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OneDrive is perhaps one of the best cloud storage experience on Windows 10 to store and sync your documents and settings across devices. But it's not a perfect system, and sometimes you'll run into problems, such as files refusing to sync.

Although you can come across several issues with OneDrive, syncing files is among the most common problems, and usually, it happens as a result of account issues, outdated client, incorrect configuration, and software conflicts.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through several troubleshooting steps to fix problems syncing files to OneDrive on your computer.

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  1. How to fix sync problems with OneDrive restarting app
  2. How to fix sync problems with OneDrive connecting Microsoft account
  3. How to fix sync problems with OneDrive updating app
  4. How to fix sync problems with OneDrive checking online access
  5. How to fix sync problems with OneDrive selecting correct folders
  6. How to fix sync problems with OneDrive relocating stuck files
  7. How to fix sync problems with OneDrive understanding restrictions
  8. How to fix sync problems with OneDrive checking available storage
  9. How to fix sync problems with OneDrive freeing up local storage
  10. How to fix sync problems with OneDrive disabling throttling
  11. How to fix sync problems with OneDrive disabling security
  12. How to fix sync problems with OneDrive resetting app
  13. How to fix sync problems with OneDrive reinstalling app
  14. How to fix sync problems with OneDrive reinstalling Office

1. How to fix sync problems with OneDrive restarting app

If OneDrive isn't syncing any of your files, it could be a connection problem, which you may be able to fix by restarting the app.

To restart the OneDrive sync client on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Click the OneDrive button in the bottom-right corner.
  2. Click the More option.
  3. Click the Close OneDrive button.

    Quick tip: If you also have the OneDrive for Business app, you need to repeat steps No. 1, 2, and 3 for the remaining process.

  4. Open Start.
  5. Search for OneDrive and click the top result to start sync client.

Once you complete the steps, OneDrive should start syncing your contents again.

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2. How to fix sync problems with OneDrive connecting Microsoft account

When none of your files are syncing to the cloud, it could be an issue with the account connection. And depending on whether you're already connected, or you're setting up a new account, the steps to resolve the sync issues will be slightly different.

Reconnecting OneDrive account

If you're dealing with a computer that was previously configured to upload and download files from OneDrive, then unlinking and linking the account again may help to resolve the synchronization problem.

To unlink and relink your OneDrive account, use these steps:

  1. Click the OneDrive button in the bottom-right corner.
  2. Click the More option.
  3. Click the Settings option.

  4. Click the Account tab.
  5. Click the Unlink this PC option.

  6. Click the Unlink account button.
  7. Type your email account associated with your OneDrive account in the wizard.

  8. Click the Sign in button.
  9. Type your account password.
  10. Click the Sign in button.
  11. Click the Next button.

  12. Continue with the on-screen directions as directed (if applicable) or close the wizard from the top-right corner.

After you complete the steps, files should resume syncing normally on your computer.

Connecting OneDrive account

If you're setting up a new device, or you have a local account, files may not be syncing because your OneDrive account may not be linked to your Windows 10 account.

To add a new OneDrive account on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Click the OneDrive button in the bottom-right corner.
  2. Click the More option.
  3. Click the Settings option.

  4. Click the Account tab.
  5. Click the Add an account button.

  6. Type your email account associated with your OneDrive account.

  7. Click the Sign in button.
  8. Type your account password.
  9. Click the Sign in button.
  10. Click the Next button.

  11. Continue with the on-screen directions as directed (if applicable) or close the wizard from the top-right corner.

Once you complete the steps, the app will authenticate with your OneDrive account, and files should start syncing normally.

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3. How to fix sync problems with OneDrive updating app

Although the OneDrive app for Windows 10 can update automatically, it doesn't always work as expected. You could end up with an outdated client that can cause syncing issues.

To update the OneDrive client manually, use the steps:

  1. Open the OneDrive website.
  2. Under the "Start OneDrive" button, click the Click here to download link and save the file on your computer.

  3. Double-click the OneDriveSetup.exe to launch the installer.

    Quick tip: If the computer is using the latest version, the setup will end automatically.

  4. Open Start.
  5. Search for OneDrive, click the top result to launch the app.

After you complete the steps, the setup will update the app automatically as necessary, and files should start syncing again.

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4. How to fix sync problems with OneDrive checking online access

Sometimes, it may not be a problem with your setup or internet connection. Instead, it could be a problem with the service.

To check if you have access to your files online, use these steps:

  1. Click the OneDrive button in the bottom-right corner.
  2. Click the More option.
  3. Click the View online option.

  4. Confirm that you have access to your files.

Also, you can check the Microsoft Service Health portal to find out if there are any problems with the cloud service. If OneDrive has a service problem, then there's nothing else that you can do other than wait until the company fixes the problem.

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5. How to fix sync problems with OneDrive selecting correct folders

If one or multiple folders and files are missing from the OneDrive folder, you may be using selective sync, in which case, you may need to update your settings to make those files available through File Explorer.

To change your sync folder settings in OneDrive, use these steps:

  1. Click the OneDrive button in the bottom-right corner.
  2. Click the More option.
  3. Click the Settings option.

  4. Click the Account tab.
  5. Click the Choose folder button.

  6. Select the Make all files available option.

    Quick tip: When syncing folders, you're merely making the folder available through File Explorer, and it's not until you open the file that it'll download on your computer. So, syncing all your folders won't eat up your local storage.

  7. Click the OK button.

Once you complete the steps, you should now be able to access and sync all your files and folders using File Explorer.

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6. How to fix sync problems with OneDrive relocating stuck files

When OneDrive is trying to upload files, you may notice one or multiple files stuck trying to sync. If it's taking a long time, relocating the files in question temporarily can help to resolve the problem.

To move files out of the OneDrive folder, use these steps:

  1. Click the OneDrive button in the bottom-right corner.
  2. Click the More option.
  3. Click the Pause syncing option.
  4. Select the 2 hours option.

  5. Open the OneDrive folder with File Explorer.
  6. Select the conflicting files.
  7. Click the Move to button in the "Home" tab.
  8. Select the folder that you want to move the files temporarily.

  9. Click the OneDrive button in the bottom-right corner.
  10. Click the More option.
  11. Click the Resume syncing option.

  12. Open the with the files that you relocated earlier.
  13. Select the files, and click the Move to button.
  14. Click the Choose location option.

  15. Select the OneDrive folder.
  16. Click the Move button.

After you complete the steps, the files should sync to your OneDrive account successfully.

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7. How to fix sync problems with OneDrive understanding restrictions

Usually, OneDrive will upload and sync most files across your devices, but there are some limitations of which you need to be aware.

Keeping path short

According to the OneDrive documentation, the path (with the filename and extension) should never be longer than 400 characters. In the rare case that the file path exceeds the limit, then you'll start to see syncing issues.

To prevent syncing problems, make sure to keep folders closer to the OneDrive root folder (avoiding too many nesting), and always keep folder and file names as short as possible.

Stop using unsupported characters

While you can name your files and folders anything you want, you can't use certain characters, such as " * : < > ? / \ |.

In addition to the character restrictions, these names aren't permitted in the service: .lock, CON, PRN, AUX, NUL, COM1 - COM9, LPT1 - LPT9, _vti_, desktop.ini, and any filename that begins with ~$.

Also, even though, OneDrive doesn't block any file type, if you're using OneDrive for Business, your system administrator can prevent specific files from syncing.

File size limits

If you're trying to sync large files, make sure they don't exceed the 20GB size. If the file is equal or larger to 20GB, then you'll see the "This file is too big to upload" or "Reduce the size of the file to upload to" error messages.

In the case that you must sync large files, make sure to use file compression or choose a different solution to protect those files, such as on a different cloud service or external storage.

Preventing syncing issues with OneNote

Although you can store OneNote notebooks in OneDrive, the note-taking app uses a different sync process.

If you want to share a notebook, you should make it available to other users using the OneNote app. Otherwise, if you try to share the notebook using OneDrive, you'll come across syncing issues.

Network shares aren't supported

If you're trying to move the OneDrive folder to another location, consider that the app doesn't support mapped drives or shared network folders. As a result, sync won't work.

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8. How to fix sync problems with OneDrive checking available storage

Although your device may have a lot of space available, if your OneDrive account is running out of space, files will stop syncing to the cloud.

Usually, to fix this problem, if you're using the free version of OneDrive, you can upgrade to the 1TB option getting an Office 365 subscription. Or you can delete files that you don't need to make room to resolve the syncing problem.

Storage upgrade

Office 365

Get 1TB of storage, plus the full suite of Office apps

Office 365 gives you full access to all the apps and 1TB of OneDrive storage to protect your files and sync them across devices. You can also install Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and other apps on up to five devices, and depending on the subscription, you can share the account with up to five people.

To check your OneDrive storage, use these steps:

  1. Click the OneDrive button in the bottom-right corner.
  2. Click the More option.
  3. Click the Settings option.

  4. Click the Account tab.
  5. Confirm the space available on your OneDrive account.

Once you complete the steps, if you're getting close to the storage limit, you may need to clean up some files or upgrade your account to resolve the syncing issue.

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9. How to fix sync problems with OneDrive freeing up local storage

If you're running out of space on your local storage, you may be able to browse your files stored in the cloud, but they won't download to your device.

To free up space on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on System.
  3. Click on Storage.
  4. Click the Temporary files item, under the "Local Disk (C:)" section.

  5. Check all the content that you want to clear to free up space to allow OneDrive to sync, including:

    • Downloads.
    • Delivery Optimization Files.
    • Temporary files.
    • Thumbnails.
    • Windows Defender Antivirus.
    • Recycle Bin.
    • Temporary Windows installation files.
    • DirectX Shader Cache.
    • System created Windows Error Reporting Files.
    • Temporary Internet Files.
    • Previous Windows installation(s).

    Quick tip: The available items may vary in your installation. Also, if you're selecting the Downloads item, before clearing these files, make sure to understand that this option deletes everything stored in your "Downloads" folder.

  6. Click the Remove files button.

After you complete the steps, your device may have more space allowing OneDrive to sync files again. If the space still isn't enough, you can follow this guide with more tips free up space on Windows 10.

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10. How to fix sync problems with OneDrive disabling throttling

If OneDrive is syncing, but it's uploading and downloading files too slowly, then your client may be configured to limit the upload and download bandwidth.

To disable the bandwidth limit of OneDrive, use these steps:

  1. Click the OneDrive button in the bottom-right corner.
  2. Click the More option.
  3. Click the Settings option.

  4. Click on the Network tab.
  5. Under the "Upload rate" section, select the Don't limit option.
  6. Under the "Download rate" section, select the Don't limit option.

  7. Click the OK button.

Once you complete the steps, OneDrive should now be able to use the full internet connection to sync your files to the cloud and local device.

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11. How to fix sync problems with OneDrive disabling security

It doesn't happen often, but sometimes, the antivirus and firewall can prevent OneDrive from syncing your files correctly. If you suspect that this is the case, you may want to disable these security features to confirm the issue temporarily.

Important: Although the risks of leaving your device temporarily unprotected are relatively low, it's assumed that you understand the consequences that it's never recommended to use a computer without protection.

Disabling Windows Defender Antivirus

To temporarily disable Windows Defender Antivirus, use these steps:

  1. Open Windows Security.
  2. Click on Virus & threat protection.
  3. Under the "Virus & threat protection settings" section, click the Manage settings option.

  4. Turn off the Real-time protection toggle switch.

After you complete the steps, confirm if OneDrive is working correctly, and don't forget to re-enable the "Real-time protection" on step No. 4 or by restarting your computer.

Disabling Windows Defender Firewall

To disable Windows Defender Firewall, use these steps:

  1. Open Windows Security.
  2. Click on Firewall & network protection.
  3. Click the Private network option (or the one set as active).

  4. Turn off the Windows Defender Firewall toggle switch.

Once you complete the steps, confirm if OneDrive is syncing your files, and then re-enable the "Windows Defender Firewall" on step No. 4.

If you're using a third-party antivirus or firewall, make sure to consult your software vendor support website for specific details on how to disable the security feature.

Disabling proxy settings

OneDrive doesn't support authenticated proxies. If this is your situation, you want to temporarily disable this feature to see if it fix the syncing problem with these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & Internet.
  3. Click on Proxy.
  4. Under the "Automatic proxy setup" section, turn on the Automatically detect settings toggle switch.
  5. Turn off the Use setup script toggle switch.
  6. Under the "Manually proxy setup" section, turn off the Use a proxy server toggle switch.

After you complete the steps, the sync client should start syncing your files to the cloud and across devices.

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12. How to fix sync problems with OneDrive resetting app

OneDrive also includes an option to reset the desktop client that many times can repair sync issues on your computer.

To reset the OneDrive app, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
  3. Type the following command and press Enter:

    %localappdata%\Microsoft\OneDrive\onedrive.exe /reset

  4. Open Start.
  5. Search for OneDrive and click the top result to launch the experience.

After you complete the steps, OneDrive will reset all the settings and will perform a full resynchronization after the process.

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13. How to fix sync problems with OneDrive reinstalling app

Alternatively, you can also uninstall and install the app again on your computer to resolve syncing problems with OneDrive on Windows 10.

Uninstalling OneDrive

To remove OneDrive from Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Apps.
  3. Click on Apps & features.
  4. Under the "Apps & features" section, select the OneDrive app.
  5. Click the Uninstall button.

  6. Click the Uninstall button again.

Once you complete the steps, OneDrive will be removed from your computer.

Installing OneDrive

To install OneDrive on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open the OneDrive website.
  2. Under the "Start OneDrive" button, click the Click here to download link and save the file.
  3. Double-click the OneDriveSetup.exe to launch the installer.

    Quick tip: If the computer is using the latest version, the setup will end automatically.

  4. Open Start.
  5. Search for OneDrive, click the top result to launch the app.

After you complete the steps, the installer will add the most up-to-date version of OneDrive hopefully fixing the syncing issues.

Alternatively, if the latest version of OneDrive isn't working, you can join the OneDrive preview program to try out the latest pre-release of sync issue that may include a fix for the problem you're facing.

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14. How to fix sync problems with OneDrive reinstalling Office

Microsoft Office can sometimes cause conflicts with the OneDrive sync client, and reinstalling the suite of apps can fix the problem.

Uninstalling Office

To uninstall Office, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Apps.
  3. Click on Apps & features.
  4. Select Microsoft Office.
  5. Click the Uninstall button.

  6. Click the Uninstall button again.

After you complete the steps, you can reinstall the suite of apps to see if it fixes the problem with OneDrive.

Installing Office

To install Office, use these steps:

  1. Open the Office website.
  2. Sign-in with the Microsoft account associated with Office.
  3. Click the Install Office button.

  4. Double-click the installer to begin the installation of Office.

Once you complete the steps, OneDrive should no longer conflict with Office, and your documents and other files should start syncing normally.

We're focusing this guide on the consumer version of OneDrive, but most of the tips should help to resolve syncing issues with OneDrive for Business.

More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources:

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