Get Your OneDrive Items Offline

I’ve told you how much I love and use OneDrive… wait, I didn’t?  Actually I did, I told you I loved SkyDrive, but now SkyDrive is OneDrive.  Only the name changed, nothing else did. Anyway, I must tell you if you’re not taking advantage of the OneDrive desktop application you are MISSING OUT!

If you’re using Windows 8 or 8.1 it’s probably already installed, but if you uninstalled it or somehow never got it, just head on over here to download it for free.

The desktop app takes your OneDrive files and allows you to access them just like any other file on your computer, as opposed to going to OneDrive.Com or their Windows 8 app to access the item(s). This will work even if you’re offline.

So if you have a document you use all the time, but you’re on a plane without WiFi- just open your OneDrive folder and pick it out. Any changes you make, online or offline, will automatically synchronize to your OneDrive account and your newest changes will be available on any device that you use.

They’ve recently made some slight adjustments to the desktop app, and I thought I’d point them out here.

In previous versions of the application, everything synced.  In other words, if you have 1 GB of photos, and 1 GB of documents, you’d have that total of 2 GB online, but it would also be taking up the same amount of space on your PC.

No more, now, with the newest version of the desktop application you can pick and choose (down to specific files) what’s online and what’s offline.
OneDrive offline (2)OneDrive offline (1)
Just right click an item, and choose “Make available offline.” Or if something should only be in the cloud, not on your device, right click and choose “online only.”
OneDrive offline (3)

Why would you use this?  Well, I have 2GB of photos in my OneDrive account and 500MB of documents.  I need the documents with me all the time, online and off, but the photos I really don’t need, especially on my Surface which has limited space.  So my Documents folder is available offline, but my Photos folder is online only (meaning I’ll only be able to access that item if I’m connected to the internet).

Another change they made recently: whether the items are available online offline or not, you can still see them in your OneDrive folder whether you’re online or not. If you need to open something that’s not available offline, just click on it and it will immediately start downloading and open (assuming you have an internet connection, of course.).

I hope this helps a bit if you’re using OneDrive. And remember, don’t be fooled that they changed the name from SkyDrive to OneDrive. Same great service and features!

Do you use OneDrive?


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