Microsoft One Drive (https://onedrive.live.com/about/en-us/) is a great way to store online files and work from Microsoft products online. It comes pre-installed with Windows 8.1. You can either use OneDrive online or you can download it to your computer as well as use it online.
What is One Drive?
OneDrive is free online storage (15GB free) that comes with signing up for a Microsoft account and signing in. It’s like an extra hard drive that’s available from any of the devices you use. You no longer need to email files to yourself or carry around (and possibly lose) a USB flash drive.
Up to now I have been using OneDrive online, but since I use Windows 7 I decided to actually download One Drive to my computer so that I use it locally and automatically store it online at the same time. If you don’t have a Microsoft account that’s the place to start – create one.
1. Create an account
You can use any email address as the user name for your new Microsoft account, including addresses from Outlook.com, Yahoo! or Gmail. If you already sign in to a Windows PC, tablet, or phone, Xbox Live, Outlook.com, or OneDrive, use that account to sign in.
How much storage space?
As mentioned 15GB but if you have Office 365 it is 1TB. However if you don’t have Office 365 there are very reasonable price plans if you plan to exceed 15GB.
2. Download OneDrive to your computer
I have just done that now since I use Windows 7 on my laptop.
a) Go to https://onedrive.live.com/about/en-us/download/
b) It makes a folder in your File Explorer
c) A series of prompts explain One Drive and how it works
d) Choose what you want to sync
Where to from there?
Getting started with OneDrive is easy. You can add files already on your PC to OneDrive by either copying them over or moving them from your PC. When you save new files, you can choose to save them to OneDrive so you can get to them from any device and share them with other people. And, if your PC has a built-in camera, you can automatically save copies of the photos in your camera roll to OneDrive, so you'll always have a backup.
This is also a great way to share documents with others.
Further Reading and tutorials
- “How to Use OneDrive to Edit and Share Files”: This tutorial is not completely up to date because Microsoft has increased the storage to 15GB etc as shown above, and it was made when OneDrive was still called SkyDrive. However it gives an overview of the features of SkyDrive/OneDrive to create, edit, and share various types of documents.