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What is Microsoft OneDrive – Beginners Guide

What is Microsoft OneDrive? Should you use it?

What is microsoft onedrive features
Pic Credit: Microsoft

What is OneDrive: In simple words OneDrive is a cloud document storage platform from Microsoft similar to Google Drive or Drop Box.
Although OneDrive is similar to Google Drive but it has some additional benefits such as enterprise security, version control, rich metadata, Windows 10 syncing and many more.

In other words, OneDrive is a document storage software as a service (SAAS) with enterprise security and other benefits. And because of these benefits and windows 10 sync capability many companies provide OneDrive as a back-up solution to customers(more on OneDrive backup ability below).

Why Use OneDrive? In my opinion I would say if you have OneDrive, definitely use it and check if you are happy with its features or not. I have been using it for few years and I am quite happy with it.
I can securely and easily share files with clients and I do not need to worry about a FTP server to share large files. Moreover, because of its windows 10 sync capability, I no longer need to login to my portal to open documents, all the documents are already synced and available in my PC locally. I can use them anytime/anywhere, and the changes get synced automatically.

OneDrive-present icon
What is OneDrive used For?

What is OneDrive used for? OneDrive is used for mainly cloud document storage platform and collaboration.
OneDrive provides 1TB capacity (premium license) and allows to store up to 100GB single file size, which is pretty good. Moreover, you can securely and quickly share files using your windows file explorer as well (with OneDrive Sync enabled). And apart from that OneDrive is also used as a document backup solution.

OneDrive already installed in Windows 10, so there is no need to download and install it. If it is turned on, it can help you sync files or folders to keep data safe.
To learn more about OneDrive features check this Microsoft document.

Does it cost to use OneDrive?

Before answering this, let me tell you that OneDrive is available in two versions(Personal and Enterprise). The personal version comes for free but in order to use the enterprise version, you need to buy appropriate license, both of them are explained in details below

OneDrive offers 5GB of storage space to users for free. However, if you need more space, you need to pay for it.

  1. Personal OneDrive
    Similar to Google Drive, OneDrive also comes with a free license and anyone can use it. However the limitation with Personal OneDrive is that you have only 5GB of cloud storage space. To get your free OneDrive account navigate to https://onedrive.live.com and sign up with your email and password.
    Note, you can buy/upgrade personal OneDrive license and increase storage space up to 1TB as well.
  2. OneDrive for Enterprise
    Whereas OneDrive for Enterprise is provided in organizational level with dedicated Office apps license. OneDrive for enterprise is part of Office 365 application suit which comes with other license such as word, excel.. Teams etc. To check if you have OneDrive enterprise follow the below methods,
    • Navigate to Office accounts (https://portal.office.com/account/?ref=MeControl) page and check under subscriptions, if you have office for web or Desktop Version Of Office apps listed in the available apps. In other words, if you have anything above E1 license then you should have OneDrive.
    • If you are already using Microsoft Office 365 Excel, Word, PowerPoint desktop application then you should have OneDrive license as well. To verify, open any of the applications (i.e. Excel) and check in the accounts tab if OneDrive is visible. As shown in the below image.

To learn more about OneDrive licensing and pricing check this Microsoft page.

Using Subscriptions Page
How to Check what is Microsoft OneDrive license
Image 1
Using Installed App
How to check What is Microsoft OneDrive license part 2
Image 2

How To Use OneDrive

OneDrive web app allows to access your files via browser from any location. This is useful if you can’t carry your device, then you just simply save the file in OneDrive and then access it from the web app anywhere you want. Although the usage of both personal and enterprise OneDrive is same but the web address of both of the enterprise are different.
Check below to understand what and how to use both personal and professional OneDrive(web app only).

OneDrive Web App

Personal OneDrive – Web app

To access personal OneDrive app, sign-up/login to https://onedrive.live.com. Your OneDrive personal account web app should look like below.

what is Microsoft onedrive personal web app
Image 3
Enterprise OneDrive – Web App

Accessing enterprise OneDrive web app is also simple but little different than personal OneDrive. To access your office/enterprise OneDrive, first login to https://office.com (with your company email id and password). Then select OneDrive from all apps list as shown below.

How-to-Access-One-Drive-enterprise-webapp what is microsoft onedrive
Image 4
Enterprise OneDrive Web App
what is Microsoft onedrive enterprise web app
Image 5

Sync OneDrive With Desktop

OneDrive desktop app allows you to connect your OneDrive web app with your PC. This app helps in both in working offline and using OneDrive as a backup solution.
If you use Microsoft OneDrive desktop sync then you do not need to open web app because all your files will be available locally in your PC. Moreover, the process to start OneDrive sync is very simple if you are on Windows 10 (if you are on previous versions of Windows then please first download the app before following the below steps).

  • Steps to start using OneDrive as a backup / start OneDrive sync.
    1. First open your company OneDrive web app (steps are mentioned above).
    2. Select the sync button as marked in the above image (Image 5).
    3. Accept the prompt to open OneDrive application
    4. Follow the image instructions below
How To Sync what is microsoft Onedrive sycing first step
Image 6
what is Microsoft OneDrive after sync
Image 8
what is microsoft onedrive sync how to choose folder
Image 7

How To
Sync Other Folders in OneDrive?

Yes you can sync other folders using OneDrive. There are two ways to do it

  1. Change the location when starting the sync
  2. Use symbolic link to sync a separate folder. For detailed instructions Check this link.

I hope you liked this document on “What is Microsoft OneDrive and How to Use Microsoft OneDrive“. Please do not forget to check our other blog pages.
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Author @ramizmollahmd

About Ramiz

Ramiz is a professional working in an MNC as a business and technology consultant for quite a few years now. Ramiz is proficient in various Microsoft tools and technologies. He is a tech enthusiast and an active blogger. Ramiz spends his free time playing games or watching movies. He writes blogs to share his knowledge with the world and to make it a better place to live.


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