What is One Drive? A Guest Blog by Lara Mellor

by | Jan 28, 2020 | Member Blogs | 0 comments |

Huge thanks are due to Lara Mellor, of Lara Mellor Training, for this Guest Blog. Check out Lara’s website for any Microsoft Office training needs that you may have. (  

What is One Drive?

One Drive is one of the key apps in the Office 365 suite.  Instead of storing files on your computer, an external hard drive or network drive, it stores them in “The Cloud”. This means they can be accessed from anywhere, as long as you have internet access, through your Microsoft Office 365 account.  This could be a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or mobile anywhere in the world.  How cool is that?!!! But what are the other advantages of using One Drive?

Using One Drive to share files?

One Drive also gives you the opportunity to share files with others, like a more sophisticated version of Dropbox!  Not only are these available for others to read and change, but you can even work on them concurrently and see changes in real time. You can share whole folders at a time if you want to share a number of files rather than doing each one individually.  All great time saving tools. This way of sharing is a huge advantage over emailing the files because if you do that you are now working on totally independent versions of the file and it is easy to get things out of sync and think you are working on the most up to date version of the file when you are not.  It also stops your inbox getting clogged up with huge files.

How to share your file or folder

Access One Drive from your Office 365 logon to see any files or folders that are currently stored in One Drive. The file or folder can be shared by using the share button, right-clicking on the file or folder or clicking on the 3 dots that appear after the file or folder. You will need to select who you are sharing with and whether they have access to only view the file or to edit too. You can set an expiry date after which the files can no longer be accessed.  This sends an email to the other person containing a link to the location where your One Drive files are stored.

How to see files that have been shared with you.

Files that have been shared with you can be accessed from the shared button on the left side of the screen.  By default files shared with me will be viewed but the tab at the top can be selected to view files that you have shared with others instead.

How to stop sharing

If there is an expiry date set then the link to access the file will stop working after that time.  Otherwise you can stop the sharing by setting an expiration date or choosing the option of stop sharing depending on how the file or folder has been shared.

Version control

Office online files are regularly, and automatically, saved without you doing anything.  Even with the desktop version Auto-Save is by default switched on.  If, in the past, you have relied on making a mistake and being able to get out of it by closing the file and not saving to go back to an earlier version, this will no longer work. But what can you do?  There must be a way back!  This is where Version Control comes in.  Any file stored on One Drive can be returned to an earlier point in time. When you select a file the 3 dots after it give the option of version history.  This will then provide you with a list of versions that you can access.  The 3 dots after each version always gives the option to open it.  For all but the latest version there are also the options of delete, to get rid of old versions no longer required, and restore which replaces this as the up to date version of the file.

I hope these tips help make One Drive even more useful to you whether from a personal or business perspective.

Lara Mellor Training and Consultancy offers Bespoke Microsoft training and Consultancy to groups and individuals throughout the North East and beyond

By tailoring support to your needs you can put what you learn into practice soon after your training session providing instant increase in productivity.  By automating many previously manual processes this also improves accuracy of any analysis of any data.

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