By Delia / Last Updated February 26, 2021

Is it good to backup PC to OneDrive?

No matter you are running Windows 10, Windows 8 or Windows 7, the files and information stored on computer isn’t always safe for hardware or software reasons, that's why many people would like to backup PC to OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox and suchlike cloud drives.

Compared to traditional methods, online backup is not just a copy, but a guarantee of protecting your PC files from bad situations like system crash, virus, hard drive failure and so on. Thus even when your computer breaks down all of a sudden, you'll be sure to retrieve important data easily and quickly.

Then, how about OneDrive among all these cloud services?

OneDrive is a free online storage that provides fast and hassle-free way to store data on the cloud. It is not only for Windows computers, but also handheld devices like iOS and Android.

Using OneDrive to backup PC files, you can enjoy following benefits:

  • Just like other cloud drives, OneDrive is cheaper than physical hard drive, and also more convenient.

  • You can access these files from anywhere and on different platforms. No need to worry about hardware failures.

  • OneDrive offers you 5 GB free space as long as you have a Microsoft account.

  • In addition to PC, OneDrive can be used on Windows Phone, IOS, Android, Mac OS X, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, as long as you install the OneDrive application.

That's not all you can get from backing up computer to OneDrive in Windows 10/8/7. But how can you do it exactly?

Onedrive Logo

How to backup PC to OneDrive in Windows 10/8/7?

As one of the cloud services, Microsoft OneDrive allows you to simply backup local files to cloud. The backup here is normally equivalent to file sync, which can upload the data on your PC to OneDrive with original format for direct view and use.

To achieve this goal, you can take more than one approach. But it’s better to setup the OneDrive desktop app anyway.

How to setup OneDrive desktop app for backup and sync:

1. If you are running Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, you should already have OneDrive app on your computer, just search for OneDrive to check if it's already installed. If you are running Windows 7 or older, go to the official site, download OneDrive desktop application and install it on your PC.

2. Sign in with your Microsoft account. If you don't have one, sign up for free.

3. By default, the application will create an OneDrive folder.


  • OneDrive app isn’t supported on Windows XP.

  • When you first time set up OneDrive, you can choose which OneDrive folders to sync to computer. Or you can change it later in Help & Settings > Settings > Account > Change folders.

  • You can also install OneDrive app on your phones like iOS or Android.

Now, let's check out these commonly used methods to backup computer files to OneDrive.

Method 1. Backup computer to OneDrive with desktop app

The most direct way to backup PC to OneDrive is using the desktop app. Installing it will automatically create a folder on your computer. You can use it to easily upload files or folders.

Backup computer data to OneDrive with desktop app:

1. Double-click the OneDrive icon on the bottom right to open the folder, or click it then choose Open folder.

Open Folder

2. Copy, or drag the files/folders you want to backup to this folder. It will be automatically uploaded.

Onedrive Folder

3. For several important folders including Desktop, Documents and Pictures, you can choose which folder to sync in Help & Settings > Settings > Backup > Important PC Folders > Manage backup. Thus after backup, any changed or added files in selected folders will be synchronized to OneDrive automatically.

Method 2. Backup PC files and folders to OneDrive via the website

If you can't or don’t want to use the desktop app, you can try uploading files and folders via the official website.

How to backup PC files to OneDrive through website:

1. Launch and log-in the official website of OneDrive. You’ll jump to My files as long as you entered the correct account information.

Log In Microsoft

2. You can click Upload, then select the Files or Folders to upload. Or you can directly drag the files from your computer to OneDrive My files.

Onedrive My Files

3. Wait for the uploading to complete.

Method 3. Use free alternative to backup Windows PC to OneDrive flexibly

If you want a more convenient and complete backup solution in Windows 10/8/7, you can try this freeware AOMEI Backupper Standard, which allows you to easily backup or sync PC files to OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, and many other cloud services as long as it has been installed on the desktop.

What’s the difference between backup and sync?

Normally, backup refers to creating an image file, which takes up less space and requires a restoring process before using, while sync refers to creating a replicate with original format that can be accessed directly.

AOMEI Backupper support them both, so you can choose File Backup or Basic Sync accordingly. To upload files for direct use just like OneDrive does, you can adopt Basic Sync for greater convenience. If you just want to keep the image of your PC as double insurance, File Backup may be a better choice.

Other advantages of AOMEI Backupper:

Compared with default uploading ways, this tool offers you flexible plans and fast transferring speed. For example, you can set up a schedule to automatically backup any selected PC files or folders to OneDrive.

As a complete backup & restore solution, it can also perform conventional backup to local disk, external hard drive, USB, other cloud drives, NAS, etc.

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

How to backup PC files to OneDrive with free alternative:

1. Launch the software, navigate to Sync tab and choose Basic Sync.

◆ If you prefer image backup, you could go to Backup tab and choose from serveral backup options. Even if you want to backup Windows 10/8/7 operating system to OneDrive, you could use System Backup; if you want to backup entire PC to OneDrive, there's Disk Backup.
◆ Also, if you set up a scheduled automatic backup, it will be performed in incremental mode by default to back up only changed files each time.

Basic Sync

2. Click Add Folder to select the folders you want to sync to OneDrive. It’s available to add multiple folders by clicking the + button.

Add Folders

3. Click on the small down arrow beside the destination select box, choose Select a cloud drive in the menu.

Select A Cloud Drive

4. Then choose OneDrive in the popping out menu. You can double-click it to choose the specific folder as the destination. Click OK to confirm it.

One Drive

5. Manage Options or set up Schedule as you want. Then click Start Sync and wait for it to complete.

  • Options: here you can choose to leave comment, send email notification, sync deletions, verify file integrity, etc.

  • Schedule: five options are provided here to automatically backup PC to OneDrive - Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event triggers and USB plug in. The last two are only available in advanced editions. You can make the choice according to your needs.

Start Sync To Onedrive

6. Wait for it to complete. During sync, you can also click the gear icon at bottom left to set up the computer to Shut down, Restart, Hibernate or Sleep after sync completion.

File Sync Shutdown

Related tips:

  • Advanced sync modes - if you want to automatically sync newly changed or added files to OneDrive without a schedule, you can upgrade to Professional edition to enjoy the Real-Time Sync feature. It’s kind of like Import PC Folders of OneDrive, but not limited to those three folders (Desktop, Documents, Pictures). Also in advanced editions, you can use Mirror Sync to keep the files in target directory exactly the same as in source directory, or use Two-Way Sync to sync any changes between the source and the destination mutually.

  • Filter - in Pro or higher editions, you can include or exclude the files with certain formats to sync. Just click on the funel icon beside the source box.

  • Note - the source folder and the target folder cannot have a containment relationship. And please don't modify the folder name of the source folder once the sync task has been set up, otherwise the sync can’t be done properly.


How to backup PC to OneDrive? There are several ways you can try in Windows computers, like the desktop app or OneDrive website. Both of them are convenient. But if you want a more complete and flexible backup solution, AOMEI Backupper is an option worth trying.

This freeware allows you to backup PC files to not only OneDrive, but also Google Drive, DropBox, external hard drive, USB and so on, which makes it easy to follow 3-2-1 backup rule. In addition to file backup and sync, you can also use the clone feature to migrate data from HDD to SSD, or clone old computer to a new one.