Backup important folders to OneDrive

by Volker Weber


This is a big upgrade to the consumer version of OneDrive. You can now automatically save your desktop, your pictures and your documents folders to OneDrive. If you have Office 365, you also have a terabyte of online storage you can put to good use here. If your PC gets lost or hit by ransomware, you still have your files available to you. OneDrice protects you against ransomware by letting you roll back to previous versions.

How do you enable this? Hit the OneDrive icon, click More and then Settings. It's on the Autosave tab.


Unter OSX finde ich die Option leider nicht.

Markus Schott, 2018-08-15

It may only be available on Windows, for now.

Volker Weber, 2018-08-15

Nice feature, I admit. However, I feel better to save my backups to my private NAS server...

Kurt Glasner, 2018-08-15

No problem. Do that. Do you think your NAS is safer than OneDrive?

Volker Weber, 2018-08-15

OneDrive for Windows 10 seems to be an great sync/backup solution. Now, if they fixed the mess of an iOS version, it could become a usable backup solution for photos from iOS.

Ralph Inselsbacher, 2018-08-15

Now you tell me. I‘ve been resetting the Desktop and Documents folders in Windows to folders within OneDrive. :-)

Scott Hanson, 2018-08-16

Did anybody succeed in syncing big amounts of data? If I put my pictures folder with 250GB into OneDrive, it will start "looking for changes" indefinitely. It will stay like this for hours without syncing. Smaller chunks work fine.
So for now I am forced to pay extra for Dropbox, which is always blazingly fast on the same computer.

Thomas Gamradt, 2018-08-16

Just let it sit there. It will eventually sync the photos.

Volker Weber, 2018-08-16

No problem with bigger amounts of data. Using > 400 GB in OD, so far with no problems.

Martin Imbeck, 2018-08-16

Just to be exact: It's the OneDrive Client for Windows 10, in Windows 7 (i know it's old, but ...) it's not included.

Thorsten Koebe, 2018-08-16

Volker, Kurt - Depends on the risks you are looking at. I'd trust MSFT and fellows that they are able to run a datacenter better than I ever could with reasonable effort. But the NAS does not close your account and delete your data because of alleged violations of the Terms of Use or another kind of F*ck up, and refers you to an unmonitored mailbox or a callcenter full of drones for resolve. While the cloud is convenient, having a backup of your important stuff under your control makes sense to me.

Peter Daum, 2018-08-16

@Peter, I get your argument, but for sure, a hacker won't leave your data alone, if he comes by. And I think, this scenario is more realistic than microsoft closing your account for some f*ck up.
And even if this f*ck up happens... if you sync your data from cloud to your pc, I guess, closing your cloud account wouldn't result in any data loss on your side.

With that in mind: if a hacker breaks your system, maybe he get all your data on all your devices at home. If microsoft closes your account, the files synced to your devices are still available.

Nina Wittich, 2018-08-16

@vowe: "do you think your NAS is safer than OneDrive?" - well, this is a question you can answer from multiple perspectives, either with yes or no:
- data privacy: yes, the NAS is safer than OneDrive as long as you don't pinch holes in your firewall to enable internet access to your files
- data security: is a NAS safer than a cloud drive? Probably not, two or more harddisks in an unsafe environment (aka living room) are less safe than a cloud synced set of data.
However, a lot of my colleagues are concerned as Microsoft does NOT offer any backup solution. We use OD at work to replace the old fashioned network based home drive, and in fact, retrieving old or deleted files will not work with OD so far. You will have to use Sharepoint to have file versioning etc., but that is a second tool with a lot of admin overhead again.

Axel Koerv, 2018-08-16

@Nina Wittich: the files synced to your devices could vanish quicker than you can think - if MS decides to block your account they can still do anything, e.g. sync the emptied folders with your local copies and then close the account ... you will have to know about their actions before you connect to the Internet ...

Axel Koerv, 2018-08-16

@Nina Wittich: If the hacker gets access to your desktop and decides to delete the data, it will also vanish from OneDrive due to the sync.

Cloud sync does not equal cloud backup. I'd see it more as additional protection against device failure due to catastrophic events (flood, fire, etc.), not as protection against bad guys.

Jochen Schug, 2018-08-16

- for firewall pinches: how often do you have professional penetration tests on your private systems, to be surely up to date on all points?
- okay, deleting and syncing before closing the account is a point, but only ends in disaster, when all your devices are online and ready for syncing before they close the account. Chances, that you see what happens on a second device are high and as long as you haven't configured auto-sync on all your devices, I doubt they take over to start the sync on your machine....

Nina Wittich, 2018-08-16

Likely scenarios:

1. Your computer is lost
2. You spill a drink over your computer
3. You delete an important directory of files
4. Malware encrypts all your documents in all available drives

Unlikely scenarios:

4312. Microsoft deletes all your files, waits for you to sync all files on all your machines and then closes your account so you cannot recover them

Office 365 protects you against the likely scenarios but not the unlikely one.

Volker Weber, 2018-08-16

@Volker: Does OneDrive offer version control/undelete similar to Dropbox? If it doesn't (as others mentioned earlier) protection against 3. and 4. is highly dependent on the reflexes of the user.

Jochen Schug, 2018-08-16

Volker Weber, 2018-08-16

@alex OneDrive for Business is leveraging Sharepoint document libraries. So undelete and versioning is by default enabled on all files stored on it.

Frank van Rijt, 2018-08-16

All very nice. Just one problem: with the upload speed of my "broadband" it would probably take me 76456534653 days to create an initial backup of all my data. And after that a good photo shooting session would probably still take several days to sync.
That's what's stopping me from really using online backup.

Armin Grewe, 2018-08-16

Excellent. Thank you, Volker.

Jochen Schug , 2018-08-16

When simply taking a folder copy of the Desktop and IE favorites, the order of the entries is not preserved, so there must be some other location where this information is stored. For the desktop, this is of course further complicated when multiple screen setups are involved, there is a local dependency on the target machine, but so far this seems to be evaluated dynamically locally and hence the same approach should also work across machines. If only the location information would be synchronized along.

Does anybody know whether this is the case (and even where this location / order info is stored)?

Ragnar Schierholz, 2018-08-20

I think that is stored in the hidden file Desktop.ini.

Volker Weber, 2018-08-20

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