Many people use OneDrive to store files and photos to the cloud. But what about more sensitive documents, such as bank statements or copies of birth certificates? OneDrive offers peace of mind with Personal Vault, an extra-secure storage area where files are encrypted and protected by an additional layer of security, even when they’re synced to your Windows 10 PC or your mobile device.

How does Personal Vault keep files secure?

One way that files are protected is through two-factor verification. What does that mean? Simply put, in order to gain access to your Personal Vault, you must provide (1) something you know (a password), and (2) something you have (a code sent to you by email or text). Only you, the user, has access to this information. In addition, Personal Vault includes the following security features:

  • Scan and shoot: Using the OneDrive app, you can scan documents or shoot photos directly into your Personal Vault, keeping them off less-secure areas of your device.
  • Automatic locking: Personal Vault automatically locks after 20 minutes of inactivity, so you don’t have to worry about whether you left it open.
  • Bitlocker encryption: On Windows 10 PCs, OneDrive automatically syncs your Personal Vault files to a Bitlocker-encrypted area of your hard drive.
  • Restricted sharing: Files in your Personal Vault cannot be shared. If you share a document before moving it to your Personal Vault, sharing will be disabled. That way, you never have to worry about accidentally sending a copy of your tax return to your boss

Now that we understand how Personal Vault works to keep your documents safe, you’re ready to start using it.

How to save a file to Personal Vault

Personal Vault lives inside of your OneDrive. To get started, sign in to your OneDrive account.

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Once signed in, click on the Personal Vault icon.

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Next, you will see a pop-up that outlines the Personal Vault security features. Click Next. In the next prompt, you will see your username and email address. Click on the Verify button.

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To verify your identity, type in the code that Microsoft sent to the email address associated with your account, then click Verify.

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Now that you have authenticated your account, it’s time to start moving documents to your Personal Vault. Before you start, OneDrive will provide suggestions for some types of files you might want to add.

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If you already have files on your computer and just want to move them into your Personal Vault, this option also exists.

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Finally, you have the option to scan your files to add them to your Personal Vault.

To scan files directly to your Personal Vault with the OneDrive mobile app, download the app to your mobile device.

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Then, sign in your OneDrive app -> select Personal Vault -> Verify Identity -> Create a Pin -> begin scanning directly to your Personal Vault.

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OneDrive Personal Vault can also be used on mobile devices, and the process is similar to what we’ve described above. Simply sign in to the OneDrive app on your phone, look for Personal Vault in your list of files, then follow the prompts.

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Personal Vault offers peace of mind when storing sensitive documents without compromising the convenience that comes with OneDrive. You can rest assured that your sensitive files will be protected, even if your device is lost or stolen.

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