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Why Back up OneDrive to External Drive?


Microsoft OneDrive is one of the most useful and famous cloud storage services on the market. With 5GB of free storage space, users can preserve many kinds of files, like PPT files, PDF files, documents, photos, music, videos and so on. After storing data to OneDrive, users can access and navigate the data at any time or anywhere, which is extremely convenient for users’ work and study.

Tip: You can view this hyperlink to see how to upload a file to OneDrive.

Although OneDrive works well, it’s better to backup OneDrive to external drive for the following reasons:

  • You can access data on OneDrive even if your internet connection is broken up. This is strikingly useful when your network connection is unstable.
  • Due to unknown errors and attacks, OneDrive sometimes crashes and your data there would disappear somehow. To better protect your files and data, backing up OneDrive to external drive can add a layer of protection.

Anyway, it’s not safe to store important data in only one place. And the external drive is still one of the most reliable ways to save your data. So, how to backup OneDrive folder to external drive? You can go through this article to learn 3 basic methods.

How to Backup OneDrive to External Drive

In this part, you will learn how to backup OneDrive on external hard drive by 2 basic methods. And both two approaches follow the same main idea – download from OneDrive and move to external drive. If you are interested, please keep reading. 

Way 1: Use the OneDrive Web App

If you are not using Windows 10/11, or if you don’t install the OneDrive desktop app, you can head to the OneDrive web app directly to download the data you want to backup. Here’re the step-by-step operations you can follow:

Step 1: Connect the external drive to your computer.
Step 2: Go to your OneDrive and select the data you want to backup.
Step 3: Right-click the selected data to choose the Download tab. Then the files/folders can be downloaded to your computer.

Download from OneDrive
Download from OneDrive

Step 4: Then drag and drop what you have downloaded from OneDrive to your external drive.

Note: Alternatively, you can download the data directly to your external drive by changing the downloading location: Chrome Settings > Advanced > Downloads > Change.

Pros of this solution:

  • No app to install.
  • Easy to perform.

Cons of this solution:

  • Time-consuming if the data is large.
  • The Network should keep well.

Way 2: Backup OneDrive to External Drive by the OneDrive Folder

OneDrive comes by default with Windows 10 and Windows 11. So, if you are using Windows 10/11, or you’ve installed OneDrive, there will be a OneDrive folder on your computer. Then you can take advantage of this OneDrive folder. Now, let’s figure out how to do:

Step 1: Connect the external drive to your computer at first.
Step 2: Go to your OneDrive folder on your computer.

Head to OneDrive Folder
Head to OneDrive Folder

Step 3: Locate the data you want to backup, and then drag and drop them to your external drive directly.

Pros of this solution:

  • Simple operations.

Cons of this solution:

  • Install the app if you are not using Windows 10/11.
  • High requirements on internet connection.

Also, you can utilize the OneDrive sync client to help you backup files to your external hard drive. This is what you should do:

Step 1: Connect your external hard drive to your PC. And open OneDrive to select Settings > Account.


Step 2: Hit the Unlink this PC option.

Unlink This PC
Unlink This PC

Step 3: Launch File Explorer and go to your OneDrive folder, click the Move tab, select the destination on your external hard drive. Then all files in the OneDrive folder will be moved to the external hard drive automatically.

Step 4: Log in to your OneDrive account when the Set up OneDrive screen pops up.

Step 5: Hit the Change location button on the screen, and choose the external hard drive as the new OneDrive folder location.

Step 6: Click on the Use this location tab. By doing so, OneDrive files can be backed up to your external hard drive successfully.

Way 3: Use MultCloud

Whether you’ve installed OneDrive to your computer and no matter what operating system you are using, all of you can utilize a third-party cloud file manager, MultCloud, to backup from OneDrive to external drive.


At present, many major clouds are supported by MultCloud, including OneDrive, Google Drive, Google Photos, Dropbox, Flickr, Amazon S3, Synology NAS and so on. With MultCloud, you can perform basic functions that you can do on the official website of each cloud, such as downloading, uploading, sharing, etc., and you can manage multiple clouds in only one platform.

Now, let’s come to how to backup OneDrive to external drive with MultCloud:

Step 1: Visit MultCloud and sign up for free. Or, you can sign in with your Google or Facebook account directly.

Sign Up
Sign Up

Step 2: To proceed, press the Add Cloud button, then add OneDrive to MultCloud.

Add OneDrive
Add OneDrive

Step 3: Now, go to OneDrive, and select the data you want to backup. Then hit the Download tab. In this way, the selected files will be downloaded to your local computer. All you need to do is to drag and drop your data to external drive.

Download from OneDrive
Download from OneDrive

Pros of this solution:

  • No need to install any app that takes up the storage of your computer.
  • No limits on the number of cloud accounts you can add.

Bonus Tip: How to Backup OneDrive to Another Cloud

In addition to backing up OneDrive to external drive, you can also backup OneDrive to another cloud to protect your data. So, how to back up data from OneDrive to another cloud? You can utilize MultCloud, an excellent cloud to cloud backup application. Here’re some benefits to use MultCloud to backup data across clouds:

  • Seamless and Efficient Backup Process. With MultCloud, you can avoid a tedious download-and-upload process and achieve backup tasks in a direct way.
  • No Requirement for Internet Connection. MultCloud offers 30GB of data traffic for free per month and relies on data traffic to backup data across clouds. And once the backup task is started, MultCloud can run it in the background.
  • Restore Data Effortlessly. MultCloud offers a simple restore function by heading to the Restore tab. And if your source data is missing, you can recover it directly and easily.

Now, you can read the following content to learn how to backup OneDrive to another cloud with MutlCloud:

Step 1: Log in to your MultCloud, then go to Add Cloud to add OneDrive and another cloud respectively. Here, take Box as an example.

Add OneDrive and Box
Add OneDrive and Box

Step 2: Go to Cloud Backup, and select OneDrive as the source directory and Box as the target directory. Then press the Backup Now tab.

Backup OneDrive to Box
Backup OneDrive to Box

In this way, your data on OneDrive will be backed up to Box seamlessly and efficiently. Similarly, if you want to backup OneDrive to Google Drive, MultCloud can be very helpful.


After reading the whole article, you now can backup OneDrive to external drive by any method mentioned above. In a word, you can utilize the OneDrive web app, desktop app and a useful multiple cloud storage manager – MultCloud.

In addition to the feature of Cloud Backup, MultCloud offers other advanced and enjoyable features as well such as Cloud Transfer, Cloud Sync and Remote Upload. For example, if you want to move photos from Flickr to Google Photos, you can use the Cloud Transfer feature.

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