14 tips to help you fix OneDrive sync problems on Windows 10

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:


















, 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.

Mauro Huculak

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.