Microsoft OneDrive

What is Microsoft OneDrive?

OneDrive is an online cloud storage service from Microsoft. OneDrive integrates with Windows 11 as a default location for saving documents, giving Microsoft account users five gigabytes of free storage space before giving upgrade options.

OneDrive allows users to save files, photos and other documents across multiple devices. A user can also save their files in OneDrive and have it automatically sync on other devices. This means someone can access and work on the same document in multiple locations. OneDrive provides relatively easy access to cloud storage space, allowing options to share content with others.

This image shows the location of OneDrive in Microsoft Word.
This image shows the option to save a Word Document to OneDrive.

How it works

OneDrive integrates with Microsoft Office so users can access Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents from OneDrive. It doesn’t require a download and should already be a part of Windows 11. A Microsoft account is required to use One Drive and users will need to sign in before using it. To sign in, users will need to go to and select “Sign in” which appears at the top of the page.

The system allows users to simultaneously edit Office documents, edit documents in browsers, and create and share folders. OneDrive also offers Facebook integration, automatic camera roll backup and the ability for users to email slide shows. Users can also scan documents and store them in OneDrive.

Users can choose where to save data -- on OneDrive or File Explorer. Those who want to use OneDrive as a data backup platform should have data saved in both locations. However, other users can choose to store their files in either or.

OneDrive also lets users share files stored in OneDrive with anyone. In OneDrive, the user will need to select the folder they want to share, go to the share button on the top toolbar and select to invite people. Users then can enter the email address of those they want to share the file with. If the recipient also has Office 365, then the user can select an option to allow the shared recipient to edit the page. There are also additional options for choosing access privileges in the drop-down menus. From this step, users can click the shared button. Users can also generate links to share files by going to the same share option and choosing “Get a Link.” Additional options include allowing the recipient to edit or not. Users then create a link, select it, and can copy and paste it to whoever they may want to.

OneDrive is also available on mobile platforms -- on Mac, iPhone and Android.

Another feature, called Personal Vault, allows users to store important files with additional protection. Personal Vault allows users to access stored files only with a strong authentication method or adding another layer of identity verification. For example, biometric authentication, PIN, or a code sent to the user via email or SMS.


OneDrive comes with 5 GB of free storage. Users can add more storage space upgrading to a different home or business plans. The home plans include the free basic 5 GB plan, a $1.99 a month 100 GB plan, a $69.99 Microsoft 365 Personal plan with 1 TB of storage space or a $99.99 Microsoft 365 Family plan with 1 TB for six different users -- offering a total of six terabytes for that one plan.

For enterprise customers, Microsoft offers OneDrive for Business. OneDrive for Business is a standalone product separate from Microsoft 365 but is included with Office Online. It includes multifactor authentication, built-in compliance standards and auditing and reporting capabilities. OneDrive for Business offers four plans at four different prices. Each plan, from cheapest to most expensive, will increase the features and amount of storage space with cost. Business Plan 1 is available for $5 per user per month, Business Plan 2 is available for $10 per user per month, Microsoft 365 Business Basic is available for $6 per user per month while Microsoft 365 Business Standard is available at $12.50 per user per month. The highest set range of data storage is up to 25 TB per user in OneDrive for Business.

This was last updated in January 2023

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