We’ve heard requests from several customers asking to make it easier to move their user data into OneDrive. To have a single button that they could push that would move content from the Desktop, Documents, and Pictures folders to OneDrive.


Today, we are making this a reality with the announcement of Known Folder Move (KFM) for OneDrive that will start rolling out to Targeted Release customers this week.


Known folders are global pointers in Windows representing a location on the user’s drive. They help users to organize their most important files and access them across different applications. KFM helps you move your docs, desktop, and pictures into OneDrive. Even the Screenshots and Camera Roll folders are included when the Picture folder has opted into KFM.


Before KFM:

Windows ExplorerWindows Explorer

After KFM:

Windows Explore w/ KFMWindows Explore w/ KFM


Not much changed, right? That’s the idea. User content is automatically synced to OneDrive with no disruption to productivity. Behind the scenes, KFM 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 KFM. Eligible end users can get to the KFM experience if they click on one of the KFM toast notifications or in OneDrive settings > AutoSave > Update folders.

Update Folders settingUpdate Folders setting

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

KFM screenKFM screen 

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

KFM end user screenKFM end user screen

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

Group PolicyGroup Policy

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

IT Policy for KFMIT Policy for KFM

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

Forced pop-upForced pop-up

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 end 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
  • KFM will be available to all users by the end of July

As always, please leave feedback and let us know what you think or visit our UserVoice page to upvote or suggest new OneDrive functionality!


- The OneDrive Team


Some FAQ's for IT Administrators

Can I automate this as an IT admin?

Yes. See information about group policies above. More documentation will be available once KFM is fully rolled out.


Is there an Intune package I can use?

We are working to integrate the ADMX/ADML packages KFM with Windows Intune later this year.


Can I use this with Silent Account Configuration or other group policies?

Yes, you can use these group policies alongside any other group policies including Silent Account Configuration. Just make sure you don’t set policies that conflict with one another.


What operating systems does KFM work with?

Known Folder Move works with Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 as well as Windows 10.


What is the difference between Folder Redirection and Folder Migration?

  • Folder Redirection redirects a local Windows folder to an equivalent folder in OneDrive but does not migrate any content from the local folder to OneDrive. That’s why folder redirection should only be used on brand new machines that don’t have existing content.
  • Folder Migration redirects a local Windows folder to an equivalent folder in OneDrive and does migrate the content from the local folder to an equivalent folder in OneDrive. Folder migration can be used on brand new or existing devices with or without content.
  • In general, we suggest you use folder migration over folder redirection whenever possible.

Are there any limitations on the files that can be moved to OneDrive as part of this process?

There are some limitations for supported files in the OneDrive sync client in general and those are listed here. In addition, there are some scenarios that KFM doesn’t support yet and will be documented in more detail in the future. One of those limitations is that locally created OneNote files can’t be moved to OneDrive through the KFM experience. If you have OneNote saved locally, please visit our support site on how to move it to OneDrive here



Senior Member
While the script worked well for many, there remained too my outlier cases to call it good. I finally ended up using GPO to redirect the folders under OneDrive, using the item-level targeting to match the OneDriveCommercial environment variable as well as folder itself. I think I'll finalize it by scripting a few "attempts" at the redirection taking effect and resume the reporting and alerting if OneDrive isn't provisioned for use.

Thanks and this is for OneDrive for Business correct? Is there a way to detect if anyone is missing it? Or what happens if you deploy it and someone doesn't have OneDrive for Business installed? 

Occasional Contributor

Anyone else having an issues after turning on backup of known folders with multiple files duplicating as you go from one computer to another? Happens a lot to us with icons for Edge and Teams for example.


Is this an executable or do you have to use GPO

Senior Member

Yes @Carlos Cordeiro, seeing the exact same thing in our org.

Occasional Contributor

@Steve2500 have you found any way to stop that from happening? I have seen some users with over 10 icons for each Edge, Chrome and Teams.

Senior Member

@Carlos Cordeiro  - No sorry. Our staff don't move around that much but it has been flagged as a problem. If we find a way to stop it happening I will update here. I just wanted to reply to let you know that it is not just you.


The duplicating of icons for Edge and Teams is because someone thought it was a good idea to generate an icon in the user's desktop every time they login to a new machine rather than placing it in the Public User\Desktop. This means a new one gets created faster than OneDrive Sync starts for first time. Then OneDrive starts up and says "oh a duplicate" and the fun ensues. I think there is a way to disable the Edge desktop icon via GPO but not sure on Teams. This isn't a OneDrive problem this is an automatic action due to dumb installers problem.

Regular Contributor

@Brian Hoyt  While you do have a good point, I don't think OneDrive can be absolved from blame here.  Yes, the shortcuts should absolutely be on the public desktop instead, but we can't even get the Teams devs to listen to stop installing their whole dang client in each user's profile at this point. 


Even so, the OneDrive sync client should recognize that the shortcut is identical - same name, same icon, same target, etc - and treat it as the same file.  Instead it seems to think that there is some difference it can't merge, and keeps both 'versions'.  That IS a onedrive problem.  


You can do a machine wide install of Teams but it isn't the default. OneDrive it self is still defaulting to per-user install too. There is lots of blame to go around.

Regular Contributor

I can see where you'd get that idea, but the 'machine-wide' install is just the teams installer.  That installer just runs at logon and installs teams in every user profile, just like a normal install.  

At least OneDrive has finally figured out how to do a true machine level install, maybe they could teach the teams devs some of their tricks? 

Frequent Contributor

@Steve Whitcher To the human eye it's the same file, but a computer just sees it as another file with the same name. It can't compare icons, maybe the file size is different (rounded 1 kb). 


What annoys me in the whole situation is I want a clean desktop. I don't want ANY shotcut on my desktop, unless I create it myself. The problem is that every team at Microsoft installs their apps in a different way. Some put a shortcut on the desktop, some don't, some put it just in the Start screen, others create a folder (Teams at first created a folder "Microsoft Corporation"), etc. Maybe Microsoft could think up some rules and standards for there dev teams? ;)

Senior Member

If icons for Edge and Chrome are duplicating then its most likely that those were not installed using the associated enterprise installers that are available for them.  Using those vs. a user based install will alleviate that from happening.  At least for those apps.  The teams icon, yeah that's a pain but so are other user based apps like visual studio code, as that has a per user and a per machine option too.  

New Contributor

thanks for shearing this,

it helped me out:stareyes:


Occasional Contributor

How are others handling the folders that remain in C:\Users\<user>\   ?


Some applications (including popuplar/expensive ones!) are poorly written and will continue to write files directly to the paths (example: C:\Users\<user>\Documents\ ) instead of using system variables.


Users are: (1) Confused because there are 2 "Documents", "Pictures", "Desktop" on their machine, and (2) given a false sense of security that anything in those folders is saved to OneDrive.




In the above screenshot, these folders are the ones that existed prior to turning on KFM.  The files within were moved to OneDrive (good!) but nothing prevents users from continuing to save to them.


I have considered "mklink" to hard link them to OneDrive-- but it can present a challenge to maintain.