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How To Setup OneDrive.

How to setup Onedrive on your Windows 10 & Windows 11 computer What Is OneDrive?

To make use of OneDrive, you’ll need to have a Microsoft account. MS accounts are free and you probably already have one. If you’ve got an email address ending with @hotmail, @live or @msn. You’ve also got an account if you sign into your computer using a Microsoft account, regardless of your email address. If you don’t have an account, you can easily create one.

Once it’s setup, OneDrive gives you 5GB of storage space for free, that’s not a huge amount and you can quickly fill up your allocation. You can, obviously, buy more storage space if you’d like to, but remember that will be an on going cost.

You can also get more storage with a Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) subscription. With a Microsoft 365 subscription you get 1TB (1000GB) of storage space, or even more depending on which plan you’re on.

Setting Up Onedrive.

If you log in to your computer using a Microsoft account (which many of us already do), then you might find that OneDrive is already setup on your computer. If that’s the case then all that’s really needed is to decide which folders you want backing up.

Open File Explorer by pressing the Windows key and the letter E on your keyboard. In File Explorer, click on OneDrive in the in the left hand panel (the navigation panel).

If OneDrive opens and displays some files and folders, then it’s actually already setup and syncing your files.

But if it opens with the “Set up OneDrive” splash screen, then obviously it isn’t and you’ll need to enter your Microsoft account details.

OneDrive folder open in Windows 11. Synced files and folders are shown.
OneDrive is already setup if you see files and folders.
"Set up OneDrive" windows is open. Email address box is displayed.
But if you get this window open, then you’ll need to log in with your MS account details.

Signing In To OneDrive.

Signing in to OneDrive is fairly easy to do. Simply enter the email address that you used to create your Microsoft account and then click the Sign In button.

Then enter your MS account password and click the Sign In button.

And finally you need to choose whether you want to “use this account everywhere on your device”.

Personally I go for the Microsoft apps only option, but it’s entirely up to you.

Email address entered and the Sign In button is highlighted.
Enter your MS account email address and click the Sign In button.
Password entered and Sign In button marked.
Enter your MS account password and click the Sign In button.
"Microsoft apps only" option indicated.
Choose whether you want to use your Microsoft account everywhere on your computer or just for Microsoft apps.

When you’ve successfully logged into your MS account, you’ll see a window titled “Your OneDrive folder”. Click the Next button.

And then you’ll see an advert for Microsoft 365. Assuming you’re not interested, click the Not Now button.

Next button indicated.
Your OneDrive folder is here.
Not Now button marked.
Would you like to enroll in Microsoft 365?

Setting Up OneDrive Folders.

By default, OneDrive will normally backup (or sync) your Desktop, Documents and Pictures folders by default. That may or may not be what you want. It really all depends on how much data you’ve got stored in those folders. Remember that to use your OneDrive account for free, you have to stay within the 5GB storage limit.

OneDrive will show you the folders that it’s going to back up. You can deselect any of them by clicking the toggle switch beside the folder.

But if the amount of data in the folders will exceed the amount of storage space you’ve got available to you in OneDrive, you’ll need to deselect a folder.

When your within your storage limits, click the Start Backup button.

Start Backup button indicated.
All looks good, click the Start Backup button.
"Over your limit" warning in OneDrive. Largest folder is indicated.
“Over your limit” warning. You’re trying to back up more data than you have storage space available in OneDrive. Deselect a folder or folders until you’re within the limits.
Largest folder has been deselected. Start Backup button is marked.
Once you’ve deselect the over sized folders, you can click the Start Backup button.

Setting Up The OneDrive Personal Vault.

The Personal Vault is a special folder within OneDrive that requires an extra step to setup. The purpose of the vault is to store private or personal files and folders.

Normally, OneDrive opens (is accessible), whenever you start or log in to your computer. That means that anyone could, potentially, see what files you’ve got stored in OneDrive, just as they might with any other folder on your PC.

The Personal Vault is different. Once it’s setup. the vault will require an extra step to open it. That could be a PIN or an authentication app or device.

To setup the Personal Vault, open your OneDrive folder and then double left click on the “Personal Vault” link.

Then click the Next button.

Next button indicated.
Set up your Personal Vault within OneDrive.

Verifying Your Identity.

To setup your Personal Vault, you’ll need to verify your identity. That’s done by sending a code number to either your registered email address or by text message to your phone.

Click the Allow button, then click on either your phone or email address. Type in either your phone number or email address and then click the Send Code button. And finally, enter the code into the box and click the Verify button.

The Allow button is indicated to begin setting up Onedrive Personal Vault.
Click the Allow button to begin verifying your identity for OneDrive.
Email address is marked.
Click on either your registered email address or phone number.
Email address has been entered into relevant box and Send Code button is highlighted.
Type in either your phone number or email address.
Code has been entered and the Verify button is marked.
Finally type in the code that was sent to your phone or email address..


Onedrive is now setup on your computer and will begin syncing (backing up) the folders that you’ve selected to your OneDrive account.

From this point on, any files or folders that you add to either the OneDrive folder itself, or any of your selected folders, will automatically be uploaded to your account. How To Use OneDrive On Your Computer.

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