Move files from OneDrive to OneDrive for Business

This article describes how to move files you're storing in Microsoft OneDrive or other cloud-based file storage services to OneDrive for Business in Office 365.

In this article

If you have local access to your OneDrive files, you can move files to OneDrive for Business simply by uploading them in a web browser. However, for efficiency, we recommend using the OneDrive for Business sync app. The table below summarizes the tasks and considerations related to moving files to OneDrive for Business.

Action

Description

Sync to your computer

Sync OneDrive for Business to your computer

This gives you a connection to OneDrive for Business on your local computer.

Move documents icon

Move your OneDrive files

All files you place in your synced OneDrive for Business folder automatically upload to the cloud whenever you're online.

OneNote logo

Move OneNote notebooks to OneDrive for Business

You’ll need to use different steps to move your OneNote notebooks.

Shared document icon

Share files in OneDrive for Business

You may have shared files with other people in OneDrive. When you move these files to OneDrive for Business, these are recognized as new files. Therefore, you may want to set up sharing connections again to some of these files.

Sync OneDrive for Business to your computer

The OneDrive for Business sync app provides an efficient way to move your files because it allows you to work with files on your local computer instead of moving files over a network, which is typically slower. Note the following important details about using the sync app for this task:

Follow the steps below to set up your sync connection with OneDrive for Business. If you've already set this up, you can skip to the next section.

  1. Sign in to Office 365 and then select OneDrive in the navigation bar.

  2. Select Sync.
    The OneDrive for Business sync app wizard opens.

    Note:  If the app is named “SkyDrive Pro” instead of OneDrive for Business, this means you’re not using the most current version of the sync app. For information on updating the app, see Update the OneDrive for Business sync app later in this article.

  3. Select Sync Now.

  4. Select Show My Files to go to the synced library folder. The folder appears under your Windows favorites and is named “OneDrive - OrganizationName,” for example:
    Synced OneDrive for Business folder in File Explorer
    If you'd previously uploaded files to OneDrive for Business in browser, you should now see these in the synced library folder.

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Move OneDrive files to your synced OneDrive for Business folder

To move your OneDrive files to OneDrive for Business, drag them from your synced OneDrive folder to your synced OneDrive for Business folder.

  1. In File Explorer, open your synced OneDrive folder.

    By default, your synced OneDrive folder is located in c:\users\username\OneDrive. It should also appear under your favorites:

    pic

    If you don't see OneDrive in your Windows favorites, you can update your sync settings.

  2. Drag the files you want to your synced OneDrive for Business folder.

    pic

    Important:  If you’re moving a large number of files, for best results we strongly recommend that you move files in batches of no more than 100 files each.

Once you’ve moved files to the synced library folder, they’re automatically uploaded to OneDrive for Business on Office 365. As the files upload, you can see their file icons change as shown below.

File icons change as they're uploaded and synced to OneDrive for Business on Office 365

Notes about moving to from OneDrive to OneDrive for Business

Note the following details about moving files from OneDrive to OneDrive for Business:

  • Files don’t retain their original metadata.

    Files you move from OneDrive to OneDrive for Business are essentially recognized as new files. As a result, these files don’t retain metadata details such as Modified and Modified By.

  • OneDrive for Business restricts the following file types: ASHX, ASMX, JSON, SOAP, SVC, XAMLX.

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Move OneNote notebooks to OneDrive for Business

The OneDrive for Business sync app doesn’t support OneNote notebooks. To move notebooks from OneDrive to OneDrive for Business, we recommend that you create new notebooks in OneDrive for Business and then copy sections from the original notebooks to the new notebooks.

  1. In OneDrive for Business, create a new notebook.

    Important:  Name the notebook using the same name as the original notebook in OneDrive.

  2. In OneDrive, sync the notebook you want to move, and then copy all sections.

  3. In OneDrive for Business, open the new notebook and paste the sections from the original workbook.

  4. Delete the original notebook from OneDrive.

Share files in OneDrive for Business

If you shared files in OneDrive, you'll need to share these files again in OneDrive for Business after you move them. Also, once you share the files you move into OneDrive for Business, we recommend that you delete the original files from OneDrive. This way people won’t be able to refer to out-of-date copies of files you’d shared with them earlier.

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I want to move more than 20,000 items to OneDrive for Business

You can store more than 20,000 items in OneDrive for Business, though you won't be able to sync them to your computer. If you want to move more than 20,000 items to OneDrive for Business, we recommend the following steps:

  1. Move as many items as possible using the OneDrive for Business sync app as described in this article.

    Upload files in batches of no more than 100 items at a time.

    Note: Items consist of files and folders.

  2. When you start to approach the 20,000, Stop syncing with the OneDrive for Business app.

  3. Upload all remaining files to OneDrive for Business in a web browser using the Upload command.

Update the OneDrive for Business sync app

If you have a Click-to-Run installation of the OneDrive for Business sync app (most common), you’re probably getting updates automatically. To check for updates, select File ->Office Account from any Office program such as Word or Excel. If you’re not running Microsoft Office, you receive all updates to the sync app automatically.

If you don’t see information about Office Updates on an Office program Account page, this means you have an msi installation of the OneDrive for Business app. In this case, check for updates using Windows Update.


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