Articles on: OneDrive

How to backup documents stored on OneDrive

Articles on: OneDrive

How to backup documents stored on OneDrive

You can back up your important folders (your Desktop, Documents, and Picture’s folders) on your Windows PC with OneDrive PC folder backup, so they're protected and available on other devices. If you haven't already set up OneDrive on your computer, see Sync files with OneDrive in Windows.

There's no extra cost for PC folder backup (up to 5 GB of files without a subscription).

Set up PC folder backup:

If you're prompted to back up your virtual folders (Desktop, Documents, and Pictures), select the prompt to start the folder backup wizard. If you didn't see the prompt or you already closed the wizard, select the white or blue cloud icon in the Windows notification area, and then select OneDrive Help and Settings icon

Help & Settings > Settings, then Backup> Manage Backup.

In the Back up your folders dialog, make sure the folders that you want to back up are selected.

Select Start backup.

You can close the dialog box while your files sync to OneDrive. Or, to watch your files sync, select

View upload progress. If you already closed the dialog, to open the OneDrive activity center, select
the white or blue cloud in the notification area.

Access your backed-up folders on any device:

When your files finish syncing to OneDrive, they're backed up, and you can access them from anywhere in Documents, Desktop, or Pictures. When you back up your Desktop folder, the items on your desktop roam with you to your other PC desktops where you're running OneDrive.
You can back up a maximum of 5 GB of files in OneDrive for free or up to 1 TB with a Microsoft 365
If you're signed into the OneDrive sync app on your computer, you can use File Explorer to access your
OneDrive. You can also use the OneDrive mobile app to access your folders on any device.

Manage or stop PC folder backup:

Open OneDrive settings (select the white or blue cloud icon in your notification area, and then

select OneDrive Help and Settings icon Help & Settings > Settings.)

In Settings, select Backup > Manage backup.

To start backing up a folder, select any folder that doesn't say Files backed up, and then select

Start backup.
To stop backing up a folder, select Stop backup, and confirm your request. See important notes


When you stop backing up a folder, the files that were already backed up by OneDrive stay in the
OneDrive folder and will no longer appear in your device folder.• In the folder that you stopped backing up, you’ll see an icon titled Where are my files? That’s a
shortcut to your folders in OneDrive. To access your files, select the icon to open the folder in
OneDrive.• If you want those files back in your device folder and not in OneDrive, move them manually from
the OneDrive folder back to your device folder. Note that OneDrive won’t back up any new files
you add to that folder on your device after you stop the backup.• To move the files. First, select Where are my files to open the folder in OneDrive, then select the
files that you want to move to your device folder and drag them to that location.

Fix problems with PC folder backup:

Here is a list of errors you might see when you set up PC folder backup and how to resolve them:

The following file type can't be protected: Outlook database files (.pst).Folder protection is unavailable:

A common reason for this error is that important folders on PCs that are connected to a domain can't be protected in a personal OneDrive account (when you're signed in with a Microsoft account). For info about data protection solutions, contact your IT administrator. You shouldn't have this issue with a work or school account.

File exceeds the maximum path length: Ensure the entire file path, including the file name,

contains fewer than 260 characters. An example of a file path is:


To resolve this, shorten the name of your file or the name of subfolders in OneDrive, or select a

sub-folder that's closer to the top-level folder.

File exceeds the maximum file size: OneDrive can't sync files over 250GB. Remove these files from

the folder you want to protect, and then try again.

The file name isn't allowed in OneDrive: File names can't start with a space or include any of these

characters: \: / *? < > " |. Please move or rename the file to continue.

The folder isn't selected for syncing: The folder with the error is not syncing to your PC. To resolve

this error, open OneDrive Settings (right-click the white or blue cloud icon in your notification area,
select Settings), fine Choose Folders and then make sure the folder you want to protect is selected.
For example, if pictures show this error, make sure that Pictures, Screenshots, and Camera Roll are
established (or don't exist). It's also possible that the OneDrive folder has a different name from
the Windows important folder.

Important folders aren't in the default locations: The folder with the error contains another

important folder and can't be protected until the organized folder is moved. Important folders that
may be contained within the folder include Documents, Desktop, Pictures, Screenshots, Camera
Roll, or the OneDrive folder.

An unknown error occurred, with error code 0x80070005: If you receive error code 0x80070005,

the "Prohibit User from manually redirecting Profile Folders" group policy is enabled. You may find
that the files from the folders you selected were moved to identically named folders in your
OneDrive folder, and the original locations are empty. Move the folder contents back to the
original sites and ask your administrator whether the policy can be changed.

Folder contains a reparse point (junction point or symlink): The folder you want to protect

contains a particular file type that links parts of the file system together. These items can't be
covered. To protect the folder, remove the File causing the issue.

Post PC folder backup: OneDrive tries to reopen notebooks that were previously open

automatically. Some notebooks may not be automatically loaded in the OneNote desktop app
after PC folder backup in rare cases. The workaround for this issue is to reopen the notebooks in
the OneNote app using File File> Open.

Updated on: 31/01/2023

Updated on: 01/07/2024

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