Skip to main content

How to set up file backup to OneDrive on Windows 10 May 2020 Update

Windows 10 cloud file backup option
Windows 10 cloud file backup option (Image credit: Windows Central)

Starting with the May 2020 Update, Windows 10 is tweaking the Backup settings page with a new option to leverage OneDrive to back up your important files stored in the default account folders (Desktop, Documents, and Pictures) to ensure they're protected in the cloud against malware, ransomware, and viruses. Also, if you use multiple devices, then OneDrive will keep these files in sync.

The ability to backup vital folders to OneDrive has been available for some time, but the Windows 10 May 2020 Update will make the feature easier to discover and configure, now that users without a first backup solution will begin to receive reminders to protect their data.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to set up a file backup to OneDrive with the settings available starting with version 2004.

How to back up files to OneDrive on Windows 10

To start backing up files to OneDrive, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Update & Security.
  3. Click on Backup.
  4. Under the "Back up files to OneDrive" section, click the Back up files option.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. (Optional) Click to clear the folder that you don't want to backup in the cloud.
  2. Click the Start backup button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Once you complete the steps, OneDrive will begin backing up the files on the Desktop, Documents, and Pictures user folders in the cloud while keeping a copy on your device and syncing them across your devices.

If you're using the free version of OneDrive, you can only store up to 5GB worth of files. However, you can upgrade to the 1TB option getting an Office 365 subscription.

How to manage OneDrive file backup on Windows 10

To manage the OneDrive backup settings, use these steps:

  1. Click the OneDrive icon in the notification area.
  2. Click the More menu.
  3. Select the Settings option.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Backup tab.
  2. Click the Manage backup button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Select the folders you want to backup in the cloud.
  2. Click the Start backup button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

After you complete the steps, OneDrive will backup your files depending on your configuration.

If you're having issues syncing the files to OneDrive, use this guide that includes over a dozen tips to fix most problems with the Microsoft cloud storage service.

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

6 Comments
  • I have 40GB of OneDrive storage, I remember getting some free upgrade on it some years ago. It never got taken away.
  • If I already have my Documents, Photos, Downloads, etc., already set up to be OneDrive, is there any benefit of backing them up to OneDrive as well?
  • said it before. If your version 2004 doesn't have the settings app with the account banner, it wont have Back up files
  • It's not a backup. If you get a virus or delete a file accidentally then it deletes on OneDrive too. I know as I has some corrupt files on a hard drive and it copied the corruption into the cloud.
  • Yes, but you can use file history to restore to previous versions of the corrupt files.
  • Maybe would be nice if they had a backup system that would back up files to another drive, not to their cloud, saying that, I best stick with the software I have got. None of my files are going to the cloud.