How to Backup USB Drive to OneDrive Efficiently [3 Easy Ways]

In this article, you will find 3 free and effective ways to backup USB to OneDrive with detailed steps and 2 tip to help you get more backup space for USB data for free. Please keep reading.


by Jonna Lasted Updated February 1, 2023

Share this: instagram reddit

Can I Backup USB to OneDrive?

“Hi, I need to backup files held on a USB drive. I think OneDrive is a good backup destination because I have 100 GB of storage space in OneDrive. Is there a way to backup or sync files from a USB drive to OneDrive? Please give me some suggestions. Thanks!”

Backup USB to OneDrive

The necessity of Backing Up USB Data to OneDrive

As a data storage device that includes flash memory with an integrated USB interface, the USB drive is very popular among users. However, in the battle of external hard drive vs cloud drive, cloud drive wins, and many users are considering switching to OneDrive for the reasons as below:

To protect data: Since the size of the drives is designed to be as small as possible to facilitate carrying, it also means that they are easy to lose. In addition, USB is also hardware that may get damaged. Therefore, backing up USB data to OneDrive can avoid data loss in unexpected situations above.

To save costs: OneDrive provides 5 GB of free storage space and relatively cheap subscription plans. Compared to OneDrive, the price of USB is much more expensive. So, you can back up the data from the USB drive to OneDrive and then delete the files on USB to free up some space to use the USB drive repeatedly.

For easier access: Although USB is not big and convenient to carry, it is easy to be forgotten. Whether you forget to take it out or leave it outside, it may cause you great losses. But cloud storage can easily solve this trouble. Most cloud storages provide convenient apps for you to easily access your data on different devices.

Top 3 Ways to Backup Data from USB Drive to OneDrive

Actually, backing up USB drive data to OneDrive is quite an easy job because after connecting the USB drive to your PC or laptop, OneDrive can treat it as a regular part of your local storage and you can backup or sync data to the cloud easily.

In the following contents, you will learn how to copy files from hard drive to OneDrive in 3 different ways manually or automatically, and all of the three ways are free, you can choose the way that suits you most to follow.

Way 1. Backup USB Data to OneDrive with Web App

The web app of OneDrive allows users to select and upload files from local computers to its cloud. Since USB can be treated as a regular part of your local storage, you can use the web app to backup files to OneDrive manually with the following steps:

1. Connect your external hard drive to the computer and make sure it can be detected.

2. Go to the OneDrive website and login in to your account.

Onedrive Sign Up Page

3. On the OneDrive main page, click the Upload > Files or Folder button.

Onedrive Upload

4. When you browse your local files and folder, you can select the files and folders on your USB drive that you need and click on Open. Data will be backed up to cloud automatically.

Way 2. Sync USB Data to OneDrive via OneDrive Folder

Like other cloud drive, OneDrive also provides a desktop app to help users sync files or folders from local computer to cloud automatically. The desktop app is very easy to use. As long as you download and set up the app, OneDrive will create a folder called OneDrive folder on your computer. Whenever you need to sync USB to OneDrive, you just need to put the files into this folder, they will be synced automatically.

1. Connect your external hard drive to computer and make sure it can be detected.

2. Go to the OneDrive website to download the OneDrive desktop app. Then, install it on your computer.

OneDrive  Download Page

3. After setting up, you will see OneDrive folder in Windows Explorer. Drag and drop files from USB drive to this OneDrive folder directly. Then, these files will be synced to OneDrive cloud automatically. You can go to the OneDrive website to see your files there.

OneDrive Folder

Way 3. Backup USB Data to OneDrive with a third-party auto tool

Besides the official web app and desktop app that provided by OneDrive, there are some free third-party tools that can also help you achieve that easily and efficiently. You can try a professional and free backup software called CBackup, which can help you backup files to OneDrive.


Connect the external hard drive to your computer as well. Then download CBackup client, install and launch it.

Download CBackupWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Sign up for a CBackup account for free, and you can not only back up files to multiple cloud storage services, but also store data to CBackup Cloud with 10GB of free storage.

1. Log in to CBackup desktop app with your new account. 

Sign In

2. Find the Storage tab and click it. And then select OneDrive, you will need to fill in your OneDrive information on the pop-up page and authorize the account to CBackup.

Add Cloud

3. You could edit the cloud drive name if necessary. And then tap the Backup Backup PC to Public Cloud to create your OneDrive auto backup task.

Create Task

4. Select the folders you’d like to back up on the USB flash drive. And then, choose OneDrive as the backup destination and click Start Backup to backup USB drive to OneDrive.

Start Backup Files to OneDrive

Note: If you want to automatically back up USB to OneDrive, you can click Settings and set the time when the task will occur automatically under the Scheduler tab. It is important to note that CBackup will not back up your USB files until they are recognized on your computer.

Schedule Backup

Bonus Tips: What If OneDrive Backup Space Is Insufficient?

You can backup USB drive to OneDrive with the methods above, but the data you backed up to OneDrive will occupy much space and you may face the insufficient space issue. If you have already upgraded your account, of course, you don’t have to worry about the storage space. But if you are just a free account user and are not ready to subscribe to advanced plans, what should you do?

Take it easy. We will tell you two tricks to get more backup space to protect your USB data. Please read on.

Tip 1. Merge Your OneDrive Accounts

Although OneDrive offers only 5 GB of storage space for free, you can sign up for multiple OneDrive accounts and merge OneDrive accounts to enjoy countless 5 GB. To merge your accounts, you can rely on CBackup. CBackup lets users add multiple cloud storage accounts on its interface. And then with a proper strategy, all free space of connected accounts can be combined into a huge, even unlimited space to store the backup files.

Tip: This feature is available free of charge on both the CBackup desktop and web side, and we'll use the desktop app to demonstrate how to increase OneDrive storage.

1. Sign in to the CBackup website or client with your account. 

CBackup Main Page

2. Navigate to the Storage tab, click + Add Cloud, and select OneDrive and click OK to add this drive. Then edit the settings for your OneDrive. You can add OneDrive accounts as many as you have. 

Select Onedrive

3. Click Storage > + Add Combined Cloud.

My Storage New Combined Cloud

4. Rename the combined cloud and tick all OneDrive accounts, and press Next.

5. Use the triangle icon to determine the cloud drive order to store backup files, and click OK.

Now, your OneDrive cloud storage has been increased by merging multiple OneDrive accounts, and you could protect more USB data.

Tip 2. Backup USB Files to A Larger Space

If you only need to keep your data in the cloud temporarily, saving USB files to a larger cloud space is also a good option, and CBackup helps you to perform Windows PC cloud backup easily. What's more, in addition to the free 10GB available, CBackup Cloud can also enjoy 1000GB of backup space at a very low price, so you can try it to solve the problem of OneDrive backup space shortage.

And if you think CBackup is suitable for you, you can continue to use it at a cheap price. Let’s try to backup USB data to CBackup Cloud.

Start Backup


The 3 ways to backup USB to OneDrive and 2 tips to get more backup space for your USB data have been listed above. All the ways and tips are free. Once again, we recommend that you use the free CBackup to back up files from your computer to OneDrive, as well as more space. And you can follow the detailed steps to achieve your aim.

Jonna · Editor
Jonna becomes a professional in the areas of cloud backup and restoration, data protection, etc. after years of learning and researching. She maintains a keen eye for the latest technology trends, ensuring that the information provided is always in step with industry developments.

Free Cloud Backup & Sync Service

Transfer files between cloud drives, combine cloud storage to gain free unlimited space

Get Started Now

Secure & Free