Top Two Ways for OneDrive One Way Sync

You can learn the top two ways for OneDrive one way sync, including OneDrive desktop app and the free third-party software. You can read on for more details.


by Clytze Updated on October 19, 2022

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User Case: Can OneDrive Sync One Way Only?

“I was just gifted a OneDrive account. I've only ever used Google Drive so I assumed OneDrive would have similar features. However, I can't seem to find a way to sync local to cloud, where deleting something in the cloud doesn't also delete it locally.

I want a one way sync backup, so that if the cloud is edited my local files are unaffected, but the cloud still syncs new files added locally and gives me the option whether to update them or ignore. So, I just want to know can OneDrive sync one way only? Any help would be appreciated.”

In fact, OneDrive is a two-way sync application. But you can achieve OneDrive only syncing one way by modifying its settings or using a third-party sync software for help. Please read on.

What Is OneDrive One Way Sync?

OneDrive One Way Sync is a sync mode, and it involves syncing items in only one direction. This means that any items you create, delete, or change in the source folder will be reflected in the target folder. But if you perform the corresponding operation in the target folder, those changes will not be synced to the source folder.

Onedrive One Way

Why Perform OneDrive One Way Sync?

  • Backup important files and data: To avoid computer or disk failure, backing up important files and data to OneDrive in advance can help you access the data anytime.
  • Share information: After one-way syncing to the OneDrive, you can easily share information with others using its built-in share function. At the same time, if you choose one-way sync from OneDrive to the local folder, you can download files, pictures, videos, etc shared by others.
  • Avoid conflicts: Two-way synchronization sometimes may lead to conflicts so that users don‘t get the latest version of files in time, which can affect your working efficiency.

How to Do One Way Sync with OneDrive

Next, this article will introduce you 2 ways of OneDrive one-way sync, both the OneDrive desktop app and free third-party software can help you. You can choose any of them based on your own needs.

OneDrive One Way Sync by Desktop App

The first method is to perform OneDrive one-way sync via the OneDrive desktop app. If you are a Windows 10/11 user, the OneDrive is already installed on your computer, you can just open the app and sign in to your OneDrive account. If you don't have this app, you need to download it from the official website, install and open it then sign in to your account.

OneDrive One Way Sync from Local to Cloud

Step 1. Create a subfolder (for example “2018”) in local OneDrive folder.

Step 2. Put all the files you want to sync to your OneDrive account.

Step 3. Then, the OneDrive desktop app will automatically sync the subfolder to your OneDrive.

Onedrive One Way Sync From Local To Cloud


To avoid new added or revised files to be synced from the cloud back to local, you'd better not edit files stored in the synced subfolder (for example "2018") in OneDrive.

OneDrive One Way Sync from Cloud to Local

Step 1. Create a folder (for example “test”) in OneDrive. Then, click Help &Settings > Settings.

Help And Settings

Step 2. Select Choose folders in the Account tab.

Choose Folder

Step 3. Select the folders you want to sync from OneDrive to your computer and then click OK.



To avoid the OneDrive app automatically reflecting the changes from the local device back to the cloud, you'd better not edit the synced folders ("test") under the OneDrive folder on your computer.

OneDrive One Way Sync by Free Third-party Software

If you think the first method is a little bit troublesome or worry about the operation error. You can choose an easier way to perform OneDrive one-way sync, which is to use reliable third-party software to help you, for example, AOMEI Backupper Professional. It can help you sync your local files to OneDrive easily and your operation on the OneDrive won’t affect your local files. And it also has the following advantages.

  • Auto sync: It allows you to automatically sync local folders on your computer to OneDrive in one direction at fixed intervals (daily/weekly/monthly).
  • Multiple cloud services: You can easily one-way sync your computer folders to OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox and many other cloud services.
  • Multiple storage devices to sync files: Besides supporting one-way sync of local files to OneDrive, you can also sync files or folders to other locations, such as external hard drives, NAS, removable USB drives, etc.
  • Different systems: It supports various Windows operating systems, such as Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista, etc.

Then, you can follow the steps below to perform OneDrive one way sync using AOMEI Backupper Standard with just a few clicks.

Step 1. Download AOMEI Backupper Professional, install and launch it. Then click Sync > Mirror Sync.

Download Free Trial Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Mirror Sync

Notes: This software also provides other sync ways to meet your different needs.

  • Basic Sync: It is like Windows' Copy feature and it would not create image file after the sync process is done so you can view your contents at any time.
  • Real-Time Sync: It will monitor the files or folders in real-time and sync changes from the computer to OneDriveimmediately, which is very useful when you work in a team or change files frequently.
  • Two-Way Sync: It will sync files from the computer to OneDrive, and then detect changes and reflect them in both locations.

Step 2. Click Add Folder to select the local folders you want to sync. And you can click the “+” icon to add more folders to sync if you need.

Add Folder

Step 3. Click the inverted triangle at the right edge of the second bar and choose Select a cloud drive as the destination path.

Select USB

Step 4. Select OneDrive and click OK.

Backup To Onedrive


If you cannot find OneDrive in the list, then go back to Step 3 and manually navigate to the OneDrive local folder by clicking the folder shaped button in the second bar.

Step 5. Confirm your operations and click Start Sync to perform OneDrive one-way sync.

USB Mirror Sync


  • Options: You can write comments for the sync task to distinguish it from other sync tasks. And if you don't have time to wait for the process done, you can set an email notification to send you the sync result.
  • Schedule: You can set the intervals to let the sync tasks run automatically such as daily/weekly/monthly/event trigger/usb plug in.
  • In addition to sync method, this software still supports backup method. You can choose to backup files to AOMEI Cloud, a cloud drive developed by AOMEI Tech, and it offers 1TB free storage in 15 days after registration.


This article shows you the top two ways to perform OneDrive one way sync, you can set up the OneDrive desktop app to help you. Or you can choose the simpler method, which is to use AOMEI Backupper Professional. It allows you to sync local files to the cloud in one direction. Any changes you make locally will be automatically synced to OneDrive, and any operations you do in the cloud will not be synced locally.

It also supports you to set different frequencies to run sync tasks automatically. And it allows you to sync files to multiple cloud services and various storage devices.

Besides, it is also a professional backup software that supports system backup, disk backup, partition backup and file backup to protect your data in all aspects. Even if your computer encounters problems, you can use the backup to restore it. If you are a Windows Server user, you can pick AOMEI Backupper Server. You can download this software to explore more features.

Clytze · Editor
Clytze, an editor at AOMEI Technology, is passionate about safeguarding your digital world. She dedicates her expertise to empower users like you in data security and recovery. She firmly believes that everyone should have the tools and knowledge to protect their digital assets through computer backup, seamless disk cloning, and efficient file synchronization. Clytze is your trusted guide on the journey to data safety.