How to set up OneDrive on Windows 10

James Walker

Photo showing a Microsoft employee speaking in front of a large blue screen showing a white cloud OneDrive icon

Looking for more How To posts? Check out our How To Page for all the latest tips on Windows, Microsoft Teams, LinkedIn, and more!

Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage service comes preinstalled on new Windows 10 devices but you still have to complete its setup yourself. OneDrive lets you choose where to save your files and which folders should be synchronised from the cloud. You can also change some of these settings after the sync client has been configured.

You’ll need to set up OneDrive if you’ve never used it before or you’re reinstalling the sync app because you hit a problem with your old configuration. If you’re using a brand-new PC, the OneDrive app should show up once you arrive at the Windows desktop, prompting you to set up your cloud storage.

Screenshot of OneDrive's settings screen

If you’re already using OneDrive but you want to start from scratch, right-click the OneDrive icon in the system tray and click “Settings.” Under the “Account” tab, click the “Unlink this PC” link underneath the account you want to remove.

Follow the prompts to remove your account and stop syncing your files. You can then set up OneDrive again by clicking the “Add an account” button. This lets you change where your files are saved to and could fix synchronisation problems.

Screenshot of OneDrive "add an account" screen

Whether you’re just setting up OneDrive or adding a new account, you’ll first be prompted to enter your email address. This can be your personal Microsoft account or an email address you use for a work or school Office 365 subscription. Click the “Sign in” button to continue with the set up procedure and follow the prompts to enter the password for your account.

Screenshot of OneDrive folder selection screen

On the next screen, you’ll be shown the location of your OneDrive folder. By default, your files will be saved in your personal folder on your system hard drive. You can change where OneDrive syncs to by clicking the “Change location” button. This cannot be altered once you’ve completed OneDrive setup so you should check you’ve got enough storage space left for your future files. Click “Next” to save the location.

Screenshot of OneDrive folder sync options

You’ll now be prompted to select the folders that you want to sync to your PC. Only the ones that you tick will be available offline. To access the others, you’ll need to head to the OneDrive web site until Files On-Demand lands in Windows 10 later this year. If you want to sync everything in your cloud storage, check the “Sync all files and folders in OneDrive” option. Otherwise, select the folders you want to sync.

Screenshot of Windows 10 OneDrive sync confirmation screen

Press the “Next” button to get to the final set up screen which confirms everything is ready to sync. When you close the window, your files will start to download to your PC. If you need to change which folders are synced in the future, right-click OneDrive’s tray icon and click “Settings.” The “Choose folders” button will let you access the sync window again so you can download more folders or exclude ones that are getting too large.