OneDrive to Rule Them All!!!

Jody Whitlock

Ok, maybe not quite the One Ring, but a lot of folks have a OneDrive out there and it can be very useful in the right hands. If you have a Live account, you have some OneDrive space, and if you have Office365, then you also have OneDrive space. This is great! Or is it? It’s very useful to store item’s in OneDrive the same as one would use Dropbox, but it takes space on your local hard drive to store the items before they are uploaded. There is a way around this using WebDAV. Remember this from way back in Windows 95? If not, don’t feel bad because very few folks had to deal with WebDAV. WebDAV is a way of mounting a web filesystem as a local drive to read and write data between it as if it was a removable USB drive.
Why did I bring up WebDAV? Well, since Microsoft created it, it would stand to reason that OneDrive, another Microsoft product, would have this; and it does! You map a network drive the same way you always would, but instead of typing in a UNC path like \\servername\share, you type in a special URL that represents the WebDAV interface of your OneDrive based on the CID, or Client ID.
The URL is https://d.docs.live.net/{Your CID}. To get your CID, log into your OneDrive in a browser and click on “Files” in the navigation menu. Once that loads, in the URL of the browser you will see “https://onedrive.live.com/?cid=xxxxxnnnxxnnnxx”. The stuff after “?cid=” is your CID, so go ahead and copy that out. Once you have that, in Windows Explorer (My Computer), click on Map a Network Drive and for location enter the url, complete with the CID you copied a moment ago. Choose the drive letter you want and then “Reconnect at sign-in”. Click Finish.
Now, you will be prompted for you Live credentials, which is something like myname@live.com, or for really old folks, myname@hotmail.com (Yes, that’s old school and still exists!). If you are using 2-Factor Authentication, then don’t enter your Live password, but rather generate an app password here.
Now, once all that is done, you will have a OneDrive mapped as a drive on your computer. This is different than the typical OneDrive folder, because changes on this drive are reflected immediately in the cloud. Plus, since Windows thinks this is a different drive, you can use this as a target to store File History at, but that’s another story…
Now, you can use items such as Robocopy or other synchronization programs to backup specific data to that location or use it as a target for saving stuff from application that don’t support OneDrive. I use it to redirect my Downloads folder to OneDrive, instead of taking up all that space on my local computer and making it easily accessible on any Windows machine I log into.