Windows 11 Win11/Onedrive confusion


New Member
Oct 18, 2023
I've had a nice setup for myself and my family using Win 10 and Onedrive for cloud based files that served either as a backup or ability to share between people.
With recently installing Win11 on a couple of computers (first my wife's Surface, and now my personal laptop) everything moved to a state of confusion. My wife saves documents and can't tell where they are located, etc.

I've been trying to unravel what is going on, and would say I've got a pretty good handle on the tighter integration between Win11 and Onedrive, as compared to Win10. Now I need help to try and make this new OS work the way I want it to - which is more like Win10.

I would like each system to have a local Desktop and Documents folder (e.g. c:\users\myname\desktop and \documents)
I would like for Onedrive to have a folder called "Cloud Docs", so it will be easily distinguished from the local Documents folder.
I don't want Onedrive to sync the local Desktop and Documents folder.
I went into the Onedrive settings and deselected Desktop.
I went to the Onedrive online folder and renamed Documents to "Cloud Docs". In Win10 it reflects the change in File Explorer.
On Win11 it still refers to the Onedrive "Cloud Docs" folder as "Documents".
On Win11 I have 2 "Documents" references - one is c:\users\myname\documents, and the other is c:\users\myname\onedrive\Cloud Docs.
So, even though the folder structure in reflects the "Cloud Docs" change, File Explorer does not.

Does anyone know how I can get this to work?
Also, am I missing anything that I need to consider?

Thanks for any input.

Hello Bob,

I understand your frustration with the changes in OneDrive integration in Windows 11. Here are some suggestions to help you achieve the setup you want:

1. To have local Desktop and Documents folders:
- Open File Explorer and navigate to "C:\Users\YourUsername".
- Right-click on the "Desktop" folder and select "Properties".
- Go to the "Location" tab and click on the "Move" button.
- Choose a new location on your local drive for the Desktop folder (e.g., "C:\Users\YourUsername\Desktop").
- Repeat the same steps for the "Documents" folder.

2. To create a separate folder for OneDrive files:
- Open the OneDrive settings by right-clicking on the OneDrive icon in the system tray and selecting "Settings".
- Go to the "Account" tab and click on the "Choose folders" button.
- Uncheck the "Desktop" and "Documents" folders if they are selected.
- Click on the "OK" button to save the changes.
- Now, create a new folder called "Cloud Docs" within your OneDrive folder (e.g., "C:\Users\YourUsername\OneDrive\Cloud Docs").

3. To make File Explorer reflect the "Cloud Docs" change:
- Restart your computer to ensure all changes take effect.
- Open File Explorer and navigate to the "Cloud Docs" folder in your OneDrive folder.
- Right-click on the folder and select "Pin to Quick Access" to easily access it from the left navigation pane in File Explorer.

By following these steps, you should have separate local Desktop and Documents folders, with a distinct "Cloud Docs" folder in OneDrive. File Explorer should correctly reflect the changes you made.

Additionally, keep in mind that with Windows 11's tighter integration, some elements may still be named "Documents" even if the underlying folder structure has changed. However, the actual locations and contents of the folders should match the setup you desire.

I hope this helps, and let me know if you have any further questions!
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