How to Open and Save Files from OneDrive in Windows 10 - dummies

How to Open and Save Files from OneDrive in Windows 10

By Andy Rathbone

When you first sign into Windows 10 with a new Microsoft Account, Windows stocks your OneDrive with two empty folders: Documents and Photos. To see them, open any folder. Don’t have a folder open? Then click the File Explorer icon on the taskbar.


OneDrive is listed in the folder’s Navigation Pane along the left edge. Click the word OneDrive, and OneDrive’s contents spill out into the folder’s right side. You can see the two empty folders, named Documents and Photos. If you already have a OneDrive account, you see your OneDrive folders, instead.

OneDrive's folders stay synchronized with a second copy on the Internet.
OneDrive’s folders stay synchronized with a second copy on the Internet.

You have nothing new to learn with OneDrive; its folders work like any other folder on your computer:

  • To view the contents of a OneDrive folder, double-click it. The folder opens to show its contents.

  • To edit a file stored in a OneDrive folder, double-click it. The file opens in the program that created it.

  • To save something new inside a OneDrive folder, save it to a folder inside OneDrive — its Documents folder, for example. Don’t just save it to the Documents folder on your PC.

  • To delete something from OneDrive, right-click it and choose Delete. The item moves to your desktop’s Recycle Bin, where it can be retrieved later if necessary.

No matter what changes you make to your files and folders in your computer’s OneDrive folder, Windows 10 automatically changes the Internet’s copies to match.

Later, when you visit OneDrive through your iPad or Android phone app, your up-to-date files will be waiting for you to peruse.

  • By storing a shopping list on OneDrive, you can add needed grocery items while sitting at your PC. Then, when you’re at the store, you can view that up-to-date shopping list on your phone. (Microsoft makes OneDrive apps for iPhones and Android phones, as well as phones from Blackberry and Windows.)

  • Many people keep a few desert island discs on OneDrive. Whenever you have an Internet connection, the Windows 10 Music app automatically lists and plays any music you store on OneDrive. (The old school Media Player program, by contrast, plays only the music stored physically on your PC.)