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How to use OneDrive Folder Protection in Windows 10?

By Alexandra Bagratian | September 4, 2018 |

greater than 4 minutes

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‘As a general rule, the most successful man in life

is the man who has the best information’

Benjamin Disraeli

Losing valuable files is never fun, so it is a wise idea to protect your important data against permanent loss. A little foresight never hurts, you know. That is why we recommend you to learn how to use Microsoft OneDrive Folder Protection on Windows 10 – this might spare you lots of tears and tearing of hair one day.

What is OneDrive Folder Protection?

Microsoft OneDrive is capable of keeping your Desktop, Documents, and Pictures folders safe and sound now: you can avoid losing their contents for good since they are synced by OneDrive. So, if something bad happens to your main PC, you can always recover your files or access them from another device via your OneDrive account. In addition, OneDrive Folder Protection offers an easy way to migrate files from one device to another.

To wrap things up, OneDrive has become a handy syncing and storage option: for instance, you can enable its protection on several machines and keep their Documents folders synced for greater convenience. The only trouble is, you can use the feature in view only for the Desktop, Documents, and Pictures folders – and nothing else. Unfortunately, other built-in directories are not eligible for this kind of protection – we do not know why, but that is how Microsoft sees things. So, let’s make do with what we have.

How to enable Microsoft OneDrive Folder Protection on Windows 10?

The feature in question is disabled by default, but you can easily turn it on. You should do the following:

  1. Move to your taskbar notification area and locate the cloud-shaped OneDrive icon.
  2. Then click More, which is actually three horizontally aligned dots.
  3. After that, select Settings from the drop-down menu.
  4. You will be taken to the Microsoft OneDrive window. Once in it, navigate to the Auto Save tab.
  5. Locate and click the Update Folders button. Unfortunately, not all Win 10 computers have this button available. If you cannot see it, your system is not eligible for Microsoft OneDrive Folder Protection yet. That said, there is no need to despair: Microsoft has yet to extend this feature to cover all Windows 10 computers, so you should just be patient and check back again after a while.
  6. The “Set up protection of important folders” screen will show up, which means it is time for you to decide which folders you want to protect with OneDrive. Select what you want to sync and click the Start Protection button to initiate the process.

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Note: You might see a message saying that OneDrive cannot protect Outlook.pst in your Documents folder. This happens when you have Microsoft Outlook installed: it keeps its PST files there, and OneDrive cannot sync Outlook files, which is quite strange since both these apps are Microsoft products. You will have to migrate your PST file to another directory so that OneDrive can protect your Documents folder.

The same issue may occur if there is a OneNote notebook file in your Documents directory. The solution is technically the same: just move the file somewhere else to proceed.

  1. Once you have started the syncing process, be patient until it is over. You can click the View sync progress button or the cloud-shaped OneDrive notification icon in your taskbar to check the progress.
  2. Once the synchronization is complete, you can use OneDrive to access your files from anywhere.

OneDrive will constantly monitor the directories it is configured to protect and sync them to the cloud. This means you can rest easy knowing that their contents are properly safeguarded. You can even check if they are synced at any time: every file in a protected folder has a special indicator next to it that shows its syncing status.

You should also keep in mind that OneDrive combines the contents of the folders it protects on different PCs. This might lead to some unexpected consequences: for example, if you sync the Desktop folders on different computers with different apps, desktop app shortcuts get broken when synced across the PCs. So, OneDrive Folder Protection has its shortcomings, but we know quite well that nobody is perfect, so the feature might prove a real boon to you despite all its drawbacks.

It goes without saying that OneDrive Folder Protection is not the only storage solution available. You are free to choose another way to back up your data since there are plenty of effective solutions on the market. Auslogics BitReplica is one of them. This intuitive and reliable tool is designed to keep your precious things secured against permanent loss. And the best thing is, you can configure Auslogics BitReplica to back up anything you want whenever you want – not only three folders as is the case with OneDrive Folder Protection.

And finally, there is no need to worry if some of your treasures have disappeared. You can easily get hold of them by running a powerful piece of recovery software. The one we recommend to you is Auslogics File Recovery. This product is easy to use and is capable of recovering all types of files. You can even recover files from lost partitions or after a quick-format.

Do you use OneDrive Folder Protection to back up your data? And what software do you use to protect your PC in general?

We are looking forward to your answers!



Fed up with your slow PC? Tired of waiting for Windows to start up? Take a look at the most common reasons behind poor performance and the best ways to deal with them here.

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