Reinstall Windows Without Losing odrive State



Basically I am trying to reinstall my OS and that would require me to reinstall my odrive client. When I previously moved my odrive folder it required me to upload all of my encrypted folders again even though the contents of that folder had not changed. I have most of my files in an encrypted folder I don’t have the time to upload all of those files again or even the time to download the files again. It would be nice if odrive could detect that the files have not changed (although I don’t see how it would be possible to do this) or if I could somehow move the odrive application to another drive in my PC.

Does anyone have any helpful advice on how to reinstall my OS without losing the state of the odrive application? I feel like there should be a way to get the local odrive application files and set it back up in a way that it does not require me to sync all my files again.


Hi @tdouglas1313,
If encryption is not in the mix then it is possible to move to a new system without needing to re-upload or download everything. Encryption, however, makes things more complex because of the zero-knowledge encryption.

Take a look at this post for more details on reinstall procedures and limitations: What would be the safest method for an Windows OS reinstall?


Hi @Tony,

Thank you for the quick response. I had not seen that forum post before. However unfortunately I have already had experience doing that. This is not the first time I have switched computers or re-installed an OS that had odrive on it. I have even done this before with odrive encryption. The last time my encrypted folder was small enough that I could just download everything again. However I have now moved most of my files to an encrypted folder I do not wish to have to go through downloading them again, because of the amount of data I have in it. I was unaware of the fact that every file has its own encryption key.

Currently my odrive folder is not on the same drive as the OS. And because of this I feel like it should be possible to move the odrive application from my SSD where my OS is to another HDD until I have reinstalled windows because the path to my odrive folder will remain the same. This should maintain the encryption keys and make it so that I don’t have to deal with uploading or downloading all my data again. The main problem being I don’t have enough knowledge to know if odrive is required to stay in the same location or how its handling paths to the encryption keys. Seeing as I only have one shot at this I was hoping someone could tell me if this method is possible and even better if they could tell me how to move the odrive application.


Hi @tdouglas1313,
odrive’s database local databases are encrypted using the Windows CryptAPI. The same goes for the encryption keys stored in the Windows registry. The encryption of these items is based on the Windows user profile. This means, when you re-insintall Windows, this information will be wiped out. Even if you try to bring it over, somehow, I don’t believe Windows will be able to decrypt the info, even if you setup the same username and password.

As far as my own testing goes, I have, unfortunately, not found a way to pre-populate an encrypted folder, for the reasons mentioned above and in my previous post.


Hi @Tony,

Thanks for the clear explanation. I develop for most other platforms besides Windows, so Windows encryption is not something I am familiar with and I appreciate the clear explanation. When I get a chance I might look to see if I can spot a way to move the keys if possible. I doubt I will find anything you did not, but if I manage to figure anything I will let you know.

I appreciate all the help.