OneDrive Review

OneDrive is Microsoft's entry into the big, bad world of cloud storage, and the behemoth from Redmond has gone in with guns blazing. Offering integration with Office as well as many other apps, plus a decent pricing plan, it seems very little stands in OneDrive's way. Or does it? Check out our review for the answer.

obr
By Joseph Gildred
— Last Updated: 31 Oct'18
2015-11-14T05:23:58+00:00
Table of Contents Rating
Features
80%
Good
Pricing
83%
Good
Ease of Use
80%
Good
File Sharing & Sync
83%
Good
Speed
86%
Very Good
Security
55%
Fair
Support
80%
Good

Good
Starts from $ 199 monthly for 50 GB (All Plans)
Visit OneDrive
Cloud Storage Reviews

Microsoft OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) has been a big name in cloud storage for years. In fact, its 2007 launch makes it as old as Dropbox, a chief rival. The question is just how much refinement comes with age. Where technology is concerned, years don’t always translate to success. In this OneDrive review, we’ll answer that question for one service, at least.

The good news is that OneDrive is no hubiC, the recently defunct cloud storage service that left users in a lurch with its sudden folding. Realistically, OneDrive probably isn’t going anywhere soon, even without the subscriber numbers of Google Drive (read our Google Drive review).

While Microsoft haters abound, there’s much to love about OneDrive. It has nice file sharing features, syncs files quickly and comes at a reasonable price. Not only does $6.99 a month get you 1TB of storage, it gets you access to Office 365, Microsoft’s legendary office suite.

In short, OneDrive is one of the better choices for students, office workers and anybody else looking to boost their productivity. It even has some nice options for playing media when you need a break from the grind.

The downside is security. Data stored on OneDrive servers is only encrypted for OneDrive Business users. Home consumer files are left in plain text, which could spell disaster in the event of a breach like Dropbox’s 2012 debacle.

Vulnerability is one of the biggest reasons we don’t rank OneDrive among the best cloud storage providers. We recommend super-secure providers, such as Sync.com and Tresorit, instead.

Keep reading for the details. If you decide to go with OneDrive, we recommend pairing it with a private encryption service such as Boxcryptor. There’ll be more on that later.

Alternatives for OneDrive

Starts from$ 199monthly for 100 GB
  • Google Docs integration
  • Many third-party apps
  • In-app collaborations
  • Strong customer support
  • Weak file-sharing security
  • No private encryption option
  • No block-level sync
  • Cheaper options
Starts from$ 408monthly for 500 GB
  • Zero-knowledge
  • Fast syncing
  • Great interface
  • Secure link sharing
  • No 3rd-party tools
  • No monthly plans

Strengths & Weaknesses


Strengths:

  • Great family plan
  • Office 365
  • Good for collaboration
  • Fast sync
  • Link passwords
  • Video streaming
  • Live chat support

Weaknesses:

  • No server-side encryption
  • Only 30 days of versioning
  • 10GB file size limit
  • No Linux client

Features

80% - Good

The goal of OneDrive is the same as any cloud storage: to reduce the clutter on your hard drive. Instead of storing documents, photos, music tracks and movies locally, store them in the cloud and save your hard drive space for more important things, such as growing your video game library (though there are cloud gaming services, as well).

OneDrive provides 5GB, 50GB or 1TB of storage space, depending on your subscription. All three let you upload files using a sync folder or an online console.

While remote file hosting is the hallmark of cloud storage, sharing the spotlight are file sharing and device synchronization. File sharing lets you grant permission to others to view, download and even edit files. Sync makes sure the same files are available on multiple devices, with file changes made on one device viewable on others in near-real-time.

We’ll cover storage, sync and sharing in more detail later in this review. For now, let’s take a look at the other features that have made OneDrive so popular.

Microsoft Office 365 and Office Online

Aside from Windows, Microsoft’s biggest claim to fame over the past 30 years has been Microsoft Office. That includes software such as Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint.

More recently, Microsoft OneNote established itself as one of the best note-taking apps, perhaps only behind Evernote. Read our OneNote review to find out why we think that’s true.

Longer in the tooth is Microsoft Project, a project management tool that dates back to 1984, but it has seen some revitalization with a move to the cloud. Read our best project management software review to see how it compares to the likes of Wrike and Asana.

No matter the subscription, you can use Office Online for free. In that way, it’s like Google Docs (read our Google Drive review). For desktop versions of Microsoft Office, you’ll need to subscribe to Office 365 or OneDrive Business.

OneDrive Photos and Object Recognition

Photos stored to OneDrive can not only be previewed, but the software will help you locate them later with search, tags and albums. Search locates file names and metadata, as well as text within images using optical character recognition.

In 2017, OneDrive extended that capability to objects. That means it can recognize things such as receipts, dogs and boats. Location data is added to photos as well, and you can add your own tags or remove those you don’t want.

OneDrive and Music

You can store music files of any type on OneDrive, though be careful sharing them if you’re dealing with pirated content since Microsoft may detect it. That’s not to say we condone stealing music; Taylor Swift needs to eat, too. Storing files isn’t an issue if you own the content. Even ripping it from a CD is allowable under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

The bigger issue is finding a decent music player that works with OneDrive now that Groove has been taken out back and shot.

There are a handful of music players in the Microsoft Store that can stream music from OneDrive, but none we’ve played with rocked our socks. For Android users, Cloudbeats and CloudPlayer are two of the better options for OneDrive integration.

OneDrive and Movies

You can play most movie formats from the OneDrive website, including .mp4, Apple and QuickTime videos. It doesn’t support .mkv, so you’ll need to convert them first. The free and open source VLC Media player can do that. Another option is the OneDrive add-on for Kodi.

That’s all handy in a pinch, but we wouldn’t rely on OneDrive to build your home media center. For uninterrupted, HD streaming, nothing beats a personal cloud storage system.

OneDrive Miscellaneous Features

We’re calling these miscellaneous features, even if that undercuts their importance. At the top of the list is file versioning, a feature no cloud storage — or online backup — provider should be without. Versioning rolls back file changes in case of accidental edits, file corruptions or even malicious encryption caused by ransomware attacks.

Until 2017, OneDrive versioning was restricted to Microsoft files. Now, all files are reversible. Previous file versions are kept for 30 days, which isn’t very long. Sync.com Pro subscribers, by comparison, get unlimited versioning. Microsoft promised over a year ago to extend that 30-day mark, but that hasn’t happened.

We’re also concerned that OneDrive limits file uploads to 10GB. That might seem reasonable, but Google Drive allows uploads of up to 5TB, over 500 times the size.

Sync.com doesn’t have file size limits at all.

Pricing

83% - Good

OneDrive has separate pricing for home and business consumers. Our OneDrive Business review covers the suit-and-tie prices. In this section, we’re focusing on families.

Even understanding the split between home and business pricing, Microsoft doesn’t make subscription costs easy to grasp. Basically, there are only two OneDrive plans: OneDrive Basic and OneDrive 50GB.

OneDrive Basic gives you 5GB of free cloud storage. That’s not as stingy as the 2GB of free storage you get from Dropbox, but it’s a far cry from the 15GB Google gives you. It doesn’t come close to making our list of best free cloud storage plans.

If you need more storage from Microsoft, you’ll have to sign up for an Office 365 plan. Again, there are two plans: Office 365 Personal and Office 365 Home. Both give you much more than remote file-hosting space. In fact, Office 365 ranks among the best deals in cloud storage.


PlanFree50GB1TB5TBOneDrive BusinessOneDrive Business AdvancedOneDrive Business All-In-One
Price Plan
Freemonthly
$ 1 99monthly
$ 23 88yearly
$ 6 99monthly
$ 69 99yearly
$ 9 99monthly
$ 99 99yearly
$ 60 00yearly
$ 120 00yearly
$ 15 00monthly
$ 150 00yearly
Storage 5 GB 50 GB 1000 GB 5000 GB 1000 GB Unlimited GB 1000 GB
Details

Comes with Office 365 Personal.

Comes with Office 365 Home.

Microsoft phone & email support .

Unlimited OneDrive storage.

Comes with full Office 365 suite.


Office 365 Personal costs $6.99 a month if you go month-to-month or pay $69.99 for a year in advance, which works out to around $5 a month.

For the sake of comparison, Dropbox costs around $10 a month for 1TB of storage. One of the better deals, pCloud, gives you 2TB of storage for $8 a month. Office 365 has a secret weapon, though, and that’s Microsoft Office.

Not only do you get 1TB of storage, you can download licensed versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote. While anybody can use Office Online for free, the desktop versions have more features.

Office 365 is a great deal. Office 365 Home is even better. For just $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year, you get 5TB of storage for five family members, in addition to Office 365. That makes Office 365 Home the best cloud storage deal for families.

OneDrive has its problems, but value isn’t one of them. We suggest trying the 5GB plan to see if you like the user experience, as well as playing around with Office Online and OneNote.

Ease of Use

80% - Good

Attraction is subjective, and the same holds true when sizing up cloud storage user interfaces. For this writer, though, UIs don’t get much sexier than Microsoft’s entry.

There’s nothing unique about how the OneDrive interface works. Navigation links are down the left, where’d you expect, while content takes up the center space. You can sort content by name, modified date and size and switch between ascending or descending order. You can rearrange folders and files manually, too.

You can also view objects in list form or as tiles.

What makes OneDrive stand out is its use of clear lines, plenty of white space and contrasting colors (black, blue and white) to help your eyes focus quickly on what you’re looking for.

Links along the top let you pull up contacts to initiate Skype sessions, review notifications, tweak settings, such as upgrading storage, and get support. In the top left corner, there’s a button to open applications such as Mail, Calendar, People, Tasks, Skype and all of the Office 365 office tools.

There are also links to upload files and folders from your file system to OneDrive from the interface, rather than using the sync folder, which we’ll cover in the next section.

File Sharing & Sync

83% - Good

Besides storage, there are two other cloud storage features that should be standard for any provider: file sharing and device synchronization. Let’s take them one after another.

OneDrive File Sharing

The easiest way to share files or folders is from OneDrive online. Right-click on the object you want to allow access to and select “share.”

That will open a window. When sharing a folder, checkboxes will let you permit editing, as well as set an expiration date and password. Note that expiration dates and passwords require a premium account, which means OneDrive 365 or OneDrive Business.

Those are invaluable features and $6.99 for a OneDrive 365 Home plan isn’t too much to pay for them. OneDrive didn’t make the most recent iteration of our best cloud storage for sharing article, but that may have been an oversight on our part since Dropbox, which made the list, requires a $20 Dropbox Professional subscription for the same features.

The only sharing features we’d like to see added are download limits for links and upload links to collect documents from coworkers, clients and the like. Check out our pCloud review if those are features you want.

Whether sharing folders or files, you can generate a link that can be posted in Slack channels, social media, spreadsheets or anywhere else. There are even options to automatically post links to Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.

For more control, you can allow individual access based on email address.

Regardless of editing permission, anyone you’ve shared files with can leave comments in the margins. That is a nice way to solicit feedback from peers, clients, editors and others.

Weirdly, you can’t see tracked changes for shared files in Word Online. The tracked changes are kept, but they can only be viewed using the desktop version of Microsoft Word. Unlike Google Docs, there’s no option to suggest edits. That is one of the many reasons we prefer Google Docs to Microsoft Word for producing published content at Cloudwards.net.

OneDrive Sync

Despite a few quibbles, OneDrive receives positive marks for file sharing. The same is true for device synchronization.

The approach used by Microsoft is the tried-and-true sync folder model, first developed by Dropbox in 2007. It’s a simple idea, but simple ideas are generally the best ideas (Earl of Sandwich, anyone?).

The OneDrive sync folder is visually identical to any other folder in your operating system’s file tree. The difference is that it’s connected to the cloud. Any folder or file dropped in the sync folder is stored on both your hard drive and in the OneDrive cloud.

Content placed in this folder gets distributed to other devices synced to your OneDrive account. It’s a quick way to distribute files between devices without having to use a thumb drive.

For those most part, sync with OneDrive is smooth, thanks to better data center infrastructure than you’d get with, say, MEGA. OneDrive performs best when it’s syncing Microsoft files. That’s because for Word, Excel and PowerPoint, it uses block-level copying to speed things along.

Block-level file copying means that when a file is edited, the whole file doesn’t get recopied. Instead, only the changed part of the file — the block — is transmitted. This may seem minor, but when you’re working with many files and collaborating in real-time with multiple people, it will keep you from overwriting each other’s work and otherwise causing confusion.

Before we move on, a brief word on selective sync is on order. Because sync requires that files be stored both on your computer and the cloud, it doesn’t do much for clearing hard drive space. To address that, OneDrive has a selective sync feature.

The feature lets you turn sync off for folders, so that they’ll only be stored in the cloud and no longer take hard drive space.

If you want to go nuts, you can access your OneDrive cloud storage using a network drive. That’s more involved since you’ll need third-party software, such as Mountain Duck, to make it work. Read our how to create a network drive primer for help on that front.

Speed

86% - Very Good

File upload and download speeds for cloud storage providers tend not to vary much, but differences are there. One major factor is infrastructure and server distribution. The more data centers a cloud storage provider has, and the more those data centers are spread around the world, the better the sync speeds are.

You’d be right to guess that Microsoft does well here. New subscribers are assigned to a data center that’s geographically close to where they’re signed up. Note that you must turn off your ExpressVPN service before registering if you don’t want your data stored halfway across the world.

To gauge speeds with OneDrive, we performed a series of upload and download tests using a 1GB folder filled with files of various types. These tests were performed over a WiFi network with 30 megabits per second upload and 160 Mbps download speeds. The results are in the table below.


 Test One:Test Two:Average:
Upload:00:06:5000:05:2000:6:05
Download:00:1:1000:1:1000:1:10

These outcomes are better than acceptable. To put them in perspective, the absolute fastest a gigabyte of data could be uploaded at 30 Mbps is 4 minutes and 46 seconds. Our average was just over six minutes. A few things could account for the difference, including server congestion, encryption and the fact that we were uploading multiple files.

Our download average of 1 minute and 10 seconds was even more on point. The fastest we could have expected a download at 160 Mbps is 53 seconds, so nothing to worry about there.

In both cases, we were happy with the results, especially since most people will usually be working with much smaller files. Remember, too, that you can expect faster uploads and downloads for edited Microsoft Office documents, thanks to OneDrive’s use of block-level file copying.

While we wouldn’t suggest that OneDrive sync outpaces Dropbox (read our best cloud storage for sync), it’s close enough that it should not sway you one way or the other.

Scrolling through comments we’ve received on previous OneDrive reviews, there have been some complaints about failures to upload. We haven’t experienced them, and many of the comments are older, but it’s something to be aware of. If reliable sync is a priority for you, we recommend holding off on getting a one-year subscription until you’ve tested OneDrive for a month or so.

Finally, if OneDrive’s sync speed seems to be affecting system resources, you can manually adjust upload and download speeds. By default, both are unlimited. You can set upload speeds to automatically slow down when there’s an issues, though, or set speed caps for uploads and downloads.

Security

55% - Fair

Every cloud storage service has an Achilles heel, some more than one. For OneDrive, the overarching problem is security. The most glaring issue is that, unlike almost every other cloud storage provider not named Amazon Drive, Microsoft doesn’t encrypt files stored at rest on its servers.

Well, that is unless you’re a OneDrive Business subscriber. Corporate America gets all the perks.

Since your files are not encrypted when stored on OneDrive servers, they are more susceptible to theft in the event of a data breach. Because Microsoft is such a big company and has long been a target for hackers, it’s only a matter of time before this long-standing oversight erupts into a much bigger scandal.

Even if Microsoft’s data centers are strong enough to rebuff cyberattacks, all it takes is one rogue employee with the right credentials to wreak havoc.

If you’re a OneDrive fan who would sign up for service if not for the encryption vulnerability, we recommend pairing it with a private encryption tool such as Boxcryptor. With Boxcryptor, you can encrypt your files before sending them to OneDrive with a password and encryption key that only you know. Files don’t get decrypted until you download them again.

The downside is that you can’t preview or edit files online with private encryption enabled. We recommend creating a private encryption folder for long-term storage and an unencrypted folder for active projects so you can use Office Online without hiccups. If you want to know more about Boxcryptor and how it works, read our Boxcryptor review.

OneDrive does protect files in transit between devices and its server facilities. It does so by using transport layer security, which is standard practice. That will help prevent others from intercepting, altering or otherwise misusing files moving across the internet.

OneDrive provides two-factor authentication to offer a measure of security against stolen or hacked passwords. With 2FA enabled, an additional credential is required when logging in to your OneDrive account from an unfamiliar machine.

You can choose to receive the additional credential via email, phone or an authenticator app. It’s best to never run into the problem in the first place by setting up a strong password or using a cloud password manager such as Dashlane. See our best password manager guide for Dashlane alternatives.

As a U.S.-based company, Microsoft is subject to U.S. privacy laws, which haven’t always had the best reputation. Take, for example, the National Security Agency’s PRISM project, a secret government surveillance that Microsoft was supposedly involved with.

Granted, Microsoft may not have had much choice in the matter, but a company based outside of the U.S. wouldn’t have faced the same dilemma unless it was based in China.

Sync.com in Canada and Tresorit in the Netherlands are two good alternatives for the privacy-conscious. Neither company is beholden to U.S. data laws and both provide private, end-to-end encryption for free. Read our article on top cloud providers based outside the reach of Uncle Sam’s grabby hands for more ideas.

Support

80% - Good

Microsoft maintains an online help center for its software, including OneDrive, Office 365 and Office Online. It isn’t bad, but that should be expected of a company of its size.

You can search for help topics or browse by category. OneDrive categories include “getting started,” “files,” “sharing and collaboration,” “sync,” “mobile and mac,” “accounts and storage” and “troubleshoot.” The website has a number of training pages, many including videos.

If you can’t find what you want on the website, you can either contact Microsoft support or try the community forum. When contacting Microsoft, you start with a chatbot of sorts using what the company calls a “help app.”

Type your question and the tool will try to narrow down the problem. If, at any point, you feel like the approach is going nowhere, you can opt to chat with a living, breathing individual instead.

A live chat window will open and you can try to resolve your issue with a technician. Not only is chat free, it’s available 24/7. That’s a huge advantage over Google, Dropbox, Box and any other cloud storage provider that comes to mind.

If you prefer telephone assistance, you can call support from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. PST on weekdays and 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends.

You can also email OneDrive support from the user interface. Turnaround times are usually within 24 hours, at least, in our experience.

The user forum is another alternative. While user forums can be a great source of outside-the-box thinking, which trained support personnel aren’t always good at, the official Microsoft forum doesn’t seem to generate many responses, either from fellow users or employees.

Overall, though, we have to give OneDrive high marks for support. It’s made great strides in recent years and, in this capacity, at least, outshines the competition.

The Verdict

OneDrive hasn’t always been a good cloud storage service. It’s had some bumps in the road since the SkyDrive days. We’d be remiss to suggest that it’s anywhere near perfect, though. The biggest issues are the lack of at-rest encryption, a mere 30 days of file versioning and a 10GB file size limit.

Besides those, there’s plenty to like. Highlights include nice sharing features, fast sync (especially for Microsoft files), Office 365, OneNote and affordable pricing. Additionally, students and teachers with a valid school address can get Office 365 for free.

OneDrive is one of the kings of cloud storage, along with Dropbox and Google Drive. We’ve put together comparison piece if you’re having trouble choosing between them. As privacy advocates, we’ll be sticking to our favorite zero-knowledge providers, but, for a mainstream cloud storage provider, OneDrive has improved a lot and is worth trying with a 5GB free account.

As always, we invite you to share your opinions on OneDrive below. Thanks for reading.

Starts from$ 199monthly for 50 GB

Sync

Sync Folder
Block-Level Sync
Selective Sync
Bandwidth management
Sync Any Folder

File Sharing

File Link Sharing
Link Passwords
Link Expiry Dates
Folder Sharing
Folder Permissions
Link Download Limits
Upload Links

Productivity

File Previews
Edit Files
In-App Collaboration
Office Online
Google Docs
Notes App
Media Playback
Mobile Apps
Deleted File Retention
Versioning
WebDAV

Security

At-Rest Encryption
In-Transit Encryption
Encryption Protocol
AES 256
Zero Knowledge
Two-Factor Authentication
Server Location
US

Support

24/7 Support
Live Chat Support
Telephone Support
Email Support
User Forum
Knowledgebase

Misc

Free Plan

OneDrive Review

A good, fast service that drops a few balls.

OneDrive is Microsoft's entry into the big, bad world of cloud storage, and the behemoth from Redmond has gone in with guns blazing. Offering integration with Office as well as many other apps, plus a decent pricing plan, it seems very little stands in OneDrive's way. Or does it?
Starts from$ 199monthly for 50 GB
Visit OneDrive

32 thoughts on “OneDrive”

  1. Since I prefer working on my Windows XP desktop rather than my Windows 7 laptop, I never had the chance to try Skydrive before (the PC app is not supported in Windows XP). I thought to myself it was useless trying only one part of the service.
    Today, I have a totally different view of this service after trying both the online account and the PC app. It rocks.

  2. OneDrive works great for me. The only problem I had came from the fact that I got on board when it was still called Skydrive. Microsoft makes or made you create an account as well with their hotmail software. So I had all these names and accounts floating around.
    Once I established the name (Onedrive, not Skydrive!) and figured out that I can use my trusted gmail account (and ditch the hotmail account), I was all set.
    I now have 31 free GB of storage on OneDrive, thanks to referrals and the whooping 15GB awarded by sharing your camera roll. Sweet!

  3. Remark. One Drive is a work-everywhere-on-the-go application. Don’t confuse it with auto-cloud storage. If you want to clear your HDD from space consuming files like photos and back ’em up in the cloud, One Drive is not for you because:
    1. Files you select for upload, are first copied to a different place on your HDD. And they stay there, thus doubling the actual storage space on your computer! So 10 gigs for upload turns to 10+10=20 gigs on your hard drive.
    2. It’s a drag and drop application no background back-up utility.

    My advice: buy yourself a personal cloud like Western Digital My Cloud. Full access on the go AND back-up utility.

  4. I have recently had a very disappointing and frustrating experience trying to transition to OneDrive. The online Microsoft support was almost useless. They only answer one question at a time and it takes at least 24 hours for each. I gave up after 2 weeks of emails going back and forth. In the meantime OneDrive had caused many of my photo (and possibly document) files to be corrupted. And had “trashed” 1500+ of my files without me knowing it. (I was able to restore them when I found them in the recycle bin.) There is no way to pause the document syncing with OneDrive – which is especially problematic when you need to upload many existing files. And there is no good way to know on your local machine which files have actually been synced to the cloud or not.
    Even though it is a bit more costly, I have not had any of these issues in the 3 years I have been using Dropbox.

  5. I have used Onedrive for 2 years, it has always been a bit flaky but it was free for 15gb and I figured I would pay when I exceeded that.

    UNTIL TODAY, Microsoft has reneged on what it promised, it just reduced by 66% the capacity I am allowed.

    It now holds a gun to my head saying I have to pay or get my data off within a year or it will be deleted.

    No problem, I will get the data off and upload to MEGA.NZ where I get 50gb free. I will also use another free service as a backup.

    There is some awful office 365 offer that they can stick where the sun does not shine.

    I WILL NEVER TRUST MICROSOFT AGAIN and in my day job I have proposed and had accepted the move of 2000 clients from msoffice to OpenOffice. Payback is a beatch!

    The was such a stupid stunt by Microsoft, my phone would have filled that 15gb in time, now we are done, how could I EVER trust Microsoft again?

    I would vote less than one star but this page seems to set a minimum of 2.

  6. I have stored all my files photos included on one drive. In spite of the guarantee of security. I was scammed with a virus andALL files were rendered I accessable and Microsoft has done nothing to help. Do not trust it at all .

  7. Just my two cents but, from an unbiased viewpoint, I’ve tried most of the cloud syncing heavy weights (OneDrive, Google, Dropbox, Sugarsync, etc) and – whilst I switched between a few for a good while – I eventually settled on OneDrive.

    The reasons I feel OneDrive is the best of the aforementioned bunch are given below:
    – Good reliability with syncing. In it’s early days, I felt the syncing in OneDrive was troublesome with lags/duplicates but I’ve noticed much better performance as time has gone on and I’m glad I stuck with it as I haven’t had any problems for the past year.
    – Relatively cheap
    – Lots of storage space. I was lucky as an earlier adopter I managed to amass 30Gb free cloud storage.
    – Useful integration, particularly if you’re a Windows 10 user.
    – Reliable “version history” to restore documents to previous versions.
    – Microsoft Office intergration.

    However, OneDrive isn’t perfect by any means (I’m unbiased, remember!). Microsoft has shrunk the free storage for new users and the syncing isn’t perfect as it can be slow at times (although it’s much better than earlier versions and is now very good in my oh-so-humble opinion).

    So, all-in-all, I’d definitely recommend OneDrive for personal use. If you are thinking about signing up, please feel free to go via this link which will give you (and myself) an extra 500Mb free storage:

    https://onedrive.live.com?invref=44e6160f0c3d8b35&invscr=90

    Thanks for reading! 🙂

  8. Did Microsoft really need to go backwards and wind back my 15gb to 5gb? No. Does it leave a bad taste in my mouth.
    Yes

  9. Just had to abandon OneDrive as its syncing is too unreliable. The concept of it is really good, but when I looked back through some of my online files I discovered it hadn’t been syncing for the last 6 weeks, although by all appearances it seemed to be. No matter what I tried – even uninstalling it completely and reinstalling it – I couldn’t make it work again. I started reading some forums and discovered that many people have been having the same problem.
    It means having to give up Office 365 but as far as I can see that’s no great loss. I was having issues with Excel & Word anyway.
    I’ve now decided that Google Drive is the one for me. Very simple to set up, I’ve never had an issue with it, and I can just switch to using Google Docs.

  10. I cannot emphasis enough how Onedrive has quickly become a loathsome cloud storage. I was introduced to this feature in 2014 when I purchased my 360 account and was told I had unlimited storage, which became a life saver when my desktop, a 32GB system, was damaged a year ago. Now that I have been able to replace my system with an equally efficient laptop, 1TB system, I can not access my art work, videos, report…etc. And I found all my work in the recycle bin! They won’t let my download anything and I can’t restore the files because they limited my storage to 5GB!!!! As a designer and artist I will never trust Microsoft ever again with cloud based storage or business needs because their greed gets in the way. Luckily I have copies of most files and also have video and photo files automatically upload to google. I have disabled Onedrive automatic interaction with my system and will have it completely uninstalled by the end of the week.

  11. I had all sorts of problems with Onedrive, which Microsoft online help could not answer. It mysteriously lost some of my files (fortunately I had them backed up on an external device). I still don’t understand it. I only want to store data offline as insurance, which is easy using an external device. How can automating it be so much more complicated? Why can’t Microsoft make products which are user friendly?

  12. I’m relieved I’m not only one having problems with OneDrive. It promises a lot, but doesn’t deliver. I had hoped it would sort my situation easily — one computer in apartment in Europe and one here in Australia, and I would be able to find all the same stuff on both….in my dreams!!! Each device presents a different set of file, and some of the docs are just not there, or ‘read only’ when I do track them down. Will just lug the external HD/backup backwards and forwards as before.
    Support I think has tried…but I just don’t understand most of what they say….lost in translation.

  13. OneDrive is not reliable. I lost 2 days of excel changes and thought my file would update to one drive after I closed but did not get an alert to save changes before exiting. I tried auto save to Onedrive but still would loose changes when closing excel. I now save to my IPad instead of Onedrive and have no problems with changes and updates saved.

  14. I have been having all sorts of problems with Onedrive, which Microsoft online help could not shed any light on why it was happening. It mysteriously lost some of my files and some pages from a workbook on excel. I started using OneDrive as a way to back-up my data, but as it turned out I would have been better off leaving it on my hard drive. I trusted Microsoft with some of my billable hours and they were lost, ugh! I agree with a previous poster, “Why can’t Microsoft make products which are user friendly?” And when they have a good product leave it alone and don’t change it! I get so frustrated, we finally figure software out and how to fix it and work with it and here comes another up-date, then we start all over again!

  15. I expected OneDrive to work like another drive folder on my device. Instead managing and moving files is difficult if not impossible, files mysteriously disappear and reappear, it’s a fussy, unreliable, unstable waste of space.

  16. Onedrive is ruining my new computer experience. I have disabled it more than once. everytime it comes back and it locks me out of my pictures folder that I ACTUALLY WANT on my computer. JUNK JUNK JUNK JUNK JUNK JUNK JUNK. Microsoft, I thought you were better than this, I GUESS NOT. next computer will be a MAC, GUARANTEED

    1. I have had a similar experience. I went to remove it and it removed all my files and important documents. I redownloaded it but not everything is there. Why does it come preinstalled. They are doing a shitty job advertising it preinstalling it on all computers.

  17. Onedrive is absolutely useless and complete junk. How can anyone even begin to say they have the ability to sync files. They change the modified date to the date a file is uploaded. What good is that!!!. You can not tell when you last modified a file, only when you last uploaded it to Onedrive. This is a complete waste of a service. I’m rethinking the whole Microsoft Office product line because of this. It has definitely reduced my confidence in Microsoft back to close to zero and reaffirms my belief that the biggest negative effect on the modern day computer has been Microsoft, next only to Apple. If it wasn’t for these two organization we would be leaps and bounds more technologically advanced.

  18. Looking over the more recent comments for OneDrive (2017) I am happy to say I am not experiencing the issues a lot of users/former users are complaining about (knock wood) – I have the 1tb Office Online subscription (it is honestly worth the 10 bucks a month for me – I use Office a LOT on a LOT of devices from Mac to Android to Windows) – and with 3 Windows laptops (running 7 & 10) a Yosemite mac, several Android phones and tablets – for the most part the accessing, up & downloading of files/folders works very well. Office creations opened and edited across these platforms have (so far) survived with no damage or unwanted alteration. In fact, my only real issue is that on a couple of devices, the sync seems to have a significant time-lag (sometimes several hours) between actual drop and accessibility from another device, but only with those 2, leading me to wonder if it is a device issue as opposed to a OneDrive issue. My dl/ul times are SMOKING compared to the ones mentioned in this article as well.
    I do agree that it really sucks that MS decided NOT to grandfather-in the users who already had accounts at 15gb when they rolled back the allotted free space to 5gb – it would have been a nice “thank you” to let them keep that 10gb for hanging in with them as OneDrive evolved.
    Online “cloud” storage is a little spooky, no matter who you get it from, if your stuff is “out there” somewhere, there is always a risk factor that someone else can find a way in – data loss is also a real morsel to chew, what if the internet went down for days, or even longer- and your stuff was in some “cloud” (any “cloud”) and out of your reach? Yikes, right? So I do keep a physical external backup of my stuff.
    All in all, though – I think OneDrive is pretty darn good, and the integration of device platforms, Office access from all those platforms, reliability (at least from my setup) works well. I’m content.

  19. This is the most HORRIBLE cloud drive or all! Only syncs 70% of files because of various “problems” the no other cloud drive I’ve ever used has ever had. Stupid things like there being a space in the beginning of the title have to be changed – which is a major issue when uploading large folders full of files. Also, the Mac App is half broken. It’s easier to just open the folder in Finder because when u do it through the menu bar it only takes you to the parent folder- adding unnecessary steps! I could go on but I’m so done with this app.

  20. Would be great if it worked. Unfortunately, I uploaded all my files assuming I’d be able to access them while on a business trip & wasn’t able to. At all. No one I asked knew how to use it either, and one even said they’d tried & could never get it to work. So, not real thrilled with this. Also not seeing where to leave a star rating on here…..

  21. I do not like the one drive. I have tried to cancel and go back to using my excel and word that was downloaded to my Mac. Its horrible I can not get rid of it… I have not used it since 2016 and its still causing me problems with my reg word and excel.

  22. This is unbelievable . Do not buy this product… it is horrible. You can not get rid of it once you have signed up for it without losing all of your excel and word programs. I had bought the word program and had it downloaded to my Mac prior to purchasing the one drive.. The one drive will not let me work in excel unless I renew my subscription. I have tried to get rid of it since I purchased it. This was in the middle of 2016. I have emailed them numerous times and never get any response. I really need help with this….

  23. We were given 5GB “free space” on OneDrive. I didn’t ask for it, it just appeared and began syncing our information. When it ran out of space, we received constant notices that we need to pay for more space. Apparently at some point the “free space” moved up to 15GB and now it is going back down to 5 GB! So we are getting emails that tell us that our information will be frozen unless we pay them! I don’t see a lot of difference between this scam and computer hijackers who demand you pay them in order to get your computer back.

  24. You have to be careful because Iost all of the data I had. I utilized the 15 gb free storage. Then they only gave 5gb and I lost that data and more because I didn’t renew the package 365. I’m not sure who idea was to downgrade from 15gb of free to 5, but you might as well as have an external drive to keep your data safe. Microsoft failed. I had trouble downloading to onedrive, it was trying to capture my old account instead of the new one. I went around in circles. Mocrosoft failed. I’m still having problems with the office package I paid for office 2016 because I’m being kicked out. It’s not accepting my key code the next time I log in. too many problems!

  25. Microsoft has deleted my OneDrive account, as they said “due to my inactivity” with out any prior notice, although I have been singing in daily……………….?!
    All my info, research, resume, photos and etc has been lost and, now can not be retrieved?!
    WHY ARE WE BUYING MICROSOFT?

  26. I have loved using OneDrive for years now. But recently I have had an issue where when my files try to sync, OneDrive doesn’t recognize my files being the same and then starts moving everything into a new folder. Then repeats the process over and over again. Any links for sharing no longer work. And the only help now is via email from a country on the other side of the planet. I only get emails around midnight. And they send me steps that don’t correspond to my computer screen. I have contacted Microsoft as many ways as possible and so far all I get is the only way to get support is through email. Looks like I’m back to Dropbox. And an Apple next time?

  27. I needed OneDrive because it was the only way a friend had to get me photo – I signed up believing it was easy to cancel. Not. Password reset wouldn’t send me email or call. Couldn’t get in. Support said they’d send me access in another 30-days (wait for us to charge you another month). POS design to fraudulently keep you subscribed.

  28. Holy crap what a mess this is. It wouldn’t be so bad if I had not been steered toward a smaller storage laptop because “YOU GET A TERRABITE IN THE CLOUD WITH OFFICE 365.” One of my overarching goals was to copy my 125 GB of music to the cloud for safekeeping (and gee, maybe even stream from the cloud when I am not home….is that so hard? Apparently yes. I missed the halcyon days of the Groove App). Yes, I know I can do it on the laptop, but I really don’t want my laptop to be my MP3 player.

    Anyway, after spending a few days uploading said music and files to the cloud I thought maybe I could at least sync itunes from there. Colossal mistake as it took as long to do that as it did to upload everything to the cloud. I could not understand why it was taking so long because I thought it just imported the file paths. No, it was making a whole extra copy of my music on my hard drive (yes, and I unchecked that box).

    I was hoping to have two libraries…one directing to OneDrive and the other to my external. Well, I had it all working fine on the external, but doing this EFFED it all up good and proper (I thought that by creating a new library it was possible to store the links to both locations….NOOOOOOO).

    Anyway, I left it running over night because I did not want to stop it (because it completely rearranged all my cloud folders so much so that until it finished I thought it deleted most of my library). Thankfully that did not happen. But while searching music folders for what could possibly be taking up all the space on my laptop, I finally found it under “MY Name, One Drive.”

    Then I tried to delete everything but it kept popping up like in a giant game of whack a mole until I got rid of the cloud based and local garbage files (and it placed a crapton of stuff into the onedrive recycle bin).

    Oh my god what a mess!!!!

    Here is my question, if I wanted local music on my drive I would have gotten a bigger computer!!! If you don’t select Music as an accessible folder, you can’t see it to drag to it.

    So the only option I have no to keeep 125 GB of music from incessently downloading/syncing is to Unlink OneDrive. And get this. It is super buggy when I try to upload via the web based interface (crashing freezing etc.)

    What I am left with is a copy of my music in the cloud (which is good if my entire house burns down), but I can’t do a damn thing with it and I have to manually integrate files that I add to my external hard drive, one at a time (or a folder at a time since there is no way to just sync only the new stuff without a massive time suck).

    So that is my frustrating story. If I want to actually listen to my music via streaming I have to move it to another cloud service…. I think.

    And if there are typos too bad. I ranted out this screed in less than a few minutes and I couldn’t be bothered to proofread.

  29. OneDrive is a disappointment. It is slow – 30GB takes four days to sync. It skips files that can not be copied for whatever reason. Microsoft does not have solutions to fix these issues soon. If your sense of urgency is higher than Microsoft’s, then go somewhere else.

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OneDrive Review

A good, fast service that drops a few balls.

OneDrive is Microsoft's entry into the big, bad world of cloud storage, and the behemoth from Redmond has gone in with guns blazing. Offering integration with Office as well as many other apps, plus a decent pricing plan, it seems very little stands in OneDrive's way. Or does it?
Starts from$ 199monthly for 50 GB
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