Migrate your files easily to OneDrive with Known Folder Move

Microsoft recently launched a preview of a new feature that lets users move their files to the OneDrive for Business cloud storage service with a single setting.

The known folder move functionality moves content from known folders (i.e. Documents, Pictures etc.) and will work with Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10 PCs. This way the user doesn’t need to move their data to the OneDrive folder location.

Microsoft began releasing the preview functionality to targeted release, the so called test release group Office Insider Program.

Before Known Folder Move:


After Known Folder Move:


Not much changed, right? That’s the idea. User content is automatically synced to OneDrive with no disruption to productivity. Behind the scenes, Known Folder Move moves content into OneDrive so it’s always synced to the cloud, protected, and accessible from all your devices.

If you’re an IT admin, you can deploy a group policy (more details below) to users in your organization to encourage them to perform Known Folder Move. Eligible users can get to the Known Folder Move experience if they click on one of the Known Folder move toast notifications or in OneDrive settings > AutoSave > Update folders.


This is what the Known Folder Move experience looks like for users. The Known Folder Move experience launches and does a brief scan for any unsupported files:


The scan shows all files are supported and the user now has the option to move their folders to OneDrive:


If you disable or do not configure this setting, the “Set up protection of important folders” window won’t appear automatically for your users.

If you set a group policy, then here is the experience the user will see:


If the user doesn’t perform the move, a large activity center message displays:


If the user chooses to close the message, then a smaller message is displayed and cannot be dismissed until the user completes the move:


Silently redirect Windows known folders to OneDrive

This setting lets you redirect your users’ Documents, Picture, and Desktop folders to OneDrive without user interaction. This policy works when all known folders are empty, and on folders redirected to a different OneDrive account. We recommend using this policy together with “Prompt users to move Windows known folders to OneDrive.”

When you enable this policy, future releases will no longer check for empty known folders. Instead, known folders will be redirected and content within them will be moved.

If you enable this setting and provide your tenant ID, you can choose whether to display a notification to users after their folders have been redirected.

If you disable or do not configure this setting, your users’ known folders will not be silently redirected to OneDrive. Future iterations of this group policy will support Known Folder Move.


After this policy is set with the notification flag the user will see a toast:


Prevent users from redirecting their Windows known folders

This setting forces users to keep their Documents, Pictures, and Desktop folders directed to OneDrive.

If you enable this setting, the “Stop protecting” button in the “Set up protection of important folders” window will be disabled and users will receive an error if they try to stop syncing a known folder.

If you disable or do not configure this setting, users can choose to redirect their known folders back to their PC.


When will Known Folder Move be available?

  • This feature will start to roll-out this week to our Targeted Release customers
  • If you are an Office or Windows insider, you may start to see it next week
  • Known Folder Move will be available to all users by the end of July


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