Folder protection

How to backup Documents, Pictures, Desktop folders to OneDrive

OneDrive can backup your Windows 11 (and 10) folders to the cloud, and here's how to set up the feature.

Windows 11 folders backup to OneDrive

OneDrive has a folder protection feature that allows you to sync your Windows 11 and 10 folders (Desktop, Pictures, and Documents) to the cloud to make sure those files are protected against ransomware, viruses, and other malware. If you have multiple devices, OneDrive can also keep these folders in sync without extra steps.

The feature it’s been available for business users for quite a while, and now, it’s also available for home users with personal accounts.

In this guide, you will learn the steps to automatically set up folder protection to sync the Documents, Pictures, and Desktop folders to OneDrive.

Backup folders automatically to OneDrive

You can now backup your Windows 11 folders, including Desktop, Pictures, and Documents to OneDrive automatically to protect your files against malware.

To sync your profile folders to OneDrive, use these steps:

  1. Click on the OneDrive (cloud) button in the taskbar.

  2. Click the Help & Settings menu (gear) button.

  3. Select the Settings option.

    Open OneDrive settings in 2022

  4. Click the Backup tab.

  5. Under “Important PC Folders,” click the Manage backup button.

    OneDrive manage backup

  6. Select the folders to sync and backup to OneDrive:

    • Desktop.
    • Pictures.
    • Documents.
  7. Click the Start backup button.

    Windows 11 folders backup to OneDrive

Once you complete the steps, OneDrive will upload and protect your files in the cloud against ransomware, viruses, and other types of malware. Also, your Desktop, Pictures, and Documents folders will sync to your other devices, and you’ll now be able to access those files from virtually anywhere.

Stop folders backup on OneDrive

If you no longer want to sync and protect folders or you want to include additional folders to OneDrive, you can update your settings.

To stop backing up Windows folders to OneDrive, use these steps:

  1. Click on the OneDrive (cloud) button in the taskbar.

  2. Click the Help & Settings menu (gear) button.

  3. Select the Settings option.

    Open OneDrive settings in 2022

  4. Click on the Backup tab.

  5. Under “Important PC Folders,” click the Manage backup button.

    OneDrive manage backup

  6. In the folder, click the Stop protecting link.

    Stop OneDrive folder backup

  7. Click the Stop protection button to confirm.

After you complete the steps, OneDrive will stop syncing your Windows account folders.

The only caveat using this feature is that Outlook database files (.pst files) and OneNote files, such as .one, .onepkg, .onetoc, and .onetoc2 not already stored in OneDrive won’t be synced automatically.