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Tips and Tricks for OneDrive

I find it strange that OneDrive isn’t as popular as its counterparts – Google Drive, Dropbox, etc. While there’s hardly any difference in cloud technology, OneDrive is way better because of Microsoft’s support. 

Why is OneDrive better than Google Drive?

1. It allows you to create and edit documents using Microsoft Office tools. I never purchased Microsoft Office 365 but it made no difference to my work involving MS Excel and MS Word documents. Rather, I have researched formulae for Microsoft Excel with actually purchasing the application. This is because OneDrive allows users to create the exact same version of Microsoft Office documents as the desktop application, sans any cost.

2. The process to sync OneDrive with your Windows system is much easier. Being a Microsoft product, OneDrive is linked to every other Microsoft technology possible. The OneDrive icon is present on your Windows taskbar by default. All you need to do is click on it and sign-in. Microsoft has a pre-created OneDrive folder for you and sharing between OneDrive and your system is easy. While Google Drive has a similar option, they are neither present on your Windows system by default, nor easy-to-use.

3. OneDrive is more secure than its rivals. While cloud services are considered safe because of their secure servers and other protocols, all one needs for accessing your account is the username and password. The data isn’t on a machine, thus accessible from anywhere across the globe. OneDrive doesn’t share your complete phone number while logging and requires you to enter the phone number yourself, thus adding an extra layer of security.

4. Skype for Web can be accessed from OneDrive online itself. Earlier the option to access Skype was on the document itself. Though the option isn’t present now, you can access Skype for Web from OneDrive. This would make communication easier while working on a professional document.

Some of the useful tips and tricks for OneDrive are as follows:

1. Automated albums

If you are a traveller and visit a lot of places and click a lot of pictures, this feature would be helpful for you. Whenever you upload photos to OneDrive, they get organized into albums automatically. This feature is activated by default, but you can deactivate it by turning OFF the switch for Create albums automatically when I upload photos here

The algorithm is adjusted so that the albums are created as per the location and time, though smart photos technology can help organize the albums better.

2. Sync OneDrive with Microsoft Photos

The Microsoft Photos application is present on all Windows 10 systems by default. OneDrive can be synced with Microsoft Photos. This way, whenever you upload a photo to the Pictures folder of your system (or certain selected directories), the photos would be synced with OneDrive automatically. 

To activate this feature, search for “photos” in your Windows 10 search bar. Open the Photos app from the options.

Click on the 3 dots on the top-right corner and select Settings from the list.

Scroll down to Show my cloud-only content from OneDrive and turn the switch associated with it to ON

You can select whether you wish to sync the Pictures folder only or all folders.

3. Set an expiration date to links

Premium users of OneDrive have the option to set an expiration date to the links of documents they create or upload to OneDrive. This is very useful for those who share their documents publicly and permit editing of documents. By adding an expiry date, you can be sure that your document will be deleted securely even if you forget to delete it manually. The procedure to add an expiry date to a document is as follows:

Open the document in OneDrive.

Click on Share to access the sharing properties.

Click on Anyone with this link can Edit/View.

Set an expiration date for the document and hit Apply.

4. Manage access to the document using a password

It is common for users to send links to documents over email. For a protected document, the other user needs to have a Microsoft account and then you would have to allow the user access. This becomes cumbersome for multiple users, especially if most of them do not have Microsoft accounts.

In this case, you could use password protection for your documents as follows:

Open the document, click on Share, and go to sharing properties.

Click on Anyone with this link can Edit/View.

Enter a password in the Set password field and hit Apply.

Hope these OneDrive tips and tricks make your experience better.

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