How to disable or uninstall OneDrive on Windows 10 PC

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With the plethora of cloud storage services out there, you may find Microsoft's OneDrive a little redundant. If you've already have your own cloud storage service that you trust, you may be inclined to disable OneDrive.

We say disable, because since OneDrive is a built-in application you can't actually uninstall it; however, disabling the app will cause it to no longer function as if you had uninstalled it.

How to disable or uninstall OneDrive on Windows 10

Important note: By going into your PC's Local Group Policy Editor, you are entering advanced system settings that could cause Windows 10 to malfunction if not handled with care.

We have done our best to give you easy and harmless instructions to ensure you are only disabling OneDrive; however you've got to be careful as anytime you tinker with settings like this, the smallest change could have unforeseen consequences. We suggest having an up-to-date backup of your PC just in case before proceeding.

  1. Press the Windows key + R shortcut to open the Run command window.
  2. Type in gpedit.msc.
  3. Click the OK button.

  1. Click on the Administrative Templates folder.
  2. Double-click on the Windows Components folder.

  1. Double-click on the OneDrive folder.
  2. Double-click on Prevent the usage of OneDrive for file storage.

  1. Click the option button beside the word Enabled.
  2. Click on the OK button.

And that's all. OneDrive should now be disabled — you won't be able to open the application, but the icons are still going to be there.

Luke Filipowicz
  • If people don't use OneDrive, even if they own a Windows Device. I think it's bad choice.
  • Lol, and now it's your job to tell people what is a good or bad choice right?
  • He's not telling what is good or bad. He said he thinks it's a bad choice. That simply means he gave an opinion.
  • He has just expressed his thought..he is not forcing someone to use onedrive.
  • & yet, would've gotten hammered with negative votes - had you guys not intervened /posted... On my (Windows) Lumia 550 Phone: I have not set up an account yet, but when I go to Contacts - the names are labeled as 'Microsoft account'. Screenshot @ When I had received a slightly (?!) older 550, which had been returned as factory faulty (very misfortunate, as I now find out), it was possible to: All settings, Accounts (Your accounts, email, sync, Kid's Corner), Your email and accounts - Accounts used by other apps (Add a work or school account); it had been possible to add an account there, which would've worked with the Store, to enable me to download (& install) software to the phone - a non-Micro$oft acct. An account SEPARATE from a/the Microsoft account, which is integrated with Services (such as Skype, Syncing, Spying) & have a fully functional device. This new phone, which they had given me back under warranty - whether it was due to running Update & security (Backup, Find My Phone), Phone update: ... I have, as of yet, been unable to create an account, which is NOT a Microsoft account, with which I can - for example - access the store, to install Viber (the simplest, possible, thing cannot be done, without getting sucked-into the Micro$oft account machine, or so it would appear; I'm still not giving up on this, hehe - gonna factory reset the phone & try again. :)) Edit: In my Edit mode, here on I can see the screenshots, which I had added, but they aren't showing up in the post (for me?!). Attempting to fix this, too, now... Originally, as I never had one, I purchased a Windows 10 phone to 'try something different' - a decision which is going to be regretful. xD
  • I use OneDrive but not on my Surface or Venue 8 Pro anymore, so it's getting turned off.
    Because of the change to OneDrive in Win10, I don't use it as my goto storage. I bought an external hard drive and use it for all of my data that I want synced but, I don't travel to / from work or around the house with that drive and it gets old having the machine say the drive is missing when I use it anywhere but at home on my dock. Also, having to go through the setup process multiple times a day to tell it where to find my storage each time I do dock it is irritating.
    ​Now, I have external my drive hooked up to a desktop and mapped a network drive on my Surface to it so it. Not only does it get rid of the "lost drive" and setup multiple times a day, but I can also access it from anywhere in the house instead of only while docked.
    ​The removal of placeholders from OneDrive killed the application for me, I can't use it in the way that I want and it's pointless to have running on my mobile devices which don't have a TB of storage to spare. I use the service, but not the application is only staying active on my desktop now.
  • It's just as easy to uncheck all folders to sync.  No need to mess with it on this level for a personal machine.  For a shared machine, I could see this as a viable option.
  • The App will still run in the background.  Battery Life is a thing, and there's no need to waste it on a service or application you *never* intend to use just because you can tell it not to sync any sub-folders.  It's still going to Sync the root folder, so it's still going to be running in the background and looking checking for changes. This is the deal, regardless if you think the power requirements of running that extra service is noticeable or negligible... If you don't use OneDrive, at all, then this is what you should be doing. This also only works on Windows Pro, IIRC.  I don't think Home has the Group Policy Editor. People wouldn't have to resort to this if Microsoft simply had a toggle in the settings to disable OneDrive, which allowed you to sign out, remove it from Start Up, and remove the Icons from File Explorer and the Start Menu when toggled off in the settings (or in Add/Remove Windows Components, like you can do with IE11). OneDrive ceased to be an option when they removed the Placeholder Files  Windows was usable for decades without OneDrive, so I don't see how disabling it makes any less since than using Windows 7 was in 2009.
  • I don't use OneDrive and I don't want to use OneDrive.  I also don't want that Sync Client running on my PC and it's really annoying having the sign in constantly pop up whenever you click it or go over it while using the keyboard to navigate. Disabling it is great in this way. I'm trying to eek as much battery life out of my Windows Notebook as I can.  Disabling OneDrive is one way to do it.
  • Why would anyone want to do this? "Acceidentally uploading important files to OneDrive" doesn't seem like a good reason. This seems to be catering to those people who take everything off from Windows 10, disable Cortana, put on their tinfoil hats and "enjoy" their safety running the feature equivalent to Windows XP in 2016. I say if you don't want automatic synchronization with OneDrive, just setup to not sync any folder (terribly simple), and just install the new app and make use of the cloud as you see fit. The choice is there, there's lots of ways to do it, so no need to be hacking things to cutting them off clean from the OS.
  • Because I don't use it and I'm tried of seeing the pop up everytime my computer starts. I don't need it in my file browser either. Same with Cortana, she's turned off. I understand the merit of including these features for the average user, but I'm going to remove them.
  • I had one OneDrive popup when I installed Windows 10, but a few easy tweaks and it's gone. The easiest being unchecking 'run at startup' Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • If you mistakenly click on it (or are using mouse to go down the folder list in File Explorer) it will pop up everytime you activate the OneDrive link there.  Clearly, you haven't spent much time using the software, if you can't see how absolutely and dreadfully annoying that is.  Even if you have it set to not start up, it will still pop up. Even if you use OneDrive, but prefer the UWP to the Explorer Plug-In (to save disk space), the UWP is right next to the Explorer link in the Start Menu and clicking that will make it pop up on your screen, even if set to not start up. Lastly, this only works in Windows Pro.  "gpedit.msc" does not exist in Windows 10 Home, so the only people who will be doing this are the people who literally paid a premium for the Professional Edition.  They deserve the right to make this decision and not have smart asses attempt to lecture them via blog comments.
  • Because it's a PC and because choice.
  • or maybe, just maybe, a locked down enterprise environment? i did this exact same thing (as well as locking out store access and all UWPs) last week for certain users since those specific PC's are in customer view and are for work and email only.
  • This won't work for home versions.
    Home versions need a registry fix.
    Gpedit, in Microsoft's brilliant strategy is not available for home versions.
  • Well, to be fair, gpedit is a byproduct of GPO. Which is a domain function. Since home can't join domains, it more or less makes sense.   Good point though.
  • There's a way to disable it through registry as well, I'll post the link when I get home.
  • Is this posting this article?  Just want to make sure that it might be posted on wrong place!!! Instead of A******Central!!! Even if anyone does not want to sycn their file then the proceess much more simpler than doing all these!
  • Calm down, take a deep breath. Not everything is about pleasing fans here.
  • I agree, but perhaps it would be good for this article to specify that the intended solution is only viable for the Pro (and other GPO-aware editions) version of Windows 10.
  • I've gone the other way, made use of OneDrive on my Windows 10 desktop and laptop, installed the app on my Xperia Z3 Android phone and my iPad before moving on to my current SP4. The 1TB I had with my Office 365 subscription has been very handy for me being a project engineer on the move.
  • lol why would anyone want to disable or uninstall OneDrive at first place x.x
  • Because not everyone uses it?
  • cause i dont need cloud saving what im supposed to use it when my pc has only games/software installed
  • enterprise networks, small businesses, and the ability to stoop stupid users are good reasons.
  • Shared computers with limited use needs.  Mission critical machines.  There are a few scenarios to make a machines only do a very narrow set of tasks, and turning off uneeded features for those limited tasks ensures the operation of the machine a little more.  Nothing that's not new, and usually done a LOT in Enterprise, and somewhat in just about every business level.
  • Great article, keep up these helpful tutorials.
  • Onedrive is one of the few most essential things I used accross my home PC and my lab PC having windows 10 and with my other project members.
  • I wont do that
  • I would probably use it if placeholders were an option again. It was revolutionary, at least to me.
  • Yea, OneDrive as integrated is now just a syncing service for PCs that don't share a home group, so pretty narrow in use. The Onedrive app is better, but rather crashy if I try to upload a load of files even with my 12meg upload speed. MS just can't out compete a NAS.
  • Yeah, a NAS is a good thing, but it has its own downsides too. A NAS is more expensive, and takes up space in your home as well as power.
  • A NAS is more expenseive initially, but can be worth it in the long run. For example, I bought an HP Desktop this weekend to use as my NAS and Younity server. Total cost was about $450. I have 5TB of storage now, but I can swap that out later. Assuming I use it more than four years, it'll be cheaper than an Office 365 subsciption to use OneDrive.
  • $450 to back up some files?  I don't have enough files that I'd blink an eye for if they disappeared in front of my face to justify spending that amoutn of money for a backup system. And given it's an HP, it's not likelyto last the 4 years ;-)
  • I always use OneDrive directly from my Explorer.. No need to disabled it :-)
  • Unless you've been heavily modding things, you do not. You are saving files locally and then syncing them. Try using the Onedrive app to access it directly.
  • That was a dumb reply.  Of course, that's called using OneDrive!  It's a plug-in into Explorer.
  • you know you can just tell it not to auto run in settings then exit the app.
  • This tutorial is overcomplicated. There's a much easier way if you want to disable OneDrive. Just right click on the OneDrive icon on the taskbar, and click on options. On the first tab, uncheck the "Start OneDrive with Windows" checkbox, and on the second tab, hit the "Disconnect OneDrive" button. After that, just hit OK, so the window closes. Finally, go back to the taskbar, right click the OneDrive icon again, and choose exit. And that's it, you'll never see OneDrive again.
    Although I use OneDrive as my go-to cloud storage, because it's integrated with my favorite OS (Windows 10 of course :D ), others may find this useful.
  • While I do not use Windows 10, I do use wiondows 8.1 and one drive will only work if you have a microsoft account and your computer is looked in using that account, when I did use Windows 10 it was the same for that. so if you are not logged into a MS account it will not work. I do think that a lot of these things on Windows 10 should be easier to disable or uninstall if people do not want them.    
  • This is the first thing I do when I install new builds.
  • Good, as much as I like OneDrive and the convenience it provides, it simply doesn't work on my Lenovo Miix 2 10" tablet because OneDrive refuses to allow me to select a microSD card as target device.
  • Me too. Why can't someone write a solution for "pedestrian" windows users. I rarely use windows anymore.  Every time I come back in, I get a swift reminder why I bailed.
  • You need to have Win 10 Pro or higher.
    Unfortunately Windows 10 Home users don’t have access to the group policy editor, so you won’t have this option. You must be running Pro or another version of Windows 10 to use this option.
  • To Turn off OneDrive: 1. In the taskbar, right-click on the OneDrive Icon and choose "Exit." (May need to click on the white chevron to view hidden icons) 2. "Are you sure you want to close OneDrive?" Yes. 3. Press and hold Ctrl + Alt and tap Delete 4. Choose "Task Manager" > "More Details" > go to "Startup" Tab. 5. Find OneDrive, right-click and choose "Disabled" 6. Restart your computer. For an Advanced users instruction on how to disable OneDrive from your account you can go to the Article: "How to Disable OneDrive and Remove It From File Explorer on Windows 10" (copy the name and paste into Google Search) Or to completely remove it from your computer has the instructions in their article, "Disable or Uninstall OneDrive Completely in Windows 10" (copy the name and paste into Google Search) Hope this helps.
  • How do I completely UNINSTALL One Drive from my computers??? OD almost ate my entire hard drives on all 3 computers...  I do not want to disable it... I want it completely GONE... happy to drag folders to the internet... 
  • Why am I disabling onedrive ??? Heres why: Onedrive will DELETE ALL YOUR FILES if you uncheck any folders in the settings - choose folders menu
  • OneDrive is a complete mess. I've spent, literally, hours with Microsoft Tech support, trying to solve problems with OneDrive: Not syncing correctly, losing my sync folders, not syncing Word documents on OneDrive Site, losing edits on those documents, chewing up all available bandwidth (Frontier literally told me to disable OneDrive because they have so many customers complaining of bad Internet speeds when it was OneDrive that was using up all their bandwidth). I've used GoogleDrive, SusgarSync, and DropBox without any problems! The moment I was forced to use OneDrive, the problems started and they have never stopped. Stay away from it, get rid of it, don't use it. Wait until Microsoft publicly apologizes for the enormous grief they have caused and the tens of thousands of wasted hours.