How to secure OneDrive files and folders with Personal Vault

Learn how to make specific folders and files on OneDrive more secure by using Personal Vault.


Image: iStockphoto/vladru

If you use OneDrive to store and sync your files online, you may be concerned about the security and privacy of your files, both on your devices and in the cloud. To give your files an extra layer of protection, Microsoft now offers a Personal Vault for OneDrive users. Through the OneDrive Personal Vault, you can secure any OneDrive files you choose with two-step verification. When you need to view those files, you authenticate the access through password, PIN, fingerprint recognition, facial recognition, or a one-time code emailed to you.

You select which files you want to put into the Personal Vault, so you can protect only your most sensitive and private files if you wish. The files are automatically locked after 20 minutes of inactivity, after which time you’ll need to authenticate them again to access them. The feature automatically disables sharing of any files you secure this way so they’re not accessible by other people. You can use your Personal Vault on your computer as well as on your mobile devices. The vault protects any OneDrive files of your choosing on your computers and devices as well as in your online storage space.

The main downside with the Personal Vault is that it’s available only for the consumer and Office 365 versions of OneDrive, not OneDrive for Business. But if you use the consumer flavor of OneDrive to store and sync your files, the vault is a useful security tool. Here’s how it works.

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Assuming you’re already using OneDrive to store and sync specific folders and files, right-click on the OneDrive icon in the Windows System Tray. In the section for Meet Your Personal Vault, click the button to Get Started (Figure A).

Figure A


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