How Does OneDrive Work in Windows 10?

By Andy Rathbone

Microsoft’s OneDrive is your own private file storage space on the Internet, and it’s built into Windows 10. With OneDrive, your files are available from any computer with an Internet connection. You can even grab them from phones or tablets from Apple, Android, Blackberry, or Windows: Microsoft offers a free OneDrive app for all of them.

If you change a file on OneDrive, Microsoft automatically changes that file on all of your computers and devices. That way, your OneDrive folder automatically stays up-to-date on every device.

Windows 10 makes OneDrive easily accessible by building it into every folder. However, you still need the following things in order to put OneDrive to work:

  • Microsoft account: You need a Microsoft account in order to upload, view, or retrieve your files from OneDrive. Chances are good that you created a Microsoft account when you first created your account on your Windows PC.

  • An Internet connection: Without an Internet signal, either wireless or wired, your web-stashed files remain floating in the clouds, away from you and your computer.

  • Patience: Uploading files takes longer than downloading files. Although you can upload small files fairly quickly, larger files such as digital photos or movies take much longer to upload.

For some people, OneDrive offers a safe Internet haven, sometimes called the “cloud,” where they can always find their most important files. For others, OneDrive brings another layer of complication, as well as another possible hiding place for that missing file.

You can access OneDrive directly from any folder on your computer, as well as by visiting with a web browser. You also can change OneDrive’s settings to make sure its huge storage capacity doesn’t hog all of your computer’s storage space.