Microsoft OneDrive online storage is a useful place to save your photos and there is an added benefit, you can enhance and edit photos online in a browser. Crop, fix exposure, color and more.
The one thing that might hold you back from storing your photos in OneDrive and editing them online is the amount of storage. Only 5 GB of online space is available for free for new users. However, if you have been with OneDrive for a long time you could have 10X this for free.
Anyone that has a Microsoft 365 subscription will have 1 TB of online storage, which is more than sufficient for most people’s photo storage needs. OneDrive apps for iPhone and Android phone can be set to automatically upload photos to your online storage as you take them.
Photos can be transferred to the computer and photo editing software used to enhance them and fix faults. However, you probably don’t have the time, inclination, or maybe even the software to manually tweak every photo you take in a complex photo editing app like Photoshop.
That app is useful for occasional special photos, but you may find that fixing color, exposure, horizon tilt, cropping and applying filters is quicker and easier in a web browser. Browse your photos and fix them up in a flash. Here is how to edit photos online in OneDrive using a web browser.
You can follow this guide using a Windows PC or Apple Mac as it is all done in a web browser.
1 Go to OneDrive
Open a web browser and go to the onedrive.com website. Photos are stored in the Pictures folder, but conveniently there is a Photos link in the sidebar. Click it to view photos you either manually uploaded or were automatically uploaded from your phone using the OneDrive phone app.
2 Browse thumbnails of photos in OneDrive
Thumbnail images of your photos are displayed. The screenshot shows just a small part of the screen and there are many more thumbnails. There is also a timeline down the right margin, so you can see when photos were taken and jump to a date.
If you see an image that needs fixing or enhancing in some way, just click it to open it.
3 View large previews of photos in OneDrive
Click a thumbnail and the photo fills the browser window and it is automatically sized to fit. If the photo needs fixing or enhancing, click the Edit option in the menu bar above the image. Let’s fix and enhance this one.
4 Fix tilted photos in OneDrive
Look at this photo in the previous screenshot and you will see that the horizon tilts slightly and it is not level. It spoils the picture a bit and it needs to be corrected. This is a very common fault with photos, but it is one that is easily fixed.
When the photo opens in the OneDrive photo editor, it displays a series of dots and lines below the image. Drag the thick line in the middle towards the left or right to tilt the photo to one side. You could do this for fun artistic purposes, but here I want to correct a sloping horizon and make it horizontal. Around 1.4 to 1.7 degrees seems to be about right.
Buttons at the bottom enable the photo to be quickly rotated through 90 degrees. Cameras usually automatically set portrait or landscape mode, but if a photo is on its side, it can easily be rotated with a mouse click.
5 Crop photos in OneDrive
You will probably find that Crop and Rotate tools are automatically enabled when you open a photo for editing, but if Crop is not currently active, select it in the menu bar.
Click and drag the four corners or the four sides of the photo to crop it and remove parts you do not want to see.
6 Apply filters to photos in OneDrive
Select Filter in the menu bar above the image and a panel of filters appears on the right. These add effects like making a photo black and white, like old film, making colors brighter or cooler and so on.
Click a filter to apply it and then drag the slider to set the intensity of the effect from 0 to 100. To undo a filter, just select the original image thumbnail in the top left corner of the filter panel.
7 Fix photo color, brightness and exposure
Select Adjustment in the menu bar at the top and the right-hand panel is filled with sliders that enable you to adjust the brightness, exposure, contrast, highlights and shadows. A vignette effect, a darkening of the corners, can be added too.
These slider controls are very useful when you need to fix lighting, color and exposure problems with a photo. For example, photographs of snow scenes can look blue or grey and these sliders can make snow look white, as it should be.
Indoor lighting can also produce problems and sometimes colors don’t look right. Fix them with the sliders. Photos that are too dark or light, or the colors are washed out can be fixed too. More can be done in an app like Photoshop, but sometimes these simple sliders are all that are necessary to fix many photos.
8 Draw and annotate on photos
My example photo does not need it, but if you want to highlight, annotate and draw attention to things in a photo, select Markup in the menu bar. A few simple, basic drawing and highlighting tools appear in the left sidebar.
Click the pens to open the color palette and select a color. Drag the slider to set the thickness of the pen and then click and drag on the image.
9 Save the edited photo
Up until this point, the original image has not been changed. Click the Save button in the top left corner and choose either Save to overwrite the original image or Save as copy to save the changes to a new file. It is always best to save a copy. Never overwrite the original photo.