How to fetch files remotely from Windows 10 PC using OneDrive website

One of the lesser known and lesser used feature of OneDrive is the Fetch files feature. One can use Fetch files feature to access all the files remotely on your PC from another computer by using OneDrive website. If you have forgotten to upload files to OneDrive but still you can access those files on your PC remotely. We had seen earlier how to Fetch files in Windows 7, but this feature was removed from Windows 8.1. With Windows 10, this feature is back and we will see more about it.

Fetch files remotely from Windows 10 PC using OneDrive website

  • First, ensure that the OneDrive desktop app that comes with Windows 10 is installed on your PC. That can be checked in All apps list.
  • Check that OneDrive desktop app is running and shown in the notification area. Check for its icon. If it’s not running, its icon won’t be shown . If it’s not running, then type OneDrive in the search box and click OneDrive or from All Apps list, click on OneDrive. This will open the OneDrive folder and OneDrive service starts. And its icon will be shown in the system tray. OneDriveSystray
  • Now ensure that the OneDrive option is checked on the PC whose files you have to access remotely. For this, right click on OneDrive icon > Settings > Settings and ensure “Let me use OneDrive to fetch any of my files on this PC” is checked. If you want to run OneDrive whenever you sign-in to Windows, then from OneDrive Settings > Settings > Check “Start OneDrive automatically when I sign in to Windows“.OneDriveSettings
  • Now from another computer or device, sign-in to Your PC will be listed under PCs. It’s the PCs name that will be shown on the list. Select the PC from where you want to access file or browse. But that PC should have been turned on,running, connected to the net and the OneDrive should be running on that PC. Fetch files remotely from Windows 10
  • One can now browse that PC and access files remotely, you can download those required files, you can stream video, view photos in a slide-show. One can even access network locations if they are included in the PC’s libraries or mapped as drives.

While accessing the remote PC for the first time, one might have to pass the security check for the Trusted PC and will receive the security code helping protect your computer from unauthorized access.

In some cases, Group Policy on your domain-joined computer may prevent the use of this Fetch file feature,  and so the Fetch files settings may be unavailable. One will have to contact the network admin for this.

As mentioned, this feature is not available on Windows 8.1, but one can use Windows 8.1 running systems to Fetch files from other supported PCs. That means you can’t Fetch files from a PC running Windows 8.1. Similarly, one can use a Mac to fetch files from a PC running Windows.

This is one of the useful features of OneDrive and if you haven’t yet tried it, give it a try as sometimes you need a file badly but forgotten to upload to OneDrive. This makes it convenient to access your PC remotely.

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The author has been a Microsoft MVP awardee in various Windows categories (2006-2016) and currently a Windows Insider MVP. A Technology Enthusiast, interested in anything technical and is committed to Microsoft technologies and products. He is actively associated with various Microsoft online communities, forums, Newsgroups and has been actively involved in Beta testing various Microsoft products and bug submissions.