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Managing files with OneDrive

In this article you will find step-by-step guidance on setting up your view in OneDrive; uploading files and folders; creating new folders and Office.
© Tablet Academy Ltd

In this article you will find step-by-step guidance on setting up your view in OneDrive; uploading files and folders; creating new folders and Office documents within OneDrive; copying, moving, and deleting files; and restoring deleted files from the Recycle Bin.

Set up your view in OneDrive

In the image below we can see a view of OneDrive.

User interface of OneDrive

In this image, files and folders are displayed in a list. Your view of OneDrive may be different, since you can control the way that files and folders are displayed.

The different elements and controls for OneDrive are described below.

  1. My Files: The main part of the screen is where your files and folders are displayed. You can change the order they are displayed in using the drop-down arrows next to the column headings.
  2. View Options: Change the way files and folders are displayed. You can choose from: list, compact list, or tiles.
  3. Sort: Control the order in which files and folders are displayed. You can choose to sort them by: name, date modified, modified by, file size. You can also display them in ascending or descending order.
  4. My Files: Contains useful shortcuts to: My Files (all your files), Recent (files you have recently added or changed), Shared (files you have shared with other people) and Recycle Bin (where files you have deleted are stored for a period of time, normally 60 days).
  5. Quick Access: Contains shortcuts to document libraries that have been shared with you. These could be document libraries of Teams you are a member of, or of SharePoint sites.

Upload files and folders to OneDrive

The simplest way to upload a file (or folder) to OneDrive is to use drag and drop, which is shown on the GIF below.

  1. Open File Explorer on your computer and locate the file you want to upload.
  2. Click and hold on the file and drag it over the OneDrive files area.
  3. Release your mouse button and the file will ‘drop’ into your files.

Tip: If you drop the file onto a folder in OneDrive, the file will be saved in that folder.

Dragging from File Explorer and dropping it into OneDrive

Alternatively you can use the Upload button:

  1. Click the Upload button
  2. Select Files for a single file, or Folder to upload a whole folder
  3. File Explorer will open: browse to and select the required file
  4. Click Open
  5. The file will be uploaded to OneDrive

The OneDrive user interface showing how to upload a file.

Create a new document or folder

From within OneDrive you can create a new folder, or create a new Office 365 document in one of the following apps: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, or Forms for Excel.

To create a new Office document:

  1. Navigate to the folder where you require the document to be saved
  2. Click the New button
  3. Select the type of document you require e.g. Word
  4. Word Online will open and the document will be created in the current folder.
  5. The document will have a generic name e.g. Document1. To change the name of the document, click the button labelled – Saved and enter a new name.

The OneDrive user interface showing how to create a new document.

To create a new Folder

The process is essentially the same as creating a new file:

  1. Navigate to the folder where you require the new folder
  2. Click the New button
  3. Select Folder
  4. Enter a name for the new folder
  5. Click Create

Copy and move files and folders

The controls to manage files can be accessed in two ways. Many controls are shown as buttons at the top of the My Files area. In addition, right-clicking on a file or folder reveals a complete list of controls. We will use the right-click method below.

To copy a file

  1. Right-click on the file
  2. Select Copy To
  3. In the pane that appears on the left, select the location e.g. OneDrive. Keep clicking until you are within the folder where you want to store the copy of the file
  4. Click Copy here
  5. If you navigate to the folder a copy of the file will be there. The original will remain in its original location

Tip: To select more than one file to copy, click the checkboxes (tick marks) on the left side of the filenames. Then right-click and proceed from step 2 above.

The OneDrive user interface showing how to copy a file.

To move a file

The process is very similar to copying a file

  1. Right-click on the file
  2. Select Move To
  3. In the pane that appears on the left, select the location e.g. OneDrive. Keep clicking until you are within the folder where you want to move the file
  4. Click Move Here
  5. The file will be moved to the new location

Deleting files and restoring deleted files

Files and folders you delete from OneDrive are retained in the Recycle Bin for a period of time before being permanently deleted. The retention period is usually 60 days but this may be increased or decreased by your organisation. Files and folders left in the Recycle Bin for longer than the retention period are permanently deleted and cannot be restored.

To delete a file

  1. Right-click on the file
  2. Select Delete
  3. A pop-up will appear asking you to confirm your choice
  4. Click Delete
  5. The file will be moved to the Recycle Bin

To restore a file from the Recycle Bin

  1. On the Navigation Pane (left side of the screen) click Recycle Bin
  2. Locate the file you wish to restore and right click on it
  3. Select Restore
  4. The file will be restored back to the location it was deleted from

The OneDrive user interface showing how to restore a deleted file from the recycle bin.

© Tablet Academy Ltd
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