You can use this article to guide you on how to utilize Office 365’s OneDrive to move your Windows user profile to the cloud. With this configuration you will be able to access any files or folders that are on your computer, online via OneDrive. You can use this configuration to synchronize your desktop, documents and other locations across multiple computers.
Note: The screenshots and instructions within this article are using Windows 10 for reference, although the instructions should be very similar on other versions of Windows as early as Windows 7.
First if you haven’t already, sign in to OneDrive using your Office 365 account. You should be able to find OneDrive within the Start Menu (it may be called OneDrive for Business), or if it is already running you can locate it on the right hand side of the task bar along the bottom of the screen, nearby the time (you may have to click the upwards arrow to view the icon).
Once you’ve entered the account and password, you will be prompted about what files you want to sync to your computer. By default everything should be selected, if it isn’t you can select everything (unless you have a reason you don’t want to sync everything.)
Next open up a Windows Explorer window and navigate to your newly synchronizing OneDrive folder. If you can’t find it, you should be able to locate it as a shortcut on the left of the window, below the Quick access section – it should have your organization name included in it.
Once you’ve got the OneDrive folder open, create a new folder and call it Profile and open that newly created Profile directory. Within this Profile directory we created we’re going to create a folder for each item that exists in your regular user profile. Open a second Windows Explorer window and click in the address bar area so you can type. Type in %userprofile% and press enter, this will navigate to your regular user profile directory on the computer. We want to create every folder that is listed in your user profile, but inside the new Profile folder you just created within the OneDrive folder.
The next step is to configure your user profile folders to move to the folders we created in the OneDrive > Profile directory.
Within the User Profile directory (you can confirm you’re in the right place if there are special icons for each folder, Desktop, Documents etc.) right click on the first folder – in this case the Contacts folder and click Properties from the menu. Within the Properties window click on the Location tab and then click the Move… button. In the dialog that appears you will have to navigate to the OneDrive folder and locate the equivalent directory that we created earlier (In this example it would be OneDrive > Profile > Contacts). Once you locate the correct folder single click on it and click the Select Folder button in the bottom right and then click OK at the bottom of the window. You should then be prompted if you want to move the items from the old location to the new location, you will want to click Yes. After the items move to the new location, you should now be synchronizing changes for that location to OneDrive.
Next you should repeat the previous step of moving the location of each of the subsequent folders, including moving the items within each from the old location to the new location when prompted. Once you’ve done that for all of the folders then you are all set – the files within all of those folders will be synchronized using OneDrive. If you complete the same steps on a different computer then you can have your user profile synchronize between multiple computers using your OneDrive account! Changes made on one computer will propagate to any other computers you’ve configured with this setup.
You can use these instructions to set up and synchronize your files across multiple computers. This also gives you full access to those files through the Office 365 Portal if needed. If you disconnect your OneDrive account from a computer, the files will still exist however further changes will stop synchronizing to OneDrive – if you then reconnect your account you may have to follow these instructions again to make sure the folders are properly synchronizing as well.