Online-only files in OneDrive folder not backed up by Veeam Agent for Windows

KB ID: 4018
Product: Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows
Published: 2020-09-24
Last Modified: 2021-07-02
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Challenge

A restore point created by Veeam Agent for Windows appears to be missing files from a user's OneDrive folder. Upon further investigation, it is determined that Files On-Demand was enabled, and the missing files were in an Online-only state at the time of backup.

Cause

As a result of using Files On-Demand, files may become Online-only. The contents of a file in this state are not stored on disk, and as such, cannot be read by Veeam Agent for Windows.

Veeam Agent for Windows does not interact with the files in such a way as to cause OneDrive to automatically download Online-only files.

Files in the OneDrive folder in an Online-only state at the time of backup are silently skipped and are not available for restore from the resulting restore point.

Solution

Understanding OneDrive File States

Only local files are able to read by Veeam Agent for Windows.

More information about file states can be found in Microsoft documentation here.

Online-Only File icon with little blue cloud
Online-Only File
(Files On-Demand Enabled)
On-Demand Local File
Locally Available File
(Files On-Demand Enabled)
Always Local File
Always Available File
(Filess On-Demand Disabled)

Force files to be local

There are two ways to force files in OneDrive to become local and protectable with Veeam Agent for Windows.

Force specific files or folders in OneDrive to be kept local.

  1. Browse the OneDrive folder
  2. Select the files or folders you'd like to keep locally
  3. Right-click on highlighted files or folders and select "Always keep on this device."
  4. Wait until the synchronization process finishes.

Force all files and folders in OneDrive to kept local

  1. Right-click the OneDrive icon in the notification area or the File Explorer.
  2. Go to Settings > the "Settings" tab.
  3. Under Files On-Demand, clear the "Save space and download files as you use them" check box.
  4. Click OK.

After that, all the OneDrive files will be downloaded to the computer and available for the Agent for Windows backup.

As an alternative, Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 includes OneDrive support.

More information

  • Files may be placed in an Online-only state when Files On-Demand is enabled in the OneDrive settings.
  • Files in a OneDrive folder may be shifted to an Online-only state automatically if Storage Sense is enabled.
  • The OneDrive File On-Demand feature may also be enabled by group policy.
  • General information about syncing files with OneDrive Files on Demand is available here.
  • Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365details and links
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