Backup and Restore Exclude Specific File Extensions from Backing up to OneDrive in Windows 11

  • Staff

This tutorial will show you how to add and remove specific file extensions to exclude (prevent) from backing up to OneDrive for your account from your Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC.

You can use OneDrive to sync files and folders between your computer and the cloud, so you can get to your files from anywhere - your computer, your mobile device, and even through the OneDrive website at If you add, change, or delete a file or folder in your OneDrive folder, the file or folder is added, changed, or deleted on the OneDrive website and vice versa. You can work with your synced files directly in File Explorer and access your files even when you’re offline. Whenever you’re online, any changes that you or others make will sync automatically.

When you select to back up a folder to OneDrive, the files in that folder (not folder) are moved to your "C:\Users\<username>\OneDrive\<same folder name>", and synced to your OneDrive on the cloud.

You can choose to exclude specific file extensions that won't get backed up to OneDrive, but cloud items will still sync to your computer.

Shortcut (".lnk") files are excluded by default.

Excluded file extension rules will not apply to files that were already backed up to OneDrive.

Here's How:

1 Click/tap on the OneDrive icon on the taskbar corner, click/tap on Help & Settings (gear) icon, and click/tap on Settings. (see screenshot below)


2 Click/tap on Sync and backup on the left pane, and click/tap on the Advanced settings link. (see screenshot below)


3 Do step 4 (add) or step 5 (remove) below to add or remove excluded file extensions for what you want.

4 Add File Extension(s) to Exclude from Backing Up to OneDrive from PC

A) Click/tap on Exclude under "Excluded file extensions". (see screenshot below)​


B) Type the file extension (ex: "png") you want to exclude in the Extension box, and click/tap on Exclude. (see screenshot below)​


C) When finished adding excluded file extensions, go to step 6.​

5 Remove Excluded File Extension(s) to Start Backing Up to OneDrive from PC

A) Under "Excluded file extensions", click/tap on the X button for the excluded file extension (ex: ".png") you want to no longer exclude. (see screenshot below)​


B) Click/tap on Ok to confirm. (see screenshot below)​


C) When finished removing excluded file extensions, go to step 6.​

6 You can now close OneDrive Settings if you like.

That's it,
Shawn Brink



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