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Download / Backup OneDrive to External Drive – Using Top 3 Methods

Published By Nilesh Kumar
Approved By Raj
Published On February 1st, 2024
Reading Time 6 Minutes Reading
Category Office 365

Summary: OneDrive is used to store the different files and folders. However, depending on a single resource for data security is not advisable. Therefore through this article, you will find the different methods to backup OneDrive to external drive.

OneDrive provides storage for different files and folders such as images, PPTs, documents, and so on. You can also save email attachments from Outlook.com to OneDrive while needed. It is known as the place from where you can access files from any location just with the help of the Internet.

But most of the time there is a need to access the files in the offline mode. So to make the files available in the offline mode you need to store these files in the external drive. So let’s go deeper into the benefits of External drive before discussing the methods to do so.

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Importance of External Drive for OneDrive Files and Folders

There are different benefits that you can get if you download OneDrive files to external drive. Some of the key benefits are:-

  1. After saving OneDrive files to an external drive you can access the files without the internet.
  2. Storing the necessary files on the OneDrive only is not a good approach. However, storing the important files in the external drive is advised because it adds an extra layer of protection.
  3. Transferring the data to another PC without the Internet is also an easy task with the help of an external drive.

Different Methods to Backup OneDrive to External Drive?

After knowing the importance of an external hard drive for the OneDrive data. Now is the time to find the methods for a successful backup. So, there are 3 different methods to install OneDrive on external drive. Let’s discuss each one in detail.

Method 1. Download OneDrive Data to External Drive By OneDrive Web App

If you are not using the OneDrive desktop app, then you need to follow the below steps to download OneDrive files to external drive successfully.

  • Step 1. Attach the external drive to the system.
  • Step 2. Open the OneDrive Web app with the appropriate account.
  • Step 3. Now in OneDrive, select the files or folders that you want to back up.
  • Step 4. Press Right-click on the selected file and choose the download option.
  • Step 5. After the successful downloading of files, you can drag and drop them to the external drive.

This method requires a proper internet connection for a successful backup. It also becomes time-consuming when the data is too large.

Method 2. Sync OneDrive to External Hard Drive

This method uses the OneDrive sync client to move all OneDrive data to an external hard drive. Make sure the internet bandwidth is good during the backup process.

  • Step 1. On the OneDrive taskbar, press right-click and select Settings> Account.
  • Step 2. Hit on the Unlink this PC.
  • Step 3. Go to File Explorer and choose the folder of OneDrive then move to the new folder in the external hard drive.
  • Step 4. Now you can see all the OneDrive data in the external drive.
  • Step 5. Let’s sign in to the OneDrive.
  • Step 6. Choose the external drive for the new location to save OneDrive data.
  • Step 7. Lastly, hit on use this location.

Also Read: How to Copy files from OneDrive to Google Drive?

Method 3. Backup OneDrive to External Drive Using Automated Tool

The OneDrive backup tool is proficient and recommended by experts for a successful OneDrive backup. This tool is easy to operate and also able to fulfill all of the requirements of admin while taking OneDrive backup. Data security and integrity are essential while taking the backup that’s why this tool is developed by keeping both of the factors in mind.

To operate this tool you do not need to be good at OneDrive technicalities. Its simple user interface makes the process easier for even non-tech users. You just need to execute the below steps to complete the process efficiently.

Download OneDrive Files to External Drive Step-By-Step

Step 1. Download and Install the tool on the system.

Step 2. Select Office 365 as the Source and Outlook as the Destination then move Next.enter source and destination
Step 3. Now under the workload section, hit the option of Documents and apply the Date filter as per the requirement.

select items
Step 4. After selecting the data for backup complete the Source window credentials and Next.

source details

Step 5. Now come to the Destination window, and enter the destination path to save the resulting backup file. Choose the size of the backup file and Next.

destination details

Step 6. It’s time to fetch the users into the automated tool for whom you want to backup OneDrive data.


Step 7. After successfully importing and validating the users, click on the Start Backup button to backup OneDrive to external drive.

validate users and start migration

Benefits of Automated OneDrive Backup Tool?

  1. It offers a smart Date-range filter for the selection of essential data.
  2. Maintains the data hierarchy after the completion of the process.
  3. There is no data loss by using the automated tool.
  4. Install OneDrive on external drive without any errors.
  5. Provides several advanced options such as Retry, Re-Run, and Delta.
  6. Generates the report after the completion of the process.
  7. Provides multiple options to add users to the tool.
  8. There is also an option to split the resulting backup file.


In this write-up, we have explained the different methods to backup OneDrive to external drive. So, you can install OneDrive data to the external drive by any of the methods. However, the automated OneDrive backup tool is advised to use because it provides several additional features that make the process simpler and more efficient.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Can I copy OneDrive files to an external hard drive?

Ans – Yes, you can copy OneDrive files to an external drive using the automated tool.

Q2. Why my OneDrive is not synced properly while transferring files to the external hard drive?

Ans – To sync the OneDrive files, you need to maintain the proper bandwidth. 

Q3. Does this automated tool maintain the folder structure?

Ans – Yes, you do not need to worry about the data hierarchy. This automated tool maintains the complete files and folder structure during the process.

Q4. Why can’t I copy my OneDrive files to my hard drive?

Ans – Make sure that you have enough space in the external hard drive before starting to backup OneDrive to external drive.


By Nilesh Kumar

As a Chief Technical Writer, I know the technical issues faced by home and professional users. So, I decided to share all my knowledge via this blog. I love to help you with challenges while dealing with technical jargon.