OneDrive Now Has a Personal Vault for Your Important Files

Posted on June 25, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Microsoft Consumer Services, OneDrive with 10 Comments

Microsoft is launching somewhat of a major security feature for OneDrive users today. The company is introducing Personal Vault, a new feature that will help users keep their most important files extra secure.

The feature works by introducing an additional layer of security on OneDrive. It’s almost like two-factor authentication, but just for a single folder. When you move files into your vault, you will have to go through the two-step verification by using fingerprint, face, pin, or SMS. Personal Vault automatically locks after a short period of inactivity, so no one else will easily get access to your files stored in the vault. It also works with Microsoft Authenticator, allowing you to quickly unlock the vault and get access to whatever you need within there.

Personal Vault works even better on Windows 10, where your vault files are stored on a BitLocker-encrypted area within your local hard drive. Microsoft’s also recommending Android and iOS users to enable encryption on their devices for added security.

The new feature seems really useful for those who want to keep certain files separate and more secure from everything else. It would be even better if Microsoft allowed you to turn any folder into its own separate vault. Either way, Personal Vault is rolling out today to users in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. Microsoft plans to make the feature available to everyone by the end of this year.

Tagged with ,

Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Comments (11)

11 responses to “OneDrive Now Has a Personal Vault for Your Important Files”

  1. Thomas Parkison

    What? United States users aren't part of this party? Why?!

  2. Simard57

    "Personal Vault works even better on Windows 10" is this the case for ALL SKUs of Windows 10?

  3. dcdevito

    Oh, I was just about to start migrating my data to iCloud Drive. But HOLD UP what’s this?! Nice. I like this a ton.

  4. silversee

    It's probably worth mentioning that files are already secure when stored in OneDrive as they are locked behind your account credentials which can of course be protected with 2FA.

    Personal Vault seems to be an encrypted folder with additional authorization requirements. This could be important to those who worry about the (unlikely) case that a rogue Microsoft employee might gain access to their files, or that Microsoft may be subpoenaed for access by a government.

    This could be perceived as a useful feature by many, even though the practical privacy risks are currently quite low.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to Silversee:

      Re government subpoenas, how can MSFT refuse to comply? If MSFT doesn't, and by other means it turns out those files were evidence of criminal conspiracies or operations, how would MSFT avoid criminal charges of being an accessory?

      Call me old-fashioned, but I believe companies should have NO POWER to withhold anything from governments following due process of law. And if forcing compliance would require something like shutting down OneDrive completely until MSFT relented, that'd seem reasonable to me.

  5. jchampeau

    How could something be almost like two-factor authentication?

  6. red.radar

    Is this to solve the someone stole my laptop problem?

  7. ivarh

    It's a long time since you could have a iPhone that was not encrypted. It's impossible to turn off these days. Modern Android phones are the same.

  8. pmeinl

    Sadly this does not solve the problem that private files should be stored in the cloud only when encrypted with a key only known to the user only (end-to-end encryption) - encryption in transit and at rest is not sufficient here. Currently one can achieve this with third party tools like Boxcryptor only.

Leave a Reply