Sign up for Microsoft OneDrive and install the app on your iPad

If you have read my previous post, you will know that I am a huge proponent of mobile, or agile, working. I do it everyday for work, but the principles also flow into my everyday life as well. There are so many ways that this technology can be used to make everyday life easier.

For example, I can write up a shopping list on my iPad, go to the supermarket, and view the shopping list on my mobile phone. Anything that I create or do on my iPad, I can do on my phone, but I can also view and update documents (such as the shopping list example) on either device.

The thing that makes this possible I’d cloud storage. Now there are many cloud storage options out there, and chances are that you already have at least one or two of them, even if you don’t realise it. Some of the most popular ones are:

Whilst I have Google Drive and Apple iCloud accounts, the one that I use the most is Microsoft OneDrive. There are a few reasons for this:

  • Modern versions of Microsoft Windows are integrated with a OneDrive account. This allows me to add my laptop to the list of devices where I can see and amend documents.
  • It support camera upload from both my iPad and Galaxy S8. This means that I can take a picture on my phone, and then a few seconds later, view it on my tablet or my laptop
  • I pay for Office 365. This allows me and 4 other family members to download the most recent versions of the Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher etc). Also, all 5 of us get 1TB (1,000 GB)* of cloud storage

I pay £7.99 (GBP) per month for this, but you can get a free OneDrive account that will give you 5GB for free. For documents, this is likely to be adequate. But if you plan on using it to store photos and videos, then you will find that this will fill up pretty quickly. Microsoft do offer various paid accounts and the prices are quite reasonable.

*1TB is actually 1024GB, but it is generally referred to as 1,000GB

So, first things first… If you don’t already have one, you will need to sign up for a OneDrive account. Open your internet browser of choice. I use Google Chrome, but you may prefer to use Safari or any other internet browser app that you have installed.

Type the word “OneDrive” into the search bar and press “Go” (or the return key if you are using an external keyboard like I am – I use this one)

Click on the top result that is returned

This will take you to the OneDrive home page. In the middle of the screen, you will see two options – See plans and Sign up. Feel free to have a look at the paid plans and what they offer you. For this tutorial though, we will be signing up for one of the free accounts. So go ahead and click on the Sign up button.

Again, you will see two options on this screen. Create a Microsoft account and See plans and pricing. Go ahead and click on the Create a Microsoft account link.

In the first box, type what you would like your username and email address to be. In the second box, type your password. You will be saving your documents onto your OneDrive account, so make sure that it’s a strong password. Click here for guidance on creating a secure password.

If you don’t want Microsoft to send you promotional emails, be sure to untick the box. If you don’t mind receiving these emails, then by all means leave the box ticked.

When you are done, click Next.

Enter your country, and your date of birth, and then click Next.

You will be required to prove that you are a human and not a program that is signing up for the account. Enter the characters shown on the image. If they are too difficult to make out, click New to be given new character, or click Audio to hear the characters spoken.

If you are on your iPad, you will be given the option to download the app straight away. You can go ahead and do that if you like. Or you can do that later. If you want to do it later, click on the cross to close the dialogue box.

You have now successfully signed up for a free OneDrive account.

If you already had a OneDrive account, or if you wanted to do this step later, we can now download the OneDrive app. From your home screen, open the App Store. The App Store is the blue icon with a letter A on it. Unless you have changed the set up of the home page, the App Store icon should be on the app dock at the bottom of the screen.

Once you have opened the App Store, type “onedrive” into the search box and press the Search button, or the return key if you are using a keyboard.

From the results, click Get next to the Microsoft OneDrive result. Enter your password, or use your finger print if you’ve set it it, to authorise the download. This is a free app and you should never pay for it.

Once it has downloaded, press the Open option next to the app.

Type in the email address that you set up earlier. Click the blue arrow once you have entered your email address.

Enter the password for the account, then press the Sign in button.

You will be prompted to sign up for an Office 365 account and to try premium features for free for a month. You can do this if you like, but if you forget to cancel the trail, you will be charged after the first month. If you don’t want to sign up for a premium account, click on the cross to close the dialogue box.

You will then get a message asking if you think that the basic version of OneDrive is enough. Click on Stay Basic.

You will be asked if you want OneDrive to send you notifications when a document is changed. But in my experience, this can be annoying. And unless you are sharing documents with other people, you will know when a document has been amended anyway, because you will be the one that changed it.

If you want to get the notifications, click OK. If you don’t want the notifications, click No thanks.

You will then be asked if you want to turn on camera upload. If you switch this on, every time you take a picture or video, it will upload to your OneDrive account. If you only have the basic version of OneDrive, turning this on will fill it up very quickly.

If you want to turn it on, click Turn on camera upload. If not, click on I’ll risk it.

And that’s it. You have one successfully signed up for a basic OneDrive account, downloaded the app, and signed in on your iPad.

As I mentioned before, the OneDrive account is crucial for a lot of the things that I do with my iPad and phone.

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