Storage has been one of the essentials in our digital life. Of course, the bigger, the better, isn’t it? If you’re a Windows 8 user, you can maximise Microsoft’s cloud services via One Drive, formerly known as SkyDrive, which is automatically integrated on the system. While most of us use non-Microsoft cloud storage like Dropbox, Google Drive, and iCloud, to name a few, we can apply these useful and simple hacks to beef up the features since it’s already installed.
Note: If you don’t have the OneDrive client in your system, (Windows 8-powered devices have it installed in the system), you can download it via the official website.
Technically, Microsoft users have 15GB free cloud storage, but you can expand that, too. Later, we will show you how.
Note: If you have activated OneDrive, a folder is already created in the system (you can see the icon OneDrive) in the File Explorer, and it will add and sync the files and folders whenever you save them in that path.
1. Get additional 15 GB storage for free
As mentioned earlier, Microsoft users are given 15GB of free storage space by default. However, if you select to automatically upload or backup your photos to OneDrive, you will receive an additional 15GB of free storage. So, you have a total of 30GB storage then. Keep in mind that whatever you sync and upload to the cloud is at your own risk, especially when we talk about privacy and security issues. Check out this forum for more information.
How to get it: drag your mouse to the upper-right corner to activate the Charms and click “Settings -> PC Settings -> OneDrive -> Camera Roll -> Upload photos at good quality.” You can also toggle on the video uploads.
2. Recover your OneDrive files with File History
In connection with our previous post on activating file history to recover files, did you know you could also use it to recover deleted files or retrieve old versions of files? However, you have to activate File History to make this happen. When activated, it works well with your OneDrive folder. Just follow this simple tutorial to recover personal files with File History.
How to do it: when you’re in the File History, right click on the file you want to restore, select “Restore to” and choose OneDrive folder or to its original OneDrive location.
3. Configure OneDrive options
You can also set up and configure OneDrive options by right-clicking the icon in the notification area and selecting Settings. You can customize the options depending on how you want to access and sync files.
How to customize OneDrive: You can set up all your files to be available across devices. Check the “Make files available even when this PC isn’t connected to the Internet” box under the General Settings, or for more options, click the “Go to PC Settings.”
4. Add OneDrive on Context Menu File Explorer
To easily access and organize your files, you can create a shortcut on the Context Menu of the File Explorer and add “Send to OneDrive” whenever you right click a file or folder.
How to do it: on your File Explorer URL, type:
Right click an empty space and Choose New to create a shortcut.
Browse the OneDrive path to add it as a shortcut.
Label it as OneDrive (or whatever name you prefer, such as SkyDrive), and click Finish to create the shortcut.
5. Sync Windows 8 settings on OneDrive
OneDrive works beyond its cloud storage feature. Microsoft also allows you to sync your Windows 8 settings to OneDrive, and when you switch to another device using that same OneDrive account or Microsoft ID, you’ll find them as they are, including the font, themes, and configurations, among others. How can you do this? Activate the Charms button, and then select “Settings -> Change PC Settings -> Sync your settings.”
6. IFTTT + OneDrive = Back up your Instagram photos
Last but not the least, another useful hack that we would like to add is this cool IFTTT app + OneDrive combo that allows you to back up your Instagram photos to OneDrive cloud.
How to back up your photos: It’s better to create an account using a web browser and verify your email after. On your screen, browse “My Recipes” and type in the search bar: OneDrive. You will see hundreds of results. On top of these results, you will find the “Save your Instagram photos to OneDrive.”
You need to sign in with your Instagram account plus OneDrive to add these channels (preferably, using your web browser). After linking these two, you’re good to go.
You can also do this on your mobile devices – download the app (iOS App Store | Google Play Store | Windows Store) – to see how it works. However, it’s advisable to connect and add these recipes on a web browser because it’s easier. The IFTTT app has some bugs, so sometimes you need to sign in many times before you access your account.
What else did we miss? Any OneDrive hack(s) you have in mind? Feel free to share them with our readers.