Migrate Your Files to OneDrive Easily with Known Folder Move

Published 06-27-2018 01:20 PM 335K Views

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



Frequent Contributor

Awesome news! We currently use the roundabout method of creating a system variable that points towards the user's OneDrive, then using Folder Redirection to move their folders to that variable. These new settings will greatly simplify things and I can't wait for it to be available in Intune as that is one of the last things that is really keeping us from going the whole Autopilot/Intune route (being able to make sure that a user's files are safely backed up off the device).


Are the ADMX/ADML templates available for download now? I didn't see a link to them in the post.


Edit: I found the ADMX/ADML files by following the steps in this support document. Just navigate to %localappdata%\Microsoft\OneDrive\BuildNumber\adm\ to see the files for your current version of OneDrive. My version, 18.116.0610.0002 does already have the Known Folders configuration settings in the ADMX, however there does not yet appear to be any settings for Known Folders in the client yet.

Occasional Contributor

Awesome work this will be a great feature. 
I currently use a similar workaround that Stephen mentioned but this will be much better.

Keep up the great work.

Not applicable

Cool stuff Stephen. Do you know how this will interact or can it tell if the documents desktop and photos libraries are already redirected to the OneDrive? Just don’t want this hitting and users clicking and then basically creating another folder on their OneDrive and moving It for no reason :). 



Frequent Contributor

@Deleted- no clue since it doesn't seem to actually be changing anything on the OneDrive client yet. I'd like to assume that it'll detect it's already in the right place and not change anything, but I guess we'll have to wait up to a few weeks once the update goes out to find out for sure.

Senior Member

Very cool.  Does this work with onedrive for business?  Also how do you detect the file names and types that are blocked?

Frequent Visitor

Does it work when customer is already using Folder Redirection for their users known folders? I mean, will it copy/sync data from the existing file server?





Occasional Visitor

Will it use OneDrive's "Files on Demand" or "selective sync" technology to prevent a full sync back down to various computers for same user profile?  Assume it will, but that would be bad if it did not.   

New Contributor

Will this work if we currently have those folders redirected (network share) that are offline file enabled? 

Hi, this is really great! And what about Intune? Can I create and figure out custom OMA-URI to setup this or this will be also done with Intune?

This is good news. Uservoice can make a difference. :) Keep on voting.

Senior Member
Is OneDrive for Business included as a target?
Not applicable

The most important question is: if (and how) will Known Folder Move support folders already redirected to network file share?

Frequent Visitor

Love reading this!  Thank you for doing this, very helpful!


I too am interested to see if this will automatically change files that are redirected to the network.  I look forward to testing it.




This won't affect any folders already redirected. So you should be good


@Shaun Cassells This release is for OneDrive for Business only at this time.  A link to the OneDrive limitations is listed at the bottom of the blog: "There are some limitations for supported files in the OneDrive sync client in general and those are listed here."


@Petr Vlk Right now we only have GPO's. We are working to integrate the ADMX/ADML packages for KFM with Windows Intune later this year.


@Thomas Stensitzki Absolutely! Nearly 1/3rd of the new features we have released in the past 18 months have come from  UserVoice!

Regular Contributor
Obviously, the UI for end users to move the folders themselves is new, but outside of that I'm not clear on how this differs from the existing "Known Folder Redirection" option. Can you clarify that at all? If we're using the existing method of Known Folder Redirection currently, how will this new feature affect us? (e.g. do we need to remove the old KFR config before enabling this?) Thanks!

@Steve Whitcher

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.


If you have a redirection in place, KFM will not affect or change those folders.

Not applicable

Thanks for taking the time to respond to these questions @Stephen Rose it's good info. 


This is great news!  Please update the roadmap.  As of a few days ago, this was slotted for 4Q2018.


@Lou Mickley It was updated on Monday

Regular Contributor

Would love if the Download folder was added to this mix. Saves users from having to redownload files, or worse, downloading an file, then working on it in the download folder not realizing it isn't being backed up or sync'd to the cloud until it is too late.

Not applicable

Download should stay manual. I purposely like downloading and not having to turn around and "re-upload" to the could. Users all downloading temporary movies or something gigs in size would be then turning around for sync, not best use case :). People that know better, will know better to redirect their own downloads :). 

So what happens if I have more than one instances of ODFB, all syncing to different tenants. Which tenant gets my stuff? :)


Also, this feature already resulted in creating duplicate folders for me (as reported here https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/OneDrive-for-Business/quot-Documents-1-quot-folder-auto-creat...), hope this was just some beta code...

Regular Contributor

@Deleted - I didn't say make it mandatory. It should be the IT department's decision. And no, users do not know better. We still have users that open files and work on them in the Outlook cache and then cannot find them later.

Not applicable

@Ed Hansberry that's kind of my point was the users that do know better know how to redirect their own folders, I wouldn't want them to have a one click button that now brings everything they download into OneDrive. I always agree with admin's being able to direct it which they can even now. But I mean I guess this could be expanded on in the future allowing the option, but should always be something we can strip options out if we prefer! 

Senior Member

Love this new feature!!  For those users that are in say marketing and online media production, is there a roadmap to also sync music and videos?  What about favorites?  I know that edge should be the browser of choice but we still have those diehard IE users too.

Super Contributor

Will this make it easier to migrate a user from On-Prem AD to Azure AD without needing a third-party profile migration tool?

Frequent Contributor

At the moment I manually redirect the Documents and Pictures folder (Folder properties > Location > Move) from C:\Users\Username\Documents to C:\Users\Username\Onedrive -MyBusinessName\Documents. I do this every time I install a new computer. Will this new feature interfere? What's the best procedure to start using this new feature on a computer that is already manually moved?


What happens when one of the known folder has been manually moved to a folder named "ReallyOtherFolderNameThanJustDocuments", while the other known folders are named what the system expects?

Super Contributor

@Michiel van den Broek, great question about what happens.  I don't currently redirect but I do have folders on ODfB with some of those names and just renamed mine just in case.

Regular Contributor

@Michiel van den Broek - we've done the same here. Actually we've done worse. We move C:\Username\Documents to C:\Username\UsernameCompany\ so the ODfB location is the Documents folder.


So how would we "fix" this without losing stuff in OD when this feature rolls out?

New Contributor

Hi.   I've just tried to download the new 18.111.0603.0004 Production Ring version of OneDrive from the Microsoft web site.  When the OneDriveSetup.exe downloads I notice the version number is still 18.091.0506.007.   Can you check the download link please ?


@Wayne Deguara


Wayne, thanks for calling out. It was a glitch in the upload process and should be fixed.

@Stephen Rose are these features documented somewhere?


Would favorites be something worth adding as well?

Not applicable

Not really cause only internet explorer uses it anymore and it’s deprecated so it would be pretty much useless for most folks. 

Super Contributor

@Tim Lynch, I'd agree with @Deleted, since it only works with IE then it is pretty much useless since IE is deprecated.  If Favorites connected with all browsers then yes, but since it never did, then no reason.

Regular Contributor

@Tim Lynch- ABSOLUTELY. In our environment, Favorites is a bigger concern than the Documents folder even. We've trained users for years to never save anything in Documents, Desktop, etc, and to always use their network drive instead. Their Favorites definitely need to be stored in a central location though, so that they follow the user from computer to computer.

@Deleted- Strongly Disagree. I'll admit that each environment is different, but I think IE still has a much stronger user base in corporate environments than you give it credit for. I highly doubt that we're the only organization where it is still the 'official' browser for the org and the only one allowed/supported by IT.

Not applicable

This is an awesome solution! Folks just need to make sure they are backing up their OneDrive files before they put more data out there. 

Occasional Visitor

My team has been doing the manual method to get folders like Desktop and Documents into OneDrive, so this is great.


However, we also do the Music and Videos folders--which appear not to be an option here. I don't know if maybe those are considered to be "real" folders in an enterprise environment, but they should be.

Regular Visitor

As most of our files are in Sharepoint I manually drag all user folders into a configured OneDrive. With a 1tb OneDrive store space isn't an issue. I don't use ODfB but the OneDrive Sync client which I find much less fussy.  Edge seems to be happy and syncs favourites via Azure connected Win10.


I just want to know what happens every 6 months when we install a major upgrade to Win10.  Every time this has happened, I have had to manually move all the folders back into OneDrive as Windows has recreated them.  WILL THIS STOP?

Occasional Contributor

"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."


Is there any info on when/what this future release will be? We're getting ready to start moving people's stuff to OneDrive and this seems cleaner than the folder redirection, but folders won't really be empty for the most part.


It's extremely careless, tone deaf and arrogant to skip Favorites "because nobody uses IE anymore."  Maybe you don't use IE at home, but business still have to.  Web browser bookmarks need to be backed up and synced and IE Favorites would be the most simple and easy to add as a OneDrive folder.


If you are trying to push people to Microsoft Edge, then why not make it easier to automatically sync Edge Bookmarks?  Microsoft Edge Favorites syncing would work even for IE users since Edge and IE can be configured in group policy to sync between each other.  So, if Edge Favorites were synced to OneDrive, IE Favorites would be backed up by proxy and vice versa.  So, yes, IE Favorites can connect to "other browsers" (Microsoft Edge).  It isn't "useless." 

Ideally, all bookmarks including Chrome could be synced, but IE Favorites are so simple to add as a folder, it seems dumb to have it not included as part of this feature.



What would the process be to migrate known folders that are already redirected to a local network server share "\\server\share\username\desktop" to OneDrive?

Will this feature move or copy the content from the network shares automatically or will IT have "unredirect" all the users known folders back down to their C drives and hope OneDrive KFM activates and syncs the files to OneDrive before the users have a chance to lose them?

Not applicable

Well I ideally, just having all the default libraries be configurable would be ideal :). Cause having photos / video's is nice, especially if Photo Sync is coming down the pipe anytime soon you want photos to sync across! That way you can link the camera roll into Photos library. 


*edit* derp, pictures library is one of the libraries :). 


@Stephen RoseWill we be able to enforce this from Office 365 MDM & Microsoft 365 Business or will "Full Fat" Intune be required? We deal with a lot of SMBs all the way down to a couple of users so I'm always trying to keep track of the different capabilities between O365 MDM, M365 Business & Intune.

New Contributor

Can the 'Known Folder Move' (KFM) for OneDrive be extended to also include the user's Internet Favorites folder ?  (%UserProfile%\Favorites).    Staff in our organisation (7000 users+) really like having access to their Internet Favorites on their various devices.  We currently do not use OneDrive for synchronising Favorites/Bookmarks, but it would be great if we could do this with OneDrive.

Senior Member

Hi Microsoft guys/girls (and others)


I like the idea but i have one question regarding implementation.


So we push this via GPO, ok. That morning all of our users connect, get the popup , most will approve without question. And then what happens? Do they all start to sync files to onedrive cloud instantly?If so i already envision the incoming call from our CEO  asking why in gods name our internet is so slow it is reminiscent of the "good old " 33.6 dialup days.


Sure we can have QOS to remedy that to some extent, but obviously that does not seem ideal.


I also would prefer not to have to seperate our orgs computers/users into specific groups in AD in order to facilitate a gradual rollout of this gpo.


Would you mind shedding some light on this?


Thanks in advance :)








There have been a lot of questions about the best way to backup bookmarks from device to device.


At its core, OneDrive is a file sync and share tool. Our goal with KRM is to make it easier for you to move your files to the cloud where they are secure, managed and accessible on every device. If you are looking for the best way to use our tools in a device recovery or new device scenario, I would recommend the following:


  • OneDrive- FIles and Data
  • Exchange Online- Email (getting rid of that .pst file is huge help and will make your life easier once you can).
  • EMS- Application and policy delivery/Security
  • Windows AutoPilot- Deployment
  • U-EV for synchronization of bookmarks and preferences.

With U-EV you can:

  • Specify which application and Windows settings synchronize across user devices

  • Deliver the settings anytime and anywhere users work throughout the enterprise

  • Create custom templates for your third-party or line-of-business applications

  • Recover settings after hardware replacement or upgrade, or after re-imaging a virtual machine to its initial state

U-EV is built into Windows 10 Enterprise. More information on it here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/configuration/ue-v/uev-for-windows


Version history
Last update:
‎Aug 24 2018 09:19 AM
Updated by: