Add OneDrive online storage to your Mac

Some people may regard Microsoft as the arch enemy, but the company really does quite a lot to support Apple Mac users with great software and services. OneDrive, which was formerly called SkyDrive, offers more online storage for your files and it is more flexible than Apple's iCloud storage for free.

Although Apple provides iCloud storage for files on OS X and iOS, and the service has been opened up a lot recently, it is still not as flexible as OneDrive on Windows. The sharing facilities for example, are not as good as with OneDrive, and you cannot get a link to share publicly or to email.

Microsoft's OneDrive enables you to create a folder on the disk drive which is then mirrored online. Save a file to the OneDrive folder on the Mac's disk drive and it is automatically synced with OneDrive online. Any app can access the files in any folder from any computer with OneDrive on. Files can also be accessed through a web browser and from other operating systems such as Windows, Linux, iOS and Android phones and tablets. The iOS OneDrive app will even automatically upload your photos to the online storage.

Related: Get Microsoft OneNote for the Mac free

You also get more storage space for free than Apple gives you too. On offer is 15GB of storage with the option to gain an extra space for every friend you get to sign up. Add the OneDrive app to your phone, select the option to sync your photos and you get more storage space for free too.

Before you start with OneDrive you need a Microsoft ID. It is best to visit onedrive.com using a web browser and sign up if you don't already have one. This will set up your online storage and make it available through a web browser. Then you can add the OneDrive app to your Mac to mirror the online storage on the lcoal drive.

Go to the Mac App Store and search for OneDrive. Click the button to install it and afterwards, click the OneDrve app in the Applications folder. Click the Get Started button.

Microsoft OneDrive for OS X

The first thing you need to do is to sign in to your Microsoft account. Use the same username and password you used at the onedrive.live.com website.

Microsoft OneDrive for OS X

OneDrive stores files on the local drive, which provides offline access to the files in the online storage. The app needs to be running to keep online and offline files in sync, so you might want to tick the Open at login option. This automatically starts OneDrive each time you start the Mac. Showing a Dock icon isn't important because OneDrive is just a folder on the disk drive and it is accessed using Finder, through Open/Save in apps and so on. You don't need a Dock icon, so hide it.

Microsoft OneDrive for OS X

The next step is to choose the folder on the disk drive to mirror the files and folders stored online in OneDrive. This should be a subfolder of your personal home folder. Here you can see that I have selected the SkyDrive, that's because I am upgrading from SkyDrive to OneDrive, but if you are a new user you can use the New Folder button to create a folder with any name you want. OneDrive is the obvious name choice.

Microsoft OneDrive for OS X

OneDrive can be installed on as many Apple Macs and Windows computers as you want and you might not need to sync every file and folder on every computer. There could be files and folders that you only want to share on your Windows PCs, or your Macs, or you might have a limited amount of storage space on your Mac, such as with a MacBook Air, and don't want to sync everything. (You can upgrade OneDrive and purchase more than 200GB of online storage space, which is more than a MacBook Air's disk.)

Related: Keep being asked for your iCloud Password? Solved!

OneDrive on the iPhone can upload every photo you take to OneDrive automatically, which is useful as a backup. Apple also backs up your photos online, so you might want to exclude the OneDrive Pictures folder from syncing or you could end up with photos stored twice on the disk drive. It's up to you though and if you have lots of disk space then sync all files and folders.

Microsoft OneDrive for OS X

OneDrive will begin automatically syncing the local drive with the online drive. If you are a new user with few or no files, it can be used immediately. If you are already a heavy OneDrive user then it could take an hour or more to download all your files. Just use the OneDrive folder like any other folder on the disk drive, but bear in mind the storage limit, so don't put gigabytes of video footage in it. It is just for files you want to back up online or sync with other Macs and Windows PCs you use.

 

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Comments

3

wow..!! nice post on how to add OneDrive to Mac.

The "Add to One Drive" button is missing on Mac. What shall I do to sync the shared folder of One Drive on my mac?

I'm not sure what you mean by the Add to OneDrive button. OneDrive syncs the folder on your Mac with the online storage automatically. Any file you put in the OneDrive folder is synced, just drag and drop in Finder.

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