By Jonna twitter/ Last Updated February 1, 2023

Why Do You Need Cloud Backup?

  • Are you afraid of accidentally losing the data stored on your hard drive?
  • Are you anxious that there is not enough space locally for backup?
  • Are you panicked that you have lost all local backups due to local accidents?
  • Backup all your data to the cloud offsite, never lose data and recover them from any PC.

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Can you backup OneDrive to external hard drive?

Although OneDrive is a popular cloud-based online storage platform, it is well known that files saved on OneDrive or any similar platform are at great risk. To be on the safe side, some users choose to backup OneDrive to an external hard drive. In fact, in addition to protecting the data, moving OneDrive files to an external hard drive can help free up space when your OneDrive storage space is running out.

There are three ways to perform this task, which we will detail for you in the following sections.

3 ways to backup OneDrive to external hard drive

You can backup OneDrive files to your external hard drive with the OneDrive website, OneDrive sync client, and professional backup software. In the case of a small number of files to backup, we recommend you to use the OneDrive website or desktop app. With a large number of files or folders, using a professional file backup tool is a better choice because it increases efficiency.

Method 1. Manual download and Backup with OneDrive website

Transferring files from OneDrive to an external hard drive with this method is to use the web-based OneDrive interface. But it is important to note that there is a risk of data loss and corruption when exporting large files and it may take a long time to get files downloaded.

Step 1. Navigate to the OneDrive website and log in with your account.

Step 2. In the My files tab, select the files or folders you want to backup and click Download.

Download From Onedrive

Step 3. After the download is complete, you can move them to your connected external hard disk easily.

Tip: You can set your external hard drive as the download location of your web browser directly. Take changing the download location of Chrome as an example:

Click the three-vertical button and select Settings. Click on Advanced > Downloads on the left menu, and tap Change to set your external drive as the target location.

Change Download Location

Method 2. Transfer using OneDrive desktop client

You can use the OneDrive desktop application to backup OneDrive folders to an external drive as well, which is one of the best ways to backup OneDrive. The prerequisite is that you need to download and install the OneDrive backup software on your computer. Then please run it and follow the given steps below to complete the file transfer process.

Step 1. Connect your external disk to your device. Then, go to the OneDrive folder on File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac).

Multiple Onedrive Accounts Windows4

Step 2. Backing up OneDrive files to the external drive by copying files from the OneDrive folder and pasting them to the external drive.

Method 3. Automatic backup via free backup software

If you want to perform a large number of file backups from OneDrive to an external hard drive or enable automatic backup of files, AOMEI Backupper Standard is what you want. This software allows you to automatically or instantly back up files and folders from OneDrive to an external hard drive. And there are different file backup methods such as incremental backups and differential backups. The following is the detailed operation flow.

Preparations you can make before getting OneDrive backup to your external hard drive with AOMEI Backupper Standard:

  • Install and run the OneDrive desktop app on your computer.
  • Connect the external hard drive you want to save OneDrive files to your PC.

Step 1. Download and run AOMEI Backupper Standard.

Step 2. Choose Sync on the left panel and click Basic Sync.

Basic Sync

Step 3. Hit Add folder to locate the OneDrive folder and select what you want to backup.

Basic Sync Add Folder

Step 4. Tap on the destination select box and select the externally connected hard drive. After that, press Start Sync and wait for the task to complete.

Start Sync

Tip: You can tap the Schedule button to set up auto backups for your OneDrive files on a daily, weekly, monthly schedule.

Tip: Easiest Way to backup/sync OneDrive to another cloud

We all know that data backup is important. What if you want to backup OneDrive as well, but there is no external hard drive available? Don't worry, you can backup OneDrive to other cloud drives for data protection.

Using CBackup to backup OneDrive to other clouds, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, FTP/SFTP, etc. is a piece of cake. CBackup is a professional yet free cloud backup tool. It provides you to backup files to OneDrive as well as migrate OneDrive folders and files to other clouds without downloading and uploading.

Because the backup steps are similar, let's transfer files from OneDrive to Google Drive as an example to show you the detailed steps.

Step 1. Get started with downloading and launching CBackup on your computer. Then, apply for a CBackup account for free.

Download CBackup Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 2. Sign in to the CBackup app. Head to the Storage section, and select OneDrive to click Authorize Now. Then, you need to complete the authorization to allow CBackup to access your storage space.

Select Onedrive

Note: After adding your OneDrive to CBackup, you can connect your Google Drive account to CBackup in the same way.

Step 3. Click Backup, click on Backup Public Cloud to Public Cloud to create a backup task.

Create New Backup Task

Step 4. Pick the whole OneDrive drive or certain OneDrive files, then choose Google Drive.

Select Target Cloud Drive2

Step 5. Press Start Backup to backup OneDrive data to other clouds easily.


File backup tools are necessary if you want to backup OneDrive to an external hard drive as easily as possible. They can help you to back up a considerable amount of files at once and their scheduled features can assist you to avoid forgetting to backup your data.

If you are looking for other ways to backup OneDrive data, migrating OneDrive data to another cloud is also a good option. In this way, you can have an additional copy of your data on another cloud drive and access or share it whenever you want, which is very convenient.

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