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How to use OneDrive for Backup on Mac

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Glen Ringkøbing Jensen
Contributor

Im been running the new OneDrive for Business app since the release became avaliable. Im planning to replace my current MacSync setup with OneDrive for Business app.

 

Is there anyone who knows how to get the App to backup My Documents and Desktop on a Mac Running Mac OS X Sierra ?

11 Replies
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The only way I've seen this done before is setting up Symlinks for My Documents and Desktop in your OneDrive folder that is syncing to the cloud. You can view steps on doing it here - http://osxdaily.com/2015/08/06/make-symbolic-links-command-line-mac-os-x/

I know it works with Dropbox, I tried it once with OneDrive Personal, but haven't tried it yet with OneDrive for Business. If I get a chance, I'll test it out and let you know what I find.

Other than this, I haven't seen any other way to accomplish this.
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Solution

Thanks for your reply Ben - Actually I have been using OneDrive for backup since november 15th with great succes, as you mentioned im using Symbolic links using the software MacDropAny and it works great :)

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I actually gave symbolic links a try with the OOTB sync client today too, unfortuantely, the sync client doesn't pick them up, so it looks like you have to use a third part product like MacDropAny for it to work.

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Yes :) You just need the software to create the symboliclink for you. It´s free - you can downloade it here http://www.zibity.com/macdropany.html 

 

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@Glen Ringkøbing Jensen 

I just signed up for office 365 HOME, and was 100% sure that i could live with the "flaw" that onedrive only backed up desktop, pictures and documents  (who needs 1 TB documents and desktop.. ok perhaps pictures, but why not my whole pc)

 

ok so got home after signing up.. installing onedrive on mac.. and .. wait what..  i can only stick stuff on onedrive by having an extra copy on my macdrive, ? .. so it will take up space 2x on mac and i can not even choose to auto sync from desktop til that folder... or i can move my whole mac into the onedrive folder... well that is a deal breaker for me (and my family that uses mac.. well back to icloud i guess)

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@RygaardDK Old tread but anywat. After update to macOS Catalina - I had to move awy from OneDrive as my backup solution. Catalina/MacDropAny/OneDrive do no longer work together as i´m not allowed to create symbolic links. Dropbox works but I went back to iCloud an that is now my desktop/backup solution. The only problem is that before my PC and Mac desktop was syncronized - now I have to live without this feature.

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@Glen Ringkøbing Jensen 

I found your thread searching for the same solution, how to backup Mac files/folders to OneDrive when symlinks don't seem to work. Howtogeek.com has an approach where symlinks can work if you move the original file/folder to the OneDrive folder and replace the original with a symlink sourced from OneDrive. Here is an example where I relocated my ~/.ssh folder to OneDrive.

sudo mv ~/.ssh ~/OneDrive/.ssh
ln -s ~/OneDrive/.ssh ~

After these commands the .ssh folder is in the OneDrive folder, and ~/.ssh is just a link to it.

lrwxr-xr-x   1 XXXXXX  XXXX     42 Jan  3 09:45 .ssh -> /Users/XXXXX/OneDrive/.ssh

As a test, I connected to a new ssh host, which updates the ~/.ssh/known_hosts file. I confirmed that OneDrive sync client detected the change and synced it to the cloud.

 

Highlighted

@Glen Ringkøbing Jensen 

 

Prerequisite:

 

  • Terminal application
  • Source: Have the folder patch you want to sync with OneDrive ready or written notes
  • Destination: Have the folder patch you want to store your local folders in OneDrive ready or written notes
  • 5-10 minutes of your time.

 

Open Terminal application:

 

Press Command + Space, type “Terminal”, and then press “Enter” to open Terminal from Spotlight search.
Or
From the top right search icon type “Terminal” and then press “Enter” to open Terminal
Or
In Finder go to “Applications / Utilities / Terminal to launch it

 

Type the following commend in the Terminal:

 

ln -s /Users/username/Desktop /Users/username/”OneDrive – Company”/MBP

Whereas “username” is your account name. Note there is a space between the first (source) and second (Destination) patch name. Notice also the bracket in “OneDrive – Company”, this is because OneDrive for Business may have your company name with spaces. If you type the path without the brackets, it won’t find it. So, add brackets if you have spaces in your path name.

 

Another example with picture below.

 

Once your Symbolic link is created, OneDrive will see the files/folders and start uploading the content. You simply have to continue working on your desktop, documents or any other folder and Onedrive will pick the files/folders and sync them

Highlighted

Thanks @Joe-S 

 

It worked but only for 2 days, now I lost connection to OneDrive Desktop - Trying to figure out what went wrong

/Glen

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Thanks @Akshay_Mane It worked

 

 

Highlighted

@Akshay_Mane 

 

Spoiler

@Akshay_Mane wrote:

@Glen Ringkøbing Jensen 

 

Prerequisite:

 

  • Terminal application
  • Source: Have the folder patch you want to sync with OneDrive ready or written notes
  • Destination: Have the folder patch you want to store your local folders in OneDrive ready or written notes
  • 5-10 minutes of your time.

 

Open Terminal application:

 

Press Command + Space, type “Terminal”, and then press “Enter” to open Terminal from Spotlight search.
Or
From the top right search icon type “Terminal” and then press “Enter” to open Terminal
Or
In Finder go to “Applications / Utilities / Terminal to launch it

 

Type the following commend in the Terminal:

 

ln -s /Users/username/Desktop /Users/username/”OneDrive – Company”/MBP

Whereas “username” is your account name. Note there is a space between the first (source) and second (Destination) patch name. Notice also the bracket in “OneDrive – Company”, this is because OneDrive for Business may have your company name with spaces. If you type the path without the brackets, it won’t find it. So, add brackets if you have spaces in your path name.

 

Another example with picture below.

 

Once your Symbolic link is created, OneDrive will see the files/folders and start uploading the content. You simply have to continue working on your desktop, documents or any other folder and Onedrive will pick the files/folders and sync them


 

The official Microsoft website for OneDrive for business is this:

https://onedrive.live.com/about/en-us/business/

 

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