Microsoft OneDrive provides free online storage for its users. With OneDrive, you can easily sync your files between PC and cloud to work with the files when you’re on the go!
After you sync Microsoft OneDrive, you will be able to access your files from any device – computer, mobile phone, or tablet with your Microsoft Account. When you add, edit or delete a file or folder in your OneDrive folder, the same will be reflected on the OneDrive website and vice versa.
Watch How to Sync Microsoft OneDrive on YouTube and give it a thumbs-up!
In this article, we will cover the following topics in detail:
Let’s explore each of these one by one!
First, let’s open OneDrive on our computer and online. Below you can see how OneDrive will look when opened on a PC (left side) and how it will look online (right side).
In both locations, we have a folder named Demo. You can single-click on this folder on the cloud and double-click on the PC to open it.
You might have noticed that the files we have on the cloud are the same as the files we have on the PC.
In this OneDrive folder, we have two different icons – Green icon and Cloud icon.
Let’s analyze the meaning of both these icons:
- Green icon
It is a green circle with a white checkmark icon. Files with this icon are marked as “Always keep on this device“. It means that these files are present in both folder and on cloud.
- Cloud icon
It is a blue outlined cloud icon next to the file. It indicates that the file is only available online. It does not take up space on your computer.
When you open this file, you are actually opening the file saved on the cloud. If you don’t have access to the cloud, this file will not open.
These are file-level syncing icons. Now let’s see how folder level syncing icon works!
Here, you can see that the Demo folder has a cloud icon. It means that there is at least one file in this folder that resides in the cloud.
You can single-click on the Demo folder to open the files inside it. Let’s try and change the sync icon from cloud to green checkmark i.e. mark the file to reside both on PC and cloud.
- Right-click on the file
- Click on “Always keep on this device”
Let’s do this for the other files as well.
Now, go back to the Demo folder and check the syncing icon.
You can see that it now shows a green circle with a white checkmark icon indicating that all the files in this folder have been downloaded to have a copy on the PC.
But, if you right-click even one file in this folder and change it to the cloud by clicking on “Free up space” and folder icon will again become a cloud.
You can also change the syncing icon at the folder level:
- Right-click on the folder and select Always keep on this device. This will make all files in this folder reside on both PC and cloud.
- Right-click on the folder and select Free up space. This will change the folder icon to cloud and make all files in the folder reside on the cloud only.
This is how you can keep the files you want on the cloud only and on both PC and cloud at the file and folder level.
While browsing through the files on OneDrive, you might have also seen a white circle with a green check icon.
There is a difference between the two checkmark icons:
- Files that you mark as Always keep on this device have a green circle with a white check mark.
- Files that are marked Available on this device but can be offloaded using SourceSafe have a white circle with a green check mark.
Follow the steps below to view the file size on PC and cloud:
- Right-click on the demo folder
- Select Properties
- Go to size on disk. You can check the size of the folder here.
- Right-click on the demo folder
- Go to Details
- Scroll down to check the file size.
Let’s add a new file to OneDrive online and then sync Microsoft OneDrive them to view it on PC:
- Open OneDrive online
- Go to New > Excel Workbook
- Rename it as TestWorkbook
- Close the workbook and refresh OneDrive. You will see the new file here.
- Now, open OneDrive on your PC. If the file is not here, we need to sync Microsoft OneDrive.
- Go to the OneDrive icon on the taskbar below. You can see that the syncing is paused.
- Click on it to start syncing again.
- Now, check the OneDrive folder on PC. You will find the TestWorkbook there.
Similarly, you can even add the file to your OneDrive folder on your PC and view it online.
- Right-click and select New > Text Document.
- Rename it as TestDocument.
- Refresh OneDrive online.
- This will sync Microsoft OneDrive and you will see the document online as well.
In this article, we have covered how to sync Microsoft OneDrive so that files are present on a PC as well as on the cloud.
We have reviewed the different icons used for syncing, such as the green check, the white check, and the cloud icons. We have also gone over the differences between file-level sync and folder-level sync.
Lastly, we have seen how to see the file size on your PC vs cloud and add a new file to both PC and cloud
Hope this article has shed light on how to sync Microsoft OneDrive and the significance of different syncing icons. Now you can start using OneDrive efficiently, and if you want to brush up on your basics by coming back here!
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