Microsoft readies OneDrive for Business feature to aid in migrating local data off Windows PCs

Microsoft expects to roll out to all OneDrive for Business users on Windows 7, 8 and 10 by the end of July a new content-migration feature, Known File Migration.

Microsoft is poised to roll out a new OneDrive for Business feature called "Known Folder Migration" that aims to get users to store more of their local data in the company's storage cloud.

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Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft is starting to roll out Known Folder Migration (KFM) to Targeted Release OneDrive for Business users starting this week, according to a June 27 blog post. Microsoft also is testing this feature with select consumers, indicating this feature may come to OneDrive consumer at some point, as well.

KFM is designed to help move users' documents, desktop and pictures (including Screenshots and Camera Roll folders) into OneDrive. IT pros will get the option to deploy a Group Policy that will encourage users to move their data to the cloud using KFM or to silently redirect these folders to OneDrive without user interaction (but notifying users that their IT department has done this). Admins also will have the ability to disable or not configure the setting so users won't be prompted to do this.

The message encouraging users to do this tells them they are setting up protection of important folders.

"Once these files (Desktop, Documents, Pictures) are synced to OneDrive, new and existing content will be available on your other devices, even if you lose this PC," the message reads.

The feature will add both new and existing Desktop, Documents and Pictures files to OneDrive. KFM works with Windows 7, 8 and 10.

Unlike Folder Redirection, which redirects a local Windows folder to an equivalent folder in OneDrive and is meant to be used on brand-new machines, Folder Migration can be used on new or existing devices, with or without content. Any existing Folder Redirections won't be affected or changed by KFM, officials said.

Office and Windows Insiders may start seeing this feature the first week of July, Microsoft's blog post says, and KFM will be available to all OneDrive for Business users by the end of July.