Use File History to Backup OneDrive Content

Technical Level : Intermediate

Summary

This article details how to backup OneDrive content to another storage medium using the built-in Windows backup tool File History. For more details about File History, read this page:

Restore files or folders using File History

This is valid on Windows 10 and Windows 8.1.


Details

OneDrive is a great tool for syncing and sharing files via Microsoft accounts, however, it's a syncing tool first and files can be permanently deleted. A good practice is to use File History in conjunction with OneDrive so any changes are automatically backed up to a different location without fear of files being deleted.

Setup OneDrive to Sync all Critical Files Worthy of Backup

Before you can backup anything in OneDrive using File History, configure it so OneDrive syncs everything to your computer:

  • (Windows 10 and Windows 7) Choose the files and folders you want to sync to your computer
  • (Windows 8.1) Choose the folders and files you want to "Make Available Offline"

Wait for OneDrive to finish syncing all content before continuing to the next step.

Setup a Drive for File History

After you configure OneDrive to sync the content you need, setup a drive to use File History:

Set up a drive for File History

Large, slow drives are ideal for File History, whether they're inside of the computer or connected via a USB on the outside. When you setup File History it should automatically backup all Library folders, OneDrive folders, and other common Windows folders. If you don't see your OneDrive folders, manually add them.

Once configured, File History will run on the frequency you chose and will backup your OneDrive files if there are changes; File History uses a more intelligent backup process and will only backup if it detects changes. If a file changes frequently, you'll see many versions, possibly a version every time File History runs, otherwise, you may see the original version if it never changes.

If you lose a file and need to restore it, follow these instructions to restore a file from File History:

Restore files or folders using File History

 

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Last updated May 5, 2020 Views 9,824 Applies to:

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Would it be possible to use the File History tool to back up my PC hard drive files to OneDrive?  I have a large external USB drive, but given the threat environment for viruses (attacking both my hard drive and USB if connected), it seems to make more sense to make OneDrive my primary backup.  I use the File History utility to back up on my USB drive now and love the fact that I don't have to think about syncing up files.

Would it be possible to use the File History tool to back up my PC hard drive files to OneDrive?  I have a large external USB drive, but given the threat environment for viruses (attacking both my hard drive and USB if connected), it seems to make more sense to make OneDrive my primary backup.  I use the File History utility to back up on my USB drive now and love the fact that I don't have to think about syncing up files

The scenario I provided and what you provided will do the same thing except through two different paths. You'll have to direct File History to backup to the OneDrive folder so OneDrive syncs it. You could do it, but it seems overly convoluted for the same result. Keep them separate so there's no dependency between the two services.

I am using File History to backup my files. I have a serious problem. It backs up all of my file/folders in my users' name (e.g. C:\Users\Ali) except OneDrive's folder content. I even used WD Backup software (which is part of my WD Hard Drive), and I have this problem there too. I use the latest version of Windows 10 Fall Creator Update.
I am using File History to backup my files. I have a serious problem. It backs up all of my file/folders in my users' name (e.g. C:\Users\Ali) except OneDrive's folder content. I even used WD Backup software (which
is part of my WD Hard Drive)
, and I have this problem there too. I use the latest version of Windows 10 Fall Creator Update.

I have the same problem. After the fall creators update, I am no longer able to backup the onedrive folder using file history. I woulld really like a work around to be able to do this again. Thanks.

John

After the fall creators update, file history will no longer back up onedrive files. How can this be fixed?
Im using Office 365 abd have Ond Drive for cloud bavk up. I am also using a WD Passport Ultra for backup so i can have a 2nd backup. I have "File History" setup with my WD Passport external drive added. I have also addex One drive as a "target folder" for File History backup but it's not recognized so those files aren't getting backed up. How can I get this setup so I'm not duplicating everything and having to do a copy/paste every time a document or folder us updated?

What is your idea for protecting OneDrive files from a ransomware?

FileHistory feature works only for files that are sync-ed up to the local machine, which defeats the idea of a keeping files on a cloud drive.

File Versioning works only for Office files.

My question: what about other, non-Office files?

Apparently it is no longer possible to back up the Documents folder within OneDrive using File History. In fact, I can't back up the Documents folder within OneDrive to a WD backup drive. 
I have the exact same problem except it's only my Documents folder (in OneDrive on my PC) that is not recognized.

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