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Six clicks: Microsoft OneDrive tricks that make it easy

Microsoft's free cloud storage isn't just for Office files. You can use its rich set of features to share files, photos, and documents. Here are six tricks to help you get more out of OneDrive.
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1 of 6 Ed Bott/ZDNet

Move the OneDrive folder

On a Windows PC, your synced files appear in a subfolder in your user profile folder. But you can move those synced files to an alternate folder or even to a separate drive, if you prefer. The latter strategy is handy if you're using a Windows tablet with limited storage and you want to put your synced files on an SD card.)

In Windows 8.1, the OneDrive sync utility is installed by default. Right-click the folder in File Explorer, choose Properties, and pick a folder from the Location tab.

In Windows 7, install the OneDrive sync utility from Onedrive.com. During setup, you can choose the local folder. If you've already set it up, right-click the OneDrive icon in the system tray and choose Settings. Then click Unlink OneDrive. Move your locally synced files to the new folder and then run setup again.

Previously on six clicks:

Six clicks: What we think we know about Windows 9

Six clicks: What we know about Microsoft's Internet of Things

Six clicks: Weird tricks that will actually make you happier with Windows 8.1

Six Clicks: Dead software we loved

Six clicks: Gadgets to let you do more with your tablet/smartphone

 

 

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2 of 6 Ed Bott/ZDNet

Embed a document in a blog or web page

It's easy enough to share a document, a picture, or a whole folder from OneDrive. The commands are all at the top of the browser window when you navigate to that object.

For pictures and folders, there's also an embed option, which allows you to insert a link into a blog or web page. But how do you do that with a Word Online file or a PDF document?

The simple trick: don't open the document. Instead, find the document entry in its folder and select it by right-clicking. When you do that, you'll see an Embed option on the right-click menu and at the top of the web page. Choose that option and follow the instructions to generate HTML code that you can paste in your blog or web page.

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3 of 6 Ed Bott/ZDNet

Create an online survey

When you sign in to OneDrive in a web browser, you'll see a Create button at the top of the page. Clicking that button leads to a drop-down menu that allows you to create an online Word document, Excel spreadsheet, PowerPoint presentation, OneNote notebook, or text file.

But there's another option as well. Click the Excel Survey option to create a special Excel spreadsheet and build a multi-question survey on the fly. After you're done, you can share a link to that survey that other people can fill in using any web browser. They enter the data, but only you can see the results.

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4 of 6 Ed Bott/ZDNet

Share a full-resolution image

If you open a picture in OneDrive, you see an info pane on the right, with a command bar at the top and an optional caption at the bottom. Click the Share command at the top and you get a link you can send to other people who see this same view.

But what if you just want to share the picture, without all that other stuff? After you create the sharing link to make the picture (or an entire folder) visible to others, click View Original. That opens the picture in the browser at full resolution. Copy the link from the address bar and use that link for sharing.

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5 of 6 Ed Bott/ZDNet

Share two OneDrive accounts

Every account you create in OneDrive gets a minimum of 7 GB of online storage. Your main account is the only one you can sync to a PC, Mac, or tablet, but you can still access other accounts.

If you have a second Outlook.com or Hotmail address, open a web browser (ideally in private/incognito mode) and sign in at Onedrive.com using that account. Create a new folder or use one of the standard folders, then right-click that folder and choose Share. Use the Invite People link to create a link using the address associated with your main OneDrive account.

Click the Recipients Can Only View link at the bottom of the Invite window to change the settings: You want to allow yourself to edit files in that folder, and for security reasons you also want to require that you sign in with your Microsoft account.

When you're done, send the link to yourself. You can now access files from that secondary account by going to OneDrive in a web browser, signing in with your main account, and clicking the Shared link in the pane on the left.

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6 of 6 Ed Bott/ZDNet

Add a cover image to any folder

Normally, when you open OneDrive in a web browser and choose Thumbnails view, each folder cycles through different images from that folder.

For some folders, you might want to choose a specific cover image that identifies that folder easily and never changes. To do so, open the folder, find the image, right-click, and choose Add As Cover from the menu. Done.

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