Our favorite tips and tricks for Office 365: OneDrive

Arif Bacchus

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If you’re an Office 365 subscriber, you’ve earned some extra bonus space towards your OneDrive account. This means you now have an online home for up to 1TB of files, photos. Great as it is, you might not know what to do with all that space, or how to manage it. In this guide, we take a closer look at our tips and tricks for OneDrive, how you can manage your storage space, and more.

Share your files

One of the benefits of having all that storage space on OneDrive is the ability to upload and share files with friends or colleagues. Though most of the items you upload to OneDrive might end up being private, you also can switch certain items into a public mode to share as you please. This allows you to skip out on sending big email attachments, as the recipient will have direct access to select files in your OneDrive at any time.

To share an item on OneDrive, find the file or folder. Then, right-click on the file or folder and select “Share.” Once the pop-up window appears, you can choose if you want for your recipient to edit or delete that file. On the next screen, also can also unclick “Allow Editing” so you can limit the recipients to just downloading the file. Finally, click on “Copy Link” to bring up a URL that can be shared. You also can enter a name or email address from the dialogue box to send the files automatically.

Sharing files on OneDrive

Back up your PC to OneDrive

1TB of storage is a lot to use, but a great way of leveraging that storage space is to back up your PC to OneDrive. Granted that you’re running the latest versions of Windows 10, the in-built OneDrive Sync client can help you do that.

To get started, simply search or navigate to OneDrive from the Windows 10 Start menu to launch OneDrive if it is not already running in the background. Next, click on the OneDrive cloud icon in the taskbar. After that, click on “More” and choose “Settings.” From the pop-up menu, then choose the “Backup” tab. You can then click “Manage Backup” to choose which folders from your PC to backup to OneDrive. To finish, simply press the blue “Start Backup” button.

You’ll then find all your uploaded files in the Desktop, Pictures, and Documents folder in your OneDrive. If you repeat this on a daily basis, these files will go everywhere with you, meaning you’ll always have a copy of what’s on your PC if it is lost, stolen, or crashes.

Backing up files on OneDrive

Save your email attachments to OneDrive

If you’ve got a full inbox, you’ve likely lost important attachments in the mess of emails. A great tip to avoid that is to save attachments from Outlook to OneDrive. You can do this by right-clicking an attachment in Outlook, or clicking the drop-down menu on it. Then, click “Save to OneDrive.” Just like that, the file will be saved to the email attachments folder in OneDrive, allowing you to access from any PC, without having to sort through an inbox of messages.

Saving email attachments to OneDrive

Upload and back up your phone’s camera roll to OneDrive

Accidents happen, and one of the worst things in life is losing the precious photos saved on your phone. Luckily, if you’ve installed the OneDrive app on your phone, you can use it to back up your entire camera roll to OneDrive. The option for camera roll backup should have appeared when you installed OneDrive on your phone, but you can still manually enable it if need be.

On Android, you can enable the camera roll back up by tapping on “Me” along the bottom bar of the screen. Next, tap on “Settings” and then click on “Camera Upload” under “Options.” Be sure the right account is selected under “Camera upload account” and then flip the “Camera Upload” switch to on. Next, confirm your choice. There are additional settings you can choose, such as uploading only on WiFI, or while your phone is charging. You also can backup additional folders, and include videos.

OneDrive app on Android


Empty the Recycle Bin to save storage

On a PC, deleting a file sends it to the recycle bin, and the same applies to OneDrive. Whenever a folder, file, or document is discarded from your OneDrive collection, it moves to the Recycle Bin. This might be a fail-safe in case you deleted an important file, but the files still take up space towards your OneDrive storage limit. Be sure to click on the Recycle Bin and clean up files regularly to avoid losing out on your storage.

OneDrive Recycle Bin

How do you use OneDrive?

We’ve only touched the surface here, and there’s a lot that you can do with OneDrive. Other examples include including setting up an IFTTT and Microsoft Flow integration, using file versions, and more. So if you have any tips and tricks that you’d like to share with us, be sure to leave us a comment in the section below.