Fix OneDrive sync problems with Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista

If you can’t sync files between your computer and OneDrive, it might be due to problems with the OneDrive desktop sync app.

This article is for OneDrive with Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista. These steps also apply for syncing OneDrive for Business files, if you're already using the new OneDrive for Business sync client. Which OneDrive sync client am I using?

Got another version? Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1 | OneDrive for Business (old sync client) | On a Mac

Things to check first

Try these steps first, before getting into more in-depth troubleshooting:

  • Verify that the size of your file doesn't exceed the OneDrive file size limit of 10GB. Possible errors include: "This file is too big to upload" or "Reduce the size of this file to upload to…"

  • Verify you have the latest Windows updates installed. For more information, see Updating your computer.

  • Make sure you have the latest version of OneDrive on your computer. To get the latest version, see Download OneDrive.

If none of these steps work, try the following solutions in order.

Restart the OneDrive desktop sync app

  1. Right-click the white OneDrive cloud icon in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar.

    OneDrive app in System Tray

    (You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow The Show hidden icons button. next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon. If the icon doesn't appear in the notification area, OneDrive might not be running. Click Start, type OneDrive in the search box, and then click OneDrive in the search results.)

  2. Click Exit.

  3. In Windows 10, type OneDrive in the search box, and then click OneDrive. In Windows 7 or Windows Vista, click Start, type OneDrive in the search box, and then click Microsoft OneDrive.

    This opens your OneDrive folder and starts the OneDrive app.

(Windows 10) Make sure your OneDrive account is connected to Windows

  1. Go to Start, then select Settings > Accounts > Your email and accounts.

  2. Select Sign in with a Microsoft account instead.

  3. Follow the prompts to switch to a Microsoft account. You may need to verify your identity by entering a confirmation code.

NOTE: If you’re signed into Windows with the Microsoft account you use for OneDrive and you still don’t see your files, your organization may have a corporate firewall or Group Policy that blocks OneDrive.

(Windows 10) Finish setting up OneDrive

If you’re signed into Windows 10 with the Microsoft account you use for OneDrive and you still don’t see your files, you may have more than 500MB of content and setup didn't finish. To make sure you don’t fill up your PC with OneDrive content, you can select which files and folders you want to sync to this computer.

  1. Open File Explorer.

  2. Click the OneDrive folder. In the Finish setting up OneDrive wizard, select the files and folders you want to sync to this computer.

Recently upgraded from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10? Make sure you're syncing the folders containing the files you expect to see

Unlike in Windows 8.1, OneDrive in Windows 10 doesn’t use placeholder files to indicate files that are online only. Instead, you see only the files you choose to sync to your computer.

To set the folders that get synchronized, use OneDrive settings from your computer's notification area on the right side of the taskbar.

  1. Right-click the white OneDrive cloud icon in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar.

    OneDrive app in System Tray

    (You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow The Show hidden icons button. next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon. If the icon doesn't appear in the notification area, OneDrive might not be running. Click Start, type OneDrive in the search box, and then click OneDrive in the search results.)

  2. Click Settings.

  3. On the Account tab, at Choose folders to sync on this device, click Choose folders.

    Choose folders for OneDrive selective sync

  4. To make all your OneDrive files available on your computer, check the box at Sync all files and folders in my OneDrive.

    To have fewer files on your computer, under Sync only these folders, check the boxes for the folders you want to sync.

Turn off Office Upload

If you’re having trouble syncing Office files, the Office Upload cache system may be interfering with OneDrive sync. Try turning off the related setting in OneDrive settings.

  1. Right-click the white OneDrive cloud icon in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar.

    OneDrive app in System Tray

    (You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow The Show hidden icons button. next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon. If the icon doesn't appear in the notification area, OneDrive might not be running. Click Start, type OneDrive in the search box, and then click OneDrive in the search results.)

  2. Click Settings, and then clear the Use Office to work on files with other people at the same time check box.

IMPORTANT: When you turn off the Use Office to work on files with other people at the same time setting, any changes that you and other people make to Office files in your OneDrive will no longer merge together automatically.

Make sure the file path isn't too long

Example of a file path - C:\Users\<UserName>\Pictures\Saved\2014\January\Holiday\NewYears\Family…

The entire path, including the file name, must contain fewer than 255 characters. Shorten the name of your file or the name of subfolders in OneDrive, or select a subfolder that's closer to the top-level folder.

Make sure you have permissions to the file or folder you tried to add

Try to open the file or folder and make sure that you have permission to save a copy of it. If you're having problems seeing a file on a network, contact your network administrator.

Check whether there's already a file or folder with the same name in the same location

You may have conflicts if you're uploading multiple files on the OneDrive website at the same time, or if you made changes in your OneDrive folder on another PC that is syncing at the same time. Rename the file or folder, and then try to add it again.

Make sure your PC has enough disk space and restart sync

Free up disk space by moving or deleting files, and then follow these steps to start syncing your OneDrive folder on the PC again:

  1. Check your Storage page on the OneDrive web site and compare the size of your OneDrive to the available disk space on your PC. If necessary, move or delete some files.

  2. To restart sync: Click Start, enter OneDrive in the search box, and then click Microsoft OneDrive.

  3. Follow the steps to select your OneDrive settings again, including picking the location of your OneDrive folder and choosing whether to turn on the Fetch files option.

Unlink OneDrive and run OneDrive setup again

  1. Right-click the white OneDrive cloud icon in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar.

    OneDrive app in System Tray

    (You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow The Show hidden icons button. next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon. If the icon doesn't appear in the notification area, OneDrive might not be running. Click Start, type OneDrive in the search box, and then click OneDrive in the search results.)

  2. Click Settings, and then click Unlink.

  3. Follow the steps in the Welcome to OneDrive wizard to set up OneDrive.

Reset OneDrive

If OneDrive sync seems to be stuck for a long time and nothing else is working, try a reset. Be aware that resetting OneDrive re-syncs all your OneDrive files, which could take some time depending on how many files you’re syncing.

  1. Press the Windows key + R.

  2. In the Run window, enter: %localappdata%\Microsoft\OneDrive\onedrive.exe /reset

  3. Click OK.

  4. Make sure the OneDrive icon in the notification area of the taskbar disappears and then re-appears after a minute or two. Here’s how to check: Right-click the white OneDrive cloud icon in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar.

    OneDrive app in System Tray

    (You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow The Show hidden icons button. next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon. If the icon doesn't appear in the notification area, OneDrive might not be running. Click Start, type OneDrive in the search box, and then click OneDrive in the search results.)

  5. If the OneDrive icon doesn’t re-appear after a few minutes, open the Run window again and enter:%localappdata%\Microsoft\OneDrive\onedrive.exe