Skip to main content

The end is near for the OneDrive desktop app if you're not on Windows 11 or 10

Windows 11 Tease
Windows 11 Tease (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft announced support for the OneDrive desktop app is over if you're on Windows 7, 8, or 8.1.
  • First, updates will be cut off starting January 1, 2022.
  • Then, cloud syncs will stop on March 1, 2022, at which point "your personal files will no longer sync and should be uploaded/accessed directly on OneDrive for web."

If you're still on Windows 7, 8, or 8.1, the powers that be (Redmond) have decided to deliver unto you bad news on a Friday: The OneDrive desktop application is losing support on the aforementioned operating systems. Should you want to maintain desktop app support, you'll need to use the shiny and new Windows 11 or ever-cool Windows 10.

Starting the very first day of 2022, the OneDrive desktop app will stop receiving updates on Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 devices. Then, on March 1, 2022, cloud syncs go the way of the dinosaur.

Here's what Microsoft has to say (opens in new tab) for those still rocking Windows 7, 8, or 8.1: "If you are currently using one of these operating systems, we recommend upgrading your operating system to either Windows 10 or Windows 11 to avoid disruption. For machines that do not meet system requirements for Windows 10 or Windows 11 operating system upgrade, you can back up and protect your files by manually uploading them to OneDrive on the web, and continue to access, edit, and share your files on all your devices."

As a purple man once said, "it's just the way it is." Old operating systems eventually lose the attention of their creators, and the passage of time sweeps away any lingering guilt. However, end-users aren't nearly as bound to linear progression, hence why Windows XP is still being enjoyed by many, many people.

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to robert.carnevale@futurenet.com.

23 Comments
  • Or if you really want to sync your files onto someone else computer, then there are services like Dropbox that will still work with Windows 7 and 8
  • You can also just print out the files and deliver them by hand.
  • And if it's remote destination send it via the closest mailbox.
  • Now you are being stupid. I can understand where cloud is useful for transferring files from one machine to another, myself I have a NAS, I can connect to it from anywhere if I need to.
  • Microsoft has basically been upgrading people for "Free" since Windows 8. Windows 8 anything-to-Pro+Media Pack was like $25 on release. Windows 10 and 11 were literally free upgrades. I cannot understand why anyone would stay on 7, an OS that is more bloated and performs worse than all of the versions following it. For a Start Menu? That is hardly a workflow catastrophe (just something people cry loudly about on the internet, cause there must be something to complain about...).
  • Windows 8 at least is better than Windows 10, get rid of the start screen and stick a start menu on it, and it runs better and smoother than Windows 10,
    Windows 7, people just like it as it works, and they are used to it, also I prefer it to Windows 10, easier to get rid of Ms spyware from it for a start. Windows 7 used to run fine on my old AMD bulldozer machine.
    If this machine would run Windows 8/8.1 i would certainly be using it, because Ms have gone backwards with Windows 11, it looks nice, and it does seem to run better than Windows 10, but stupid changes which solved nothing.
    The other problem with Windows 10 and Windows 11 is the way MS try to get people to use their services, Windows 8 was not much better to be honest there and that is where all this MS account and clouds rubbish started. Go into settings on Windows 11 and you are confronted with one drive and Microsoft 365 rubbish stuck on the top. e
  • Thing is... many of us want that "rubbish".. it's a higher convenience to have 365 and OneDrive installed from the start. And certainly incredibly easy to take care of if you don't want them.
  • He could simply have upgraded his OS. Windows 8 is almost a decade old, and incredibly out of date. Windows 7, I won't even go there... Time for it to die. If you want the higher convenience, then you certainly would have moved off of both of those OSes years ago. There seems to be some obsessions with staying on old versions of Windows, insisting that they are better, and expecting Microsoft to waste millions - if not billions - supporting them for decades. Microsoft needs to move on and start taking the Apple approach to supporting these platforms in the consumer market. This is a bit reason why app development on Windows is a bit stunted. The user experiences that developers deliver aren't anything near what you get on macOS, largely because users stay on old platforms which gives developers no incentive to adopt the newer tech, frameworks, and APIs coming out of Microsoft. You can't really be innovative in those spaces, when people insist on sticking on Windows XP, Windows 7, or even Windows 8... Microsoft needs to do whatever it needs to do to kill these platforms in the consumer space. It's amazing how FUD can keep so many people from getting a free upgrade to a better operating platform. This never happens in the macOS space because Apple has priced themselves in a way that the less intelligent people simply aren't dominating their platform's user base. Microsoft gets to deal with that.
  • “Microsoft needs to do whatever it needs to do to kill these platforms in the consumer space.” Windows is already dead in the consumer space. MS didn’t have to do anything, because they are focusing on the business space.
  • Quote: "Windows 8 at least is better than Windows 10, get rid of the start screen and stick a start menu on it, and it runs better and smoother than Windows 10," No, it doesn't. Windows 10 does perform better than Windows 8, and is less bloated. The install size is even smaller... Most people complaining about Windows 11 have been complaining about things that Windows 8 completely nuked, like the Start Menu. It literally doesn't have one, at all... And those of us who used Windows 8 on Day One got quite a different experience than those who used it a year+ later, when Microsoft made a few concessions due to widespread complaints. There's a reason why Windows 8 died faster than Windows Vista, which actually wasn't that bad. People just - generally - had bad (low spec) machines to run it. Quote: "Windows 7, people just like it as it works, and they are used to it, also I prefer it to Windows 10, easier to get rid of Ms spyware from it for a start. Windows 7 used to run fine on my old AMD bulldozer machine." And Windows 8 ran dine on my old AMD APU laptop from 2013. And Windows 10 runs just fine on that same machine, and on every other machine in my house. And Windows 11 runs great on those that are officially supported and have been upgraded. Quote: "If this machine would run Windows 8/8.1 i would certainly be using it, because Ms have gone backwards with Windows 11, it looks nice, and it does seem to run better than Windows 10, but stupid changes which solved nothing." You're doing this thing where people exaggerate to make things look terrible so that they seem like they are reasonable in the point they're attempting - but failing - to make. Stop trying. You can go back to Windows 8 if you have a Windows 7 or 8 key. No one is stopping you. If your machine shipped with Windows 8, then all you have to do is wipe it and the Windows 8 installer will use the key embedded in your UEFI. Have fun with it! Quote: "The other problem with Windows 10 and Windows 11 is the way MS try to get people to use their services, Windows 8 was not much better to be honest there and that is where all this MS account and clouds rubbish started. " How is that any different than an iCloud account on macOS, iOS, iPadOS or tvOS? Or a Google Account on Android, Android TV or ChromeOS? A Roku Account? You don't have to use Microsoft services. Almost all of the default apps can be removed now, or you can simply use them with alternative services (Mail, Calendar, People, etc.). You act like this is surprising or out of the norm. No one is forcing you to use Microsoft Services. Quote: "Go into settings on Windows 11 and you are confronted with one drive and Microsoft 365 rubbish stuck on the top." Apple has an entire category in settings for iCloud. What's your point? Apple was actually first in doing this. They allowed people to sign in using an Apple ID before Microsoft did the same in Windows. All of this is increased convenience for the user. There is nothing wrong with it. You are not forced to use it. Even on Windows 11, you can create a local user account from an Admin account and just trash the other account, so that you aren't tied to a Microsoft Account. It actually isn't that difficult.
  • My old machine was an AMD bulldozer machine, now as you may or may not know bulldozer chips had their problems, not that I had any problem with mine, sure they were not up to the speed of some intel chips, at the time, but they were cheap, anyway, I changed from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1 as i someone decided to buy it for me since I could get it cheap as an upgrade to Windows 7. I must admit I did not like it at first, due to the start screen, but then a couple of developers brought out software that could bring the old start menu back, including start is back, also got rid of the side bars and charms bars, so Windows 8 and 8.1 when it came out was really no different in use after a start menu was added than Windows 7, ok it did have the silly ribbon menu on the file explorer. When windows 10 came out I tried it, remember at this time I was still using my Bulldozer AMd based machine, and I found Windows 10 ran slower and not as smooth. so i went back to Windows 8.1 and wanted to stay with it when I updated to this machine.
    I don't buy desktops, I buy the parts and build them, My Windows key is a windows 7 pro retail one, so, I can move it to a newer machine. I got the main parts for this machine which is a Ryzen 7 1700 in May 2017, so this machine is over 4 years old. When i got it I tried Windows 8 on it and I had all sorts of problems, one of them being memory management and the other being that Ms just did not want Windows 8 or 7 for that matter being used on a Ryzen or any new gen CPUs at the time and made it as difficult as they could, so people would be pushed to Windows 10. so you see this machine did not come with Windows 8, it did not come with any Os at all. I still prefer Windows 8, and I still think it worked better than Windows 10. People are complaining about Windows 11 because MS once again decided they lnow what people want, and it turned out once again they are wrong. Even with Windows 8, you could drag stuff onto the taskbar. Windows 8 died because of the start screen, but I put a start menu on a few peoples machine that had Windows 8 and once that was done, they were fine with it, sure some of them preferred Windows 7, but Windows 7 was to be honest pretty good for a MS OS.
    I agree with on vista, the problem was the lack of hardware and also the UAC or user account control being too harsh and wanting people to say yes to everything, good idea but badly implemented. Windows 11 runs ok on this Ryzen machine, better than 10 to be honest, but Windows 11 have issues, lots of them and last night I lost my rag with it to be honest and instal;led Windows 10 back on this machine. File explorer freezing when copying large files to the NAS was a major issue, also did the same thing but less often when moving files between drives. i am not saying that MS pushing their MS account is any different to other companies, I am just saying it annoys me. We are used to it now with smartphones as that was a thing with smartphone when they first came out more or less, but we never used to have these accounts for computers, now it seems as if we need accounts to do everything in life, just getting stupid with companies wanting to know what you do, when do it and who with. As for Apple, they have been playing that game a lot longer than MS and to be honest is the one thing that is pushing me away from getting a Mac mini, I need to see how the Mac will work without a account, my friend said it is possible to use a MAc without a Apple I.d as she does with her Mac pro. We are not forced to use it yet, but look at how MS is making it impossible for Windows 11 home users to bypass having a MS account. I want to listen to the radio online, require having an account, watch some videos online, even if they are free, we need to have an account. Even supermarkets want to know all about us.
  • "MS Spyware" are features of a modern OS. I'm sure you don't complain the same way about using Google in your smartphone. If you use one...But well, do stick to Linux.
  • How do you know I don't complain about Google?
    I would love a pure linux phone that would run the apps I need.
  • nothing that AirExplorer can't solve...
  • So how long will onedrive work on 10. Since we are stuck on this never ending ability to never upgrade!
  • These operating systems are no longer supported by Microsoft so not really an issue... Users of these unsupported operating systems can still use the Web to access one drive if they wish to stubbornly carry on using an unsupported and insecure operating system...
  • Windows 9 (8+1) is supported until January 2023, so this decision to cut pieces of it out is… despicable.
    Perhaps switching back to Mac is on the cards for me, because spending few thousands on new hardware to stay with a company that cannot stick to its own support plan, and observing how they slowly find their way back to the best ideas from their peak is… suboptimal.
    Meanwhile, it could be “Goodbye, OneDrive/SkyDrive”, welcome Box.com.
    Or simply, iCloud - to ease the migration when the new Mac Pro comes.
  • So for 9 months Window 8.1 users can use the Web to access their files, it works really well... Then they can upgrade to Windows 10 or 11 to ensure they are secure... 😊 Good luck with your new Mac purchase...
  • how is it cheaper to switch to a mac? when a new pc would cost the same if not lesser ? .... sheep much?
  • I am thinking of Mac, to be honest, looking at a Mac mini, just waiting to see what Apple does to it.
    I am a bit worried as I don't like the way Windows is going being cloud based and wanting us all to use the store, the problem is Apple already do that, I have to find out more info about how usable a MAc is without an Apple I.D. i know a friend of mine uses a MAc and don't have it linked to Apple I.D, but she still does have a account.
  • I use both Mac and Windows machines daily. Good luck using MacOS without an ID. No idea if it is actually possible to do so entirely, but if it is then you're very determined to make life more difficult for yourself. Also, if you're disappointed that MS is dropping software support for an OS that is now a decade old, then you'll be in for a massive shock with MacOS. Many developers only update their applications to run on the past 3-4 versions of MacOS (if you're not aware, a new version of MacOS comes out once a year).
  • I find it weird that they're cutting support from it on Windows 8.1, isn't it supposed to have extended support until January 2023?
  • Well I gotta tell you, those tinfoil hat guys who don't install Windows 10 and up because "it sucks your info out and gives it to corporations" probably aren't storing anything in the cloud anyway, heh