Whether you are worried about losing your important files/folders or looking for free storage options, OneDrive can be a useful tool for solving both of these problems.
Unlike traditional storage devices such as a hard disk or SSD, OneDrive stores a copy of your file on its servers. Therefore, you can backup your computer to OneDrive to recover them in case your device is lost or damaged.
So, without further delay, let’s look at how to backup your computer to OneDrive.
How to Backup Computer to Onedrive on Windows
There are two ways to use OneDrive for backup. One is to install the OneDrive desktop app on your local computer, and the other is to use the web app version.
Using the desktop app, you can have files locally available on your PC while still syncing to OneDrive. However, it takes up some space on your storage too.
On the other hand, the web app allows you to store files without consuming any space on your PC. But, you must sign in to your account from the browser and download the files each time you need them locally.
Nonetheless, here’s how to back up your files using both the desktop app and the web app.
Using the Desktop Application
If you are using Windows 10 or 11, OneDrive comes pre-installed on your computer. However, you must install the OneDrive application from its official site for older Windows versions.
To backup using the desktop application,
- First, search and open the OneDrive app on your PC and click on the little cloud icon in the notification area on the taskbar. If you don’t see it there, you may need to click on the Show hidden icons(little up arrow) on the taskbar.
- If you aren’t signed in already, sign in with your OneDrive account credentials. Otherwise, move on to the next step.
- Then click the gear icon from the OneDrive window and choose the Settings option.
- Under the Backup tab, click on the Manage backup button. Also, check the checkboxes under the Photos and videos and Screenshots sections to save photos and videos automatically whenever you connect a device like a phone or a camera, to the OneDrive folder.
- Now, choose the folders you want to backup on OneDrive and click “Start backup.”
- You can find all the backup contents on the OneDrive folder on the left side of the File Explorer.
Using the Onedrive Web App
To backup using the web app, you have to upload the files to the OneDrive dashboard. Here’s how you can do it.
- Open a browser and log in to your OneDrive account.
- Then, click “Upload” on the top bar and choose the Files/Folder option.
- Next, select the files you want to backup and click on Open to upload on the OneDrive cloud. Alternatively, you can drag and drop your files/folders directly to the OneDrive dashboard.
How to Change the Backup Location
Generally, OneDrive creates a folder named “OneDrive” on your system disk (C: drive for most people) to store its files. Then, everything you save on that folder gets backed up automatically, given that you are connected to the Internet.
However, if you want to change the folder, you can do it with the following steps.
- Open the OneDrive app.
- Then, click on the OneDrive icon(which looks like a little cloud) on the taskbar.
- Click on the little gear icon on the top-right corner of the OneDrive window and then on the Settings option.
- Under the Account tab, click on Unlink this PC or Unlink this Mac, depending on your device. Then, click on Unlink account on the window prompt.
- Now, on the Setup OneDrive prompt, enter your email address and click on Sign in.
- Next, enter the PIN or security code if required.
- On Your OneDrive folder window prompt, click on “Change location” and select your preferred disk location. After that, click on Next and follow the on-screen instructions.
How to Restore Files from the Onedrive Cloud to Your PC
If you want to access the synced files on OneDrive from a different computer, you can download them from the OneDrive web app. Here’s how you can do it.
- Open a web browser and log in to OneDrive’s official site.
- Click My files on the left sidebar and choose the files/folders to download.
- Next, click on “Download”, which appears on the top toolbar after selecting. To select everything at once, you can use the shortcut key Ctrl + A for Windows and Command + A for Mac.
- Select the destination folder on the Save as prompt and click on Save. Generally, the downloaded files are in the Downloads folder unless you have changed it.
How to Get More Storage in Onedrive
OneDrive only offers 5GB storage for a free account which isn’t sufficient in this digital age. So, it can fill up pretty quickly.
To get more storage, you have to upgrade to their premium subscription, which offers up to 1TB of storage on the cloud.
On the other hand, if you have a valid
.edu account, you can have up to 5TB of OneDrive storage for free.
How Can I Backup Files from One Onedrive Account to Another?
If you have multiple OneDrive accounts, you may want to move files from one account to another. Even though OneDrive doesn’t provide a direct way to do it, you can still do it in the following way.
- Open a browser and log in to the OneDrive account, which contains the files you want to backup.
- Next, select the required files/folders and click on Download.
- Now, log out of that account or open a different browser and log in to the OneDrive account you want to transfer those files.
- Then, drag and drop the downloaded files into the OneDrive dashboard.
Alternatively, you can use third-party tools like MultCloudcloudHQ, cloudHQ, cloudfuze, etc., to directly migrate the content between two OneDrive accounts. Furthermore, you can even do it for different storage cloud service providers.
How to Backup Files to Onedrive on a Mac?
Since Mac doesn’t have OneDrive already installed on it, you have to download its Desktop application. Then, copy/move your files to the OneDrive folder to backup. On the other hand, you can use the OneDrive web app if you don’t want to install the application.