Skip to main content


OneDrive – 9 Tips & Tricks the Pro’s Use

OneDrive is awesome! I love being able to access my files from any device at any location Рhome, work, mobile, tablet. The last few months, Microsoft has continually upgraded the service. As more and more users are getting familiar with OneDrive, I wanted to compile a list of my favorite tips and tricks to get you up to speed using OneDrive like a Pro!
1. Use Version Controlonedrive
For those who don’t know the history of OneDrive, it spawned from the MySites concept in SharePoint 2007 and 2010. Which means that a lot of great SharePoint functionality is available in OneDrive – like Version Control. If you collaborate on documents with many people through OneDrive, it helps to know what changes were made and who made them. To view older versions, go to the OneDrive website, right click the file, select Version History from the drop down menu. You’ll be able to see previous versions of the file, who made changes, and when. OneDrive will store up to 25 versions of a file!
2. Move the OneDrive Folder
In some instances, you might not prefer the default location for the OneDrive folder – which appears as a subfolder in your user profile folder. You can move the folder at any time on any device. Helpful especially on tablets with limited storage.
In Windows 7, you must first install the OneDrive sync utility. During setup, you can choose the local folder. If you’ve already set it up, right-click the OneDrive icon in the system tray and choose Settings. Then click Unlink OneDrive. Move your locally synced files to the new folder and then run setup again.
In Windows 8.1, the OneDrive sync utility is installed by default. Right-click the folder in File Explorer, choose Properties, and pick a folder from the Location tab.
3. Make OneDrive Your Default Documents Folder
This one will save you a ton of time when saving documents – if you want to save all of your documents to OneDrive. Go to Windows Explorer, right click your Documents folder, click Include a Folder, choose your OneDrive folder, then select it and click Set Save Location. Next time you save a file, OneDrive will be the default location.
4. Add a Cover Image to Any Folder
When you open OneDrive in a web browser and choose Thumbnails view, each folder cycles through different images from that folder. For some folders, you might want to choose a specific cover image that identifies that folder easily and never changes. Open the folder, find the image, right-click, and choose Add As Cover from the menu. Really simple and useful trick for those image folders!
5. Automatically Save to OneDrive
Do you put all of your pictures on Facebook or Instagram? Do you want to backup those images in another location? OneDrive can do that automatically for you with the help of IFTTT – “If This Then That”. IFTTT is a free service that provides plugins or recipes to enable you to automate things in the cloud. We use IFTTT on this blog to auto-publish to LinkedIn and Twitter. IFTTT has almost 400 recipes for OneDrive. For example, you can use “Facebook to OneDrive” so you can have all photos you are tagged in to be automatically saved to OneDrive. Pretty cool automation for your personal files!
6. Create an Online Survey
Yes, you can even use OneDrive to create an online survey! Click the Create button at the top of the page. You’ll see options for Word Document, Excel Spreadsheet, PowerPoint Presentation, OneNote Notebook, and Excel Survey. Select that option and you can build a multi-question survey on the fly. Then share the link with survey participants, they enter the data, but only you can see the results. Really cool and no more SurveyMonkey!!
7. Restore a Deleted File
Another great SharePoint feature holdover – your OneDrive has a Recycle Bin!! Login to the web client and the Recycle Bin link is at the bottom left.
8. Use Selective Sync
When using the OneDrive desktop application, you have the option on which folders you want to by synced. This is important for deciding which files you might want on your tablet with a small hard drive. Select Preferences from the OneDrive App, select or unselect folders you wish to sync to the device. Don’t worry, this setting is device specific, so you can still view all your files on your computer or through the web app.
9. Automatic Camera Upload
If you have the OneDrive App on your phone or tablet with a camera, you’ll be asked the first time if you want to enable automatic upload to OneDrive. If you missed it the first time, click the Backup icon at the bottom of the app and select Turn On at the top of the screen.
[pardot-form id=”34122″ title=”MSFT: White Paper BLOG form: The CIO’s Guide to Understanding Microsoft Cloud Services”]

Thoughts on “OneDrive – 9 Tips & Tricks the Pro’s Use”

  1. Jason Beckmann

    OneDrive for Business is unlimited, not the consumer version. The ODFB limits are 20,000 files/folders and 2GB per file. Supposedly the file limit is being removed in 2015 and file size is being increased to 10GB per file.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Joe Crabtree

More from this Author

Follow Us