Welcome to the first issue of our Microsoft Journey series! We will be discussing Microsoft applications and services and go further into some of the most popular features and tools. Don’t miss out on our helpful guidelines and recommendations, designed to help you improve your home and work life.
Our last journey blog series, covering Microsoft Teams, was met with very positive feedback and helped many users utilize the platform while working from home. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can find it here:
Microsoft Teams Journey Issue #1
The applications we cover are available in the various Microsoft subscription packages. Many people are already familiar with the popular office applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, so we aim to go deeper into the other useful services and tools like OneDrive, Planner, Bookings and many more.
Different packages include different levels of services and which package to choose depends on your business needs. Having the right package can greatly benefit you and your team to bring productivity and collaboration to the next level.
In today’s journey, we go into one of Microsoft’s most popular services – OneDrive.
What is OneDrive
A cloud-based service that allows you to store and share your work, such as documents and files, and is a convenient tool for accessing and sharing content. OneDrive is easy to use and offers useful features for personal as well as business file storage.
Difference Between Cloud Storage and Server Storage
Cloud storage – gives you the advantage of having someone else take care of maintenance, upgrades and security. This is very important in the current digital age, with cybersecurity being an important factor to think of. One disadvantage would be that you need an internet connection to access your data.
Server storage – gives you the advantage of having higher upload and download speeds, with having full control of system set-up controls and security. However, the cost of server hardware can be very expensive, as well as the time spent of your IT team to maintain and upgrade the systems.
You can easily access and store files from anywhere, at any time. Because its all on the cloud, all you need is an internet connection and your preferred device. Even if you’re offline at the time of working, OneDrive will atomically sync the files when you’re connected again.
Using OneDrive with your Microsoft 365 package, you or your team can get work done faster with anyone inside or outside of your organization. It allows you to operate in real-time using any of your preferred Office applications, and across different levels of access such as mobile, desktop and web.
Work with peace of mind through file backups and having the ability to recover accidently deleted files. OneDrive also helps protect your data through various levels of security, including password protection, verification, encryption and access control systems. You can customize these settings to suit your business environment.
The OneDrive mobile app lets you and your team create, edit and share files through your mobile device. You can also use the scan feature to turn a document, business card or whiteboard into a PDF where you can add notes and quick share with someone.
OneDrive Personal vs OneDrive for Business
Many people think that the difference is simply whether to use one your own personal documents, and the other for business and work files. While this may be true in a broad sense, OneDrive for Business offers much more features and capabilities. First, let’s do quick summary of each:
OneDrive – an online personal cloud storage platform. You can use it to save files, documents and photos on the cloud and choose to share them with anyone you want, using a link. OneDrive for Business – online cloud storage platform for work or school. It is managed by organization and gives you a platform to share and collaborate on work with co-workers and colleagues. Admins can control and customize the OneDrive library to suit business needs. Business packages give you 1TB (1000 gigabytes) of OneDrive storage which can hold a considerable number of documents and files. For the sake of an example, if you’re only storing 4-page Word files, it is estimated that you can have up to 85,899,345 documents.
With OneDrive for Business, the administration tools are what really stand out. Admins can choose what users can do, by restricting sharing options and managing syncing options. If an employee leaves the organization, admins can remove their accounts.
Microsoft has a detailed comparison chart on their website (link), but we decided to summarize it for you with our own:
|Free||Price||Depending on Package|
|No||Auditing and Reporting||Yes|
The price will of course depend on the package that you choose. Microsoft offers different plans that depend on your individual and business needs. Here is a quick link to both Home and Business plans that you can look at and compare:
Now that we have covered the main features, pricing and topics, let’s get into some how-to guidelines that helped our team maximize the use of it. The following guide will be done using OneDrive for Business, as the personal version does not include all of the features:
Downloading the Mobile App
As mentioned above, having the OneDrive app on your mobile device can be a great way to quickly access and open your Office application files like Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents, with the option to save files when you’re offline.
Here are handy links to download it to your preferred mobile device:
We get it, mistakes and issues can happen. Anything from files getting deleted and overwritten, to getting corrupted and infected by malware. Luckily, Microsoft has planned for this with OneDrive’s convenient recovery tools, such as the online version history and recycle bin folder.
How to restore deleted files
- First, you’ll have to go to the OneDrive website and sign in with your Microsoft account, as shown above.
- Then, go to the Recycle Bin from the navigation bar on the left-hand side. Simply right click on the file and choose the Restore option or click on the Restore button at the top options bar.
If you deleted the files from your OneDrive on your computer, you can check your desktops Recycle Bin for Windows, or Trash for Mac.
How to restore a previous version of a file
- Again, you will have to sign into your Microsoft account form the OneDrive website.
- Select the document you wish to restore and click on the Version History button shown on the far right of the top options bar.
- Choose the older version that you want to restore and click either Restore or Download.
Restore your OneDrive
Sometimes, it can happen that you need to restore a lot of files at one time. The best way to do this is to simply restore your entire OneDrive to a previous time, when everything was as you want it. Let’s see how to do this:
- Just like the previous two guides, log into your OneDrive with your Microsoft Account.
- Then click on the settings icon and select Restore your OneDrive.
- From the restore page, you will be given the option to select which date you would like to restore your OneDrive to.
- Use the slider and activity feed to see all the recent work that you would to be undone. The activity feed will show you the work that was done for the last 30 days and can help you find out where a problem came in.
- Once you have selected the date or work from where you wish to restore, click on the Restore button and your OneDrive will be updated to your selection. Note that choose a Custom date and time will automatically select all activities after that date.
If you made a mistake or must revert back to before you restored, don’t worry, you can undo the restore by going through the process again and selecting the restore action you just performed.
Choosing which OneDrive Folder to Sync
It can happen that you don’t necessarily want to sync all your folders in OneDrive to your computer, so let’s see how you can specify which ones you want.
- Click on the OneDrive cloud icon in your Windows or Mac taskbar notification area
- Then select More and Settings
- Click on the Account tab, and then Choose folders.
- In the Choose Folders box, you can select and uncheck any of the folders that you don’t want to be synced to your computer. Click OK and it’s done.
Thank you for taking the time to read our first edition of the Microsoft Journey series. We hope you found it helpful, giving you some further insight on OneDrive and how to use it. Stay tuned for more!