Windows 11 now automatically enables OneDrive folder backup for fresh installs

Microsoft is now automatically turning on OneDrive backups on fresh Windows 11 installs, and you can probably guess how this going to go down.

1 minute & 53 seconds read time

Microsoft has quietly updated the Windows 11 installation and initial setup process by automatically turning on OneDrive folder backup for those connected to the internet and signing in with a Microsoft account. This means folders like Pictures, Videos, Documents, Desktop, and more will automatically sync with the cloud on a fresh Windows 11 install without users being asked to opt-in.

Windows 11 now automatically enables OneDrive folder backup for fresh installs 2

For those with multiple PCs wanting a clean install, this could lead to a cluttered desktop with shortcuts to apps that aren't installed, which isn't ideal. OneDrive cloud sync can be a powerful tool when used currently, alleviating the need to backup files before formatting or installing Windows on a new PC - and it can be super handy if you run a desktop and laptop computer, ensuring key files are on both devices.

OneDrive comes with 5 GB of free personal storage, with Microsoft 365 subscribers getting up to 1 TB. The free 5 GB can be filled up quickly if you download or store large files in your main Documents folder, prompting you to free up space or pony up for a subscription to unlock more space.

OneDrive syncing and automatic backups can still be disabled and uninstalled. However, this is not something that no longer happens during the initial setup. Turning the feature on by default could be considered a shady move to force more users to start using OneDrive cloud sync, with the expectation being that they won't spend the time to go into Windows settings to disable or uninstall the service. Those who aren't computer literate probably won't even know how.

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Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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