How to access more functions in OneDrive

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This guide is intended for people who can carry out the processes described in How to use OneDrive and want to know more about the available functions in OneDrive.

Opening the OneDrive app and its settings

  1. Click on the OneDrive icon Blue cloud icon. to the right of your task bar. You will see:
    OneDrive pane with settings cog in top right corner.
    You will see the settings icon, your syncing status, and a list of files you have recently opened, as well as:
    Open folder opens file explorer
    View Online opens your OneDrive in your Browser
    Recycle bin takes you to the online OneDrive recycle bin.
  2. Click on the settings symbol Settings cog. to see:
    Settings menu with 'Settings' selected.
  3. Select Settings (Figure B).
    You will see the OneDrive settings pane:
    Settings pane with settings tab selected, check 'Start OneDrive automatically when I sign in to Windows'.

This is where you can make changes such as turning on Files On-Demand, or adding your Documents, Desktop, and Pictures folders to OneDrive.

Saving the Documents, Desktop, and Pictures folders to OneDrive 

We recommend that you include the Documents, Desktop, and Pictures folders in OneDrive by following the process described below. Your school may require the IT admin to do it, or to allow you to do it (IT admins – Microsoft calls this process Known Folder Move).

Your computer may already have synced the known folders to OneDrive, depending on the choices selected when your computer was set up, or changes done by your IT admin.

To check whether this is already set up:

  1. Go to File Explorer.
    If the Desktop, Documents, and Pictures folders sit inside OneDrive (See Figure D), they are already synced with OneDrive (they will be listed alphabetically among your other folders):
    OneDrive expanded menu showing 'Desktop', 'Documents', 'Pictures'.
    To add this feature if those folders are not there:
  2. Open the OneDrive app and go to Settings (instructions at the start of this document).
    'Back up
  3. Select the Back up tab (‘1’ in Figure E).
  4. Click Manage back up (‘2’ in Figure E).
    You will now see something like:
    Pop up reads 'Back up your folders', button reading 'Start backup' selected.
    If the listed folders are already synced with OneDrive, or your school system doesn’t allow you to change, it will state this in the pane.If the listed folders are already synced with OneDrive, or your school system doesn’t allow you to change, it will state this in the pane.
  5. Select all folders (‘1’ in Figure F).
  6. Click Start backup (‘2’ in Figure F).
  7. Follow the instructions when prompted.

OneDrive Files On-Demand

If you or your school has set up Files On-demand, all your files are held on OneDrive in the cloud by default, visible on your device, and downloaded automatically when you open them provided you have internet. This is the option recommended for all users who have reasonable access to the internet, as it:

  • uses less hard drive capacity on your device
  • means your documents are less vulnerable to a malware attack
  • allows you usual use of your files provided you have internet access.

To set up Files on-demand:

  1. Open the OneDrive app and go to Settings (instructions at the start of this document).
    You will now see:
    Settings tab, 'Files On-Demand' selected. 'Ok' button highlighted.
  2. Select the Settings tab
  3. Click the check box under Files On-Demand (if it is greyed out, it has already been set up).
  4. Click OK.

Your files will now be held on OneDrive in the cloud by default, visible on your device, and downloaded automatically when you open them, provided you have internet. 

Refer to How to use OneDrive if you want to change the default setting for a file or folder.

How to share documents in OneDrive

When documents are shared in OneDrive, the sender has several permission options they can choose. Edits are seen by all people with access to the document in real time if they are on the internet, or updated as soon as they are online.

Some options for sharing may be limited by the school’s IT admin, such as whether people must have an account at your school before you can share documents with them.

Some of the sharing options may need to be set up by IT Admin before they can be accessed by users.

Sharing via the OneDrive app

  1. Open the OneDrive app (instructions at the start of this document).
    OneDrive app with 'View online' selected.
  2. Select View online (see Figure H).
  3. Hover over the file or folder you want to share.
    You will see:
    Test folder with share icon selected.
  4. Click the share icon.
    You will see:
    'Send link' screen includes option to share via name, group or email or copy link and send.

To send a link by email:

  1. Click on People in XXX with the link can (‘1’ in Figure J) and choose the relevant options. Choose carefully to make sure your documents stay in secure environments.
  2. Add in the name, group or email (‘2’ in Figure J).
  3. Click on the edit icon Edit icon with pencil and arrow.  (‘3’) to determine whether the person can view or edit (‘3’ in Figure J).
  4. Add a message to go in the email (‘4’ in Figure J).
  5. Click Send (‘5’).

To copy a link to share:

  1. Click on People in XXX with the link can (‘A’ in Figure J) and choose the relevant options. Choose carefully to make sure your documents stay in secure environments.
  2. Click Copy (‘B’ in Figure J).
  3. Paste the link as required.

Note: You can also copy a link by clicking the three vertical dots Icon with arrow and three dots. beside the share icon in Figure I and choosing the Copy link option.

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