Skip to content


Setting Up and Using Microsoft OneDrive

Microsoft OneDrive may be as close as we’ll get to finding a safe harbor in the perfect storm created by the end of Windows 7, chip shortages and trade wars. Even without the storm conditions, it can give you smoother sailing.

We’ve found that OneDrive fits several trends we’ve seen among many clients, including more mobile computing, more collaborative work, and the need to work with larger files across all platforms. For those of you with Microsoft Office 365 plans starting at $5 per month, you get 1 TB of storage as part of your plan. If you need to access a lot of large files, including huge spreadsheets as well as photos, music and movies, this a good place to keep them. You can send collaborators links to any files in your OneDrive folder, and they can make changes, just like people do with Dropbox. This eliminates the need to send emails with attachments back and forth. As an added bonus, files are automatically saved in real time when working with a file in a OneDrive. And, finally, you can get Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other Office 365 apps for mobile devices, enabling you to view, edit and even create documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Granted, it may not be the same as on a computer, but it’s another tool at your disposal.

In addition to being free for Office 365 users, you also get a couple “blow-away” features. One of them is a version history, which is great for tracking financial reports on Excel spreadsheets or changes to Word documents. Instead of saving umpteen million versions, you can go back to a date and see the file as it was. It was meant as an autosave feature for data recovery, but it’s certainly not restricted to that.

We also like Mile IQ, which we discussed in our email for this newsletter. It works on your phone, and it senses motion when your car moves and starts to track miles. At the end of a trip, you swipe right for business use, and left for personal use. You can always go back and add details for each trip you track. It’s not a well-publicized feature, but it’s great. You can sign up through their website.

Installing OneDrive is not a particularly difficult process, but it has a few complexities in the setup. We recommend you have us help you with the setup so that you can work more easily with your file. The first two steps are:

  1. Select the Start button, search for “OneDrive”, and then open it. In Windows 10, select the OneDrive desktop app. In Windows 7, under Programs, select Microsoft OneDrive. 
  2. When OneDrive Setup starts, enter your personal account, or your work or school account, and then select Sign in.

At this point, we’ll help you configure OneDrive to match your needs and get you started on transferring your files. We recommend putting all of your files on OneDrive for two reasons: 1.) You’ll have them there for recovery in case your hard drive crashes, and 2.) you can always select files to put back onto your hard drive.

By having access to all of your files but only having a percentage of them residing on your hard drive, you’ll free up space that will allow a mechanical hard drive to work more efficiently, or you’ll be able to get by with a smaller hard drive.

In operation, you’ll access your files from your OneDrive folder instead of from your File Explorer and work on them through your application program. If you turn on AutoSave, everything you do will be saved in real time, and you’ll never lose data due to a power outage or hard drive crash. Yes, if you lose your internet connection, you’ll lose OneDrive, but you can continue to work on your files and save them. When OneDrive access is restored, the changes will be saved.

If you are getting a new hard drive or computer, we use OneDrive to transfer your files. We believe that if you have an Office 365 plan and if we’re doing the work already, you are better off keeping your OneDrive and using it. You’ll find more benefits as you go along.

Call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us to get your OneDrive set up. If you’re an Office 365 subscriber, it’s there for the taking. If you don’t have Office 365, let’s talk and see if it’s right for you.