Cloud Storage

I have a Surface.

It has a wee little hard drive.

I had no qualms about that thanks to my many cloud storage accounts.

It had other ideas

I’m not a Microsoft Acolyte, which you may find hard to believe because of my having a Surface and all. But it’s true. I’m all about accessibility. Where Apple makes their own hardware and requires their own installations, Windows computers offer plenty of options. But I digress. The reason I like Microsoft in this case is that their OneDrive gives you 1TB of cloud storage for free.

So I installed the OneDrive app on my Surface and started saving my iTunes library (Hmm I guess that contradicts my whole “Apple doesn’t play well with others” complaint). Before long, I ran out of local storage space. I only had 50 GB, which doesn’t allow for many songs, not if you have other stuff using that space. That’s when I learned that the sync settings on the app mean just that: the data is stored both in the cloud AND locally. Luckily, you can change that. Here’s how.

  1. Open Windows Explorer (aka My Computer aka This PC aka whatever getting to your hard drive is called on your PC)
  2. Right-Click OneDrive
  3. Click Online-Only

Screenshot of Online-Only setting in the OneDrivew App

That’s it! Easy, right? But what about Google Drive or Dropbox you ask?

I’ve got those apps installed as well. So checked it out and it turns out, the files therein are available online-only by default. If you want to verify this yourself:

  1. Right-click your Dropbox or Google Drive folder.
  2. Click Properties
  3. If you’re not already there, click the General tab

You’ll see how much space is being taken on the disk. You can also see the location of the folder. If it says links that means it’s not being stored locally.

So in the end, I totally beat the Surface and its nefarious designs to make me regret my decision to buy a device with such a small amount of storage.

Brad -1

Surface – um, on second thought let’s not keep score.

Screenshot of OneDrive Folder Properties

OneDrive Size

Screenshot (24)

GoogleDrive Size




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