Confused about OneDrive Solved

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  1.    28 Jun 2016 #1

    Confused about OneDrive

    First post, as a newcomer to Win 10 after 15 years with XP (and all previous Windows OS versions).

    On this page
    I'm reading an explanation of OneDrive:

    "While you can always choose where to save files that you create, ...the default setting is to save files to OneDrive, rather than to your PC.

    Whether you save by default to your computer or to OneDrive, all of your files are available on your PC."

    I'm confused by that "...rather than to your PC."

    OneDrive is a folder on my PC! So saving a file to OneDrive means it gets saved on my PC. It's not an Either/Or choice is it? Shouldn't the wording be "" well as your PC." ?


    I have a Dropbox folder (In XP it was C:\Docs\Dropbox, not sure where it should be in Win 10) . Any files I place
    there are available fairly quickly on my iPad and iPhone. Isn't OneDrive simply the Microsoft equivalent of Dropbox?

    If so, I'm wondering do I actually need OneDrive, as it duplicates Dropbox - and would consume a lot of my SSD.

    Any advice on these puzzling points would be appreciated please.

    Terry, East Grinstead, UK
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    28 Jun 2016 #2

    What you put in those OneDrive folders will be saved to that folder on your PC, and synced (copied) to the matching online OneDrive folder. Log in with the same Microsoft ID on another PC and those files get synced to that PC's local OneDrive folders. The only limitations are how much OneDrive storage you have. You can also share what is in the public folder to others. Right click it and you'll get a "Share a OneDrive Link" option. I've done that and posted the link in posts here to share pictures, videos and files.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    28 Jun 2016 #3

    Thanks, appreciate the fast reply. So I understand you are agreeing that MS are wrong with that explanation. Quite misleading IMO!

    Any advice on my other question by Dropbox users please?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    28 Jun 2016 #4

    You can set it to save to the local Documents, Pictures etc folders, instead of to the equivalent OneDrive folders. I did it. The default on setup is to the OneDrive folders, but there is a "save locally" option. You can switch it after the install too. One of these tutorials should help.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    28 Jun 2016 #5

    From my experience, Microsoft's wording is correct.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    28 Jun 2016 #6

    Whether you save by default to your computer or to OneDrive, all of your files are available on your PC. The OneDrive app, built in to Windows 10, synchronizes your files between OneDrive and your computer, so they are available even when your computer is not connected to the Internet.

    Saved to your PC and OneDrive. You have access even if you don't have an internet connection. Assuming they have already synced to that PC. The green checkmark on the folder means they have synced. If I add files to my OneDrive folder they have an X on them until it syncs to the online folder. Once they match the green checkmark shows up. I chose the "save locally" option during the Windows 10 install. If I save a document or picture, they are saved to my local folders, not the OneDrive ones. I chose what gets saved to One Drive.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    28 Jun 2016 #7

    What Microsoft means when they say "save files to OneDrive, rather than to your PC." is one of context. You can save it to either your local PC or OneDrive. However, if you save it to a non-OneDrive synced folder it will only be on your local PC. If you save it to OneDrive it will also get synced back to your local PC (in the OneDrive folder).
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    28 Jun 2016 #8

    As one who went from XP to 8 to 10, the easiest way to explain is that, for eg; OneDrive Pictures and This PC/Pictures are separate folders. If you wish all your pictures or music to be in the One Drive folders so they can be synced in the Cloud to your other MS devices then leave the default. Or, you can elect to save ALL pictures to the normal Pictures folder that you are used to and select certain pictures to COPY to One Drive, say, rare family photos, in case of fire or hard drive failure (see attached screen for Action Center setting).

    Then you'll have two copies on your PC but one is backed up in the Cloud. I do this for music that I want to share but do not have nearly enough One Drive space to upload my entire collection. Bottom line, if you want to save SSD space, change the Save location for everything to This PC and back up files to an external HD. If you have something to share or can't afford to lose, COPY those files to the corresponding One Drive file. If you right click the One Drive icon in the system tray, you'll find that you select which OD folders to sync too. Good Luck.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  9.    29 Jun 2016 #9

    My thanks to all for those very helpful replies. Much to study now. First step will be to find my way through the complex settings to the one which switches me to minimal use of oneDrive while I consider whether it offers any benefit.

    I'd still like to hear from any Dropbox users on the question of whether both facilities are needed. Seems potentially wasteful and confusing to me.

    Terry, UK
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    29 Jun 2016 #10

    Maybe it's because some people keep the OneDrive "desktop version" turned off but access their OneDrive through their browser and store stuff there, like I do, precisely because that didn't make sense to me-- to have everything on my hard-drive when the reason I was utilizing OneDrive was to free up space.

    From what I understand, in either Windows 7 or 8 (I never used either-- my last PC had Vista) OneDrive had a "placeholder" feature where the actual files themselves weren't what you saw in the OneDrive folder, but rather placeholders that allowed you to know what was being stored in the cloud, but you had to download the file to actually access it locally. This makes far more sense than what we have now, and from what I've seen, there was a big uproar about this feature being done away with, as it rendered OneDrive totally useless for many people with small hard-drives. Maybe some of this confusing phrasing is "left over" from the old OneDrive setup
      My ComputerSystem Spec

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