Microsoft gave Office 365 subscribers an early holiday treat in October when it promised unlimited cloud storage via OneDrive. One way to take advantage of all that storage in Windows 8.1 is to simply copy all the files you want in the cloud over to the OneDrive folder on your desktop.
Another useful trick, however, is to use the browser—and if you do, you won’t have to move a bunch of subfolders into your OneDrive folder for long-term storage or multi-device synching, which comes in handy if you’re taking advantage of OneDrive’s selective synching options. Officially, OneDrive doesn’t seem able to handle in-browser folder uploads. If you use Firefox or Internet Explorer to upload folders, you’ll get a message like the one you see at right.
Browser uploads wouldn’t be very useful if you had to upload everything one file at a time, but if you turn to Google Chrome, suddenly uploading folders to OneDrive is a snap.
Upload those folders
To get started, fire up Chrome or download it from Google. Next, go to OneDrive.com in Chrome and sign-in.
Once that’s done, open Windows Explorer and navigate to the folder you’d like to upload. Drag it over to the OneDrive web page open in Chrome and wait for the magic to happen.
If you want to upload a folder into another directory that’s already in OneDrive—a generic Music folder, for example—open that parent folder in OneDrive first before uploading.
As your items upload, OneDrive shows your progress in a drop-down window. OneDrive will let you know if any uploads fail and will give you the option to retry.
The length of time it takes to upload data depends on your connection speed as well as Microsoft’s rate limiting policies that could impact particularly large uploads. Once the uploading is done, however, you’ll have access to your files on any device where you use OneDrive.
Chrome appears to be the only browser capable of handling folder uploads to OneDrive for now. But that could change once Windows 10 rolls around later this year. Rumors suggest Microsoft has a brand new browser dubbed Spartan in the works for the OS refresh. Spartan’s expected to be a more robust piece of software than current versions of IE, which are somewhat hobbled by their need to maintain backwards compatibility with websites built for older versions of the browser.