Windows 11 gets OneDrive revamp to take on the might of Google Drive and iCloud

(Image credit: Future)

It looks like Microsoft is set to redesign OneDrive integration in Windows 11, which would be the first time in several years that its cloud storage app has seen a major visual update.

As Neowin reports, the settings section of the OneDrive client has been redesigned to better match the overall look of Windows 11.

OneDrive is built into Windows 11, and allows you to save files on both your PC and to the cloud, allowing you to access those files from any internet-connected device. You get 5GB of storage for free, and there are various subscription deals for individual or business use which get you more storage and access to Microsoft Office apps.

Despite being built into Windows 11, OneDrive has struggled to compete against rival options like Google Drive. It's suffered, as many legacy apps do, from feeling out of place in Windows 11 due to its older design. However, Microsoft has been working hard to make its older apps, such as Paint and Notepad, fit into Windows 11’s modern look, and it now seems like OneDrive is next in line for a much-needed overhaul.

Twitter user Florian posted a tweet (see below) that shows what appear to be screenshots of the new-look OneDrive settings page. As you can see, it has a much more user-friendly interface that fits in well with Windows 11, and lets you see at a glance how much online storage you have left.

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The screenshots are said to be from an internal Microsoft build of Windows 11, which means this redesign – if real – probably won’t be seen for a while, but may be included with the big Windows 11 22H2 ‘Sun Valley 2' update later this year. 

It’s unlikely that these screenshots are fake (why would anyone go to the effort to fake OneDrive settings?), but the design could still change while Microsoft tests and finalizes the new app. 


(Image credit: Shutterstock)

OneDrive has a solid advantage of coming pre-installed on every Windows 10 and Windows 11 device, while users and Microsoft 365 subscribers also get storage included, but the competition is tough.

(ed: Check out our comparisons: Microsoft OneDrive vs Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive vs Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive vs iCloud)

Google Drive has a similar advantage of being pre-installed on Android devices, as does iCloud with most Apple products. There are also big names such as Amazon Drive and DropBox, which are all vying to be the best cloud storage services out there and gain your custom.

While we don’t have concrete user numbers for these services, we get the impression that Google Drive and iCloud are the most popular, followed by OneDrive.

So, could this redesign help increase OneDrive’s popularity? While there’s only so much a redesign can do, but if Microsoft puts the work in to better integrate OneDrive into Windows 11, it could see some promising results.

If the service feels like an essential part of the operating system, and allows users to save files and documents to the cloud as easily and seamlessly as if you were saving them on your local hard drive, people may be more inclined to use OneDrive, and less likely to install a rival service.

To give Microsoft credit, by offering large storage capacities while also including Microsoft 365 apps like Word and PowerPoint in the subscription, OneDrive offers a tempting alternative, and this redesign may finally help it to compete seriously with rival offerings.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.