Folder protection

How to sync Documents, Pictures, Desktop folders to OneDrive

OneDrive now syncs your Windows 10 folders to the cloud, and here's how to set up the feature.

OneDrive has a new folder protection feature that allows you to sync your Windows 10 folders (Desktop, Pictures, and Documents) to the cloud service 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’ll learn the steps to set up folder protection to sync the Documents, Pictures, and Desktop folders automatically to OneDrive.

How to sync Windows 10 folders automatically to OneDrive

You can now backup your Windows 10 folders, including Desktop, Pictures, and Documents to OneDrive automatically to protect your files against malware using these steps:

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

  2. Click the More menu.

  3. Select the Settings option.

    OneDrive settings menu
    OneDrive settings menu
  4. Click on the Auto Save tab.

  5. Under “Protect your important folders,” click the Update folders button.

    OneDrive Auto Save Update Folders button
    OneDrive Auto Save Update Folders button
  6. Select the folders you want to sync to OneDrive:

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

    OneDrive folder protection setup
    OneDrive folder protection setup

If you don’t see the Update folders button, then you cannot protect your files using this feature. However, you can start saving files that you usually save in the default folders to your OneDrive folder.

Once you’ve completed 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.

If you don’t have enough space available in OneDrive to sync your files, you can get an Office 365 subscription which gives you 1TB of cloud storage, plus a number of other benefits.

How to manage settings for Windows 10 folders 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 using these steps:

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

  2. Click the More menu.

  3. Select the Settings option.

    OneDrive settings menu
    OneDrive settings menu
  4. Click on the Auto Save tab.

  5. Click the Update folders button.

    OneDrive Auto Save Update Folders button
    OneDrive Auto Save Update Folders button
  6. In the folder, click the Stop protecting link.

    OneDrive stop protection folder desktop folder
    OneDrive stop protection folder desktop folder
  7. Click the Stop protection button to confirm.

    OneDrive stop protection option
    OneDrive stop protection option

If you want to protect additional folders, select the folder, and then click the Start protection button.

After completing the steps, depending on your configuration, OneDrive will stop syncing your Windows 10 account folders, or it’ll start protecting new folders.

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