This guide will describe the initial setup of OneDrive backup and its expected behavior.

**Please note. If you setup Backup for macOS please alert so that we can also ensure your data synchronizes correctly to Windows machines**

OneDrive Backup behavior and information

  • Desktop and Documents are the only supported folders that are backed up or synchronized.  All other folders will still be "local only" data unless stored in other cloud storage options or externally backed up.
  • This backup will redirect your current Desktop/Documents folders to OneDrive and merge your data there.
    • If you already had a Desktop/Documents folder within OneDrive all of that data will synchronize to your mac as well
  • Data will still be accessible without network access as long as there is a local copy. Files/Folders that have been selected to "free up space" will show the file but it will not open until network access is restored. 
  • Files/Folders may appear to flash or not show upon initial login on macOS. This is typical as data is initially synchronized. Once logged in the OneDrive client it will begin to sync and everything should look normal
  • File names with any of the following characters will not be synchronized and will need to be manually renamed: " * : < > ? / \ |
  • Files or folders with local permissions restrictions will not synchronize as well. These can be skipped and allow the OneDrive client to finish the rest of the synch process
  • Currently ITS provides all active Faculty and Staff with 250GB of storage in OneDrive

Setup backup when configuring OneDrive for first time

During the initial setup of OneDrive leave all default options the same. Select the Desktop and Documents folder when it asks about backup folders. After setup OneDrive will sync your data. For detailed OneDrive setup instructions see here.

Setup backup after OneDrive is already configured

If you have already setup OneDrive and did not configure backup follow the steps below:

  1. Click OneDrive (cloud icon) in the top menu bar → Select the Gear icon → Click Preferences

2. Click on the Backup Tab and select Manage Backup

3. Select Desktop and Document folders and then click Start Backup

4. At this point you can close the window while OneDrive sync's your data

Getting help with setting up OneDrive backup

If you would like assistance setting up backup on OneDrive SOE IT would be happy to assist. Please email to schedule a meeting and someone will walk you through the process and answer any other questions you may have. This can be done in person or remote depending on your preference. 

For more information see Microsoft's guide on OneDrive backup for macOS: Back up your folders with OneDrive (

ITS OneDrive Guide: Microsoft OneDrive - Information Technology Support - Answers (