How Does OneDrive Work and How To Access OneDrive

What Is OneDrive?

OneDrive is a file hosting service provided by Microsoft. This kind of service is also called cloud storage, hence the cloud icon.

How Does OneDrive Work?

OneDrive works like an internet hard drive. Files and folders can be saved or copied to it as if it is a regular hard drive. The main difference is speed. Because files stored on OneDrive is on the internet, it must be downloaded before it can be opened. This can take some time, especially for large files like videos. Microsoft works around this upload/download delay by synchronizing the files between your local computer and the distant OneDrive servers on the internet. If you make changes to one file, the other will change to match. This way, by having identical files locally and on OneDrive, you have access to your files anywhere you have access to the internet.

How To Access OneDrive?

Microsoft has made OneDrive accessible from as many devices and applications as possible. The example above shows the typical desktop computer way of accessing OneDrive. If you have a tablet PC, such as the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, you could install the OneDrive app for Windows from the Windows Store and access your files through the more touch-friendly interface. You could also access your OneDrive files from Apple devices such as the iPhone and iPad with the OneDrive app for iOS. If you are an Android user, OneDrive for Android is also available. If you are unable to install and use the app, such as on public computers, or somehow on a device that is not listed here, you could always go to using a web browser to access your OneDrive files and folders.

How Do I Use OneDrive?

On a typical computer, you would use OneDrive like a regular folder or drive.

For example, if you were creating a food recipe file on your computer at home using Microsoft Word, and you wanted to later share it with your friend at their house for a party the next day, you could just save it on OneDrive to access it later at your friend’s house using their computer. The way you would do this is to go to save the file as you normally would, but instead of selecting your local Documents folder, you would select your OneDrive folder, for example: File > Save As > OneDrive > Party Recipe folder. The next day, at your friend’s house, you would go online on your friend’s computer, open up a browser, and go to, log in as yourself and open the file to view.

If you are new to OneDrive, I hope this article helps. Let me know in the comments below.


Leave a Reply