This is how OneDrive works in Windows 10

The OneDrive cloud storage solution has become an important part of Microsoft’s platform, and in Windows 10, it’s baked directly into the operating system. You’re set up for it when you log in with your Microsoft Account, and you’ll find the storage available in File Explorer. There’s no app to open, download, or install — it’s just there from the start for you to use. Here’s what you need to know about OneDrive in Windows 10.
More: Have a file too big for email? Here’s how to share it for free
Windows 10 makes OneDrive more flexible and user-friendly
The old-style placeholders that represented actual files stored in OneDrive are replaced by a newer, “selective sync” system in Windows 10. Rather than OneDrive showing placeholders for every file that’s stored on OneDrive — and allowing users to access any file by clicking on the placeholder and downloading files as needed — the integrated OneDrive client now lets users select which files will be synced locally. This includes either all files and folders, or specific folders that you want to keep locally.
When you first set up your Windows 10 system, you will be given the choice of which folders will be downloaded and synced. To change OneDrive settings later, right-click the OneDrive icon in the notification area, select Settings, switch to the Choose folders tab, and click the Choose folders button. Then, you can either sync All files and folders on your OneDrive or Choose folders to sync, meaning they will be available locally.

OneDrive also supports remote access. Under the Settings tab, if you check Let me use OneDrive to fetch any of my files on this PC, you can access your files remotely. This means you can peruse your files using another computer via the OneDrive website.
When you enable this option, the connected PC will show up in the OneDrive web interface, which is accessible here. If the respective computer is turned on and connected to the internet, you can access any of its folders and files.
OneDrive integrates with Cortana and Universal Apps
Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual assistant, is now available in Windows 10. Not only can she answer questions, but when you select Search my stuff, she can search your files — including the ones stored on OneDrive and not synced with your device. You can then access those files from the search results. Thankfully, Cortana also responds to both voice control and keyboard inputs entered into the Windows search bar.

Using the Photos app in Windows 10
Do you have a large photo collection spread across multiple devices? Microsoft came up with a solution for that, too. The new Photos app utilizes OneDrive to aggregate images from all of your devices. It can remove duplicates or similar images from its collection, automatically enhance your photos, and create albums based on place, time, or people.

These on-by-default features can be adjusted or turned off by opening Photos and selecting Settings from the application menu.
Once the app has worked its magic, you can easily show your photos and share them with friends from any of your devices. This will work in both Android and iOS, provided you install the OneDrive app and use it to sync your photos.
Using the Groove Music app in Windows 10
Groove Music is another app that has OneDrive integration. Users can store music in the cloud and then play it back through the Groove Music app. You can use this app with iOS and Windows Phone devices, as well.

Sharing folders in OneDrive
You can use OneDrive to share files or folders with others, providing a chance to collaborate. However, it’s currently impossible to do this directly from the OneDrive folder in Windows 10. Rather, to share a folder, you must open the OneDrive web interface. Find what you want to share and right-click it, then hit Share in the context menu. You can share via a link, email, or using one of numerous social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter.
Once you share a folder or file, you can see it’s shared by the icon that appears in the lower-right corner, depicting two people just hanging out and enjoying some shared files. Cute, right? If things go south and you need to revoke said sharing privileges, just open the Share menu again.
Using the OneDrive app in Windows 10
Microsoft has also provided a OneDrive app in Windows 10 that provides the same functionality as the web interface. You’ll find that the app provides roughly the same experience as using the web interface, and you can use it to save, delete, manage, and share files. One feature that’s unique to the OneDrive app in Windows 10, however, is its ability to easily save files locally and keep them available when working offline.
To share files with the OneDrive app, just right-click on a file or folder and select Save from the context menu. You can invite people via a link or email, and view people that are sharing files and folders.

The confusing OneDrive placeholders are gone
As previously mentioned, the placeholder feature that was available in Windows 8.1 let you see and access all of your files through the local File Explorer, without having to store them on your local drive. In other words, placeholders act like shortcuts to your OneDrive account.
This is a genius solution for devices with limited storage space, but it becomes a problem when you don’t have internet access. Many users saw the placeholders and assumed their files had been synced with their local drive. They didn’t realize they had to manually make files or folders available offline. This wasn’t the only issue with placeholders, however, and you won’t currently find this feature in Windows 10, where selective sync is the rule of the day.
Why would you want to use OneDrive?
Up until now, cloud storage was merely a means to share files with others or transfer them from one device to the other. As storage space becomes more affordable, however, cloud storage is becoming an increasingly attractive backup solution, provided you don’t mind that someone else is managing your data. OneDrive’s major benefit is that it syncs across platforms and integrates with the services and applications you already use, including Windows, Office, Outlook, and more.
While it’s attractive, OneDrive shouldn’t be your only backup solution. For example, what happens if one copy gets corrupted and you lose access to the other, because your drive dies, your OneDrive account gets hacked, or your internet connection is down? To be safe, you should always manage your backups following the so-called “3, 2, 1” backup plan: At least three copies, on two types of media, with one copy offsite. Cloud storage can be your offsite copy, but you still need a local backup.

The OneDrive cloud storage solution has become an important part of Microsoft’s platform, and in Windows 10, it’s baked directly into the operating system. You’re set up for it when you log in with your Microsoft Account, and you’ll find the storage available in File Explorer. There’s no app to open, download, or install — it’s just there from the start for you to use. Here’s what you need to know about OneDrive in Windows 10.
More: Have a file too big for email? Here’s how to share it for free
Windows 10 makes OneDrive more flexible and user-friendly
The old-style placeholders that represented actual files stored in OneDrive are replaced by a newer, “selective sync” system in Windows 10. Rather than OneDrive showing placeholders for every file that’s stored on OneDrive — and allowing users to access any file by clicking on the placeholder and downloading files as needed — the integrated OneDrive client now lets users select which files will be synced locally. This includes either all files and folders, or specific folders that you want to keep locally.
When you first set up your Windows 10 system, you will be given the choice of which folders will be downloaded and synced. To change OneDrive settings later, right-click the OneDrive icon in the notification area, select Settings, switch to the Choose folders tab, and click the Choose folders button. Then, you can either sync All files and folders on your OneDrive or Choose folders to sync, meaning they will be available locally.

OneDrive also supports remote access. Under the Settings tab, if you check Let me use OneDrive to fetch any of my files on this PC, you can access your files remotely. This means you can peruse your files using another computer via the OneDrive website.
When you enable this option, the connected PC will show up in the OneDrive web interface, which is accessible here. If the respective computer is turned on and connected to the internet, you can access any of its folders and files.
OneDrive integrates with Cortana and Universal Apps
Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual assistant, is now available in Windows 10. Not only can she answer questions, but when you select Search my stuff, she can search your files — including the ones stored on OneDrive and not synced with your device. You can then access those files from the search results. Thankfully, Cortana also responds to both voice control and keyboard inputs entered into the Windows search bar.