Storing your files in OneDrive is a great way to access your data more conveniently. Once your files are in the cloud, you can view or edit them using any device with Internet access. But what happens if you have a file you need but it isn't in your OneDrive account? You may think you're out of luck, but that isn't the case. As long as you've got the Fetch feature configured properly and you are using Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10 on the computer containing the file and that computer is connected to the Internet, you can find the file and download it right from the OneDrive website. Read on to learn how to use this simple yet awesome feature.
IMPORTANT: You cannot fetch files located on a Windows 8.1 PC or device. This feature works only on Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10 computers. If you're using Windows 7 or Windows 8, you'll have to have the OneDrive desktop application installed. If you're on Windows 10, everything is embedded into the operating system, so all you have to do is make a few settings.
We don't know why Microsoft has removed this feature from Windows 8.1 and we hope that it will also be made available for this operating system.
How To Enable The OneDrive Fetch Feature In Windows
In Windows 7 and Windows 8, in order to utilize the Fetch feature, you need to be using the OneDrive desktop application. The application is compatible with Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. You can download it for free from the OneDrive website. If you've already got this installed on your computer, skip to the next step. Otherwise, make sure to check the box that says "Let me use OneDrive to fetch any of my files on this PC", during the installation process.
If you need more information about downloading and installing the desktop version of OneDrive for Windows 7 or Windows 8, check out this article: How to Use the OneDrive Application in Windows 7 & Windows 8.
If you're using Windows 10, you don't have to install anything as OneDrive is already embedded into the operating system.
No matter which operating system you're using, look at the Notification Area on the taskbar and right-click or tap and hold the OneDrive icon. You may need to click or tap on the small arrow next to the tray in order to see the hidden icons. Then, click Settings from the context menu.
Select the Settings tab and then "Let me use OneDrive to fetch any of my files on this PC". Click or tap OK to apply this setting.
How To Fetch Files Using OneDrive
Once you have the Fetch option configured and your Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10 computer is connected to the Internet, you can access all of your files from your OneDrive account. Log in to OneDrive from any computer with Internet access. Then, select your computer from the PCs section in the left pane of your OneDrive account.
Microsoft protects your computer using an additional layer of security. You'll have to receive and enter a security code each time you want to access a computer using Fetch. Click or tap "Sign in with a security code" to start the process.
Microsoft will let you choose how to receive this code. You can either choose to receive the code as a text message on your phone, or you can choose to receive it via your email address. Choose the method you prefer and click or tap Send code.
Once you get the code, enter it and click or tap Submit. If you didn't get the code, click or tap "Use a different verification option" to start again.
Once the code has been entered and accepted, you'll be granted access to your computer's file system.
Folders in your file system are depicted by dark blue tiles. Files will be given tile colors and icons based on their filetype. Click or tap on folders to open them and view their contents. You can use the directory tree listing at the top to go back through the directories you've drilled down into.
Locate any files or folders you want to upload and click the white square in the top right corner of their tiles to select them. Right-click the selected tile and press "Upload to OneDrive".
Select a folder on your OneDrive to store the files or folders you selected and press Upload.
Wait for the file to upload. Once it's done, it'll be listed with the rest of your OneDrive files in the directory you selected. You can now download, edit or share the file as you would any other.
Now that you have the Fetch option configured in Windows 7, Windows 8 and even in Windows 10, you'll always be able to access the files you need, whether or not you remembered to store them in your OneDrive. While this may seem like a breach of security, the addition of the security code feature means that only someone with access to your OneDrive and your phone or email will be able to get into your files.
How to do you feel about this feature? It's undeniably useful, but does it make you nervous? Let us know in the comments below.