Install OneDrive on an external drive

If you need to change your OneDrive storage location from your computer to an SD card or other external storage source, you can do so as long as the external drive is non-ejectable. Removable USB drives are not supported.

Note: If you don't have enough room on your computer, use the Files On-Demand feature for OneDrive available for Windows and Mac, as well as selective syncing.

First, you should check the file system of the external drive you'll be using.

Check the file system of the drive

  1. Open File Explorer.

  2. Right-click the drive and choose Properties.

  3. On the General tab, next to File system, see if it says NTFS.

If the file system is FAT or FAT32, refer to the next section. Otherwise, proceed to Unlink OneDrive and run OneDrive setup again.

Convert a FAT or FAT32 drive to NTFS

Converting a drive using these steps will preserve the files on the drive. We still recommend making sure you have backups of all files on the drive.

  1. Find the letter of drive you want to convert. Open File Explorer, and in the left pane, look for the drive under "This PC" or "Computer."

  2. Press the Windows logo key + R to open the Run dialog box.

  3. Enter cmd to open the command prompt window.

  4. At the command line prompt, type convert drive: /fs:ntfs

    For example, if the letter of the drive you want to convert is e, you would type convert e: /fs:ntfs

Note: If you want to convert an NTFS drive back to FAT32, you need to save copies of any files you want to keep, and then reformat or partition the drive.

Unlink OneDrive and run OneDrive setup again

You won't lose files or data by disabling, uninstalling or unlinking OneDrive on your computer. You can always access your files by signing in to your OneDrive account online.

  1. Select the white or blue OneDrive cloud icon in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar.

    OneDrive SyncClient with blue cloud and white cloud icons

    Note: You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow The Show hidden icons button. next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon. If the icon doesn't appear in the notification area, OneDrive might not be running. Select Start, type OneDrive in the search box, and then select OneDrive in the search results.

  2. Select OneDrive Help and Settings icon Help & Settings > Settings.

  3. Click Unlink this PC.

    Note: Unlinked files can be safely deleted from your local storage, as they are also stored in the cloud and accessible through the OneDrive site.

  4. Follow the steps in the Welcome to OneDrive wizard to set up OneDrive in the new file location.

    Warning: You cannot set up Folder Protection with OneDrive on external memory.

Check the file system of the drive

  1. Open a Finder window on your Mac, then select Applications.

  2. Ensure the external drive is a non-ejectable type and formatted as APFS. Learn how to erase and reformat a storage device in Disk Utility on Mac.

Unlink OneDrive and run OneDrive setup again

You won't lose files or data by disabling, uninstalling or unlinking OneDrive on your computer. You can always access your files by signing in to your OneDrive account online.

  1. Select the white or blue OneDrive cloud icon on the menubar.

  2. Select OneDrive Help and Settings icon Help & Settings > Settings.

  3. Click Unlink this computer.

    Note: Unlinked files can be safely deleted from your local storage, as they are also stored in the cloud and accessible through the OneDrive site.

  4. Follow the steps in the Welcome to OneDrive wizard to set up OneDrive in the new file location.

    Note: You cannot set up Folder Protection with OneDrive on external memory.

The OneDrive app can be downloaded and installed on a memory card in Android, but pre-installed versions cannot be moved from phone to memory card.

Need more help?

Unable to sync OneDrive to an SD card or external USB drive

Online

Get online help
See more support pages for OneDrive and OneDrive for work or school.
For the OneDrive mobile app, see Troubleshoot OneDrive mobile app problems.

OneDrive Admins can also view the OneDrive Tech Community, Help for OneDrive for Admins.

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Contact Support
If you still need help, contact support through your browser or shake your mobile device while you're in the OneDrive app.

OneDrive Admins can contact Microsoft 365 for business support.

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Tips
Letting us know your location may help us resolve your issue more quickly.

All fixed? If you contacted us and OneDrive starts working again, please let us know by replying to the email we sent you.

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