Back up Microsoft OneDrive files

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This article shows you how to back up Microsoft OneDrive folders. If you include your OneDrive folder in your backup selection, make your files available offline so they can be backed up.

Non-CrashPlan products
​Information about products from other manufacturers is intended as a resource to help you get the most out of CrashPlan products. However, our technical support team cannot provide direct assistance for these products. For assistance with products not developed by CrashPlan, contact the product's manufacturer.


  • CrashPlan backs up only local files. For the CrashPlan app to back up a file stored in a cloud service, you must also store a local copy on your device.

  • If you have online-only files, they are represented by file stubs in the OneDrive folder. The CrashPlan app does not back up these file stubs.

OneDrive online-only files

In Windows 8.1, OneDrive introduced online-only files  to conserve local hard drive space. 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. The CrashPlan app can back up offline files in OneDrive just like any other personal file on your computer.

If you choose to back up your OneDrive folder with the CrashPlan app by making it available offline, OneDrive still syncs the most recent version of the file across your devices. The CrashPlan app will back up your files to all of your destinations, including CrashPlan Central.


Step 1: Make your OneDrive folder available offline

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

Step 2: 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. The CrashPlan app 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.

  1. Click Manage Files
  2. Navigate to the OneDrive folder:
    • Windows
      C:\Users\<Your user name>\OneDrive
    • Mac
      /Users/<Your user name>/OneDrive

    SkyDrive folder
    Microsoft rebranded their sync and sharing service from SkyDrive to OneDrive via a patch to Windows 8.1 in April of 2014. 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, the CrashPlan app will continue to back up your OneDrive files.

  3. Select the OneDrive folder.
  4. Click Save.
    The CrashPlan app begins a file verification scan and then backs up the new files. 


Backup never completes

If you have installed the CrashPlan app per user, when you select the OneDrive folder for backup, you may find that the backup complete percentage never displays 100%. An error similar to the following appears in in the backup_files.log file:

I 10/15/18 01:47PM 61  - Unable to backup 1 file (next attempt within 15 minutes)
W 10/15/18 01:47PM 61  - C:\Users\qa\OneDrive\.849C9593-D756-4E56-8D6E-42412F2A707B

This file cannot be backed up because it represents the lock OneDrive places on the OneDrive folder. To allow backup to complete, exclude the file from backups.

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