How to Set Up a OneDrive Personal Vault

How to Set Up a OneDrive Personal Vault and Why You Should Secure It

Microsoft recently released Personal Vault, an important and much-awaited feature for OneDrive users. A personal safe is there to keep your important files safe. I’ve been waiting for this for some time now. As far as I know, no other cloud storage provides such a feature at the moment. But how do you set up OneDrive Vault and why do you need to secure it?

This is what we will see today. We cannot stress enough the importance of taking every precaution to protect your data. Hence OneDrive also comes with ransomware protection.

Read: How to Fix OneDrive Sync Issues on Mac with 8 Ways

How to Set Up a OneDrive Personal Vault and Why You Should Secure It

1. Setup OneDrive

The first thing to do is to download and install OneDrive or the latest version from the Windows Store. Open Windows Store and find OneDrive to install. If you already have it, click the menu to select Download & Update.

If you don’t already have the latest version, you’ll see OneDrive. Do the same for mobile apps and download or update to the latest version on Android and iOS.

Launch OneDrive and you should see a new folder called Personal Vault. Instead of the regular folder icon, it sports an animated secure icon.

Windows 10 system-wide dark mode doesn’t work in OneDrive. Maybe it will with a future update.

Well, let’s take a look at this OneDrive personal vault. Wait, I see an error.

At first, I thought they were talking about a scene. So, I enlarged the window like an idiot, but it’s not. You need to click on the OneDrive folder in File Explorer to start the sync process and configure the OneDrive folder. This is the OneDrive app we use.

You will now see a pop-up window where you will follow the onscreen instructions to sign in to your Microsoft account, the same one you use on your Windows 10 computer.

You will be asked to choose a location for the OneDrive folder.

Now here’s what the folder looks like with the system-wide dark mode enabled.

You’ll need 2FA to open Personal Vault – the same one you used for your Windows account.

Personal Vault will open in a new window by default.

2. How to Set up 2FA for Windows

You need to configure 2FA for your computer. Without it, your data stored in the vault is vulnerable to theft. Even if you don’t use OneDrive’s Personal Vault feature, you should still be using 2FA on Windows.

Sign in to your Microsoft account using the link shared below. Select Two-Step Verification under Security.

You can enable 2FA under the two-step verification option.

I have defined 2FA for my system. When you click on it, you will be asked to re-enter your Microsoft account password and scan a QR code. For this, you can use any 2FA app. After that just follow the onscreen instructions which are very straightforward and easy. Don’t forget to write the backup code in a safe place. Preferably offline.

Note that you can also use fingerprint if your laptop supports it or supports PIN code. Here’s a great tip: Use a different type of 2FA for OneDrive Personal Vault than the 2FA you use for OneDrive. That way, even if OneDrive is compromised, the vault will be secure and inaccessible.

3. OneDrive Personal Vault Security and Features

Here are a few things you should know about the Personal Vault. It works like any other folder in OneDrive, so you can copy and paste or drag and drop files. It is available on the web, desktop, and mobile.

Your Personal Vault will be automatically locked after 20 minutes of inactivity on a desktop computer and 3 minutes of inactivity for the mobile application. You will receive a notification before and after this happens. Useful when working in an open office environment, where anyone can access and access your laptop. Plus, you can’t share anything from Personal Vault. For this, you have to take it out of the safe.

You’ll need to check with 2FA every time you’re signed in to Windows and OneDrive. Some may find this cumbersome, but that’s why Personal Vault was created. If not why? You can scan documents directly into Personal Vault using Microsoft Office Lens.

Data stored in OneDrive Personal Vault is stored in a drive area encrypted by Bitlocker. Additionally, BitLocker uses AES encryption with 128-bit and 256-bit keys, which is the standard protocol. Although he is not a BitLocker fan, as it is not easy to set up and is a closed program, Personal Vault makes it easy as pie.

4. Disable Personal Vault

Disabling OneDrive Personal Vault will delete all files stored inside. So make sure these files are no longer useful or make a backup in a safe place. Visit the OneDrive website and click on the option under Settings.

You may be asked to verify your identity using the 2FA method defined earlier. Deactivate Personal Vault and click Deactivate next to Confirm.


You can’t save more than three files to OneDrive Personal Vault in the free plan. To store more, you’ll need Office 365 plans starting at $5 per month. Not too expensive, considering you have a ton of Microsoft apps and a bit more cloud storage. Additional security features include file recovery and ransomware protection for up to 30 days.

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