How to Access Your Windows 10 Desktop PC from the Internet

By Andy Rathbone

OneDrive makes sharing files with all your gadgets pretty easy. But what if the file you need isn’t stored on OneDrive? What if it’s sitting on the desktop of your Windows 10 PC back home?

Here’s a solution: You can make all your PC’s files and folders available from the OneDrive website. Right-click your taskbar’s OneDrive icon, choose Settings, and, when the Settings window appears, click the Settings tab. Then, select the check box labeled Let Me Use OneDrive to Fetch Any of My Files on This PC.

Selecting that check box lets you access your entire PC from the OneDrive website. That’s right: You can drop by the OneDrive website to grab any of your PC’s files and folders, even if they’re not shared on OneDrive. You can even access files and folders stored on networks accessible from that PC.

Since you’re accessing files stored on your own PC rather than on Microsoft’s cloud service, this doesn’t affect your OneDrive storage limit.

Naturally, Microsoft took some security precautions with such a bold move. Before letting you access a new PC for the first time, OneDrive asks you to type in a code.

In the background, Microsoft sends a text message to the cellphone or email associated with your Microsoft account. When you receive the message, you type it into the computer you’re using to access the PC. When Microsoft receives the matching code, it adds that PC to your list of accessible PCs.

You can access only a Windows 7, 8, or 10 PC that’s turned on, running OneDrive, and connected to the Internet. If you’re planning on using this handy OneDrive feature, be sure to enter your cellphone number as a verifier when setting up your Microsoft account.