Introducing Windows 8.1: How to Configure OneDrive Using PC Settings

In Windows 8.1, OneDrive has became central to the computing experience. It is now a user folder, the default location for storing your documents, the default service for storing your files in the cloud, making backups for your photos, videos and the service for synchronizing your Windows settings. Another change is the fact that OneDrive can now be fully customized from PC Settings. Here you will be able to change almost everything about how it works. Here how to do this:

How to Find OneDrive's Settings in PC Settings

First, you should open PC Settings. For complete instructions on how to access it, read this article: Six Ways to Access PC Settings.

In PC Settings, click or tap OneDrive.

Here you will find all OneDrive settings, split into four sections: File Storage, Camera roll, Sync settings and Metered connections.

Let's take a look at them, one by one.

How to Manage Your OneDrive Storage Space in Windows 8.1

The first section is named File storage. It displays the total space on your OneDrive and the amount that's available.

If you will soon remain out of space, you can click or tap "Buy more storage".

The "Buy a OneDrive storage plan" screen is displayed. Here you can choose one of the available storage plans and click or tap Buy.

Then, you will be asked to enter the password for your Microsoft account and your payment and billing details (if none have been added so far). To complete the transaction, follow the instructions shared by the "Buy a OneDrive storage plan" wizard.

Let's go back to the File storage section. Here you will learn that, by default, Windows 8.1 saves your documents to the OneDrive user folder. If you would like to disable this behavior and have your documents stored in the Documents library, set the switch to Off.

Lastly, you will find a link that says "See my files on OneDrive".

If you click or tap on it, Windows 8.1 opens the OneDrive app on the right side of the screen.

With this app, you can view and manage the files stored on your OneDrive.

How to Automatically Save Your Photos and Videos to the OneDrive

The second section in the OneDrive configuration panel is named Camera roll. Click or tap on it to access the available settings.

The Camera roll folder is found in your Pictures library and it is used by the Camera app in Windows 8.1 to store the pictures and videos you make with it. If you use other apps or desktop applications that use the same folder to store their files, then the settings you make will impact them as well. If you don't use the Camera app in Windows 8.1, you can ignore this section.

Your have three options available:

  • "Don't upload photos" - it doesn't upload the photos found in the Camera roll folder.
  • "Upload photos at good quality" - it uploads your photos but it changes their quality so that they don't use too much space.
  • "Upload photos at best quality" - it uploads your photos without changing them, using their original quality and file size.

Then, you have a switch for automatically uploading videos to OneDrive. This setting is for the videos stored in the same Camera roll folder.

If your storage space is limited, you might want to set it to Off.

NOTE: If you want OneDrive to synchronize your photos and videos that are not made with the Camera app, simply store them in the OneDrive folder. The settings in this section will not help.

How to Synchronize & Backup Your Windows 8.1 Settings with OneDrive

As mentioned earlier, OneDrive can also synchronize and backup your Windows 8.1 settings.

Since such customization is a bit more complex and there's a lot to write about it, we decided to cover this subject in a separate tutorial: Introducing Windows 8.1: How to Synchronize & Back Up Your Settings.

Configure How OneDrive Uses Metered Connections

The last entry in OneDrive's section from PC Settings is Metered conections.

Here you will find four switches, divided into two groups: "Use OneDrive over metered connections" and Sync settings. The first group is about changing how OneDrive uses metered connections to sync your files while the second about how it uses them to sync your settings.

The first switch says "Upload and download files over metered connections". If you are using a slow connection, you may want to turn this switch to Off.

Then you can choose to go even further and allow (or not) OneDrive to synchronize your files even when roaming.

The third switch is for allowing OneDrive to sync your Windows 8.1 settings over metered connections and the fourth is for doing the same while roaming.

Turn the switches On or Off according to your preference.


As you can see from this guide, OneDrive has been deeply integrated into Windows 8.1. Cloud has become a strong component in Microsoft's vision of the future. Therefore they are integrating OneDrive into Windows 8.1, Office 365, Xbox One, Windows Phone and many other products.

I hope you found this guide useful and, if you are looking for other guides about OneDrive, don't hesitate to read our recommendations below.