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CrashPlan Support

Backing Up Microsoft OneDrive Files (Formerly SkyDrive)

Applies to:
  • CrashPlan for Home
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This article is intended for CrashPlan for Home users. For Code42 CrashPlan and CrashPlan for Small Business documentation, read this page on our enterprise support site.


In Windows 8.1, Microsoft introduced online-only files to conserve local hard drive space. If you include your OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) folder in your backup selection, you may need to make your files available offline before they can be backed up. This article shows you how.

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Information about products from other manufacturers is intended as a resource to help you get the most out of Code42 products. However, our Customer Champions cannot provide direct assistance for these products. For assistance with products not developed by Code42, contact the product's manufacturer.

OneDrive online-only files

Online-only files are designed to take up less space on your hard drive by storing your file's contents in Microsoft's cloud. Although they have the appearance of ordinary files, smart files are just placeholders that store metadata (like size and create date) and thumbnail information about the actual file. The actual file isn't downloaded to your computer until you open it.

Once a file is downloaded to your computer, it becomes available "offline," meaning it is now stored on your computer and you don't need an Internet connection to access it. CrashPlan can back up offline files in OneDrive just like any other personal file on your computer. If you would like CrashPlan to back up files included in your OneDrive folder, you must make the contents of the folder available offline. CrashPlan can only back up files that are stored locally on your computer.


  • Microsoft rebranded their sync and sharing service from SkyDrive to OneDrive via a patch to Windows 8.1 in April of 2014.
  • If you choose to back up your OneDrive folder with CrashPlan by making it available offline, OneDrive will still sync the most recent version of the file across your devices. CrashPlan will back up your files to all of your destinations, including CrashPlan Central.
  • If you previously used SkyDrive, all references to SkyDrive were updated to OneDrive with the exception of the folder where OneDrive files are actually stored (by default, C:\Users\YourUsername\SkyDrive). While it may appear as a folder labeled OneDrive, your files are actually stored in the SkyDrive folder and hard linked to a folder named OneDrive. As long as the SkyDrive folder remains in your file selection, CrashPlan will continue to back up your OneDrive files.
Online-only files are designed to take up less space on your hard drive by storing your file's contents in Microsoft's cloud. If you want to take advantage of OneDrive's space-saving capabilities (and not store files offline), then CrashPlan cannot back up the contents of your OneDrive folder. If you are storing files online, including the OneDrive folder in your backup file selection may cause issues with your backup. To avoid issues, deselect the OneDrive folder from your backup selection.

Back up OneDrive files and folders

Step 1: Ensure that your OneDrive folder is selected for backup

OneDrive creates a folder for your files that is located within the user folder on your computer. CrashPlan backs up your user folder by default. If you have altered your file selection, verify that the OneDrive folder on your computer is selected for backup.

Step 2: Make your OneDrive folder available offline

Follow Microsoft's steps for making the contents of your OneDrive folder available offline.

Step 3: Run CrashPlan's file verification scan

Next, manually run a file verification scan to alert CrashPlan to the new files. Manually running the scan ensures your files are immediately queued for backup. If you don't run the scan manually, CrashPlan will add them during the next scheduled scan.

  1. Go to Settings > Backup.
  2. Near the Verify selection every setting, click Now.
    Click Now to verify your file selection