What is OneDrive?

The OneDrive brand covers both an online storage system and a sync client application that runs on PC/MAC and mobile

OneDrive Online Storage

Whether you have a free Windows account, Office 365 Home or Business, you get a predetermined amount of cloud storage in the OneDrive service. If you have a business account, it will be called OneDrive for Business and will hosted in a slightly different way, but ultimately works the same way.

OneDrive Next Generation Sync Client

The OneDrive sync client (aka Next generation sync client) is designed to synchronise any changes made on your device back into the cloud. That Word or Excel document you are working on on your PC automatically gets synced back to the cloud with you having to anything other than click the save button. If you have Office 2016, autosave even takes care of that bit too!

OneDrive Online Services

OneDrive Basic

OneDrive Basic starts with 5Gb of storage for free, it can be upgraded to 50Gb for £1.99 a month

Office 365 Personal

Office 365 Personal comes with OneDrive Services, the personal plan starts from £7.99 a month and comes with 1 Tb of storage available in the cloud. The plan can be increased to up to 5 users. for £9.99 a month and each user gets 1Tb of space.

Office 365 - OneDrive for Business

When you sign up for a business plan in Office 365, you start to get other features, but out of the box, each user can use 1Tb of storage in OneDrive. This can be increased to 5Tb each just by ticking a box. This version works slightly differently in the back end, but ultimately does the same job

Office 365 Enterprise - OneDrive for Business

If you sign up for the Enterprise plans in Office 365, you get unlimited storage for OneDrive. Each user can store as much data as they like. Like the business plan, it works a bit differently in the back end but works the same for the user.

How does it work?

OneDrive simply picks up on changes made on the device and once a document is saved, it syncs that content back to the cloud to be stored and made available for use.

Sharepoint synced diagram animated

Some of OneDrive's Features

Online Collaboration

OneDrive facilitates all of Microsofts Online Collaboration features, including co-authoring, universal access and sharing.

Files on Demand

Using a lot of storage in the cloud but only have a small SSD? No problems, now in Windows 10, you can use files on Demand. This means that OneDrive will sync a blank version of the file and will only populate it with Data if you open it or tell it to always keep on the device.

Known Folder Migrations (Coming August 2018)

In the business environment, historically, we would redirect documents and desktops to an on premise server. Now with OneDrive, we can set-up known folder migration. Meaning that your Documents, desktop and pictures can automatically be re-routed to OneDrive, so you don't have to worry about saving to an unfamiliar location.

Let Office 2016 sync my changes

To make the sync happen more efficiently and to enable the collaboration features, you can now set Office 2016 to sync changes. OneDrive will still sync new documents and everything else, but Office documents will benefit from faster and more frequent synchronisations.

File History and Recycle Bin

One of the more important features and not one many people are aware of is the file history and recycle bin. Changes and deletions are not immediately permanent in OneDrive. In fact File history is now being made mandatory (you don't have to turn it on by default) and the recycle bin keeps documents for 30 days out of the box. You access these by accessing your OneDrive in your internet browser