Move OneDrive local folders to secondary HDD


After using OneDrive with no problems for one year, I needed to make a change, but it doesn’t appear to work as planned. I am on Windows 10 Pro.

1. The OneDrive local folder was originally located on drive C:, under my user profile (pretty much the default).

2. Because I wanted to use OneDrive more than I did before, it meant that it would ultimately contain much more data. My drive C: is a smaller capacity SSD drive, so I wanted to relocate the local OneDrive folder to a different physical hard drive – D:.

3. Following instructions from the Microsoft site, I took the following actions:

     a. In OneDrive Settings I Unlinked This PC.

     b. In File Explorer I selected the existing OneDrive folder in my user profile and selected Move To, and chose drive D: as the location.

     c. In the OneDrive setup window, which was still open, I selected Get Started, and followed prompts until I was able to click on Change Location and chose drive D:.

     d. When I was informed that he files already existed at that locaion, I chose Use This Location, and continued with the setup.

4. That is when my problem began – OneDrive would not sign-in or see the local files. The white cloud simply said OneDrive Signing In. But it never did.

5. I subsequently copied all the data from the local OneDrive folder to a different folder (to completely ensure that I would not lose them).

6. Then I deleted the local OneDrive folder from my user profile and also made sure that the OneDrive folder I created on drive D: was also deleted.

7. I exited the OneDrive application, and subsequently uninstalled it and reinstalled it.

8. Finally, I removed my computer from the account on the website.

9. After reinstalling the OneDrive application I was able to direct it to use drive D:, it went through its setup and located the proper files.

10. Now – the OneDrive icon and folders exist on drive D:, BUT after a while I saw in File Explorer they ALSO reappeared in my user profile as well. That is exactly what I was trying to avoid!

11. I was a Microsoft Certified Professional, so I am pretty familiar with Windows, but I cannot figure out how to fix this… or CAN it be fixed?

Comments (2)

2 responses to “Move OneDrive local folders to secondary HDD”

  1. TrevorL

    You may be seeing smoke and mirrors. It is possible that the user profile OneDrive location actually contains a file system symlink or similar to the real location on D:. That is why it appears to be in 2 places. I suspect that this is done to allow lazy software that has a built-in location for OneDrive to actually work.

  2. Patrick3D

    If you were trying to make the change on Friday, there was a OneDrive outage that was causing the "Signing In" issue you had seen. To verify TrevorL's answer to your issue, try copying a reasonably large file (~100MB) to OneDrive and check the size of drive C: before and after the copy to see if it is impacting drive space on C:.