How to Backup Windows 10 System to OneDrive in 3 Ways

In this article, you will learn how to backup Windows 10 system to OneDrive in different ways with detailed steps. Please keep reading.


by Jonna Lasted Updated April 11, 2024

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What is OneDrive?

OneDrive is one of the most famous cloud storage services provided by Microsoft, which can back up your personal and work files online. With it, you can easily sync files on your Windows 10 PC to the cloud and to your other Windows PCs, smartphone, or tablet. It's built into Windows 10 and offers a web app, desktop app, and mobile app to meet different needs.


Meanwhile, OneDrive offers 5 GB free storage space for each registrant and with 100 GB, 1 TB, and 6 TB storage options available either separately or with Office 365 subscriptions to help you protect your data with sufficient storage space. Because of the convenience and cost-effectiveness, many users choose OneDrive as their storage solution.

Generally, you can manually backup Windows 7/8/10/11 files to OneDrive via the web app. If you have installed the OneDrive desktop app on your PC, you can also apply this app to automatically backup PC to OneDrive cloud.

Can I backup Windows 10 system to OneDrive?


How do I backup system image to OneDrive in Windows 10?

Can I backup the Windows 10 system to my OneDrive so that I can restore the system settings and apps with one click with a good internet connection when I reinstall the Windows 10 system on this laptop? Looking forward to your kind reply! Thanks!

As mentioned in the case above, many OneDrive users may wonder if they can backup Windows 10 system to OneDrive in order to restore the Windows system directly from OneDrive later without reinstalling the Windows system. However, no matter the web app or desktop app, it allows you to backup files or folders only.

System backup involves making a backup copy of the entire Windows operating system that is running on your PC, as well as all your programs, files, and settings. This type of system backup can run into dozens of gigabytes, even hundreds of GB. So, you can’t back up the entire Windows 10 system to OneDrive directly if you are using OneDrive free version because it only has 5GB of free cloud storage.

But don’t worry, if you need to backup Windows 10 system to OneDrive, you can rely on the professional backup tool to create a Windows 10 system image, which is a folder. And then you can backup the Windows 10 system image to OneDrive for safekeeping.

3 free ways to backup Windows 10 system to OneDrive

In the following content, we will introduce 3 ways to backup Windows 10 system to OneDrive. The first way is to create a Windows 10 system image with Windows built-in backup tool and put the Windows 10 system image into the OneDrive folder to sync it to the cloud. The second and third way is to use a third-party backup tool to backup Windows 10 system to OneDrive directly.

Important: Please ensure you have enough OneDrive storage space to hold all the Windows 10 system image backup files. Or you can increase OneDrive storage space for free.

Way 1. Create system image and copy it to OneDrive folder

Windows built-in tool called Backup and Restore (Windows 7) can help you create a system image and backup the image to local hard drives, external hard drives, DVDs, or Network drives with ease. Please check the steps:

Step 1. Tap the Search button on the taskbar and type “backup” in the search box. Select “Backup and Restore (Windows 7)” from the search results. Or, choose "Backup settings" > "Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7)" in order.

Step 2. Click the “Create a system image” option, and then hit “Next”.

Create A System Image

Step 3. Select a local hard drive to save the Windows 10 backup. Then click “Next”. Confirm the backup settings and click “Start backup” to perform Windows 10 backup.

Backup System to Hard Drive

Step 4. The folder for your backup on the target hard drive will be named "WindowsImageBackup". Just copy the entire folder to OneDrive folder with administrator rights. OneDrive will sync it to the cloud automatically.

OneDrive Folder

Note: The Windows 10 system image backup was created by Backup and Restore (Windows 7), including all the primary partitions not only just the partition related to system files but also include the data partitions, which will create a huge backup. Sometimes, it's not what you want the backup to do.

Way 2. Backup Windows 10 to OneDrive directly via free Windows backup tool

AOMEI Backupper Standard is a free and professional backup and restore software that can help you back up system to cloud, external hard drives, NAS/Network drives, and so on. You can backup only the system partitions, not including the data partitions, and do what you want to do.

Please follow the steps below to perform Windows 10 backup to OneDrive using AOMEI Backupper Standard:

Step 1. Download and install OneDrive desktop app on your computer first. After setting, OneDrive will create a folder on your computer (C:\Users\[your username]\OneDrive) to sync your files automatically.

Step 2. Download, install and launch AOMEI Backupper Standard. Click “Backup” and select “System Backup”.

System Backup

Step 3. The required system partition(s) is (are) selected by default. Choose the destination path to store the Windows 10 system backup by browsing and locating to “C:\Users\[your username]\OneDrive”.

Select Destination

Step 4. Confirm the operation and click “Start Backup” to perform windows 10 system image backup to OneDrive.

Note: There are some useful settings you can customize, like Options to compress, split, comment, and use intelligent sector backup to meet the various demands. Use Schedule to enable OneDrive automatic backup on daily, weekly, monthly, etc., or try incremental or differential backup, and many more.

Way 3. Backup Windows System to OneDrive with free cloud backup service

Another easier way to backup Windows 10 to OneDrive directly is using the free cloud backup solution - CBackup, which allows you automatically backup system files to OneDrive without effort. Data in Windows 10 are all supported to be backed up including Windows 10 mail backup, Windows 10 programs backup, etc. Here is how to perform Windows 10 system backup to OneDrive with CBackup:

1. Please download and install the CBackup desktop app, then apply for a free account and sign in.

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

2. Tap the Storage on the left, then select OneDrive, and click Authorize Now. Then follow the steps to grant CBackup to access your OneDrive files.

Add OneDrive

3. Click Backup > Backup PC to Public Cloud.

Create System Image Backup

4. Select the system C drive that contains the Windows 10 system files as the backup source, and then choose OneDrive as the backup location. 

(Optional) If you would like to backup Windows 10 system to OneDrive automatically, you could choose Settings on the bottom left corner to select Scheduler, which makes you backup system files to OneDrive daily, weekly or monthly.

Schedule Backup

5. Press the Start Backup button to backup system image to OneDrive automatically in Windows 10.

Backup C Drive to OneDrive


Bonus tip: how to protect your OneDrive files for free?

Nowadays, users prefer to backup important data to OneDrive including system images to avoid losing all data at once when encountering natural disasters, theft, fire, etc. However, data in OneDrive is also not absolutely safe due to human errors, technical bugs, hacker attacks, and so on. So, it is necessary to make a copy of your OneDrive files in advance.

Since cloud storage is currently the most secure data storage method, you are suggested to keep your backup version in another cloud storage. In this way, even if you lose your data in the original cloud storage, you have a backup version in hand.  You can restore the data from your backup destination to the original location or new location at any time.

To save your time and effort, you can do a cloud-to-cloud backup with a professional cloud backup service like the following:

With CBackup, you can easily and quickly backup all or part of the OneDrive files to another cloud storage, or another OneDrive account
In addition, CBackup offers many useful backup settings like Scheduled Backup, File Filter, Email Notification, and so on to improve your backup efficiency.
What's more, all the mentioned features and backup settings are free and CBackup is very easy to use. So, you don't have to worry about anything and you can just have a try. 

Let’s see how to backup files between cloud storage (take backup OneDrive to Google Drive for example) with CBackup:

Step 1. Please log into the CBackup desktop app.

Step 2. Add and authorize your account of cloud storage under the “Storage” tab. Choose the Google Drive icon and click “Add”, edit the settings for Google Drive. (If you have added OneDrive on CBackup desktop app, it will be listed automatically under Storage)

Add Cloud

Step 3. Click on the “Backup” tab, then, click the “Backup Public Cloud to Public Cloud” button to create your backup task.

Backup Public Cloud to Public Cloud

Step 4. Then, name your backup task, and add OneDrive as the backup source. Choose Google Drive as the backup destination and click “Start Backup” to backup OneDrive to Google Drive easily.

OneDrive to Google Drive

You can select certain files on OneDrive as the backup source or select the entire OneDrive as the backup source. 
You can click the “Settings” button before starting backup to enjoy “File Filter”, "Email Notification", "Scheduler" features.
After backing up, you can easily restore the files that have been previously backed up to the original location or a new location easily with CBackup.


CBackup is also a cloud sync tool that allows you to sync files between cloud storage. Besides, you could backup PC to OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, CBackup Cloud (10 GB free), or the combined cloud easily and efficiently. If you meet any problem during the process of using OneDrive or you are looking for a cost-effective cloud backup service, CBackup is a great choice.


You can learn how to backup Windows 10 system to OneDrive according to the contents above, and the three ways are freeway, you can choose any one way to follow. By the way, don’t forget to protect your data in OneDrive with CBackup. It is easy to use. No matter you need a OneDrive client alternative or a cloud backup service alternative, it can offer help.

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.

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