Migrate Your Files to OneDrive Easily with Known Folder Move

June 28, 2018
The original article is published on the Microsoft Tech Community OneDrive Blog.

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:

1.pngWindows Explorer

After KFM:

2.pngWindows 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.

1.pngUpdate 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

3.pngKFM screen 

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

4.pngKFM 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

2.pngGroup Policy

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

3.pngIT 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.

6.pngForced 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:

7.pngToast

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 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

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