Top 6 tips and tricks that’ll make you a Microsoft OneDrive professional

Arif Bacchus

OneDrive for Business

These days, online storage solutions like OneDrive are important. As more of our lives head online, especially when it comes to working, you’ll want to keep your documents safe. We’ve previously looked at some of our personal favorite tips and tricks for OneDrive, but today, we’ll be refocusing for a look at our top 6 tips and tricks that are great for long-time OneDrive users.

OneDrive Tip 1: Use Two-Step Verification

Onedrive Yubikey Two Factor Autenticaton

The first tip is one that should be obvious — securing your account. Since your OneDrive is likely holding a lot of personal information and sensitive documents, it’s a great idea to secure your account with two-step verification. You can set this up with your Microsoft Account by clicking here, and following the steps on the screen. Work and School account also work with this, too, though the steps are different. 

Once set up, you can use either your phone number, or an app like Microsoft Authenticator, or even a security key to add an extra layer of security to OneDrive. There are many types of security keys, such as YubiKey, or generic keys, too. Just make sure that the key is FIDO 2–compliant.

Once added, each time you log in to your OneDrive, you’ll need to enter a code, click a code in Authenticator, or put in your security key into your device to prove it is indeed you that’s behind your login. This is a great way to keep your files out of the wrong hands.

OneDrive Tip 2: Manage your storage

Onedrove Manage Storage Page

This second tip is another one that OneDrive pros often have in mind. As you add more files, photos, and documents to OneDrive, it’s easy to get lost and forget how big your files are, and how much storage files are taking up. That’s what the OneDrive Manage Storage page is for. If you visit this page, you’ll see a graph up top. This graph will notify you of how much storage is available, and how much is used by your account.

You’ll also see links to empty the recycle bin, or see what’s taking up the most space. If you’re on a free OneDrive plan, this page is a great resource to make sure you’re not going over your limits. Of course, you do get 1TB of storage with a Microsoft 365 personal plan, so this might not be something everyone will need.

OneDrive Tip 3: Offline access

Files On Demand Onedrive

Files in OneDrive are stored in the cloud, but if you’re planning to disconnect from Wi-Fi (say for travel on a plane or via train) for a while, you can mark select files in your OneDrive for offline access. Marking files for Offline access will ensure that you’ll have access to the files when the internet is not available. Offline access works on PC on Mac, as well as Android and iOS.

On a PC, you can make OneDrive files offline with Files on Demand. You can set up this feature by checking out Microsoft’s instructions here. Once it’s set up, you’ll be able to see which files have offline access based on the icon you see on top of the file. If it has a white checkmark in a green circle, then the file is held on your device locally. You can right-click a folder and select Always keep on this device if you want to enjoy the folder or file offline.

On iOS and Android, you can press and hold, or tap the three dots next to the file or folder that you want available for offline reading, then tap Make Available Offline. Once you mark a file or folder offline, OneDrive also lists it in an Offline Files view. You can tap the Me icon Person icon in the OneDrive app for iOS in the upper left of the screen, and tap Offline Files to instantly find all your offline files and folders.

OneDrive Tip 4: Use the scan feature in the mobile app to your advantage!

Onedrive Scan Document

Next up is a tip about the OneDrive mobile apps. Did you know you can scan, sign and send a document with the OneDrive mobile app? This is useful for invoices, and other personal things like receipts. You can do this in a few steps by selecting the Scan icon (it’s a camera icon) at the bottom of the OneDrive app, then selecting Document to scan the item. Click the white circle button to finish the scan, and then you can select the pen icon, and choose a color to sign or draw on the image. Once done, you can tap Done and enter a file name and save it. This file can then be shared later.

OneDrive Tip 5: Use the file details pane to your advantage!

Onedrive Details Pane

Sharing or opening a lot of files? Why not use the file details pane to your advantage? To do this, you’ll just want to right-click a file, and then choose Details. From there, you’ll see a lot of information about your file. You can see who has access to it, who it has been shared with, and who has commented on it. This is a great tool for photography, too. You can see information such as the camera used and camera settings. For photos taken on a phone, you might see location information. And for some photos, you might even see text that was extracted from the photo.

OneDrive Tip 6: Use version history to restore previous versions of a file

Rison Historu Onedrive

Last on our list is version history. With OneDrive version history, you can restore previous versions of files stored in OneDrive. This feature works with all Office files, as well as PDFs, CAD files, photos, videos, and other files. To use it in OneDrive on the web, just right-click on the file you want to restore. Then, from there, select Version History. You’ll then be able to click Restore and select from a period in time where you want to restore the file to.

You also can use OneDrive Version History in the File Explorer in Windows 10, too. Just right-click the file that you want to restore to an earlier version and select Version history. Then select the ellipses (…) next to the version you want and click Restore.

We’ve got you covered!

OneDrive is just one small part of Microsoft 365. If you’re already using OneDrive, then you might want to check out our other guides, too. We’ve previously covered Teams, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and so much more. Check out our Microsoft 365 hub for more how-tos, features, and news posts.