turn off onedrive sync

how to stop OneDrive from syncing your files

If you have purchased a new computer any time in the past couple of years at least, there's a good chance that during set up you were prompted to login to OneDrive and then suddenly everything on your computer is syncing to OneDrive. That's supposed to be a good thing, right?

Well …

I have my personal opinions about having important files backup in OneDrive. I don't do it. (See my recommendations on iDrive on the Recommendations page. It works a lot like OneDrive, but the bots at iDrive aren't crawling my files to look for ways to advertise to me. That gives me a lot more confidence.)

But more than that, Historian does not work well with the way OneDrive continuously looks for updates. You are asking for trouble if you have your Cabinet/Vault syncing to OneDrive. I used to do that a long time ago, but I 100% don't recommend it.

The trouble is, OneDrive does not make it easy to stop it from syncing everything once you have that ball rolling.

Here is the easiest way I have found to stop OneDrive from syncing files.

Click on the little white cloud icon on the bottom right of your screen.


From the pop up window, click on the little gear icon. Select Settings.


In the window that pops up, select Sync and backup and then Manage backup.


A list of your main folders/libraries will come up, but you'll notice at first that the toggle buttons are grayed out and each says “Scanning…” It is mapping out how many files are in each space and you just have to wait for a minute or two for it to complete. Be patient.


Once it completes that mapping, you will see a few of those toggle buttons as blue. Slide them to the left one at a time to stop syncing. By default, usually Documents, Pictures and Desktop are toggled on. You'll have to slide the toggle for one library and wait for it to process before you can toggle the next one. Again, just be patient. It's worth it!

And that's really it! It may take quite a while to stop the syncing for larger folders. For instance, it took over an hour to stop syncing a folder with 106 Gb of files. Just give it time. This is something you want to do when you can start the process and walk away from your computer for a while. Be patient and you will be rewarded!

If something in this process doesn't work, I'll do my best to help. Just let me know what you need.


1 thought on “how to stop OneDrive from syncing your files”

  1. Hi Deb,
    I came across your articles/blogs while searching for information on Forever/Historian. I DO NOT have it…yet. I am seriously considering getting one or both of them. I’m not very techy, but know that it’s important that I backup all my photos (I have done so on an EHD (just learned recently what that stood for). haha, I said NOT techy). So, I am comfortable that at least they are saved somewhere besides my laptop. I have read your article on “Should I use Forever or Historian” and most of it made sense, I think. I do not have cloud storage and do not understand fully IF I really need it and what the advantage is compared to an EHD. But it sounds like Forever is a DIFFERENT type of cloud storage. It’s permanent and a one-time purchase, right? I just didn’t like all my pictures “floating” out there in the “cloud” somewhere. And in all honesty, I’m sure it’s my lack of technical knowledge that makes me feel that way, so I’m trying to learn. (I’m a retired senior citizen, so I did not grow up with technology like my children and grandchildren did/are.) It’s a huge learning curve for many of us senior citizens.
    Anyway, I looked in your site and came across THIS article on turning off One Cloud syncing. I did not even remember syncing my computer to One Cloud and now I understand that if I purchased my computer in the last few years (2021) it sounds like it’s automatically synced. Correct? I THINK I have it turned off but now reading your article, I see I still have more stuff to turn off. I’m always so leery of doing stuff in settings because I don’t know exactly what it is I’m doing. All the “warnings” kind of scared me that I would lose all my photos by un-syncing my computer to One Cloud. I am going to read your article and probably print it out, so I have it next to me to do the step-by-step process. Thank you for writing this and please continue to write in a manner that us “non-techy” people can understand. 🙂
    P.S. Do you get an “ambassador” if you only purchase the Historian software and not the Forever storage?

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