By Kelsey twitter/ Last Updated September 29, 2021

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.

Eliminate all your concerns with the Best Cloud Backup service - CBackup

Get Started

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 to switch 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. Sync USB Data to OneDrive with a third-party 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 AOMEI Backupper Standard, which can help you sync.


Download OneDrive desktop application from Microsoft's official website to your computer and install it.

Connect the external hard drive to your computer as well. Then download AOMEI Backupper Standard, install and launch it.

1. Run AOMEI Backupper Standard and click Sync. Find Basic Sync and click it.

Basic Sync

2. Edit the task name if necessary. Click Add Folder to select the folders you’d like to sync on the USB flash drive.

Basic Sync Add Folder

3. When asked to choose a backup destination, click the drop-down icon and choose Select a cloud drive. In the pop-up window, select OneDrive and click OK. Then, click Start Sync.

Sync Select A Cloud Drive

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 a cloud backup service called 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.

1. Create a CBackup account for free and sign in to your CBackup account.

CBackup Main Page

2. Navigate to the My 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.

Add Cloud

Select Onedrive

3. Click My Storage > + > New 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. Use Another Cloud Backup

If you only need to keep your data in the cloud temporarily, using another cloud backup is also a good choice. The CBackup helps you to perform Windows PC cloud backup easily. What’s more, it offers a 1000 GB of huge backup space (CBackup Cloud), you can try it to solve the OneDrive backup space insufficient problem.

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

1. Connect your USB drive to the computer and download CBackup.

2. Run the software. Then, sign up for a CBackup account and sign in.

Sign In

3. Click on the Backup Tasks tab and click on the New Task button.

Create Task

4. Click on Add Source to select the USB files that you want to backup to CBackup Cloud. Click Add Destination > CBackup Cloud > Next > OK. After selecting, click Start Backup.

Add Source


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, you can follow the detailed steps to achieve your aim.

Get Unlimited Cloud Storage for Free to Protect Files with CBackup

Learn More