Tech Tip: How to Share Files with Onedrive

Linda Jenkins, April 02 2015

cloud file sharing via Onedrive
image courtesy freedigitalphotos.net

 

OneDrive (previously SkyDrive) is a cloud-based service that allows users to upload and sync files from a web browser or other device. Windows 8.0 and 8.1 now include OneDrive as the default drive for saving user documents, but the user can also choose to share folders and files across other platforms. This innovation shares aspects of DropBox, as well as Apple's cloud computing, and can be useful for accessing your files from any device. So, if your new business laptop came pre-loaded with Windows 8.1 you may be wondering how to share files. Here is a short guide to setting up your OneDrive for sharing:

 

1 Open the Desktop application in Windows 8.0 or 8.1.


2 Double click on the File Explorer icon in the bottom taskbar.


3 Click on OneDrive in the Directory window on the left hand side.


4 Click on the Share tab in the menu ribbon at the top of the page.


5 Double click on the folder you wish to open then select the file you wish to share.


6 Click the OneDrive button in the ribbon.

 

As OneDrive is intended to be used for cloud computing, the drive's full potential can only be realized by sharing files contained within it. So, once the OneDrive button is pressed, the selected file will be loaded to your live OneDrive account in the Microsoft cloud. From here the file can be accessed from the web, by your browser, or from other mobile devices by downloading the OneDrive app. However, users should bear in mind that this is Microsoft's default drive for saving any user created documents. There is, therefore, the potential danger of sharing everything you create online. As a guard against this happening, there are a couple of security features embedded in the system.

For those who use DropBox, the main security feature for sharing files globally will be familiar. A dialogue box will pop up asking you to enter the email address of the person you wish to share with. This stops the user from accidentally sharing files and folders with everybody on their contact list.

The second major security aspect is a warning that appears if you try and share your whole OneDrive documents folder, reminding you of the potential danger of taking this action. Therefore, if you do wish to share a complete folder, your safest option would be to put the files you want to share into the OneDrive public folder, which is also in the OneDrive directory, then make this the shared folder.

With the innovation of OneDrive, Microsoft has put their own mark on cloud sharing. Microsoft also offers One Drive for Business which accommodates more collaborative features including version tracking for documents so you can keep track of various iterations edited by multiple users. In today's connected world all operating systems need the facility to share files and folders across a range of devices, from other pc's and laptops to tablets and smart phones. No longer is it viable for an operating system to stand alone and, with OneDrive, Windows allows users to access their files wherever they go.

Making use of today's connected devices is crucial to staying competitive, just make sure you have a plan for responsibly disposing of devices that are no longer needed.