Backup to OneDrive for Business to Protect Data Continuously

OneDrive for business allows you to make an exact copy of your original files by syncing it, as it is a sync tool. But you can still backup to OneDrive for business using backup tools.


by Delia Updated on December 23, 2022

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Backup or Sync files to OneDrive for business with given solutions:

Can you use OneDrive for business as a backup

On internet, there are many users who search “backup to OneDrive for business”. Just like the following user case.


Does anyone know of a step by step guide to automatically set up OneDrive for Business across all tenant users? I need a backup policy for my user and One Drive is included with our Office 365 Business Premium subscription.

One Drive For Business

In fact, OneDrive for Business is not backup tool, but you can use it to make an exact copy of your files by syncing data on the local computer. Also, you can sync your data locally right through Windows file explorer. It is a part of the Microsoft 365 application, comes along with 1TB of storage, native data retention, eDiscovery, and file audit/reporting.

Except for backup, restore is also an issue that users are very concerned about. In OneDrive, you are allowed to recover files or folders in the OneDrive Recycle Bin within 90 days, then it will go forever. Besides, if the Recycle Bin is full, the oldest items will be deleted automatically after 3 days. More seriously, the restore from OneDrive Recycle Bin is a partial recovery and around 20% of the files wouldn’t restore, saying, there are not in the location.

Sync files to OneDrive for Business using desktop app

OneDrive for business can be choices of many users, it's mainly because cloud storage store data away from home or office, meaning that your important data is free from local disasters like fires and floods that could impact your external hard drive, optical discs, or other local drives.

Also, it can avoid hardware issues or other problems. Having your data stored in a physically secure, enterprise-grade data center also means that it's protected from theft as well as most common hardware failures.

Then, let's have a closer look at the steps to sync file to OneDrive for Business. 

Step 1. In Windows 10, type onedrive and select it. In previous version, such as, Windows 7/8/8.1, you need to download it first.

Step 2. Here you will asked to sign in with your Microsoft 365 credentials, type email and password for it.

Set Up Onedrive

Step 3. Then, you will see the default OneDrive folder location, you can choose to keep or change it. Click Next

Your Onedrive Folder

Step 4. In the Your OneDrive is ready for you window, click Open my OneDrive folder

Open My Onedrive Folder

Step 5. Copy and paste files you want to backup to this OneDrive folder, then it will start to sync files automatically. 

Also, you can set up sync settings per your needs through OneDrive Settings. In the Settings window, click Settings and select when you expect it to sync files or notify you. Also, you can set File On-Demand to save disk space and download files as needed.

In addition, you can choose folders you want to save in the local computer via Account or manage backup of important PC folders under the Backup tab. 

Choose Folder

Backup to OneDrive for business using built-in tool

Can you use OneDrive for backup? The answer is YES, you just need to use built-in backup tools as middle man, such as, Windows Backup and Restore or File History to backup to OneDrive. To make it, you need to move the OneDrive folder to another location and map it as local drive, then use file history to backup and select the mapped drive as backup path.

Move OneDrive folder to another location

By default, OneDrive folder is located in C: drive. You should never backup files to the same local drive that has to be backed up. The system drive may be the most vulnerable partition on your internal hard drive.

If the system drive gets virus infected and encrypted your files, this change will also sync to OneDrive cloud. Therefore, you may want to change the OneDrive folder to another location. For backup purposes, it is recommended to move OneDrive folder to an external drive.

Step 1. Right click on the OneDrive taskbar icon and then select "Settings".

Step 2. Under the Account tab, select "Unlink this PC". Then you will the OneDrive setup screen appear, and just ignore it for now.

Unlink This PC


Step 3. Open "File Explorer" and locate your OneDrive folder. In the File Explorer Home tab, click Move to > Choose locations... to select the external hard drive to receive OneDrive folder.

Move OneDrive Folder

Step 4. When it completes, open OneDrive and sign in with your OneDrive account.

Step 5. In the Your OneDrive folder" interface, click "Change location". After that, select "Use this location".

Map OneDrive for Business as a network drive

To use backup tool like Backup and Restore or File History to backup to OneDrive, you can map OneDrive as a network drive.

Step 1. Open a web browser (IE 11 is recommended) to login to your OneDrive for Business account. At the login screen, you should check the Automatically login option.

Step 2. Down the left corner, click "Return to classic OneDrive".

Step 3. Copy the URL without “/Forms/All.aspx”.

Copy URL

Step 4. Open "File Explore", and click "Map network drive". Then enter the link address you just copied to connect the OneDrive.

After that, you can see the mapped OneDrive in File Explorer. With a mapped OneDrive for Business drive, you can use backup tool like File History to directly backup to OneDrive. For detailed steps, refer to: 2 Workarounds That Let File History Backup to OneDrive.

Use free backup software to backup files to OneDrive for Business

Besides built-in tools, you can also use free backup software like AOMEI Backupper Standard as OneDrive for business backup tool. It allows you to backup files to cloud like OneDrive for business, you just need an installed OneDrive and then select it as destination path during the backup process. 

Here are two features you can use for backup, File Sync and File Backup.

>> If you need to preview your files very frequently, you can use “File Sync”.

>> If you want to backup folder to an image file so as to avoid any unwanted access, then select File Backup instead. 

As you may know, single backup only includes all the items available on your computer at that time point. To keep track of changes, you still need to set Schedule Sync or Schdule Backup. It supports different sync mode, such as, daily, weekly, monthly, etc.

Also, you can set Email Notification to know if the backup was successful. After the backup task is over, it will inform you the final result or the error message during the process by email.

To use OneDrive for business as backup, follow the detailed steps below:

Step 1. Free download AOMEI Backupper Standard. Install and open this tool, click Basic Sync under the Sync tab. If you want to create an image backup, then select File Backup instead. The steps are quite alike.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

File Sync

Step 2. Click Add Folder > This PC to select one or more folders that you want to backup to OneDrive for Business.

Add Folder

Sourch Folder

Step 3. Click the inverted triangle and Select a cloud drive. Then, you will see all the cloud drives in the Select Cloud window, choose OneDrive and click OK to exit.

Backup To Onedrive

Step 4. Here you will go back to the main page of Basic Sync, click Schedule and select daily/weekly/monthly sync settings as needed. Then, click Start Sync to automatically sync files to OneDrive.

Schedule Sync Daily


  • For being able to restore your system or files when system failed to boot, you can create bootable disc or USB drive to restore your data.

  • To enjoy more advanced features, such as, real-time file sync, mirror sync, two-way sync, USB plug in, Filter settings, etc, you need to upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional.

  • To backup files on server to OneDrive for business, you need to use AOMEI Backupper Server. Because the Standard and Professional version only supports Windows 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista.

Final words

After reading above methods to backup  files to OneDrive for business, you can choose one of them. I personally prefer the free backup software, because it’ very easy to use and doesn’t cause you any trouble. on the contrary, with its Schedule Sync or other features, your backup will be more convenient.

Besides, it is still a disk cloning software, so you can use it to clone hard drive to larger drive, clone large HDD to smaller SSD, clone SSD to larger SSD, move system reserved partition to another drive, etc. It is a fast recovery solutions in the event of a disaster, which does not require a system image recovery or disk recovery. 

Delia · Editor
Delia owns extensive experience in writing technology-related blog posts, and has been a part of AOMEI since 2020 to provide expertise in data security and disaster recovery. She works with Windows operating systems, SQL databases, and virtualization platforms such as VMware and Hyper-V, specializing in troubleshooting and advising on data protection and migration.