How To Set Up OneDrive Backup

OneDrive is a couple of different things. It’s the personal storage you get in Microsoft 365 and Outlook.com accounts. It’s also the name of the App that runs on your PC that syncs these files to your computer (as well as SharePoint files). But what is OneDrive Backup and how do you use it?

What does it back up?

Before we go any further, it’s worth discussing briefly what ‘back up’ means in this context. Backup usually means a second storage of data that you can recover files from if you delete them. That’s not quite the case here.

OneDrive backup is a sync. When switched on, three of the most commonly used folders are synced into it. These are

  • Desktop
  • Documents
  • Pictures

Any files stored in these locations will be synced to OneDrive. Anything already in these folders will automatically sync up to the cloud storage (so, if you have a lot of pictures, you might want to allow some time for the sync to complete after signing in).  

If you sign into OneDrive on another device, they will instantly be available to you on that device, so you can effectively have the same desktop on multiple devices.

How to set it up

Setting it up is very easy to do. Just search for OneDrive in the Start menu and open it.

Search for OneDrive in the Start Menu

Enter your email address and password (you might also be prompted to confirm the sign in via 2 Factor Authentication if you have that set up).

Enter your email address and password

Click through the next few windows until you get to the one that says ‘Back up your folders’ and make sure these three locations are all ticked. Click through to the end to finish.

Choose to backup your Desktop, Documents and Pictures folders.

That’s it! Your files will now start to sync to your account and will be available on other devices you sign in to.

Another useful tip for syncing between devices is to use browser accounts to get your browser bookmarks, history and passwords synced between devices. Check out How To Sign In to Edge or, if you use Firefox or Chrome, How To Set Up A Sync Account in Firefox and Chrome

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