How do I change Windows 11 from defaulting to Onedrive?

I got a new PC a month ago. Windows wants to save everything that writes into My Documents into the OneDrive My Documents.

Game mods and the like are chewing up my free space. How do I just move all the stuff to local My Documents and never have it write to OneDrive?

ETA: Or what LeeAbe says below.

I can’t test as I’m not set up to have my personal folders on OneDrive but I’d imagine you could do it by relocating the folders from OneDrive to just be under C:\Users<youruser> - right-click the folder under My Computer, Location tab, Move button.

OneDrive settings>Backup>Manage Backup.

Thanks. I assume these files still stay in in the OneDrive folder, but remain local to my PC? And the OneDrive My Documents folder will still be the default?

If I uninstall OneDrive (if I can) does that move things to C:\Users?

I don’t think you can uninstall it anymore (because bundling fuckery), but you CAN set OneDrive to never start via the task manager services tab. That for sure won’t move anything though.


I did all that. As long as it’s not trying to upload 20 gig of mod files to my 5g Onedrive, I don’t really care if it’s still writing to that folder.

You can disable it from mirroring your desktop and documents folder.

Where is that setting?

I am sure it’s in the backup settings because that’s what it’s trying to do and I’m not on my
PC yet. I can’t vouch for this manual workaround though:

It did the same thing with the /documents folder nesting when backup is on for those folders you choose

Thanks. Uninstalling OneDrive did the trick.

Cool, thanks. I didn’t realize that setting was reliably respected by the OS because I’ve had it turned back on unintentionally through updates in past.

Another alternative is to go to each Library (Documents, Pictures, Music, Videos, etc.) and right-click on them, choose Properties, and then click the Move button and choose which folder you want the items stored on. I have my Documents and Pictures folders on separate drives, for instance, and none of these stored in OneDrive.


Uninstalling is kind of extreme if you use it for the cloud drive functionality especially if you have the 2tb with office.

I don’t have an Office subscription (I use my work license). I have exactly zero interest in using Onedrive.

Yeah, turning on OneDrive backup does mess things up a bit in terms of file locations. Once you click to allow backups, then your Desktop, Documents, Pictures folders all get remapped to a new path, ie: C:\Users\joshm\OneDrive\Documents. I don’t know if that’s reversible if you later disable OneDrive backup.

I’ll admit, I do pay for a 365 Family subscription. Even if you don’t care about Office, getting 1TB of cloud drive for each family member (up to 6 accounts ie: 6TB) is the best cloud deal in the industry. I usually can get it for $70 year. Conversely, something like Dropbox is $200/year for 2TB shared among all family members, so far less storage. iCloud is $120 for a 2TB shared family plan. Google is $99/year for 2TB or $250/year for 5TB.

OneDrive does also make it stupid easy to reinstall your PC or move to a new computer. Getting all your docs/desktop stuff and pictures as well as anything else you slap in OneDrive, alongside other conveniences such as modular Steam libraries you can leave on a data drive, and browser sync, makes PC migration easy.

I do feel a bit dirty for using it, but it works well. I don’t have to worry about the rest of the fam and their backups since everyone always saves in Docs or the Desktop anyway.

Anything that’s “real work” related ends up on my Mac and in iCloud. My PC is just for gaming. If I shoot a YouTube game video, I move the files over to my Mac for editing.

Yeah, of your primary PC is a Mac, then it makes no sense.

I just use one system for everything.

Bump! I’m having similar issues. I used to dislike OneDrive but recently I’ve found it quite handy when I want to access files that are normally on my personal computer with a work computer. Unfortunately, Steam’s “my games” folder saves to the Documents folder and now that I’ve downloaded Tabletop Simulator and some workshop games, I’m extremely close to running out of OneDrive space, which is very annoying. It looks like I can go into the settings and uncheck “my games” but from the wording it makes it sound like it won’t show up on my computer but it will still be backed up on OneDrive which is the opposite of what I want! This is so frustrating. Why don’t they give you more control over what folders you want backed up and what not?

They do, it asks you to enable / disable on a first run of the desktop app on a fresh install of Windows.