Move files off a Windows 7 PC with OneDrive

Move files off a Windows 7 PC with OneDrive

If you've been using Windows 7 and you get a new PC, you probably have a lot of files that you want to move to the new PC--more than you can easily transfer on a USB thumb drive. By using OneDrive, you can quickly set up your new PC, so your files are organized like they were on your old PC and you can get right back to work.

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Storing your files in OneDrive has other benefits, too:

Install and set up OneDrive on your Windows 7 PC

A Microsoft account comes with 5 GB of OneDrive storage. You can subscribe to Office 365 and get 1 TB of storage per person. Compare plans

Screenshot of first screen of OneDrive setup in Windows 7  

  1. Install the Windows version of the new OneDrive sync client.

    Notes: 

    • If you have Office 365, or Office 2016, you already have the OneDrive sync client. To check if it's installed, click the Start button and search for OneDrive.

    • Screenshot of searching for the OneDrive desktop app in Windows 7

  2. Start OneDrive Setup.

  3. If you don't have a Microsoft account, sign up for one. It's free, and gives you access to OneDrive, Skype, Office Online, and more. You can use your current email address or phone number, or create a new Outlook.com email address. More info about Microsoft accounts 

  4. Follow the steps that appear on the screen until OneDrive Setup is finished. 

  5. Note: If you have a lot of large files on your Windows 7 PC, we recommend that you follow the next steps when you have the fastest possible internet connection. For example, connect to a wired connection instead of wireless if possible, and pick a time of day when other people in your household aren't transferring a lot of data over your Internet connection.

    In the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar, right-click the OneDrive white cloud icon, and then click Settings.

    Screenshot of the white OneDrive cloud icon in the windows notification area

    (You might need to select the Show hidden icons arrow ( The Show hidden icons button. ) next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon.)

  6. On the Backup tab, click Manage backup.

  7. In the Set up protection of important folders dialog box, select all the folders that have files you want to move to your new PC.

    Screenshot of the Set up protection of important folders dialog box in OneDrive

  8. Select Start protection.

  9. If you have files outside of your Documents, Pictures, and Desktop folders that you want to move to your new PC, use Windows Explorer. Press Windows key +E to open Windows Explorer and browse to the folders you want to move. Drag them to OneDrive in the left pane.

  10. In the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar, hover over the OneDrive white cloud icon to check the status of the files uploading to OneDrive.

    Important: Make sure that you keep your PC connected to the Internet until all your files are finished uploading and the cloud icon says "Up to date." If an error appears, click the cloud icon for more info about what went wrong and how to fix it.

Set up your new PC

If you haven't yet set up your new PC, follow the steps that appear on the screens to complete Windows setup, making sure you connect the PC to the Internet during the process. When prompted, sign in with the same Microsoft account you used to set up OneDrive on your Windows 7 PC.

Screenshot of Protect your files with OneDrive in Windows 10 setup

If you click Next all the way through Windows setup, including on the "Protect your files with OneDrive" screen, you'll be able to browse your files in File Explorer after setup finishes. The files from your Desktop, Documents, and Pictures folders on your Windows 7 computer will appear automatically in those locations on your Windows 10 computer.

File Explorer in Windows 10 with Desktop, Documents, and Pictures folders in OneDrive

For more information about OneDrive in Windows Setup, see Files save to OneDrive by default in Windows 10.

Important: Before you recycle your old PC, use the new PC for a while to make sure you haven't forgotten any files that you wanted to move.

If you don't see your files in File Explorer on your Windows 10 computer, you might need to turn on OneDrive Backup.

Turn on OneDrive Backup

Follow these steps to make sure OneDrive is running and syncing your files.

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

    Screenshot of the white OneDrive cloud icon in the windows notification area

    Notes: 

    • If you see a gray OneDrive cloud icon (instead of a white one), click the gray cloud and sign in to OneDrive with the same email address you used for OneDrive on your Windows 7 PC.

    • 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. Select More > Settings.

    Screenshot of getting to OneDrive Settings

  3. In OneDrive Settings, select Backup > Manage backup.

  4. In the Set up protection of important folders dialog box, make sure the folders that you want to protect are selected.

    Screenshot of the Set up protection of important folders dialog box in OneDrive

  5. Select Start protection.

  6. You can close the dialog box while your files sync to OneDrive. Or, to watch your files sync, select View upload progress. If you already closed the dialog box, select the cloud in the notification area to open the OneDrive activity center.

OneDrive has a feature called Files On-Demand that lets you browse your OneDrive files in File Explorer without actually downloading them to your PC. If you want to make sure that a file or folder is available on your device even when you're working offline, right-click it and select Always keep on this device. Learn about Files On-Demand.

Need more help?

Watch videos about working with OneDrive

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Get online help
See more support pages for OneDrive and OneDrive for Business.
For the OneDrive mobile app, see Troubleshoot OneDrive mobile app problems.

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Email support
If you still need help, shake your mobile device while you're in the OneDrive app or email the OneDrive support team. To contact OneDrive for Business support from your PC or Mac, select the OneDrive icon in the notification area or menu bar, then select More > Send feedback > I don't like something.

OneDrive for Business Admins can also view the OneDrive for Business Tech Community, Help for OneDrive for Business Admins, or contact Office 365 for business support.

Office 365 community forums

Tips
Letting us know your location may help us resolve your issue more quickly.

All fixed? If you contacted us and OneDrive starts working again, please let us know by replying to the email we sent you.

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