How to Fetch Files Remotely from Your PCs Using OneDrive in Windows

OneDriveStoring 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 or Windows 8 on the computer containing the file and that computer is connected to the Internet, you can find the file and upload 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 and Windows 8 computers with the OneDrive desktop application installed.

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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 7 or 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.

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If you need more information about downloading and installing the desktop version of OneDrive, check out this article: How to Use the OneDrive Application in Windows 7 & Windows 8.

If you've already got the OneDrive application installed on your computer, launch it and right-click the OneDrive icon from the system tray. You may need to click the small arrow next to the tray to show hidden icons. Then, click Settings from the context menu.

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Select the Settings tab and then "Let me use OneDrive to fetch any of my files on this PC". Click OK to apply this setting.

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How to Fetch Files Using OneDrive

Once you have the Fetch option configured and your Windows 7 or Windows 8 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. Select your computer from the PCs section in the left pane of your OneDrive account.

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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.

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Microsoft will text you a code to the phone number configured in your Microsoft account. If you get the text, enter the code and click or tap Submit. If you didn't get the text, or your phone can't receive them, click or tap "I didn't get the code".

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Select a method to receive the code from the drop-down list. You can pick any phone number or email address linked to your Microsoft account. Click or tap "Send me a code".

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When you get the code - which should only take a few seconds - enter it in the space provided and click or tap "Submit".
Once the code has been entered and accepted, you'll be granted access to your computer's file system.

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Folders in your file system are depicted by dark blue tiles. Files will be given tile colors and icons based on their filetype. Click folders to open them and view their contents. You can use the directory tree listing at the top to back up through the directories you've drilled down into.

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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".

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Select a folder on your OneDrive to store the files or folders you selected and press Upload.

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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.

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Conclusion

Now that you have the Fetch option configured in Windows 7 and Windows 8, 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.