How to change location of OneDrive folder in Windows 8.1

We have seen that, with Windows 8.1, SkyDrive or OneDrive has been deeply integrated with it. The OneDrive team has been regularly adding features, as its receives its users’ feedback. While the SkyDrive users have welcomed its integration with Windows, one of their most common complaints was that they could not change the location of the SkyDrive folder.

Now a days  we see many PCs with the boot drive being a Sold State Drive (SSD) where space is a premium as these SSDs haven’t yet become as economical as regular Hard drives. By default files in the SkyDrive folder are stored at the C:\Users\<username>\SkyDrive.  And with SkyDrive data being stored there, it was a cause of concern because of the lack of storage space. Earlier with SkyDrive desktop app, you had the option to configure where SkyDrive Synced its files, but with integration of SkyDrive in Windows 8.1, it became a concern, because of the absence. It thus became the most requested feature by SkyDrive users.

Change location of OneDrive folder in Windows 8.1

In Windows 8.1 Preview, users had been trying out various tweaks, registry hacks to achieve the same. But in Windows 8.1 RTM, you can do it easily. This post is a small tip about the same, though small, but many of the Windows 8.1 users don’t know about this, kind of hidden yet useful feature.

You don’t get this feature from SkyDrive options in the new PC Settings. For this you have to open Windows Explorer in the desktop.

SkyDriveProperties

Right click on SkyDrive in the navigation pane and select Properties and in that you have the ‘Location’ tab.

SDLocation.png

Here,you can change the default path. You can change where the files in this folder are to be stored, to another location on the same hard drive, other drive or even another computer on the network. Just click on the Move.. button and select the new location of your choice and Apply. The contents in the SkyDrive folder will get stored in the specified location.

SDLoc.jpg

You also have the option to Restore Default back to its default path. Please note all the screenshots above are from Windows 8.1 RTM and the feature is available in Windows 8.1 RTM only.

This is a big space saver for those users having smaller SSD as their Boot drive. Apart from this shifting of location to save space on the boot drive, there’s another unique space saver SkyDrive feature that doesn’t sync all your contents to your PC, unless you ask SkyDrive to do so. We have seen this feature in our earlier post. Though it looks like entire SkyDrive folder is downloaded, but actually its just the ‘placeholder’ of those files. It thus consumes very little space compared with the actual files. You can just check this, by right-clicking on SkyDrive in Explorer in Desktop and check for General tab in Properties for the size.

SDSize.pngAs you can see, though the size is 137 MB, but size on disk is 9.2 MB, though all the files, folders are listed.

Update 27/09/13 : Since some people had queries about moving the location to removable drive or to a SD card drive like in Surface Pro. I’m updating this post regarding the same. On a regular PC, I have tried using removable USB Pen drive and it works. It might be bit slower than accessing on faster SSDs/hard drives. Only thing is, it has tobe formatted to NTFS file system.

So connect your Pen drive or select your SD card drive in your Surface Pro/Laptop and  format it in NTFS file system

SkyDriveUSB
Create a folder in that USB drive/SD card, as SkyDrive content can only be moved to a folder.

SkyDriveUSB1

After that, from SkyDrive properties the as described above, Right click >Properties >Location , click on Move and select the Destination and click on Apply.

SkyDriveUSB2

And click Yes, and the Moving of all files from old location to New Location starts. Will take time according to size of the SkyDrive folder. Allow sometime for the move to be fully complete.

That’s all, so you have set your new location the of SkyDrive folder to USB Pendrive or to a SD card drive.

As mentioned earlier , you can use ‘Restore Default’ to set back to its default location, if needed.

So try these nice SkyDrive features and as a matter of precaution, do take backups before experimenting.

Windows 10 users can see how to move or change location of OneDrive folder in Windows 10.

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The author has been a Microsoft MVP awardee in various Windows categories (2006-2016) and currently a Windows Insider MVP. A Technology Enthusiast, interested in anything technical and is committed to Microsoft technologies and products. He is actively associated with various Microsoft online communities, forums, Newsgroups and has been actively involved in Beta testing various Microsoft products and bug submissions.