How To Backup Your Files With Microsoft OneDrive

You probably have access to Microsoft OneDrive, but do you know how to make the most of it? It’s a powerful tool for data continuity – all you have to do is discover how to use it.

When it comes to technology today, it’s not enough to simply have the right solutions. You can’t just buy the latest, greatest, flashiest option on the market and expect it to work perfectly. In order to optimize the way technology helps you get your work done, you have to think about how you use it.

User awareness and ability are more important than you may think. They’re key parts of productivity, effectivity and even security in relation to business technology. That’s why it’s so important for users like you to really understand the technology they use for business every day.

Case in point: Microsoft OneDrive – if you have a Microsoft 365 plan, then you have access to Microsoft OneDrive.

But do you really know how to use it?

What is Microsoft OneDrive?

Microsoft OneDrive is like a cloud-based version of the “My Documents” folder that you’ve come to rely on with your PC for years and years. When you create a document or need to open up one from the past, it’ll likely be stored in “My Documents” (ideally, organized a few subfolders down).

With Microsoft OneDrive, it’s the same idea, but instead of being stored in “My Documents” on your local work server, it’s stored offsite in the cloud, which means you can access that same file from your home office, while you’re on your way to work, or even while you’re away traveling for business. It even offers an offline sync engine so that you can keep working when you’re disconnected from the Internet

Your Step-By-Step Guide To Backing Up Your Files With Microsoft OneDrive

  1. You may automatically receive a prompt from OneDrive to start your backup, but if you don’t, you can do so manually via the white/blue cloud icon in the notifications area, following this menu path: Help & Settings > Settings, Backup > Manage backup.
  2. Select the folders you want to backup.
  3. Start your backup.
  4. You can either close the window while your backup is executed, or select View Upload Progress to check in on it.
  5. If at any point you want to add a new folder to your backup or remove one, you can do so via Backup > Manage backup in Settings. There you can choose to either Stop Backup or add a folder by selecting any that doesn’t say “Files backed up”.

Troubleshooting Your Microsoft OneDrive Backup

If you’re having any issues with your backup, consult this list of common errors to discover how to resolve them:

  • Folder protection is unavailable: Occasionally, 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). Talk to your IT support about resolving this type of issue.
  • File exceeds the maximum path length: The file path of a given file needs to be fewer than 260 characters. Simply move the file to a more shallow folder location to proceed.
  • File exceeds the maximum file size: OneDrive can’t sync files over 100GB.
  • The file name isn’t allowed in OneDrive: You can’t backup files that start with a space or include any of these characters: \ : / * ? < > ” |
  • The folder isn’t selected for syncing: Double check that the folder in question is selected for backup under the settings (as listed in step #5 above)
  • An unknown error occurred, with error code 0x80070005: This error occurs when the “Prohibit User from manually redirecting Profile Folders” group policy is enabled, which will move files from your local drive to the cloud instead of copying them. Simply move the folder contents back to the original locations and ask your IT support whether the policy can be changed.
  • Folder contains a reparse point (junction point or symlink): The folder in question contains a special file type that links parts of the file system together, which can’t be backed up. Simply remove the file that’s causing the issue.
  • Post PC folder backup: Occasionally, OneDrive will try to re-open notebooks that may not be automatically loaded in the OneNote desktop app after PC folder backup. Resolve this issue by reopening the notebooks in the OneNote app using File > Open.

To learn more about the features offered by Microsoft 365 and its many apps, make sure to check out our on-demand library of past Microsoft webinars, and see the schedule for upcoming broadcasts.