Introducing Windows 8.1: How to Change the Default OneDrive Folder

OneDriveIn Windows 8.1, OneDrive is embedded into the operating system and it serves as the default service for storing your files, synchronizing them with other devices, synchronizing your Windows settings, etc. One of the biggest questions I had when working with it for the first time was: How do I change the location of the default OneDrive folder?. I like OneDrive, but I want it to store my files in another location than the default.

Where Does OneDrive Store Its Data in Windows 8.1?

In Windows 8.1, OneDrive is also a standard user folder. What does this mean? If you open File Explorer and go to the drive where Windows 8.1 is installed, you will find a folder named Users. Open it and the open your user's folder, which has the same name as your user account. Here you will see your user's standard folders: Documents, Pictures, OneDrive and many others.

This means that, in Windows 8.1, OneDrive stores your files at the following location: "C:\Users\Your User Name\OneDrive". If you want it to store your files on another partition, or in another folder, there's no obvious way to change this default location. At least not from the OneDrive app or from the OneDrive section in PC Settings.

How to Change the Location of the OneDrive Folder

In Windows 8.1, open File Explorer and select OneDrive, on the left side of the window.

OneDrive, Windows 8.1, folder, change, location

Right click or press and hold the OneDrive entry and select Properties. Another way is to expand the Home tab on the ribbon and click or tap the Properties button, found in the Open section.

OneDrive, Windows 8.1, folder, change, location

The OneDrive Properties window opens. Go to the Location tab.

OneDrive, Windows 8.1, folder, change, location

Here you can see the current OneDrive folder. Click or tap Move and the Select a Destination dialog box is opened. Here you must select the new location of the OneDrive folder. Browse to the new location you want to use, select it and then press Select Folder.

OneDrive, Windows 8.1, folder, change, location

The new folder is displayed in the Location tab of the OneDrive Properties window.

OneDrive, Windows 8.1, folder, change, location

Press OK to apply the change. You are now asked if you want to move all the files from the old location to the new location. To make sure you won't lose your existing files, it is best to press Yes.

OneDrive, Windows 8.1, folder, change, location

If you have lots of files stored in OneDrive the moving process will take quite a bit of time. During the moving of your files, you will see a progress bar being displayed. Wait patiently for everything to be moved, and don't turn off your computer while the transfer is in progress.

OneDrive, Windows 8.1, folder, change, location

The OneDrive folder has now been changed. The new location will be used by the OneDrive service in Windows 8.1, as well as the OneDrive app.

Conclusion

As you can see from this guide, changing the location of the OneDrive folder is easy. It takes only a few clicks or taps. However, if you are a tablet user, it would have been nicer if Microsoft provided a setting in PC Settings. The procedure above is performed at a slower pace, when using touch instead of a mouse and keyboard.