10 Essential Tips for Using OneDrive at Work or School

This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: Microsoft Tech Community - Latest Blogs - .

These days, many of us are trying to do more in less time. When it comes to working with your files, you probably know that OneDrive keeps your files protected and easily accessible across your devices. But there are also many features that you can use in OneDrive to keep your work or school day running smoothly. Here are ten tips that will help you get the most out of OneDrive:

1. Use OneDrive’s new views to find shared files quickly

OneDrive has been completely redesigned to make it faster and simpler to get to all your personal, shared, and team files. The new OneDrive for Web let’s you:


• See your recent and most relevant files in the For you and Recent sections
• Find all the files you have shared and that have been shared with you in Shared view
• See your meeting recordings and all files shared in meetings in the Meetings view
• View your files organized by the people you collaborate with in the People view




Try it -> Login into OneDrive for Web or go to office.com and navigate to OneDrive. See the OneDrive quick start guide for more details.


2. Protect your files and get anywhere access with Folder Backup

Have you ever experienced the dreaded blue screen, lost your laptop, or needed a file from your PC or Mac when you only have your phone or tablet on hand? If you said yes to any of these questions, then you know how important it is to have a copy of your files in the cloud. OneDrive’s Folder Backup (also known as Known Folder Move) automatically syncs your Desktop, Documents, and Pictures folders to the cloud, so you can access them from anywhere and protect them from loss.


Try it -> To turn on folder backup, select the OneDrive cloud icon in your system tray, select the Settings icon, and then select Settings. In the Settings dialog, select Sync and back up, and then select Manage back up. Use the toggles to choose the folders you want to back up, and then select Start backup. Learn more: Folder backup for PCs and Folder backup for Mac.




3. Access all your OneDrive files in Microsoft Teams

If you spend your day working in Microsoft Teams, chatting, meeting, and collaborating with colleagues, you can save time and stay in the context of your work by accessing your OneDrive files directly through the OneDrive app in Teams.


Try it-> In Teams, select Files or OneDrive on the left sidebar. This opens your OneDrive, giving you easy access to your files. Learn more.

4. Restore previous file versions

Collaboration is a huge part of modern work, but sometimes collaborators make changes that don’t work. Or, maybe a client tells you they liked an earlier version of your work better. Whatever the reason, you can use version history to restore any OneDrive file to a previous point in time, up to 30 days after the file was modified. This works on Microsoft 365 files, PDFs, CAD files, photos, videos, and more.


Try it -> Open OneDrive for Web or File Explorer then right-click the file you want to restore. Select Version history. Click the ellipses (…) next the version of the file you want to revert to, and then select Restore. Learn more about restoring files in OneDrive.




5. Turn on auto-save for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files

When you store your Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files in OneDrive, AutoSave is enabled by default in Microsoft 365. This means you have up-to-the-second versions of your files saved in the cloud, so if your computer crashes or your battery dies, you won’t have to worry about losing all your hard work!


Try it-> Open or create a Word, Excel or PowerPoint file. In the upper left you’ll see an AutoSave toggle. Turn it to “on” and your file will be stored in OneDrive, autosaved and protected. Learn more about AutoSave in Microsoft 365.




6. Access your files anywhere with the OneDrive mobile app

Sometimes you need to access files when you don’t have your PC or Mac. With the OneDrive mobile app you can open, edit, and share files on the go. Bonus: The app also includes a scanning feature, so you can convert paper documents into PDFs. You can even scan multiple pages and combine them in a single PDF, plus you can sign docs after you scan them with just your finger.


Try it -> Download the OneDrive mobile app on your phone or tablet and sign in to your Microsoft account. Learn more about accessing files in the OneDrive mobile app.

Bonus: To scan documents tap the camera icon, then point your camera at a document, whiteboard, business cards or whatever you want to scan. Tap the white circle to scan. If you need to sign or mark up a document, simply select more then the pen icon, and you can mark up or sign the PDF with your finger. Learn more about scanning.

7. Favorite your important files

When you mark a file or folder as a favorite anywhere in Microsoft 365 it allows you to easily find and access the file in OneDrive or in Office.com.


Try it -> To favorite a file simply tap the star icon next to file in Office, OneDrive or anywhere else your files appear in Microsoft 365. Sometimes the star icon is in the file menu which can be accessed by tapping the ellipses (…) near the file name. To access your favorites go to OneDrive for Web or office.com and. Learn more.

8. Customize the color of your folders

Did you know that you can change the color of a folder in your OneDrive? Adding color to folders gives you at-a-glance signals to locate your content while adding a touch of personality to your OneDrive.




Try it-> Right-click on a folder within a SharePoint Document Library or OneDrive and choose Folder Color. Select one of the 16 different available colors.

9. Use file and folder shortcuts

Shortcuts in OneDrive let you keep shared files alongside your own content in OneDrive, making it easy to get back to shared files. You can add a shortcut to a file, folder or an entire document library.

Try it-> In OneDrive for Web right-click on any shared file or folder, and then select Add shortcut. Shortcuts are badged with an arrow icon (in OneDrive) and a link icon (in File Explorer) to help differentiate them from other folders. Learn more.


10. Adjust your Files On-Demand setting

Depending on your needs, you may want all your OneDrive files saved locally, all your files in the cloud only, or a mix of both. You can adjust those settings using Files On-Demand. Note: All your cloud-only files will still appear in your folders and in File Explorer, but you’ll need to be connected to the internet to open them.


Getting Started -> To use Files On-Demand, select the OneDrive cloud icon in your system tray, select the Settings icon, and then select Settings, then select advanced settings. From here you can select Free up disk space or Download all files. Learn more.

From staying organized to collaborating with others, these tips can help you optimize your file storage so you save time and stay productive. Want to learn more about what’s new in OneDrive? Download the OneDrive quick start guide or sign up for the OneDrive newsletter.



Paul Diamond is the product marketing manager for Microsoft OneDrive and Stream. He’s an award-winning short story writer, and he launched many Kindle features, such as Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Singles, over a decade ago when we worked at Amazon. His side-hustles include driving his kids to sports practice, walking his dogs, and vacuuming pet hair from the floor daily.

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