How to Use OneDrive in Windows 11/10

If you use OneDrive, you can improve your productivity using this app especially if your work relies on sharing documents across platform.

get more storage cloud in onedrive in windows 10

Windows 11/10 has OneDrive in it. It’s built-in and free to use. OneDrive is cloud storage that works across platforms from your Windows 11/10 PC to Android phone. You can use OneDrive easily, fast, and work simultaneously in Android, Windows 11/10, Mac, and even iPhone. If you’re a beginner, don’t worry, we’re going to cover how to use it.

OneDrive is easily one of the most popular could storage out there. It competes with Google Drive, DropBox, and other cloud storage apps. OneDrive is free for 5GB total storage, and the advantage of using OneDrive in Windows 11/10 is that you can share documents from your PC to anywhere with its automatic sync feature.

But, not all users know how to use OneDrive to get the most out of it. If you know only basic features on OneDrive, you may also need to read this so you can improve your productivity using this app especially if your work relies on sharing documents across platforms.

How to Sign Up or Log In to OneDrive in Windows 11/10

Not all Windows 11/10 users use Microsoft accounts to login into their PC. If you’re one of those users, you may have to create a Microsoft account that can be used to login into your OneDrive account. If you have an email with domain @outlook.com, @hotmail.com, @live.com, you have already a Microsoft account and you don’t have to create a new one to login into OneDrive.

But, if you don’t have one, let’s create it.

To create a Microsoft account for OneDrive, click here to visit the OneDrive website and tap Sign up for free.

signing up for onedrive

Click Create a Microsoft account to create the account that will be used to login into your OneDrive account.

enter email to sign up for onedrive windows 10

Then, just type your email address (any domain, including gmail.com). Then click Next. If you don’t have an email address, just click Get a new email address.

create onedrive windows 10 account

Then, you will have to follow the next instruction given by the OneDrive website to create your Microsoft account. Once your Microsoft account has been created, you can use that account to login into Windows 11/10 PC and your OneDrive account.

ALSO READ: How to Create Microsoft Account for Windows 11/10

How to Set Up OneDrive in Windows 10 (or Windows 11)

Setting up OneDrive in Windows 10 is easy. Just search onedrive in the Start menu by directly typing it. Then click the OneDrive app in the search result.

If it hasn’t been set up, then you have to set OneDrive up yourself before using OneDrive. It will pop out a dialog box like this. Type you email address of your Microsoft account and click Sign in.

setting up onedrive windows 10

Next, you have to enter a password for your Microsoft account to sign in to OneDrive.

enter password onedrive windows 10

OneDrive will then show you the next step.

onedrive loading windows 10

Now, you have to set up your OneDrive folder. Click Change location if you want to change where your OneDrive folder is located at. Click Next.

how to use onedrive in windows 10

OneDrive will also show you these offers. You can either go premium or click Not now.

skip upgrade onedrive

OneDrive will guide you on how to use it in basic. Click Next.

open onedrive folder

When you use OneDrive, you can also share files and folders amazingly in just a few clicks. Click Next.

onedrive windows 10

Click Next again.

all your files on onedrive is ready windows 10

You can use your mobile app OneDrive on Android or iPhone. This will make your work a lot easier. Click Later if you want to install them later.

get mobile app onedrive windows 10

Open up your OneDrive folder by clicking Open my OneDrive folder.

onedrive is ready windows 10

Then, the app will open File Explorer showing your OneDrive files in Windows 11/10. You can also disable OneDrive if you wish to do so.

ALSO READ: How to Show Desktop on Windows 11/10

How to Upload Files or Folders to OneDrive in Windows 11/10

Now, uploading files or folders to OneDrive is easy if you have set it up.

Just open File Explorer.

Go to any files or folders that you want to upload to OneDrive. Drag and drop those files to OneDrive folders that have been pinned on the left side of your File Explorer.

That is how you upload files to OneDrive easily.

How to Understand OneDrive Sync Status in Windows 11/10

OneDrive in Windows 11/10 shows the change in its icon when sync is being proceeded, when OneDrive is online, when OneDrive is not online, or when there’s a problem with your OneDrive sync progress.

If you’re new to OneDrive, don’t worry. You will get used to it.

  • If OneDrive shows a solid white cloud icon like this, it means your OneDrive folders are up-to-date and it isn’t syncing.

sync status windows 10 onedrive

  • If OneDrive shows you an arrow forming circle icon, it means your OneDrive is syncing, uploading, downloading, and saving all changes you have made. This is done automatically after any action involving OneDrive files to be changed or modified.

onedrive another sync status

  • If your OneDrive shows a solid blue cloud icon, it means OneDrive for business is active.
  • If your OneDrive shows a solid gray icon, it means there’s no account connected to OneDrive app on your Windows 10 PC.
  • If your OneDrive shows a solid white cloud icon with an X icon, it means there’s a problem with the syncing progress that needs your action for the app to be solved.

The folders Status column in File Explorer means almost the same thing. With some differences though.

  • If it shows a white cloud with a blue border icon, it means the folder is available when online. You have to download the files to access them on your Windows 10 computer.
  • If it shows a green checkmark with a green circle border, it means the folder is available when you’re offline. You don’t have to download the files/folders again because it already has been downloaded.
  • If it shows a green solid circle icon with a white checkmark on it, it means the folder is available when offline because you specifically made them be accessed offline. You can use the Always keep on this device feature to lets OneDrive know that you want to make that specific folder keep saved in your Windows 11/10 computer.
  • If it shows a white solid circle icon with a white X mark on it, it means there’s a problem you have to fix to keep syncing that files or folders.
  • If it shows a cloud icon with an arrow forming a circle, it means that the files/folders are currently being synced.

How to use OneDrive Files On-Demand to Access Files Without Having to Download Them

OneDrive Files On-Demand feature available to makes your syncing progress a lot easier by making all your uploaded files available in your File Explorer without you having to download them. This means you don’t have to download all files only to see what files are in your OneDrive account. But, you will still have to download them only when you need to open the files.

To enable this feature and use OneDrive to get the most out of it, just click on the OneDrive icon and then click Settings.

To enable it, just check Save space and download files as you use them at the Settings tab.

onedrive file on demand

How to Make Files/Folders to Keep Offline or Online in OneDrive

After you have enabled the Files On-Demand feature in OneDrive, you can then keep files on your Windows 11/10 PC or free up space by keeping them online/can be accessed by internet connection.

You can do this by right-clicking at the files/folders. Then choose what options you would like to choose.

How to Choose Folders or Directory to Sync in OneDrive Windows 11/10

OneDrive allows you to choose which folders you would like to sync. This will save more internet data because not all folders are important enough to be uploaded. The sync process is when you make changes in your OneDrive cloud storage, like uploading or downloading files, including deleting or even just renaming them. Using OneDrive is not enough if you don’t control what folder to sync, what folder to not sync.

OneDrive has a simple method to lets you choose which folders you want to sync.

To do that, just click on the OneDrive icon at the Taskbar or System tray.

onedrive open setting

Then, click More. It will show more options to manage your OneDrive account in Windows 11/10.

Click Settings and then a dialog box would pop out.

Go to the Account tab. You will see two options that let you manage your account. Click Choose folders.

onedrive see account information

To choose the folder you would like to sync, you check them. To choose the folder you would not like to sync, just uncheck them. Click OK. Then, OneDrive will only sync what folders you allow them to do.

Will the settings you just applied earlier also be applied in Android or iPhone?

Yes, OneDrive will only sync the folder you allow them to sync across all devices, not just Windows 11/10.

How to Share Files in OneDrive to Other OneDrive Users or Public

OneDrive, just like Google Drive, allows you to share files using the URL that you created. The URL can be determined whether it would be accessed by public or specific OneDrive users.

To do that, just click on the files. Right-click it, then choose Share.

Then, you can enter the name or email address of the Microsoft account to share the file. Or just click the Copy link to copy the link right away.

To stop sharing the files with them, just right-click again then click Share. In this dialog box, just click the three dots button at the right corner then click Manage access.

How to Get More Storage in OneDrive

Microsoft allows you to get more OneDrive storage directly from the app. Just click the app from the Taskbar, click More, and then click Settings.

Click Get more storage at Account tab.

You will then see a new window showing you options to buy more OneDrive storage.

How to Get OneDrive for Android

Microsoft also released OneDrive for Android so you can get more done accessing your files across all devices.

You can download OneDrive for Android here.

You can install it just like installing normal apps. Login to OneDrive app with your Microsoft account.


Now you’ve learned everything about how to use OneDrive, from setting it up to the upload process, in Windows 11/10.

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