How to move the OneDrive folder to an encrypted drive

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If you link your OneDrive account to your PC or a laptop, it stores the local copies of the files in a folder on the hard drive of your PC. The default location of such a folder is:


where [User] is your Windows login name. This way, if you are traveling and not connected to the Internet, you could still work with the local copies of your files, and later on, when you do connect to the Internet, they would be synchronized with the cloud.

This is convenient, but what if you lose your laptop, or someone steals it? They would be able to reset your Windows password and get an unrestricted access to all your files on the laptop, including the ones in the OneDrive folder.

If you are concerned about such a possibility (and you should be!), to protect your files and documents from other people, you should move them to encrypted storage, such as a Virtual Encrypted Drive that you could set up with our software Encryptability or USBCrypt. The Virtual Encrypted Drive works in the same way as a regular drive, but the files you put in it become strongly encrypted. The Virtual Encrypted Drive has its own drive letter and to encrypt the files you need to move them to that drive.

Moving the regular files and folders into an encrypted drive is easy: you could just drag and drop them with Explorer. However, moving the special folders, such as OneDrive is a bit tricky. We demonstrate how to do it below.

Before we begin, we assume that you have already used USBCrypt or Encryptability to create a Virtual Encrypted Disk and you have started it with the drive letter Q:. (Of course, if you chose another letter to attach to the Virtual Encrypted Disk, modify the following steps accordingly.)

If you have not linked the PC to your OneDrive account yet, skip the first steps and go directly to Step 3. Otherwise, before you could move the existing OneDrive folder to an encrypted drive, you must unlink the PC from the OneDrive account first. (If you skip unlinking the folder, Windows would not let you move it.)

Step 1. Unlink the PC from the OneDrive account.

Locate the OneDrive taskbar notification icon, right-click it, and choose Settings from the menu:

OneDrive icon and the menu

There, select the Account tab, and click on Unlink this PC:

Unlink this PC from OneDrive

Confirm that you do want to unlink the PC (don't worry, we will link it back in a short while). Now we are ready to move the OneDrive folder to the encrypted drive.

Step 2. Move the OneDrive folder.

Open Explorer (or another file management application, if you have one, such as our AB Commander) and navigate to the parent folder of the current OneDrive folder. As we mentioned above, usually it is C:\Users\[User]\OneDrive, where [User] is your Windows login name. So, open the parent folder, C:\Users\[User], and select OneDrive:

Select the OneDrive folder with Explorer

While OneDrive folder is still selected, click on Home in the menu bar, and then click on Move To:

Move the OneDrive folder with Explorer

Select Choose location and then select the parent folder where you want the OneDrive folder to be located. In our example, we want to move it to an encrypted drive Q:, so we would select the drive Q: as the destination folder:

Select the encrypted drive as the destination folder for OneDrive folder

Step 3. Link the PC to the new location of the OneDrive folder.

Now open the Settings window for OneDrive again (see Step 1 above), but this time click on Add an account, to link this PC back to your OneDrive account. Enter your OneDrive email, password, but before you press Next to set up OneDrive at the default location, click the Change location link:

Select the  new location for the OneDrive folder

Now navigate to the encrypted drive (which is drive Q: in our example), and select the OneDrive folder there:

Select the  new location for the OneDrive folder

You will probably see the message telling you that the folder already contains some files in it, that's expected, tell it to use this location:

Confirm to use this location for the OneDrive folder

Finish the linking of the PC by selecting the folders of your OneDrive account that you want to be synchronized to this PC, and that's it, your OneDrive folder is now encrypted and ready for use!

The last but not least: keep in mind that moving the OneDrive folder to a Virtual Encrypted Disk protects only that specific OneDrive folder stored on your computer. If you share your OneDrive files with other devices of yours, then the copies stored on other devices would NOT be protected, and each device must set up the protection of their copies of the OneDrive folder separately, according to the methods available on each device.

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  1. Hello to you,

    Up front: I have -not- tried it…

    Please could you provide some practical reasons of moving the OneDrive folder to an encrypted drive.
    Meaning to say: is the OneDrive folder password protected then?
    I know the way of moving to a different drive or partition, I’ve done that myself. But not to an encrypted drive/partition.

    Thank you very much.
    Best regards

  2. Mike: the practical reason for moving OneDrive folder to an encrypted drive is to ensure the files would be safe in case your computer is lost or stolen. Without encryption, someone would be able to access the files stored locally on your computer. Hope this explains it!

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