Files save to OneDrive by default in Windows 10

Files save to OneDrive by default in Windows 10

This article is about OneDrive on computers using Windows 10.

If you're using another version, read how to Sync your Documents folder with OneDrive.

While you can always choose where to save files that you create, your computer settings include a default Auto Save location for your Desktop, Documents, and Pictures files. 

Whether you save by default to your computer or to OneDrive, all of your files are available on your PC. The OneDrive app, built in to Windows 10, synchronizes your files between OneDrive and your computer, so they are available even when your computer is not connected to the Internet.


  • If you change your Desktop setting from OneDrive to This PC, your PC's Desktop may suddenly look empty. This is because the Desktop, Documents, and Pictures folders exist in both This PC and OneDrive, which might make them easy to mix up. 

  • To move a file from a folder in your PC to a folder in OneDrive, use File Explorer or the OneDrive app to drag the files where you want them.

Set where your files are saved

You can change your default save setting anytime. Use the OneDrive app settings to change where your files are saved by default.

  1. Select the white OneDrive cloud icon in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar.

    OneDrive icon in notification area

    Note: You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow The Show hidden icons button. next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon. If the icon doesn't appear in the notification area, OneDrive might not be running. Select Start, type OneDrive in the search box, and then select OneDrive in the search results.

  2. In the activity center, select More > Settings.

    Screenshot of getting to OneDrive Settings

  3. On the Auto Save tab, under Desktop, Documents and Pictures, click the list at Desktop, Documents, or Pictures and pick the default save location you want.

    • This PC only - When you create a file, the Desktop, Documents, or Pictures folder under This PC is the first-choice location offered to save it. The file is not saved to OneDrive unless you do so separately, and it is available only on the PC you used to save it.

    • OneDrive - When you create a file, the first location offered is within the Desktop, Documents, or Pictures folder under OneDrive. Because these folders sync to your PC, files you save there are available on your PC, even when it's not connected to the Internet. And you can use any device with an Internet connection to access your files.


  • If you see an Update folders button on the Auto Save tab, instead of the settings described here in this article, you're eligible for a new folder protection experience. Select Update folders and follow the instructions to protect your files by saving them to OneDrive.

  • No matter which default setting you choose, you still can select the save location you want each time you save a file. When you click Save for new files or Save As for existing files, click OneDrive or This PC and then pick a folder to save your file to.

Need more help?

To learn more about moving OneDrive folders, read how to Sync your Documents folder with OneDrive.

Learn how to sync OneDrive files without taking up disk space on your PC with Files On-Demand.

Check the OneDrive help center.

Get help by emailing the OneDrive support team. In a OneDrive mobile app, shake the device to get help or share feedback on OneDrive.

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