Can OneDrive be used as a Backup Tool?

Categories: End Users Information Office 365

Can OneDrive be used as a Backup Tool?

Sometimes I feel like a broken record talking about backups! But it is so vitally important to safeguard your  data, I feel it is necessary to mention it as often as possible. We talk about using tools like CrashPlan and external hard drives, but with budgets the way they are in many places, access to a free backup option is often requested. For this post, I’m going to talk about using Microsoft OneDrive as a backup tool for our most important files and folders!

As an OSU employee, we have access to Office 365 features, which include online web apps for quick edits of Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents. There are also mobile apps for our smart phones and tablets.  In addition, our Office 365 accounts give us access to 1TB of cloud data storage using OneDrive for Business, which is plenty of storage to back-up your files, especially your most important files! (See the links below to access information about setting up OneDrive for Business)

While OneDrive seems like the answer to all of our backup needs, there a few “challenges”.  One of these problems is there isn’t a way to easily backup your entire computer to OneDrive. Instead, OneDrive acts as a computer folder such as “Documents” or “Pictures.” This means, in order to back something up, you have to manually save the file to OneDrive, or drag and drop the existing folder into OneDrive for Business. In other words, the file isn’t saved in your My Documents folder but instead it’s saved to the cloud. However, if you have OneDrive for Business installed on your computer, a local copy may be downloaded to your computer.

Another challenge involves the required 120 day OKEY password change we are required to perform. On occasion, I’ve run into issues with OneDrive for Business syncing following my OKEY password change. This can be frustrating and takes a little time to resolve.

Finally, it needs to be noted that OneDrive and OneDrive for Business are NOT the same thing. OneDrive for Business is associated with the OSU Office 365 agreement and is where you may find your files. But with Office installs, the regular OneDrive  is automatically installed. Unfortunately, it will not work with your OKEY credentials so you will need to set up OneDrive for Business to use the full benefits that we have access to as OSU employees .

Overall, OneDrive for Business is a great tool, especially for collaboration, cloud access and even backing up some data. However, at this time, it is a manual backup, and cannot be set up as an auto backup option for your computer.

For more information regarding Office 365 and setting up OneDrive for Business on your computer check out these blog posts or contact your Support Specialist for assistance.

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