OneDrive: FAQ

OneDrive is free online storage that's built into Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1. You can easily add files on your PC to OneDrive to always have them with you on the devices you use. And you can browse your OneDrive using the OneDrive application or File Explorer in the desktop.

Tips

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Do I have to sign in to my PC with a Microsoft account to use OneDrive?

Yes, you need to sign in with a Microsoft account to browse your OneDrive and keep your files and settings in sync. If you sign in with a local account, you can only use the OneDrive app to browse your PC. To browse your OneDrive files, you'll need to go to the OneDrive website.

Note

Which OneDrive settings are turned on by default?

Most PCs running Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 are set up with these OneDrive settings:

  • Photos you take on your PC (if it has a camera) are saved to your camera roll folder, and a lower-resolution copy of each photo is saved to your OneDrive automatically.

  • OneDrive is selected as the default location when you save documents. If you want to choose a different location for a document, you can.

  • Windows will save a backup copy of your PC settings to OneDrive. If something ever happens to your PC and you need to replace it, you can easily transfer your settings to a new PC. For more information about synchronising your settings, see Synchronising settings between PCs.

You can change any of these settings in PC settings. To get there:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, then tap Change PC settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, click Settings, then click Change PC settings.)

  2. Tap or click OneDrive.

How much space do I have in OneDrive?

To see the size of your OneDrive and how much space you have available, follow these steps:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, then tap Change PC settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, click Settings, then click Change PC settings.)
  2. Tap or click OneDrive.

How can I share my files and folders in OneDrive?

In the OneDrive app, swipe down or right-click a file or folder, tap or click Share, then pick a sharing option.

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Invite people

This option lets you give specific individuals or groups permission to items, so that you can remove individual permissions later if you need to. Another benefit of sharing items this way is that recipients can quickly access them from their Shared view on the OneDrive website.

  1. Enter the email addresses of the people you want to share with, or tap or click Add people to pick people from the People app.

  2. Add a note to recipients if you want.

  3. To change the permission level, tap or click Recipients can edit files or Recipients can view files.

    Notes

    • If you choose Recipients can edit files, people can view your items and use Office Online programs to edit Office documents, all without signing in. To make other edits, like adding or deleting files in a folder, people need to sign in with a Microsoft account. Recipients can forward your message to other people, and anyone who receives the message will also be able to edit the items.

    • If you choose Recipients need to sign in with a Microsoft account, recipients will need to sign in with a Microsoft account before they can view items you're sharing. Even if you choose this option, you can still invite people without knowing their Microsoft accounts. You can use any email addresses you have to invite people, and if some recipients don't have a Microsoft account, they can create one for free.

  4. Tap or click Send to save the permission settings and send a message with a link to the item.

Get a link

Use this option to share items with lots of people you might not even know personally. For example, you can use these links to post to Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. You can also use them to share in email or IM, but you'll have less control over individual permissions than you do with the Invite people option.

  1. Choose the type of link you want. The permissions for the item are automatically updated when you create the link.

    View only
    When you share items with this type of link, people can view your items without signing in. They can also forward the link to other people.

    Edit
    When you share items with this type of link, people can view your items and use Office Online programs to edit Office documents, all without signing in. To make other edits, like adding or deleting files in a folder, people need to sign in with a Microsoft account. People can forward an edit link to other people, and anyone who receives the link will also be able to edit the items.

    Public
    A public link is like a View only link, but it also allows anyone to find the shared item by searching. If you choose this option, people will be able to access the item you're sharing even if you don't publish the link you get.

  2. Tap or click Create link. This copies the link to your Clipboard.

  3. Paste the link into an email, IM, document or wherever you want to share it. Or, tap or click Share to. This selects the Share charm so that you can share the link using another app.

Note

  • You can also share files and folders in OneDrive from File Explorer. Press and hold or right-click the file or folder you want to share, tap or click Share with, then choose OneDrive. This takes you to the OneDrive. For more information about the sharing options on the website, see Sharing files and folders and changing permissions.

Are there any files I can't save to OneDrive?

Files can't be more than 2 GB in size. Some kinds of content are also prohibited. For more information, check the code of conduct. For work-related files, we recommend using OneDrive for Business.

Why are some files in my OneDrive only available when I'm online, and how can I make them available offline?

The files you've added to OneDrive from your PC or previously opened on your PC are automatically available offline on that PC. Any files you've created on the OneDrive website or another computer are online-only to save space on your PC.

For information about online-only files and how to make files available offline, see Online-only files and files available offline.

What can I do with my OneDrive files while OneDrive is still setting up on my PC?

If you create a new file in your OneDrive or change a file while OneDrive is still setting up on your PC, those files won't be uploaded until setup is complete. If you make a file available offline, it also won't be downloaded until setup is complete. To download a file before setup finishes, open the file.

To tell if OneDrive has finished setting up:

  • Open the OneDrive app and look for All files are up to date in the top-right corner.

    -or-

    In File Explorer, tap or click OneDrive in the left pane and look for Files are up to date in the status bar at the bottom of the window.

Can I recover OneDrive files that I've deleted?

To recover deleted OneDrive files, check your Recycle Bin on your desktop, or go to the OneDrive website and tap or click the Recycle bin link in the bottom-left corner.

Why are some of my OneDrive files missing in some apps?

Some desktop apps might not be able to open online-only files (even when you're connected to the Internet). If online-only files don't appear in a desktop app that you use, make the files available offline by following the steps to make files available offline earlier in this topic.

Why does it take so long for my files to upload or download?

Make sure that your PC isn't set to go to sleep when you have a lot of files (or very large files) to upload or download. To do this, search for "Power and sleep settings". Also, read the tips in Maximize upload and download speed.

How can I browse files shared with me and Office documents I've worked on recently?

You can't currently do this in the OneDrive app, but you can by going to the OneDrive website.

How can I prevent OneDrive from using my network bandwidth?

If you want as much bandwidth as possible to do something (like stream a film), you can pause synchronising and all other OneDrive activities that use your network connection.

  1. Open the OneDrive app.

  2. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap Settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, then click Settings.)

  3. Tap or click Options, then turn off Sync files.

If you have a metered Internet connection, you can turn off synchronising and all other OneDrive activities that use your network connection.

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, then tap Change PC settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, click Settings, then click Change PC settings.)

  2. Tap or click OneDrive.

  3. Tap or click Metered connections, and turn all the settings to Off.

How can I check whether files are still uploading and downloading?

You can see upload and download progress in the OneDrive app, in File Explorer and also from the OneDrive icon in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar.

To see a progress summary, point to the OneDrive icon (The OneDrive icon) in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar. (You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow The Show hidden icons arrow next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon.)

Right-click the icon, then you can:

  • Click Sync to get OneDrive to check again for changes.

  • Click Pause synchronisation to prevent files from uploading or downloading at the moment.

  • Click Settings to make all files available offline, or make all files online-only.

How can I move my OneDrive to a different location on my PC?

  1. Open File Explorer.

  2. Press and hold or right-click OneDrive in the left pane.

  3. Tap or click Properties, then tap or click the Location tab.

  4. Tap or click Move.

  5. Pick any folder that's on a drive formatted with the NTFS file system, then tap or click Select Folder.

  6. In the Move Folder dialogue box, tap or click Yes.

Can I sign in with a different account to browse a different OneDrive?

You can't switch between accounts in the OneDrive app. When you sign in to a PC with your Microsoft account, you're automatically signed in to OneDrive with that account. You can still get to OneDrive files for a different account by going to the OneDrive website.

How can I buy more storage?

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, then tap Change PC settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, click Settings, then click Change PC settings.)
  2. Tap or click OneDrive.

  3. Tap or click Buy more storage.

To buy a storage plan in a specific country or region, you need to change the location for your PC:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, then click Search.)

  2. In the search box, enter region, then, in the results, tap or click Change your country or region.

  3. Select the country or region in the list.

    Note

    • You might need to restart your PC for these changes to take effect.

Can I uninstall the OneDrive app?

No, the app comes with Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 and can't be uninstalled, but it can be unpinned from the Start screen. Press and hold or right-click the tile, then tap or click Unpin from Start.

Notes

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