Windows 11 set up is automatically enabling OneDrive folder back up for users

Jun 25, 2024
Windows 11 News

Microsoft has made yet another silent change to the way the initial setup of Windows 11 works. The operating system is enabling the automatic folder backup to OneDrive, without informing the user about it.

When you set up Windows 11, you will come across a screen that is captioned "unlock your Microsoft experience", it lists the benefits of using a Microsoft account. You can't skip this sign-in process, as Microsoft has made it difficult for users to install Windows 11 with a local account, so you will need to sign in to a Microsoft account to set up your PC.

Once Windows 11 is installed, you will likely see a notification pop-up in the Action Center that reminds you to back up your PC. This is related to OneDrive, which you can set up to back up your data.

OneDrive will back up your folders automatically on new installations of Windows 11

Neowin reports that a new installation of Windows 11 automatically turns on the OneDrive folder backup, so your Desktop Pictures, Documents, Music, and Videos directories get uploaded to the cloud without your permission.

You may ask, what is the big deal if Microsoft silently enabled automatic backup of folders to OneDrive? Well, if a user has a lot of data in their folders, they are going to hit the 5GB storage limit pretty quickly, and most people will not know what to do. This will allow the company to promote the Microsoft 365 plan, which non-tech savvy users may think is a good idea to pay for.

This is not the first time Microsoft has pushed OneDrive aggressively to users. The Redmond company began adding notifications in the Start Menu last year, which informed users that Windows can back up your files. The ad had a start backup button, which when interacted with, opens OneDrive and sets it up for the user. If you thought those Start Menu ads were annoying, imagine how the notifications if OneDrive is automatically enabled would look like.

Microsoft also briefly tested a new way to close the OneDrive app, where you had to select a reason for quitting OneDrive. This change did not last long after the company received backlash from users.

OneDrive is not a bad app or service per se. I use it with a slightly higher storage limit, but I can definitely see why it can be annoying for users with a free account, who may have to put up with the constant reminders nagging them to upgrade their storage. Google does this too, especially if you use Google Photos on your Phone.

Anyway, if you want to opt out of OneDrive's folder backup. Open OneDrive and go to the app's Settings > Sync and backup > and click on Manage Backup. This will allow you to turn off all the user folders that you don't want to back up to the cloud storage service. The only problem I have with OneDrive is that it does not allow users to select the local folders that we want to back up. Why limit it to the user folders?

how to disable onedrive folder backup windows 11

I wonder if this automatic folder backup to OneDrive will play a part when Windows Recall is released to the stable channel of Windows 11. That could be a recipe for disaster.

Do you use OneDrive?

Windows 11 set up is automatically enabling OneDrive folder back up for users
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Windows 11 set up is automatically enabling OneDrive folder back up for users
OneDrive will automatically back up your folders on Windows 11.
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  1. Sebas said on July 1, 2024 at 9:21 am

    According to Dr. Windows, One Drive will not be automatically activated in the EU:

  2. Anonymous said on June 26, 2024 at 11:27 pm

    more data for the datakraken. more dependencies to catch the customer in.
    never trust all your files to an online”service” where its impossible to talk to a human employee when things go south. There have been at least one reported and proven case, where Micrsofts ai/algorithm found “childporn” on users onedrive and this account has been terminated w/o chance to recover.
    All the users data been lost, also all the clouddata from office, mail etc.
    the problem: that “childporn” been _normal_ vacation phots from users own childs that got automatically uploaded to onedrive, scanned and mislabled. If you use such services you need a good prayer that nothing goes wrong. MS can act and decide like dictator w/o even checking their processes. And you as user are completely helpless. There is 0 customerservice that could help to resolve things.
    Be smart and avoid such artificial dependencies.

  3. pHROZEN gHOST said on June 26, 2024 at 8:30 pm

    Just remove OneDrive (and many other needles packages) after the installation of Win 11. Problem solved.

  4. John C. said on June 25, 2024 at 11:39 pm

    Just another step in the direction of Microsoft’s true agenda. They want everybody to use a dumb terminal, rent their OS and charge money to access your own data.

    My agenda now is to dump Windows and find another OS. Ever since Satya Nadella somehow took over M$, things have been getting worse and worse for the end user.

    1. Anonymous said on June 26, 2024 at 11:18 pm


  5. Micro$oft said on June 25, 2024 at 11:03 pm

    Nowadays, Microsoft is the biggest developer of viruses and malware for Windows. Does this also happen on EEA devices? There needs to be more antitrust actions by the EU and other countries. Microsoft needs to understand that desktops and laptops are not freaking smartphones. Stop attempting to exploit customer data. Stop attempting to force users to switch to a Microsoft account. No one wants to be sucked into another subscription and have their privacy violated. People simply want Windows to run their program and be left alone.

  6. fgfhdfhddfh said on June 25, 2024 at 4:22 pm

    Yikes! Surely nobody saw that coming from the angels at Microsoft! x1000

  7. dumlat said on June 25, 2024 at 2:33 pm

    Has Microsoft registered the skynet name yet?

  8. Sebas said on June 25, 2024 at 1:36 pm

    So all your love letters are automagically removed from your desktop, when you stop synchronizing. Good luck getting them back:

    Don’t know if this is still valid. has useful info about the horrors of one two three drive.

  9. Yash said on June 25, 2024 at 12:31 pm

    Just set up your Windows 11 with a local account folks. Here’s the Ghacks article for this purpose –

  10. L. Torvalds said on June 25, 2024 at 11:16 am

    We have reached a point where it’s no longer safe to let a windows computer connect to the internet.

  11. Tom Hawack said on June 25, 2024 at 10:59 am

    What was that Internet meme, “All your base are belong to us” was it? Out of fashion but more than ever appropriate as it seems. Microsoft is a prison, I’d rather remain free. Still running Windows 7 and more I discover Microsoft eccentricities increasingly aimed at creating a closed ecosystem, more I doubt continuing with its OS the day Win7 is totally obsolete on the web and/or the PC is dead and buried. Till then not one day that I don’t rejoice of being free from Win11.

  12. TelV said on June 25, 2024 at 9:28 am

    I don’t use OneDrive and never save anything to the Documents folder or any of the other default folders such as Videos, Music etc. They’re all empty on my Windows 8.1 machine and I’ve never used them on the Windows 11 notebook I bought in November last year, but hardly ever use.

    What I do instead is to shrink the C: partition to create an additional drive on which to store all my private data. I also bought external storage to use as backup for those same files so that I’ve no need to save anything to a server located in another country somewhere a.k.a. the cloud over which I have absolutely no control.

    1. Anonymous said on June 25, 2024 at 4:38 pm

      No no no TelV.

      If you do that Microsoft won’t be able to help you.

      This action is too important for me to let you jeopardize it, I’m afraid I cannot allow this to happen.

  13. John G. said on June 25, 2024 at 9:22 am

    I use Onedrive free and it’s a good service, considering that 5Gb of free space is enough for me as a second hand backup device for encrypted compressed files. You should have a first security backup in your hands also, please don’t trust too much the cloud. Thanks for the article! :]

    1. boris said on June 25, 2024 at 6:21 pm

      Good thing that they are encrypted compressed files (smart). The problem with average Joe/Jane that they will send all their files in Document folder to OneDrive as they are and in the future all Recall data (I would bet Microsoft will make Recall data uploadable to OneDrive by default). I used to use OneDrive because AdblockPlus required updates custom filters only from online storage. Now that I am not using AdblockPlus, I have no need for OneDrive. Only local backup storage for me.

  14. Tachy said on June 25, 2024 at 8:54 am

    They are also resetting the default search engine to Bing in Edge, without asking or notifying, it happened on both my win 11 pc’s

  15. BrettElias said on June 25, 2024 at 8:51 am

    At this point I consider the Windows operating system as a mixture of riskware and malware, so every time I have to install it I need to quarantine the OS (for a day at least) to see what new f’ups Microsoft has come up with. Especifically Scheduled Tasks.

    It’s not only the bloatware, it’s the behind-your-back-risks-and-lack-of-security decisions.

  16. hoho said on June 25, 2024 at 7:47 am

    i never allow the onedrive app sitting in the explorer or the tray doing any background sync jobs.

  17. Mike said on June 25, 2024 at 7:04 am

    It sure seems like they want my files up in the cloud more than *I* do. No cause for alarm or concern here, no sir Bob.

    People best be very careful what files they sync to the cloud. You never know how that data will be used, by who, for what purpose, and where it will eventually end up. It’s literally out of your control.

    I would only use the cloud for collaborative projects or stuff like music composition, never anything that I actually want kept private. Uploading the user’s entire documents folder by default without asking the user if this is okay, is reckless, dangerous, and stupid. Then again, this is Microsoft we’re talking about here. Ha-ha, zing!

    Anywho, they gotta get all those grandmas to pass the free 5GB quota so that said grandmas can start paying $49.95 a month for the 4TB service to back up a bunch of junk files, which Windows (and desktop Linux for that matter have a tendency of leaving around) somehow!

    1. 45 RPM said on June 25, 2024 at 9:04 am


      Can we please stop with the “grandma” stuff. Women are not genetically stupid. The Apollo moon project only happened due to women –

      Also grandmas today were teenagers when Windows 95 came out.

      1. bruh said on June 25, 2024 at 10:43 am

        Bro really linked to an article which shows a 95% male control-room… yes women can be just as technologically/scientifically inclined, but they are (still) a minority in serious STEM – society took away all the “barriers” and what did it prove? Women are just less inclined to find this stuff interesting – is it a bad thing? No, it just shows that the genders do have some differences between them. I think studies have long since found that on average women are more interested in dealing with people and men are more interested in dealing with things.

        You should focus your energy on dismantling actually harmful stereotypes (if you can find any) as opposed to tone policing.

      2. 45 RPM said on June 25, 2024 at 11:57 am


        95% males, but those women gave those males what they had not worked out and that was crucial. Tone policing? No, calling out bulls*it.

      3. efromme said on June 25, 2024 at 1:34 pm

        45: “only happened due to women?” Well, what about Neil Armstrongs’ mother? Does she count? This is not the place for woke platitudes – one article doesnt make it a fact.

        Stick to the subject.

      4. 45 RPM said on June 29, 2024 at 8:57 am


        Neil Armstrong did not do the math and crack the missing links.

      5. Tom Hawack said on June 25, 2024 at 11:47 am

        About women and men, French author wrote, “In what they have in common they are equal, in their differences they are no comparable”. This said, remains to define those differences when cultures have over time forged truths as explained by nature when the explanation was and still often is patriarchy. Not to mention that a theory with exceptions remains an axiom.

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