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How to Sync OneDrive to an External Hard Drive

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jan 27, 2024 • Filed to: Take Data Backup • Proven solutions

Q: How to sync OneDrive to an external hard drive?

"OneDrive has become an integral part of my storage needs. I use it to store both work and personal files. However, my OneDrive is now flooded with files and narrowing my storage limit. Can I sync it to an external hard drive?"

Being one of the most popular cloud storage platforms, Microsoft's OneDrive offers a huge convenience to users. It not just sync all your files and data across different devices, but also back them up on the internet. Nevertheless, the free service gives 5GB storage to users, which seems to be less if you have a large number of files. Thus, depending on your storage needs, the OneDrive folder may consume a significant amount of storage. So, it is wise to have an alternative second storage drive. You can arrange this storage right into your system, inside an external hard drive, or even in another partition.

When you sync OneDrive data to your computer, then by default, it will save all the data on your local drive. You can find it in the User Folder. So, it might take a lot of storage space if you have lots of data to sync. Anyway, if your computer has a hard drive with a large capacity, then it may not affect largely. But it can pose a problem if it has just 128-256 GB SSD.

Fortunately, you can choose the location where your OneDrive will save all synced files. In short, it will allow you to store all synced data on a large capacity internal or external hard drive. Here we will discuss two different methods to do so.

Part 1: Benefits of Syncing OneDrive to an External Hard Drive?

OneDrive is quite popular among users as it allows everyone to manage their work and personal files from anywhere. You need to install the OneDrive application on your device. After that, the files that you store in the cloud will sync to the local storage in real-time. You can also enjoy a couple of additional benefits that are mentioned below.

1. Work In the Absence of Internet Network

No matter which device or platform you use, OneDrive lets you manage and access files from anywhere. Once you install the OneDrive application, it will sync all the data stored in it to the local storage. The syncing takes place in real-time. Besides, the real benefit of this platform is that you can use it offline. All you have to do is sync your OneDrive folder with any removable storage device, especially hard drive.

2. You Can Avoid Accidental Data Loss

There is nothing as frustrating as accidental data loss. The files may corrupt online due to various reasons, particularly ransomware virus attacks. Therefore, you must prefer to take offsite backup OneDrive folder. Syncing your OneDrive to an external hard drive will place an extra layer of protection to it.

As you can see, OneDrive is very convenient and handy when you manage multiple devices. Syncing keeps your photos, videos, and work files secure both online and offline. Now, the question is - how to sync this cloud platform to your external hard drive? Well, you can do it by using any of the two methods given below.

Part 2: How to Sync OneDrive to an External Hard Drive?

In the first method, we recommend using the best sync tool - AOMEI Backupper. It is a reliable and secure folder sync tool that comes with a lot of other features. Not just OneDrive, but you can also use this tool with any other cloud platform such as Dropbox and Google drive. With this tool, you can sync a few selected or all files of your OneDrive folder to an external hard drive.

Well, syncing can never be this easier. This tool lets you schedule a sync task as per your convenience. You can set it to sync your OneDrive folder on a daily, weekly, and even monthly basis. Besides, you can also try a real-time sync feature, which is available in the Professional version of this tool. In short, this tool is going to lessen a lot of hard work and time. So, let's find out how to use AOMEI Backupper to sync your OneDrive to an external hard drive.

Before we begin with the stepwise procedure, make sure that you have installed the desktop app of OneDrive, and it is properly configured. Once everything is well set in its place, you can go ahead with the steps below.

Step 1: Downloading the Software

You should first download the folder sync tool. For that, get the setup file of AOMEI Backupper software and install it.

Step 2: Go to File Sync

Once the software is installed, open it. You will see multiple options on the main console. From there, click on the "Backup" tab, and then select "File Sync" located on the right-hand side.


Step 3: Add OneDrive Folder

You will get an option to add the folder that you want to sync. Therefore, press the "Add Folder" tab so that you can select the source folder, which is the OneDrive folder in this case.


Notes: You can further customize your folder selection process to only include a few selected subfolders.


Step 4: Select the Location

You selected a source folder in the third step. Now, you will need to choose a destination path i.e. a particular folder on your hard drive.

Step 5: Set the Sync Schedule and Start Syncing

As discussed earlier, this tool gives you an option to automate your syncing process. To do this, you can click on the "Schedule" option at the bottom of the window and do the required settings. Once you complete setting up a schedule, click the "Start Sync" button.


Now, let the software finish its task. The sync process will complete after some time. Thus, a sync tool comes in very handy when you want to sync OneDrive to external storage. Note that AOMEI Backupper can serve more beyond syncing. It will also help you clone the hard drive, do system backup, and many other tasks.

Part 3: How to Transfer OneDrive Folder to an External Hard Drive?

Users most often don't want to keep their OneDrive folder. In this case, they can change the location and their OneDrive folder will be redirected to another location. You will find the OneDrive folder placed in its default location i.e. C: drive of your computer. Thus, if your system drive corrupts, then it will also corrupt the files saved in your OneDrive folder.

Therefore, if you want to protect your important files and folders, then you must think of transferring the OneDrive folder to an external hard drive. You can transfer it manually by following the below steps.

Step 1: Go to the OneDrive settings by right-clicking the OneDrive icon located on your taskbar.


Step 2: Now, head over to the "Account tab" to locate an option that reads "Unlink OneDrive." When you click this option, a new screen (OneDrive setup window) will pop-up.


Step 3: In the third step, open the File Explorer on your computer and go to the OneDrive folder. Now, you can see a "Move to" option on your screen. Make sure you select a folder located in your external hard drive.


Step 4: Now, move all the files and data of your OneDrive to the folder located in an external hard drive. After that, go to the OneDrive setup screen that was popped-up in step 2. Write down your login credentials to enter the OneDrive account.


Step 5: You will get a "This is your OneDrive folder" window. At the bottom of this window, you can find a link "Change location." Click on that link to choose a new location for your OneDrive folder.


Step 6: Lastly, you should press the "Use this location" button.


In this way, you can modify the location of your OneDrive folder, which was previously set to C: drive. This default folder location is not safe, especially if you think your system drive may corrupt over time.

While transferring your OneDrive folder manually may sound like a trouble-free task, it may turn challenging when you have a large amount of data. Moreover, doing any task manually brings in errors such as missing a particular subfolder, duplicating any important file, or accidentally deleting it. Therefore, you should go for an automated process, which ensures accuracy and complete safety.


No one can predict the life of computers or any other electronic gadget. These devices can stop working or start malfunctioning over time. In either case, you may lose your important data. Therefore, it is wise to have two separate homes for your data. Besides safety, you also get a lot of other benefits when you sync OneDrive to an external hard drive. We have already discussed all those benefits in this guide.

When it comes to syncing your OneDrive in real-time or schedule the entire task according to your preferences, then AOMEI Backupper should be your first choice. This amazing sync tool will ease your syncing task to a great extent.

Recoverit author

Amy Dennis

staff Editor

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