How to access the files on your PC from anywhere using OneDrive

Never forget a file because it is on another computer

There is a little known feature on your PC that enables you to access any file from any folder remotely over the internet. Use it when you have forgotten a file on another PC at home or at work.

Access Microsoft OneDrive and you can then access any file on your PC remotely

When you work on more than one computer, such as in different offices, a computer at home and at work, a desktop PC and a laptop, and so on, a common problem encountered by many people is that a file you need is on your other computer.

If you are at home and you need one or more files on your work computer, or if you are at work and need some files you created at home, OneDrive can come to the rescue by enabling you to fetch the files.

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The only requirement is that the computer is switched on and has an internet connection.

This is a great feature and it is very easy to set up remote access in Windows. Your remote computer can be safely located behind a firewall and you, and only you, can still access all the folders and files on it. You can even access your PC files from an Apple Mac or Linux PC remotely over the internet.

Before you start, if you are having problems with OneDrive, sort them out first. Here are some tips for getting OneDrive working smoothly.

1 OneDrive menu options

To set up this feature, right click the OneDrive icon in the taskbar and select Settings on the menu that is displayed

 The OneDrive menu on the PC accessed by right clicking the icon

2 OneDrive Settings

Select the Settings tab and tick the box next to Let me use OneDrive to fetch any of my files on this PC. Then click the OK button to close the window. Do not switch off the PC. It must be running in order for this to work.

 OneDrive settings in Windows on a PC

3 Go to OneDrive

The whole contents of the disk drive is now available through OneDrive. On another PC, whether at home, work or out somewhere a Wi-Fi hotspot, open a browser window and go to Sign in if necessary.

Your normal OneDrive files are listed, but on the left is a PC link. Click it.

 Access Microsoft OneDrive in a web browser on any computer

4 Pick a PC

Your PCs are listed on the left and selecting the one you just enabled OneDrive access on, lists the disk contents. There are tile and list view icons in the top right corner and here is the list view.

 Access Microsoft OneDrive and you can then access any file on your PC remotely

You can access any folder on the disk drive and any file. One or more files can be selected and downloaded, so you can view or edit them on the PC you are currently using. It is great for fetching files you forgot.

There does not appear to be a way to access the PC’s disk drive using the OneDrive mobile apps on Android and iOS. Those are limited to OneDrive files.

You can make OneDrive files available offline on your computer, but that feature is limited to files in the OneDrive folder. The tip above enables you to access the whole disk, which could be hundreds of gigabytes. You can't make the whole disk available offline on another PC.

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