Without complicated networking setup or syncing, you can access all Windows drives and files over the internet using OneDrive. Here's how to do it.
OneDrive is one of my favorites when it comes to cloud storage. In fact, I use it daily for my personal needs like media and document backup and synchronization between devices. For instance, my entire work folder is synced with OneDrive so that I can access the documents, screenshots, and notes on the device of my choice.
In addition to that, OneDrive can also be used to access your entire Windows file system or drives over the internet on any device. All you have to do is enable a single option and you will be able to get your hands on any file in your system on the OneDrive web app regardless of in which drive the target file is located. Now, don't confuse it with syncing all the drives. It is just a live remote connection from other devices to your computer via OneDrive.
So, without further ado, let me show how you can configure OneDrive to access your Windows drives over the internet.
- OneDrive desktop application should be installed on your system. If OneDrive is uninstalled, reinstall OneDrive.
- To access all your Windows drives over the internet, the system should be running and connected to the internet.
- In addition to the second point, OneDrive should be running too.
- This method doesn't give access to network drives.
- I only ever tried this on Windows 10. I don't know if it works on Windows 7 or 8. However, I don't see why it shouldn't work. So, do follow the steps and see if it works for you on older versions of Windows.
Steps to Access PC Files Over Internet Using OneDrive
1. First, open OneDrive if it is not already opened. You can open it by searching for it in the start menu.
2. After opening, click on the OneDrive icon on the taskbar, click on the Menu icon (three horizontal dots) and then select the "Settings" option.
3. As soon as you click on the settings option a new window will open. Here, go to the "Settings" tab and select the "Let me use OneDrive to fetch any of my files on this PC" checkbox. Click on the "Ok" button to save changes.
You are now done with configuring the OneDrive desktop application. You can now start accessing all your files in any drive via the OneDrive web app. Let me guide you.
Access File on OneDrive Web App
4. Open the browser of your choice and go to the OneDrive website and log into your account. Once logged in, click on the "PCs" option on the left panel.
5. The page will reload and you will see your computer name under the "PCs" tab. If you have multiple PCs with the above option configured, you will see all those listed here. Click on your PC name.
6. Since this is your first time, you might be asked to authenticate yourself using the account password or two-factor pin. Click on the "Sign in with security code" link to do that.
7. Once you authenticate yourself, you will see all the library folders and drives.
8. Compared to the other parts of the OneDrive web app, the PC files page is a bit outdated but it works just fine. You can open any drive or folder you want and access the files in it.
9. One of the simple yet useful features is that you can see the folder and file properties by selecting the file and click on the "i" icon on the top-right corner.
10. If need be, you can even download the file by right-clicking on the file and selecting the "Download" option. When you click on the Download option, the file is instantly uploaded directly from your PC and download to your current PC. The file isn't being synced to your OneDrive account.
As you can see, OneDrive makes it quite easy to access PC files over the internet without any complicated networking stuff. Keep in mind that it has its limitations. For example, though you can access and download from the target PC over the internet, you cannot upload them to the PC.
That being said, it still is very useful.
Hope that helps. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible.