Sync your Documents folder with OneDrive

Sync your Documents folder with OneDrive

OneDrive only syncs items that are within your OneDrive folders. To enable your Desktop, Documents, or Pictures folders to be included to OneDrive, you must change their default folder locations.

Tip: In Windows 10, files save to OneDrive by default, but you can change your default save setting anytime. To change the defaults to OneDrive or your PC, read how Files save to OneDrive by default in Windows 10.

Before you begin

Before you sync the Desktop, Documents, or Pictures folders on your computer with OneDrive, make sure that there’s a folder by that name in your OneDrive or OneDrive for Business folder:

  1. On your taskbar, select File Explorer The File Explorer icon. .

    You can also open File Explorer by pressing the Windows key The Windows key icon. + E on your keyboard.

  2. In the left pane, select your OneDrive or OneDrive for Business folder.

    A screenshot showing File Explorer with the OneDrive for Business folder selected.

  3. If there isn't a Documents folder inside your OneDrive or OneDrive for Business folder, right-click inside the right pane and select New > Folder.

    A screenshot showing the right-click menu in File Explorer.

  4. Name the new folder Documents.

Use File Explorer to sync your Documents folder with OneDrive

If there’s a Documents folder in your OneDrive or OneDrive for Business folder, you’re ready to sync the Documents folder on your computer with OneDrive. Here’s how:

  1. On your taskbar, select File Explorer The File Explorer icon. .

    You can also open File Explorer by pressing the Windows key The Windows key icon. + E on your keyboard.

  2. In the left pane, under This PC, right-click Documents and select Properties.

    A screenshot showing the cursor right-clicking on Documents in File Explorer.

  3. Select the Location tab and select Move.

    A screenshot showing the Documents Properties menu in File Explorer.

  4. In the left pane of the Select a Destination dialog box, select OneDrive or OneDrive for Business, select the Documents folder, and click Select Folder.

    A screenshot showing the Select a Destination dialog box in the Documents Properties menu.

  5. Select Apply, and in the dialog box that appears, select Yes.

    A screenshot showing the warning that appears when you click Select Folder in the Select a Destination dialog box.

    Tip: If you change your Desktop location setting without saying Yes, your PC's Desktop may suddenly look empty. We recommend always saying Yes when moving to avoid losing files.

I've lost my Desktop, Documents, or Pictures files

If you change yourDesktop, Documents, or Pictures settings from OneDrive to This PC, your PC's Desktop may suddenly look empty. This is because the Desktop, Documents, or Pictures folders exist in both This PC and OneDrive, which might make them easy to mix up. If you have made custom modifications to your default locations, you might see two Desktops, Documents or Pictures folders. This is normal.

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.

To move and migrate all your files from your Desktop, Documents, or Pictures folders between This PC and OneDrive, and change the OneDrive defaults, read Use File Explorer to sync your Documents folder with OneDrive above and select Yes when moving the folder.

Setting defaults in OneDrive for Business

OneDrive for Business admins can also redirect known folders (such as Documents) to the OneDrive for Business sync location for the users in your domain.

To learn more, see Redirect known folders to OneDrive for Business.

Need more help?

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

Check the OneDrive help center.

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