Windows 11 forces data backup to OneDrive, possible workaround

26 June 2024

Maybe it’s time to start a Windows 11 is going just great website, similar to Molly White’s Web3 is Going Just Great. I say this after reading about another instance of heavy-handedness on Microsoft’s part, at Neowin:

Quietly and without any announcement, the company changed Windows 11’s initial setup so that it could turn on the automatic folder backup without asking for it.

Quietly and without any announcement. What a way to treat customers/users. OneDrive is a little like Apple’s iCloud, which stores data (files, photos) according to choices made by the individual. The difference, now, between iCloud and OneDrive, is one is user configurable, the other isn’t.

This is foul. Every time OneDrive tried to open on my old Win 10 install, I promptly closed it down. No doubt Microsoft was watching my every move as it was, but there was no way I’d trust them with copies of my data files.

As a result of this move though, some inadvertent OneDrive users are apparently finding their auto-backed up data exceeds the default five gigabyte OneDrive folder limit. Any excess above five-gigs needs to be paid for. Marvellous.

But there may, possibly, be a workaround.

It involves transferring (cut/copy and paste) all files from the default data folders, e.g. Documents, and moving them to a separate folder on your hard drive. Perhaps call the new folder My Data, and then set up sub-folders inside that for your data, e.g. photos, word documents, etc, etc. This is what I’ve been doing all along, I’ve never kept anything in those default folders. I even set up my own separate downloads folder, and configured all downloads to save there.

Trying this might keep data and files out of OneDrive’s reach. For now, anyway.

Despite using Dropbox for a lot of the files I use daily, I also keep backups of everything on thumb drives (which are stowed securely elsewhere). It was a bit of work to set up, but is quick and easy to use now. Hopefully my data storage system also helps keeps my data and files a little more secure.


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