Applies to

Surface RT, Surface 2, Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro 3, Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1.

Surface storage options

In addition to the disk space on your Surface, you have external storage options like OneDrive (cloud storage), USB drives, and microSD cards.

How much space do I have on my Surface?

To see how much drive space you have on your Surface:

Step 1: From the Start screen, tap or click Desktop (or press Windows logo key Windows logo key + D). If you don’t see the Desktop tile on the Start screen, slide up from the middle of the screen to get to Apps view, and then tap or click Desktop.
Step 2: In the task bar, tap or click File Explorer.
The amount of available free space and total available space is shown. If you're running low on space, the drive will be marked in red.
Check available storage in This PC

Pre-installed software and apps use a significant amount of space. To learn how much, see Surface storage.

For info on how to free up space on your Surface, see Tips to free up disk space.

OneDrive: Cloud storage

OneDrive is free cloud storage that comes with your Microsoft account. It’s like an extra hard drive that’s available from any of the devices you use, so the files you save there are always with you. OneDrive is built into Windows 8.1, so adding and sharing files is quick and simple. For info on using OneDrive, see Using OneDrive on Surface.

OneDrive syncs files from the cloud to your Surface. Syncing or sending data across a mobile broadband connection could result in extra charges. For more info, see Manage your mobile broadband data use.

Removable storage options

You can use USB storage or a microSD card of any size with your Surface to store your documents, music, videos, and pictures. Surface works with the following microSD card formats: microSD, microSDHC, and microSDXC. For the locations of the USB port and microSD card slot on your Surface, see Surface features.

To open files from an external device:

Step 1: Insert a USB flash drive or other USB storage device into the USB port, or insert a microSD card into the card slot on Surface.
Step 2: Tap or click the notification that appears in the upper-right corner of the screen.
Step 3: Tap or click Open folder to view files or Import photos and videos.

Use File Explorer on your Surface to browse files and folders on connected devices.

Integrate your file storage with Libraries

Libraries let you browse folders from many locations in one place. For example, you could have documents from several locations on your OneDrive, plus photos and drawings on your Surface, all in one Library. You can even include folders in your Homegroup or in a connected USB device or microSD card.

Here’s how to view open your Libraries folder:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Search.)
Step 2: In the search box, enter libraries, then tap or click Libraries.
Or, if you’re already in File Explorer, tap or click Desktop under Favorites.

Want to create a new library? It’s easy:

Step 1: Open your Libraries folder.
Step 2: Press and hold or right-click an open area in the contents pane, tap or click New, and then slide to select Libraries.
Step 3: Type in the name of your new Library.

Adding folders to a library is easy, too.

Step 1: Press and hold or right-click a folder in File Explorer.
Step 2: Tap or click Include in library, and slide to select the library.

For more information, see Libraries: Frequently asked questions and Libraries: How to add or remove a folder.