We’ve all been there, you spend countless hours on that document and suddenly your PC freezes up, you are forced to restart but windows isn’t booting because the hard drive has failed. There is no backup aside from a USB thumb drive you have been copying everything to weekly. You have now lost an entire week of work…if you’re one of the lucky ones.
So then, what’s the easiest and most secure way to ensure you have your data backed up?
Everybody has access to a free cloud backup solution and probably aren’t even aware of it
Enter Onedrive, the free cloud utility built right into windows 10, and all you need is a Microsoft account
Today we are going to cover
- How to create a Microsoft account or convert existing user account
- Configure the free Microsoft Onedrive for sync
- Use the same Microsoft account on other devices to sync data
Step 1: Microsoft Account
Why should you convert to a Microsoft account?
- Because its free
- Because its secure
- You get free cloud backup with Onedrive
What if I told you that no matter the complexity of your login password, any technician with even basic training and resources can gain access in seconds using free utilities available online?
Scary right? But there is a way to secure your account, convert it to a Microsoft account!
The first thing we need to do is open ‘Add, edit, or remove other users’ in Settings
Then we choose ‘Your info’ on the left
Now we choose ‘Sign in with a Microsoft account instead’
Now we get the sign in prompt, assuming you don’t already have a Microsoft account hit ‘No account? Create one!’
Here you can enter an existing email address, for this example we will create a new one.
Now we create a new email address and password for the Microsoft account
Follow the prompts and enter your name and date of birth as required
The last step is to verify your current Windows password
Once this is complete you will notice that your info section will change to reflect the new Microsoft account, we have successfully converted our Local account to a Microsoft Account. Now let’s move on to Onedrive.
Step 2: Onedrive
The next thing we want to do is setup onedrive, so go ahead and open it
Here we login using the same credentials we just created for our Microsoft account
Once you have logged in you can change the location of your onedrive. This is handy if you only have a small SSD for Windows and you keep a separate drive for data
After this Microsoft will advertise their Onedrive 1TB cloud storage deal for $6.99/month, not a bad deal for cloud storage but for now we will use the free version. I recommend reading through the introductory slides to learn the features of Onedrive.
You will notice a onedrive icon in the taskbar once it is setup, this is how you can tell if files are being synced with the cloud. Now we will setup sync so go ahead and right click on this icon and choose Settings
Choose the ‘Backup’ tab and select ‘Manage Backup’
Now you can choose what folders you wish to sync (aside from the onedrive folder itself) Please note the free edition of Onedrive only comes with 5GB of storage. After you have made your selection click Start Backup.
Onedrive will now start to backup your folders, you can watch the files being synced in real time by selecting ‘View sync progress’
Now this is where the magic happens!
We have synced all of our files to onedrive, but what if I want to access those files and that account from another device?
We simply log into that device with the same Microsoft account we just created, and all of our data is there waiting for us! If you’re like me and keep a laptop for travelling or do some work from home, this is an amazing feature. Watch here as I create a new test document on my desktop, and watch it appear instantly on my surface pro.
And that’s it, we have secured our account and set up reliable cloud storage all for free.