How to Set Up Microsoft OneDrive for Mac

Use OneDrive to store up to 5GB in the cloud for free

OneDrive setup for Mac OS
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Microsoft OneDrive is a cloud-based storage and syncing solution that works on only Mac, PC, or mobile device with access to the internet. After you install OneDrive on your Mac, it appears to be just another folder. Drop a file or folder of any type into the OneDrive folder, and the data is immediately stored on the OneDrive cloud storage system. OneDrive is included with Office 365 subscriptions.

You can also access your OneDrive content using a supported web browser Browser-based access allows you to make use of the cloud-based storage on any computing platform you find yourself using without having to install the OneDrive app.

About OneDrive for the Mac

OneDrive from Microsoft may seem like an odd choice for a Mac user to use to store data in the cloud, but there's no reason not to use it. OneDrive plans are reasonably priced and include a free 5GB.

OneDrive can be used along with other cloud-based storage services, including Apple’s own iCloud service, Dropbox, and Google Drive. There's nothing to stop you from using all four and taking advantage of the free storage tiers offered by each service.

OneDrive Plans

OneDrive currently offers several tiers of service, including plans that are paired with Office 365.

PlanStoragePrice/Month
OneDrive Free5GB total storageFree
OneDrive Basic50GB total storage$1.99
OneDrive + Office 365 Personal1TB for 1 user$6.99
OneDrive + Office 365 Home1TB each for 5 users$9.99

How to Set Up OneDrive Free on a Mac

For OneDrive to work, you need two basic items: a Microsoft account and the OneDrive for Mac application. Both are free. 

If you don't already have a Microsoft ID, go to the Microsoft ID signup screen and select No account? Create one! Supply the requested information and create a password.

Before you know it, you'll have a new Microsoft ID.

  1. Go to the OneDrive website.
  2. Click the Sign In button and enter your ID.
  3. Your browser will display the default OneDrive folder configuration. Go to the bottom of the sidebar and click or press Get the OneDrive Apps link.
  4. Click the Download button to download OneDrive for Mac.
  5. Open your Mac's downloads folder and double-click the OneDrive.pkg file. 
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the OneDrive application on your Mac.

Using OneDrive

OneDrive acts much like any other folder on your Mac. The only difference is that the data within it is also stored on remote OneDrive servers. In the OneDrive folder, you will find three default folders labeled Documents, Pictures, and Public. You can add as many folders as you wish, and create any system of organization that suits you.

Adding files is as simple as copying or dragging them to the OneDrive folder or appropriate subfolder. After you put files in the OneDrive folder, you can access them from any Mac, PC, or mobile device that has OneDrive installed. You can also access the OneDrive folder from any computer or mobile device using the web interface.

The OneDrive app runs as a menu bar item that includes sync status for files kept in the OneDrive folder.

There is also a set of preferences you can adjust by selecting the OneDrive menu bar item and clicking on the gear button. You're set up and have 5GB of free space to use.