By Nicky / Last Updated July 30, 2020

About OneDrive

Microsoft OneDrive, or just OneDrive for short, is Microsoft’s cloud-based file hosting service and synchronization service. It allows users to store files and personal data like Windows settings or BitLocker recovery keys in the cloud, share and sync files across Android, Windows Phone, and iOS mobile devices, Windows, and macOS computers. Generally, OneDrive offers 5GB of storage space for free and provides a series of storage options including 100 GB, 1 TB, and 6 TB, and so on.

Can I backup Windows 10 files or system to OneDrive?

Nowadays, cloud-based storage has become a basic and expected feature of consumers and enterprise users. For Windows 10 users, the standard and default cloud storage service is Microsoft OneDrive, which is included as an integral part of most common installations of the operating system. Therefore, although there are so many Windows 10 cloud backup, when Windows users are planning to back up their files to cloud storage, OneDrive must be their first choice.

However, it’s worth pointing out, OneDrive is specifically for storing documents and files, that are crucial to you. With OneDrive, computer settings cannot be saved and applications cannot be saved, meaning only aspect OneDrive can help with is downloading crucial files for your computers. The final answer is that Microsoft’s OneDrive cannot be used to back up your system or PC.

Does OneDrive automatically backup Windows 10?

Generally, OneDrive allows users to backup Windows 10 files to its cloud through the website or desktop app. However, the web version only allows you to select and upload files manually. If there are a large number of files that need to be backed up, this process of uploading files via the website will be really time-consuming. And every time you have some new files that need to be backed up, you need to go to the website and log in to your account to operate it manually. That’s too much trouble.

Therefore, if you want to automatically backup and sync Windows 10 files or folders to OneDrive, you can rely on the OneDrive desktop app to let it automatically backup and sync your Windows 10 files. In the following contents, you will find the step-by-step guide to install the desktop app on your Windows 10 PC.

How to automatically backup Windows 10 files to OneDrive?

Way 1. Use OneDrive desktop app

1. On your Windows 10 PC, click Start and search for “OneDrive”, and then open it.

2. When OneDrive Setup starts, enter your personal account, or your work or school account, and select “Sign in”.

Set Up

3. On the “This is your OneDrive folder screen”, select “Next” to accept the default folder location for your OneDrive files. If you want to change the folder location, select “Change location”.

Folder Location

4. You’ll now be prompted to select the folders that you want to sync across the local PC and the cloud. Only the ones that you tick will be available offline. Press the “Next” button to get to the final set up screen which confirms everything is ready to sync.

Choose Sync Folder

With OneDrive set up, you can access your cloud storage folder at any time by clicking the "OneDrive" entry in the left pane of the new Windows 10 File Explorer. As mentioned above, this folder has a two-way sync feature, so you just need to drag and drop the file into this folder, it will be synced to OneDrive automatically.

OneDrive in Windows

To ensure a PC’s important folders are backed up to Microsoft’s cloud service, OneDrive offers folder protection feature to automatically backup your documents, pictures, and desktop folders to OneDrive. You can enable folders protection feature with the steps below:

1. Open OneDrive "Settings".

2. In “Settings”, select “Backup” > “Manage backup” to choose the folder you want to automatically backup to OneDrive on Windows 10.

Folder Backup

Way 2. Use a third-party backup tool

Besides OneDrive official tool, there also are many third-party tools like that can help you auto backup files to cloud. There, we will take a free backup tool – AOMEI Backupper Standard to how you how to do it.

1. Install and log in to your OneDrive account. Keep its location in mind because you’ll need it later.

2. Download AOMEI Backupper Standard, install and launch it. Go Backup > File Sync.

File Sync

3. Then, you can choose the local files/folders you want to backup to OneDrive. Then, click on “Select a cloud drive” to choose OneDrive as destination. After that, click Start Sync to begin.

Choose Destination

Note: Before syncing, set a schedule to automatically sync files/folders in daily, weekly, monthly, or real-time mode without manual operations.

Schedule Settings General

Bonus tip: How to get more OneDrive storage space for free?

As mentioned above, OneDrive offers only 5GB free storage space, which may be not enough for you to backup files to OneDrive regularly. If you are not ready to pay for an advanced plan with larger storage space, you can use a multiple cloud storage manager like cBackupper to add and merge OneDrive accounts and combine the backup space of several OneDrive accounts on one interface and enjoy more free backup storage space.

1. Create an account and sign in. Just go to the main page of cBackupper, click “Sign up” at the upper right side, then type your email, password, and name. After that, sign in your account.


2. Navigate to the Clouds tab, click "Add Clouds" at the bottom of My Clouds, select "OneDrive" and click "OK" to add this drive. You can add OneDrive accounts as many as you have.

Add OneDrive

3. After adding, all your OneDrive accounts are listed here. With only one login, you can allocate and make full use of their backup storage space or backup your files between them freely.

Allocated Space OneDrive


To automatically backup Windows 10 files to OneDrive, you can choose any of the two ways above to follow. Both ways are free. In addition, if you set up an automatic backup task to back up your files to OneDrive regularly, your free storage space will be run out of quickly. Don’t forget to use cBackupper to gain more free backup storage by combining multiple OneDrive accounts.