folders/photos/videos, etc. in there. If you look in your system tray and hover over the white cloud and right-click, you’ll see the below pop-up.
From here, you can select the first option to open your OneDrive on your computer. Then Windows Explorer (file explorer on your computer), will open and this is where you can start dragging any files and folders to be synced to the cloud.
When you open Windows Explorer, you should already have your OneDrive icon there for you. Here’s an image of my Windows Explorer.
You can also select the option to view files on-line. Clicking this takes you to a sign-in to your Microsoft account on-line. You can access your OneDrive, email, calendar and much more from here. But we’re focusing on OneDrive.
It has a very nice user experience — showing you a graphical interface of your folder names with images on them.
This 3″ video shows an initial setup of OneDrive. The thing that may throw new users off is that in this video, I already have a lot of folders in OneDrive. If you are doing this for the first time, you won’t see anything in there.
What If I Haven’t Signed Into My Computer With a Microsoft Account?
If you didn’t sign into your computer with a Microsoft account and now understand all the benefits of doing so, here’s the link with those instructions. I’ve got an image of how-to below as well.
(My video shows how to sign in for the first time)
What should you put in your OneDrive?
Of course, it’s up to you and depends on how many files you have (remember you have a 5GB limit, unless you buy more).
I like to think about what I’d like to have access to from anywhere. Remember when you have OneDrive, you can sign in from anywhere that has an internet connection and get to your files. So if you want to be able to show your pictures to someone, put some photos in there. From the web, you can choose slideshow and show them like a movie!
Part 2 Next week-More OneDrive How-To
Next week, we’ll finish this 2-part series by giving you a video on how to manage your OneDrive settings – how to share with others and get your OneDrive organized how you want it.
Was this useful? Do you have any questions or was there something I didn’t cover you’re interested in? Leave a comment or email me!