A big advantage of cloud storage is the ability to share files and folders. No one these days wants to get an email with 20 photo attachments or see their send/receive progress clogged up by someone trying to send a video. This is especially irksome when you’re receiving these over a mobile data connection.With OneDrive, everyone gets a generous 7GB (updated August, 2014 to 15GB) of storage to store and share.
Let’s take a look at how to share with OneDrive and what the limitations are.
Sharing works best from the web interface on-line. In our example today, I’m going to share this Katy folder. So I clicked the check box and then I clicked on ‘Share’.
Then a box pops up where I have many options. I can type one or many email addresses into the form, decide if I want them to be able to view OR view and edit (and download). If I don’t want to use this form, I can get a link, shorten the link and then paste it into a different email client/program. There’s the hyperlink if you want to connect Facebook with OneDrive and share directly to Facebook. If you choose this option, people will be able to see the photos or videos right in Facebook, they won’t be taken to your OneDrive account (this is a new feature in April, 2014). Once you send it off, then you’ll see the word ‘Shared’ over in the sharing column. That’s how you share.
What if someone shares with you? You’ll get a link in your email and when you click it, you’ll then be taken on-line to that person’s OneDrive. This time, you’ll see only the folder/files they’ve shared with you. If they’ve given you edit capabilities, then you can download and edit or just view and save whatever they’ve sent to you.
After someone shares with you, then you’ll see the ‘Shared’ on the left. The first section lists things I’ve shared with others and then it lists (alphabetically), things others have shared with me – nice!
1. Files people share with me do not show up in Windows Explorer (like they do with Dropbox).
2. No ability to share from Windows Explorer (Dropbox does this).
3. Since documents and folders can’t be accessed from Windows Explorer, we must go on-line to add or remove documents. (Note-a new addition/feature is the ability to add documents to a shared folder. According to the directions, clicked on ‘Shared’ and then right-click on the group I want to modify and click on ‘add’. However, I’m not seeing this feature just yet.)
- With OneDrive, I also have my free email account and access to Microsoft Web Apps where I can edit and collaborate on documents (not in Dropbox).
- 7 GB of storage is very generous (only 2GB with Dropbox).
- Great desktop and mobile apps for any platform.
If you’re interested, comparing OneDrive vs. OneDrive for Business vs. Dropbox vs. GoogleDrive is covered more from a business angle in this article from Aptera.
It’s pretty easy to get started with OneDrive. I think a lot of people who have had an XBox or hotmail account from years ago will discover this great benefit of having a Microsoft account. Have you been using OneDrive and if so, what’s your main purpose in using it? Please leave a comment.