Redirect and move Windows known folders to OneDrive

This article is for IT admins managing the OneDrive sync client in a Windows Server enterprise environment that uses Active Directory Domain Services.

There are two primary advantages of moving or redirecting Windows known folders (Desktop, Documents, Pictures, Screenshots, and Camera Roll) to OneDrive for Business for the users in your domain:

  • Your users can continue using the folders they're familiar with. They don't have to change their daily work habits to save files to OneDrive.

  • Saving files to OneDrive backs up your users' data in the cloud and gives them access to their files from any device.

For these reasons, we recommend moving or redirecting known folders to OneDrive if you're an enterprise or large organization. Small or medium businesses may also find this useful, but keep in mind you'll need some experience with Group Policy. For info about the end-user experience, see Protect your files by saving them to OneDrive.

About the Known Folder Move Group Policy objects

The following Known Folder Move policies are rolling out. If you don't see them yet, you will soon. To see them, you need the OneDrive sync build 18.111.0603.0004 or greater. You can see your build number in the About tab in OneDrive settings.

  • Prompt users to move Windows known folders to OneDrive

    Use this policy to give users a call to action to move their Windows known folders.

    The window that prompts users to protect their important folders

    If users dismiss the prompt, a reminder notification will appear in the activity center until they move all known folders.

    The reminder notification to protect important folders

    If a user has already redirected their known folders to a different OneDrive account, they'll be prompted to direct the folders to the account for your organization (leaving existing files behind).

    Note

    Locally created OneNote files can't be moved to OneDrive using this policy. To learn how to move OneNote notebooks, see Move a OneNote notebook to OneDrive.

  • Silently redirect Windows known folders to OneDrive

    Use this policy to redirect your users' known folders to OneDrive without user interaction. (You can choose to display a notification to users after their folders have been redirected.) This policy works when all known folders on the local PC are empty, and on folders redirected to a different OneDrive account. We recommend using this policy together with "Prompt users to move Windows known folders to OneDrive."

    When you enable this policy, future releases will no longer check for empty known folders. Instead, known folders will be redirected and content within them will be moved.

    Note

    Redirecting a folder points the folder to OneDrive but doesn't move any content. Moving a known folder points the folder to OneDrive and also moves the content. It should be used on PCs that have content in the Windows known folders.

  • Prevent users from redirecting their Windows known folders to their PC

    Use this policy to force users to keep their known folders directed to OneDrive.

    Note

    Users can direct their known folders by opening OneDrive sync client settings, clicking the AutoSave tab, and then clicking Update folders.

  • Prevent users from moving their Windows known folders to OneDrive

For info about using the OneDrive Group Policy objects, see Use Group Policy to control OneDrive sync client settings.