Tech

How to Use OneDrive in Windows 10

OneDrive in Windows 10 works best if you download Windows Store apps.

OneDrive in Windows 10 works best when you switch between File Explorer’s built-in utility and Windows Store apps. This article explains how to use the two programs together.

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The instructions in this article apply to Windows 10.

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missing from file explorer

A key feature missing from the File Explorer version of OneDrive is the ability to view folders that have not been downloaded to your local hard drive. If you are using OneDrive without modification, you may have the entire set of OneDrive files stored locally.

But you don’t have to. It’s very easy to keep some files in the cloud and only the more important content on your PC. The problem is that I can’t see anything that isn’t on my hard drive through file explorer. There was a feature called placeholders, which Microsoft recently confirmed would return to the on-demand sync mentioned above. A new feature lets you differentiate between files on your hard drive and those stored in the cloud.

Until then, you can use the OneDrive Windows Store app. This allows you to view all OneDrive content, including files not on your hard drive.

It’s not a perfect solution, but it works and is much easier to manage than switching between File Explorer and OneDrive.com.

Organize with File Explorer

It’s amazing that you don’t have to keep all your OneDrive files on your hard drive. In fact, you can leave these files in the cloud (aka Microsoft servers) as many times as you want and download only as many files as you need. This is especially important if you have a tablet with limited storage space.

To decide which files to keep on your hard drive and which to keep in the cloud:

Open File Explorer.

Press down win + E You can quickly open a file explorer window.

file explorer window

Select the up arrow on the far right of the taskbar.

up to the Windows arrow in File Explorer

Right-click OneDrive in the left pane or the main part of the pane.

Right-click on OneDrive

Choose setting.

Settings in the right-click menu

In the window that opens, check the following: account select the tab and select Select folder button.

Select the folder button in OneDrive settings

Another window will open listing all the folders in OneDrive. Uncheck and click on the items you don’t want to keep on your hard drive. Confirm, automatically deleted from OneDrive. Remember to delete only on PC. The files remain in the cloud and can be downloaded at any time.

Everything you need to do to free up space on your hard drive while keeping your files available on OneDrive.

microsoft store app

After you get the files you don’t need, you need the OneDrive app for Windows 10, which can easily show the files back.

OneDrive app from Microsoft Store

After you download the app from the App Store and log in, you’ll see all the files and folders stored on your OneDrive. Click or tap on a folder to open it and show all your files. Clicking on individual files will either display a preview of that file (if it is an image) or download the file and open it in an appropriate program such as Microsoft Word or a PDF reader.

Screenshot of OneDrive app

When the file is automatically downloaded, it is saved to a temporary folder. To download to a more permanent location, select the file and then click the download icon (down arrow) in the upper-right corner. If you want to view the details of a file rather than a download, right-click the file and select it. Details.

There are several icons on the left side of the app. At the top is a search icon to find your files, below that is your user account picture and a document icon to view your entire collection of files. Then there is a camera icon that displays all the photos in OneDrive, similar to what you would see on a website. You can also view albums in this section, including those created automatically by OneDrive.

OneDrive's task pane

Scroll down to the left to see the Recent Documents section as well as a view of files shared with other users.

Learn more about the Windows 10 OneDrive app

Here are the basics for viewing files with the Windows 10 OneDrive app. The app offers a lot more, including drag-and-drop file uploads, the ability to create new folders, and how to create new photo albums.

It’s a great app and an obvious addition to OneDrive in File Explorer.


More information

How to Use OneDrive in Windows 10

OneDrive in Windows 10 works best when you download Windows Store app

OneDrive in Windows 10 works best if you rotate between the utility built-in to File Explorer and the Windows Store app. This article explains how to use the two programs together.

Instructions in this article apply to Windows 10.

RawPixel / Pexels  Lacking in File Explorer

The key feature missing in the File Explorer version of OneDrive is the ability to see folders that haven’t been downloaded to your local hard drive. If you are using OneDrive without any modifications then you probably have your entire set of OneDrive files saved locally.

You don’t have to do that, however. It’s very easy to leave some files in the cloud and only the more critical content on your PC. The problem is you have no way to see what’s not on your hard drive via File Explorer. There used to be a feature like that called placeholders, and Microsoft recently confirmed that feature will return as the aforementioned On-Demand Sync. The new feature will help you distinguish between files on your hard drive and files stored in the cloud.

Until then, you can use the OneDrive Windows Store app. It lets you view all your OneDrive content including files that aren’t on your hard drive.

It’s not a perfect solution, but it works and in our opinion is far easier to deal with than flipping between File Explorer and OneDrive.com.

Getting Organized With File Explorer

It may come as a surprise that you don’t have to keep all your OneDrive files on your hard drive. In fact, you can leave as many of them as you want in the cloud (aka Microsoft’s servers) and only download files as needed. That would be especially important if you’re using a tablet with limited storage.

To decide which files you want to keep on your hard drive, and those you want to leave in the cloud:

Open File Explorer.

Press Win+E to open the File Explorer window quickly.

Select the upward-facing arrow on the far right of the taskbar.

Right-click OneDrive in the left pane or in the body of the window.

Select Settings.

In the window that opens make sure the Account tab is selected and select the Choose folders button.

Yet another window will open that lists all the folders you have on OneDrive. Simply uncheck the ones you don’t want to keep on your hard drive, click OK, and OneDrive will automatically delete them for you. Just remember you’re only deleting them from your PC. The files will remain in the cloud available to download at any time.

That’s all there is to making space on your hard drive while still keeping your files available in OneDrive.

The Microsoft Store App

Now that you’ve got the files you don’t need out of your way, you’ll need the OneDrive for Windows 10 app to easily view them again.

Once you’ve downloaded the app from the app store and signed in, you will see all your files and folders stored in OneDrive. If you click or tap on a folder it will open to show all your files. Click on an individual file and it will either show you a preview of it (if it’s an image) or download the file and open it in the appropriate program such as Microsoft Word or a PDF reader.

When files are downloaded automatically they are put in a temporary folder. To download it to a more permanent spot, select a file and then click the download icon (the downward facing arrow) in the top right. If you want to see the details of a file instead of downloading it, right-click it and select Details. 

On the left-hand side of the app are several icons. At the top is a search icon for finding files, below that is your user account image, and then you have a document icon which is where you see your entire file collection. Then you have the camera icon, which shows all your images in OneDrive in a similar way to what you see on the website. You can also choose to view your Albums in this section including the ones automatically created by OneDrive.

Going down the left-hand side you’ll also see a recent documents section and a view of which of your files are shared with others.

More to Windows 10 OneDrive App

Those are the basics of viewing files with the Windows 10 OneDrive app. There’s a lot more to the app including drag-and-drop file uploads, the ability to create a new folder, and a way to create new image albums.

It’s a great app and a solid complement to OneDrive in File Explorer.

#OneDrive #Windows

How to Use OneDrive in Windows 10

OneDrive in Windows 10 works best when you download Windows Store app

OneDrive in Windows 10 works best if you rotate between the utility built-in to File Explorer and the Windows Store app. This article explains how to use the two programs together.

Instructions in this article apply to Windows 10.

RawPixel / Pexels  Lacking in File Explorer

The key feature missing in the File Explorer version of OneDrive is the ability to see folders that haven’t been downloaded to your local hard drive. If you are using OneDrive without any modifications then you probably have your entire set of OneDrive files saved locally.

You don’t have to do that, however. It’s very easy to leave some files in the cloud and only the more critical content on your PC. The problem is you have no way to see what’s not on your hard drive via File Explorer. There used to be a feature like that called placeholders, and Microsoft recently confirmed that feature will return as the aforementioned On-Demand Sync. The new feature will help you distinguish between files on your hard drive and files stored in the cloud.

Until then, you can use the OneDrive Windows Store app. It lets you view all your OneDrive content including files that aren’t on your hard drive.

It’s not a perfect solution, but it works and in our opinion is far easier to deal with than flipping between File Explorer and OneDrive.com.

Getting Organized With File Explorer

It may come as a surprise that you don’t have to keep all your OneDrive files on your hard drive. In fact, you can leave as many of them as you want in the cloud (aka Microsoft’s servers) and only download files as needed. That would be especially important if you’re using a tablet with limited storage.

To decide which files you want to keep on your hard drive, and those you want to leave in the cloud:

Open File Explorer.

Press Win+E to open the File Explorer window quickly.

Select the upward-facing arrow on the far right of the taskbar.

Right-click OneDrive in the left pane or in the body of the window.

Select Settings.

In the window that opens make sure the Account tab is selected and select the Choose folders button.

Yet another window will open that lists all the folders you have on OneDrive. Simply uncheck the ones you don’t want to keep on your hard drive, click OK, and OneDrive will automatically delete them for you. Just remember you’re only deleting them from your PC. The files will remain in the cloud available to download at any time.

That’s all there is to making space on your hard drive while still keeping your files available in OneDrive.

The Microsoft Store App

Now that you’ve got the files you don’t need out of your way, you’ll need the OneDrive for Windows 10 app to easily view them again.

Once you’ve downloaded the app from the app store and signed in, you will see all your files and folders stored in OneDrive. If you click or tap on a folder it will open to show all your files. Click on an individual file and it will either show you a preview of it (if it’s an image) or download the file and open it in the appropriate program such as Microsoft Word or a PDF reader.

When files are downloaded automatically they are put in a temporary folder. To download it to a more permanent spot, select a file and then click the download icon (the downward facing arrow) in the top right. If you want to see the details of a file instead of downloading it, right-click it and select Details. 

On the left-hand side of the app are several icons. At the top is a search icon for finding files, below that is your user account image, and then you have a document icon which is where you see your entire file collection. Then you have the camera icon, which shows all your images in OneDrive in a similar way to what you see on the website. You can also choose to view your Albums in this section including the ones automatically created by OneDrive.

Going down the left-hand side you’ll also see a recent documents section and a view of which of your files are shared with others.

More to Windows 10 OneDrive App

Those are the basics of viewing files with the Windows 10 OneDrive app. There’s a lot more to the app including drag-and-drop file uploads, the ability to create a new folder, and a way to create new image albums.

It’s a great app and a solid complement to OneDrive in File Explorer.

#OneDrive #Windows


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