How to Download and Back Up OneDrive Data

On the Backblaze blog, we’ve been sharing tips for backing up and doing more with your data, especially when it comes to data digitally scattered across social media platforms. We asked what you, our readers, wanted to know about protecting your data online and you responded with this question: How do you download and back up data on Microsoft OneDrive?

OneDrive is an online file hosting service that many users take advantage of to sync the data on their computer. Although it offers 5GB of storage space for free, users pay a fee to store data that exceeds tiers of 100GB, 1TB, and 6TB. OneDrive even notes on their website that to free up space on your OneDrive account, you should download that file or folder to a location outside of your OneDrive folders, and then delete the OneDrive copy of the file or folder to reduce your storage amount. Of course, this means that the document is no longer syncing. And by doing so, you’re forced to constantly juggle the amount of data saved in OneDrive to stay under the free limit. Worse yet, the data you remove from OneDrive is no longer protected using the 3-2-1 backup method.

This guide walks you through ensuring your data on OneDrive is safely backed up and how to keep your data safe using the 3-2-1 backup strategy. So, read on to learn how to save your OneDrive data, including:

  • A step-by-step guide to accessing and downloading your data.
  • What to do with your downloaded OneDrive data to ensure it stays protected.

Back Up Everything But the Kitchen Sync

If you’re reading this blog post, you probably already know that saving your data to a sync service is not the same as backing it up. Sync and backup services are complimentary, but only a backup will save a copy of your data and keep it safe against accidental deletion, updates, a ransomware attack, and more.

To help you save your synced computer data, we’re developing a series of guides to downloading and backing up your data across different sync services. We’ve just published How to Download and Back Up Dropbox Data. Feel free to comment below to let us know what other sync services you’d like to see us cover!

How to Download Data From Microsoft OneDrive

      1. Open your OneDrive account and select the files or folders you want to download. You can select individual items by clicking the circle check box next to each item. You can also select several files at once by clicking on one file, scrolling down the list, then left-clicking while holding down the Shift key on the last item in the list you want to select. To select all of the files in a folder, click the circle to the left of the top row, or simply press CTRL + A (or COMMAND + A on a Mac).
      2. In the top menu, select Download. You can also right-click an individual file and select Download. If you choose multiple files or folders and then select Download, your browser will download a ZIP file containing all the data you selected. If you’re in a folder and you select Download without selecting any files or folders, your browser will download everything saved in that folder.

    1. Save your OneDrive data on your computer. Your browser will download your files to the Downloads folder of your computer. Select the files and save them to a permanent location. For some users, your browser may prompt you to choose the location where you want to save the download.

    Now that you’ve downloaded your OneDrive data, keep reading to find out how to ensure that data is safely backed up.

    The 3-2-1 Method in a Nutshell

    Back up your data based on these principles:

    1. Redundancy. Have several copies of your data.
    2. Geographic Distance. Have those copies in different locations.
    3. Access. Have different types of access to your backup data. A good example here: you don’t want all of your data to be connected to the internet to reduce the risk of cyberattacks. You also don’t want all copies of your data stored in your home in case of disaster or theft.

    How to Back Up OneDrive Data

    Once you have all of your OneDrive data downloaded on your computer, you’ve fulfilled the first step of the 3-2-1 backup strategy by storing your data on your local device. Next, you should make sure to follow the next steps and save your data on a secondary, external device and in a third, off-site location. Cloud storage is the one of the best options for easily securing your data off-site.

    If you’re using Backblaze Personal Backup to protect all of the data on your computer and external drives, you’re all set! Backblaze automatically and continuously backs up a copy of all of your data to the cloud.

    Another option to consider when you want to securely store your data and offload some of it from your local device is to upload your data to Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage directly. As long as you are still keeping a copy of that data on other local drives or devices, you’re still fulfilling the 3-2-1 backup method. You can learn more about the difference between using Personal Backup and B2 Cloud Storage and how to save and organize your data in cloud storage by reading this blog post.

    Read On to Get the Most Out of Backblaze and OneDrive

    Our help section is filled with useful guides on maximizing the integration of Backblaze and OneDrive. Check out our guides for Windows or Mac to learn more.

    Don’t Rely on Sync Services to Secure Your Data

    Chances are, the data you have saved in your OneDrive folders is data you want to keep. Don’t wait until you accidentally get locked out of your account or a software update wreaks havoc on your synced data. Back up your data today, and comment below to let us know what else you’d like to know about to help you keep your data safe.


About Lora Maslenitsyna

Lora Maslenitsyna was the associate editor at Backblaze. She appreciates developing content that’s helpful, easy to read, and tells a great story. She has experience as a content writer and has previously worked in marketing for arts organizations, universities, and non-profits. Connect with her on LinkedIn.