What is the OneDrive Mobile App and Why Do I Need It?

Microsoft 365 - OneDrive

Have you ever had to go through your phone to delete photos or videos because you did not have enough space to add an app? If so, then read on.

Just like Microsoft’s OneDrive for the computer, with the mobile OneDrive app, you can say goodbye to the hassle of moving photos, videos, and files from your local device’s storage to multiple MicroSD cards (or floppy disks). OneDrive, available in Microsoft 365, allows you to automatically save your files to the cloud, allocating more space for more apps on your device easily. Adding to the OneDrive mobile app benefits list is the fact that it is  simple to use: download the app from Google Play or the Apple store, install it, open it, sign into your account, and set up automatic backups.

I discovered this app several years ago, and I absolutely love it, for many reasons, not only to save space but for other features too, just read on. The more you learn, the more you’ll see why to use the OneDrive mobile app for file management.

How to set up automatic uploads to OneDrive

First, on your device’s desktop, select the OneDrive Icon to open. You will then be brought to your OneDrive Home screen, which contains your memories and recent files.

Next, click on the “Me” icon at the bottom right-hand side of the screen. This will bring you to your settings page. At the top of the page, you will see your email address or account name. Microsoft allows you to add multiple accounts to your OneDrive app, so make sure you are in the account you wish to backup files to.

Below your Account Name is your Microsoft data plan. I have the Family plan, which includes six Office licenses and 1 TB of storage space each for everyone with a license. One terabyte is a lot of space, you will see by my usage; I have barely put a dent into the space provided after 4-5 years with this app.

Next, click on Settings to set up automatic uploads to your OneDrive Account.

OneDrive Mobile App Home Screen

Once in your settings menu, click Camera upload. Another page will appear. At the top, you will see a slider next to the label “Camera upload” — click to turn the slider to the on position (Grey to Blue).

Then select whether you would like the uploads to take place on Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi and mobile network. I have selected Wi-Fi only. You can also select upload only while charging to save your battery. OneDrive will not automatically include videos so be sure to turn that on as well if you like.

OneDrive Mobile Camera Settings

OneDrive also allows you to organize your new uploads by source or by date. I have chosen by source. This will categorize my photos, files, and videos by social media network or by other apps indicated in the lists.

OneDrive Mobile App Backup

Now you have completed the setup to back up your device.

How to view your photos, files, and documents on OneDrive

In the screenshots below, you will see what your screen will display while clicking each of the tabs: Home Screen, Files screen, Share screen, and Photo’s screen.

The photos tab allows you to view all photos by date, or albums or by tags, which automatically tags your photos based on category.

OneDrive Mobile App Screen views

Cool features of the mobile app

Office at your fingertips:

Do you need access to your office files on the go? No worries, all your files saved to OneDrive can be obtained anywhere from any device at any time as long as you have an internet connection. If not, no worries, you can also mark files and folders for offline use in case you do not have internet access.

To get to your files simply open the OneDrive app and click on the Files icon on the lower part of the screen.Then select the document you wish to view or edit.

At the bottom of the document, you will see five options: Share, Mark Up a copy, Open in Word (or Excel or PowerPoint, depending on file type), Delete or Download. If you don’t have Office Apps installed on your mobile device, a screen will pop up asking if you would like to download the app to edit the document.

When you Mark up a Copy, your document will be converted to a PDF and saved to your OneDrive with your permission. It may be difficult to view a PDF on a small phone screen, but if you have a tablet, it might be more useful. In the Markup mode, you can share the documents, add comments, annotations, bookmarks or delete. You can also change the appearance (which turns the document pages, yellow or black).You can also make documents available offline on this screen.

OneDrive Mobile App Files Settings

If you don’t have the specific Office app installed on your phone and you chose to edit, you can download and install it from your device’s store (Google Play, Apple App Store). Then edit as you see fit. The Office apps have a lot of the same features as the online and desktop versions of Microsoft 365. You can even add images — that is how intuitive the mobile app is. When finished, don’t forget to save your work by clicking on the ellipsis (the three dots) at the top right of the screen.

OneDrive Mobile App Instal edit

Photo Fun!

Did you know OneDrive has photo scanning capabilities? I did not! In the past, I used to take a photo of a document, upload the image to the computer, and open it in Photoshop then save it as a PDF. With OneDrive’s scanning software, you can completely skip those extra steps because the software automatically converts your image (whiteboards, documents, and business cards) to an easy-to-read PDF. This enhanced capture experience with multi-page scan capabilities allows you to crop, add filters, and annotations directly to the image. How cool is that?

Adjusting light and color or adding a photo filter

Have you ever taken a photo that just seems too dark or too light? OneDrive now allows you to adjust the light and the color saturation of your images. No need to download multiple apps to enhance your photo. With OneDrive’s camera, you can now adjust the colors/light, crop, rotate, annotate, and of course share. OneDrive makes it easy to make those transformations with adjustments for brightness, exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, and color saturation. Once you are done with your changes, you can admire your work by tapping and holding on the image to compare the new version with the original.

OneDrive Mobile App Filter Settings

Cast your photo to the big screen with Chromecast

Lastly, Google Chromecast users can cast photos and videos in a larger format and display them directly on your TV. To display media files on Chromecast devices, it is simple, connect your phone to a Chromecast-enabled device, open the OneDrive mobile app, and tap the upper right corner of the OneDrive home tab.

If you are a Microsoft 365 Subscriber, I suggest you download the OneDrive mobile app today! Getting started with the OneDrive mobile app provides you with an interface to access your work files and team files across Office 365. To get set up for Microsoft 365 contact Crestwood Sales and don’t forget to visit and subscribe to our blog for more Microsoft 365 Tips and Tricks.

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