10 Ways to Prevent OneDrive from Syncing

Want to prevent OneDrive from syncing on your Windows PC? You have several ways to get that done. For example, you can briefly pause all OneDrive activity, prevent certain folders from being downloaded or backed up, limit them to non-metered networks, and more. You can even go all out and deactivate or remove OneDrive if that’s what you want.

In this tutorial, you will learn about several methods you can use to prevent Microsoft’s popular cloud storage service from syncing files and folders on PC. They apply to both the Windows 11 and Windows 10 versions of OneDrive.

1. Pause all OneDrive activities

You can temporarily pause OneDrive, even if it’s actively syncing things, whenever you want in Windows 11 and Windows 10. That’s pretty handy if you want to. free up bandwidth on a slower internet connection

To pause OneDrive, just select the A disc cloud icon near the system tray and select Help & Settings Pause sync† Then choose a duration—two o’clock8 o’clockor 24 hours† If you don’t see the OneDrive icon, select the Show hidden icons arrow on the taskbar.

OneDrive will automatically start syncing after the duration you select. Or reopen the A disc menu again and choose Resume sync to sync it manually. Pausing and resuming uploads and downloads can also help resolve sync issues in Microsoft OneDrive.

2. Close the OneDrive app

It is also possible to prevent OneDrive from syncing indefinitely by closing it. To do that, select the Microsoft OneDrive icon and select Help & Settings Close OneDrive† Then select Close OneDrive again to confirm.

Just search for A disc and open it through the Get started menu when you want to start syncing again. It will also start automatically the next time you restart your computer.

If you close OneDrive but also don’t want it to start automatically after the PC restarts, just open the Microsoft OneDrive dialog – select Settings on the A disc menu—and clear the Automatically starts OneDrive when I sign in to Windows box under the Settings tab.

3. Pause OneDrive on Metered Networks

You can also prevent OneDrive from syncing on a particular network by setting it up as a metered connection in Windows 11/10. To do this, open the Wi-FiEthernet menu from the system tray and select Info (Windows 11) or Properties (Windows 10).

In the properties screen of the Wi-Fi/Ethernet network that appears, turn the switch next to . at Measured connection (Windows 11) or Set as metered connection (Windows 10). That should immediately pause OneDrive sync on your PC.

If this doesn’t interrupt OneDrive, open OneDrives Settings dialog box and check the box next to Automatically pause synchronization when this device is in a metered network choice.

4. Pause OneDrive in Battery Saver Mode

Worried about OneDrive affecting your laptop’s battery life? Turning on battery saver mode will automatically pause all OneDrive activities. So, start by opening the Settings app in Windows 11/10.

Then go to System Power & BatteryBatteryBattery saver and select Turn on now next Battery saver† The battery saver mode is also activated automatically when the battery life falls below 20%. However, you can use the Turn on battery saver automatically at menu and increase that to 50%.

If activating battery saver mode doesn’t pause OneDrive, open OneDrives Settings dialog box and check the box next to Pause sync automatically when this device is in battery saver mode

5. Stop syncing specific OneDrive folders

By default, OneDrive syncs all your files and folders from the Microsoft servers to your PC. However, you can specify OneDrive to sync whatever you want. To do this, open the OneDrive Settings dialogue, go to the bills tab and select the Choose folders knob.

On the Choose folders pop-up box that appears next, uncheck the boxes next to files and folders that you want OneDrive to stop syncing with your PC. Don’t forget to select Okay to save your changes.

6. Manage OneDrive Backup Folders

OneDrive backs up the Photos, Desktop, and Documents folders on your PC by default, but that can quickly fill your cloud storage plan. To manage your backup folders, open the OneDrive Settings dialogue, go to the backup tab and select the Manage backup knob.

On the Manage folder backup popup that appears, disable any folders you don’t want OneDrive to back up to the cloud.

7. Stop syncing Office apps with OneDrive

Want to prevent Microsoft Office applications from syncing files with OneDrive? In OneDrives Settings dialogue, just go to the Office tab and clear the box next to Using Office applications to sync files I open

8. Stop syncing photos, videos and screenshots to OneDrive

OneDrive can store photos and videos from external devices, such as cameras and smartphones, that you connect to your PC. It is also able to upload and save your screenshots automatically. If you want to stop that, open the Microsoft OneDrive dialog box and select the check boxes below the Photos and videos and Screenshots sections.

9. Disable OneDrive on PC

If you no longer want to use OneDrive to sync files and folders on your PC, you have the option to unlink your OneDrive account. To do this, open OneDrives Settings dialogue, go to the Account tab and select the Unlink this PC choice.

Then select Unlink account to confirm that you want to unlink OneDrive. Any OneDrive files you’ve already synced locally to your PC will remain accessible through File Explorer. You can also access files you’ve backed up to OneDrive on OneDrive.com

Do you want to use OneDrive again? Just sign in to the OneDrive app with your Microsoft account credentials.

10. Remove OneDrive on PC

If you prefer an alternative cloud storage service such as: Google Drive or Dropbox and don’t plan on using OneDrive again, you can choose to uninstall the OneDrive app from your PC.

To do that, unlink your Microsoft account from OneDrive using the instructions above. Then right click on the Get started button and select Apps and Features

On the Apps and Features window that appears, select Microsoft OneDriveremove† You have to choose remove again to confirm.

That should prompt Windows to remove OneDrive from your PC. You can always change your mind later download and install OneDrive from the Microsoft website and pick up where you left off.

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