An introduction to OneDrive cloud storage
As described in the introductory article UTAS & Microsoft Office 365 – the basics, OneDrive is a cloud storage product from Microsoft. This is included in your UTAS student subscription and comes with 1TB of storage!
The key benefit with OneDrive is that it stores your work remotely in “the cloud”. This means that it is available online, on-demand, through apps, web browers and mobile devices.
If you already have OneDrive on your Windows PC, you should see a little blue or grey cloud in the task tray, in bottom right hand corner of the screen.
The blue cloud icon means that OneDrive is logged in and everything is sync’d 👍🏼
The grey icon means that it’s either not logged in, or setup is incomplete. 👎🏼
If you click on the icon it will show the status and more information. In computer speak this is known as the OneDrive sync client, as it manages all the sync activities between your computer and the cloud.
Notice there are three buttons at the bottom. Open folder, view online and More. Let’s go through each of these.
> Open folder
This will launch a new Windows Explorer folder to your OneDrive files.
Note the different Status icons. The blue arrows mean there is a syncing activity, the blue cloud means these files are stored in the cloud and not taking up space on the computer, and green tick means the files are also saved to the device. You can opt to save file permanently to a computer too. For more on each of these icons, check out this very useful Microsoft article What do the OneDrive icons mean?.
> View online
This will launch your web browser and automatically login to show your OneDrive. These files are the same which are stored on your computer folder.
The online folder can be used very similarly to on your computer. You can upload files and documents directly either by clicking Upload or by drag and drop of files into the browser folders.
You can also create new Office for the web documents directly from here by clicking on New. This will launch a new page in the browser with the document
A short video of the OneDrive online features
This includes buttons to access to open the OneDrive folder and view online. The only other items to use here are Pause syncing and Settings.
> Settings > Account is useful to see how much space you have – which will likely be 100s times more than you need. It is also useful for selecting which folders you want to sync to your computer.
Study work doesn’t take up much space, so you can ‘Make all files available’. However, you may want to use OneDrive for all of your personal documents too, where photos and videos take up a lot more room.
> Settings > Files On-Demand may be useful if your PC does not have a large hard-drive disk space. To save space you can leave this ticked and OneDrive will only keep files on your device which you use frequently, the rest will still be available from the cloud of download when you open them. For more information refer to this Microsoft article Save disk space with OneDrive Files On-Demand for Windows 10.
An example of working in OneDrive for the web.
Now lets add a new Word document.
This immediately launches another page in the web browser with the new Word document, and automatically saves it to OneDrive.
The document can be easily renamed by clicking on the title.