Fix OneDrive sync problems

We're sorry you're having trouble syncing your files with OneDrive. Let's get the issue sorted out as quickly as possible.

First, let's figure out which version of OneDrive isn't syncing.

Look at the taskbar on your computer, and hover over the OneDrive cloud icon that isn't syncing. Which color icon and hover text do you see?

You might need to select the Show hidden icons arrow ( The Show hidden icons button. or The Show Hidden Icons arrow in Windows 8. ) next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon.

A screenshot showing the cursor hovering over the white OneDrive icon, with the text OneDrive - Personal.

If you see:

  • A white icon with this hover text: "OneDrive - Personal"

And you're using:

  • Windows 10, 8, 7, or Vista

You're using the new OneDrive sync client.

Fix sync issues with the new OneDrive personal sync client

A screenshot showing the white OneDrive icon in Windows 8.1.

If you see:

  • A white icon with hover text like this: "Files are up to date"

And you're using:

  • Windows 8.1 or RT 8.1

You're using the previous OneDrive personal sync client.

Fix sync issues with the previous OneDrive personal sync client

A screenshot showing the cursor hovering over the blue OneDrive icon on the taskbar, with text that says OneDrive - Contoso.

If you see:

  • A blue icon with this hover text: "OneDrive - <your company>"

And you're syncing:

  • OneDrive for Business in Office 365

You're using the new OneDrive sync client.

Fix sync issues with the new OneDrive for Business sync client

A screenshot showing the cursor hovering over the blue OneDrive icon, with the text OneDrive for Business.

If you see:

  • A blue icon with this hover text: "OneDrive for Business"

And you're syncing:

  • An on-premises instance of OneDrive for Business

  • OR SharePoint site libraries

You're using the previous OneDrive for Business sync client.

Fix sync issues with the previous OneDrive for Business sync client

Fix sync issues with the new OneDrive personal sync client

First, try these common fixes

  1. Make sure that the file you want to sync isn't larger than 10GB. Try reducing the size of the file by zipping it.

    Note: The OneDrive file size limit is 10GB. If you're trying to sync a file that's too large, you might see an error message such as "This file is too big to upload" or "Reduce the size of this file to upload to..."

  2. Make sure you have the latest Windows updates. Download the latest Windows updates.

Then, try these steps (click to expand)

  1. Right-click the white OneDrive cloud icon in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar.

    OneDrive app in System Tray

    (You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow The Show hidden icons button. next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon. If the icon doesn't appear in the notification area, OneDrive might not be running. Click Start, type OneDrive in the search box, and then click OneDrive in the search results.)

  2. Click Exit.

  3. In Windows 10, go to Start, type OneDrive in the search box, and then click OneDrive. In Windows 7 or Windows Vista, go to Start, type OneDrive in the search box, and then click Microsoft OneDrive.

    This opens your OneDrive folder and starts the OneDrive app.

  1. Go to Start, then select Settings > Accounts > Email & app accounts.

  2. Select Add a Microsoft account.

  3. Follow the prompts to switch to a Microsoft account. You may need to enter a confirmation code.

Note: If you’re signed into Windows with the Microsoft account you use for OneDrive and you still don’t see your files, your organization may have a corporate firewall or Group Policy that blocks OneDrive.

If you’re signed into Windows 10 with the Microsoft account you use for OneDrive and you still don’t see your files, you may have more than 500MB of content and setup didn't finish. To make sure you don’t fill up your PC with OneDrive content, you can select which files and folders you want to sync to this computer.

  1. Open File Explorer.

  2. Click the OneDrive folder. In the Finish setting up OneDrive wizard, select the files and folders you want to sync to this computer.

Unlike in Windows 8.1, OneDrive in Windows 10 doesn’t use placeholder files to indicate files that are online only. Instead, you see only the files you choose to sync to your computer. If you haven't synced the folder that contains files you want to sync, you won't see those files.

Here's how to sync your folders:

  1. Right-click the white OneDrive cloud icon in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar.

    OneDrive app in System Tray

    (You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow The Show hidden icons button. next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon. If the icon doesn't appear in the notification area, OneDrive might not be running. Click Start, type OneDrive in the search box, and then click OneDrive in the search results.)

  2. Click Settings.

  3. On the Account tab, click Choose folders.

    A screenshot showing the cursor hovering over the Choose folders button in the Account tab in OneDrive settings.

  4. To make all your OneDrive files available on your computer, check the box at Sync all files and folders in my OneDrive.

    To have fewer files on your computer, under Sync only these folders, check the boxes for the folders you want to sync.

If you’re having trouble syncing Office files, the Office Upload cache system may be interfering with OneDrive sync. Try turning off the related setting in OneDrive settings.

  1. Right-click the white OneDrive cloud icon in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar.

    OneDrive app in System Tray

    (You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow The Show hidden icons button. next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon. If the icon doesn't appear in the notification area, OneDrive might not be running. Click Start, type OneDrive in the search box, and then click OneDrive in the search results.)

  2. Click Settings.

  3. Select the Office tab, and uncheck the Use Office 2016 to sync Office files that I open check box.

Important: When you turn off the Use Office 2016 to sync Office files that I open setting, any changes that you and other people make to Office files in your OneDrive will no longer merge together automatically.

Example of a file path - C:\Users\<UserName>\Pictures\Saved\2014\January\Holiday\NewYears\Family…

The entire path, including the file name, must contain fewer than 255 characters. Shorten the name of your file or the name of subfolders in OneDrive, or select a subfolder that's closer to the top-level folder.

Try to open the file or folder and make sure that you have permission to save a copy of it. If you're having problems seeing a file on a network, contact your network administrator.

You may have conflicts if you're uploading multiple files on the OneDrive website at the same time, or if you made changes in your OneDrive folder on another PC that is syncing at the same time. Rename the file or folder, and then try to add it again.

Free up disk space by moving or deleting files. Here are some tips about how to free up disk space. Then, follow these steps to start syncing your OneDrive folder on the PC again:

  1. Check your Storage page on the OneDrive web site and compare the size of your OneDrive to the available disk space on your PC. If necessary, move or delete some files.

  2. Right-click the white OneDrive cloud icon in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar.

    OneDrive app in System Tray

    (You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow The Show hidden icons button. next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon. If the icon doesn't appear in the notification area, OneDrive might not be running. Click Start, type OneDrive in the search box, and then click OneDrive in the search results.)

  3. Select Exit, and select Close OneDrive.

  4. Go to Start, enter OneDrive in the search box, and then click OneDrive.

  5. Follow the steps to select your OneDrive settings again, including picking the location of your OneDrive folder and choosing whether to turn on the Fetch files option.

  1. Right-click the white OneDrive cloud icon in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar.

    OneDrive app in System Tray

    (You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow The Show hidden icons button. next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon. If the icon doesn't appear in the notification area, OneDrive might not be running. Click Start, type OneDrive in the search box, and then click OneDrive in the search results.)

  2. Click Settings, and then click Unlink this PC.

  3. Follow the steps in the Welcome to OneDrive wizard to set up OneDrive.

If OneDrive sync seems to be stuck for a long time and nothing else is working, try a reset. Be aware that resetting OneDrive re-syncs all your OneDrive files, which could take some time depending on how many files you’re syncing.

  1. Press the Windows key The Windows key icon. + R.

  2. In the Run window, enter: %localappdata%\Microsoft\OneDrive\onedrive.exe /reset

  3. Click OK.

  4. Make sure the OneDrive icon in the notification area of the taskbar disappears and then re-appears after a minute or two. Here’s how to check: Look for the white OneDrive cloud icon in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar.

    OneDrive app in System Tray

    (You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow The Show hidden icons button. next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon.)

  5. If the OneDrive icon doesn’t re-appear after a few minutes, open the Run window again and enter: %localappdata%\Microsoft\OneDrive\onedrive.exe

Fix sync issues with the previous OneDrive personal sync client

First, try these common fixes

Try these steps first before getting into more in-depth troubleshooting:

  • Make sure that the file you want to sync isn't larger than 10GB. Try reducing the size of the file by zipping it.

    Note: The OneDrive file size limit is 10GB. If you're trying to sync a file that's too large, you might see an error message such as "This file is too big to upload" or "Reduce the size of this file to upload to..."

  • Make sure you have the latest Windows updates. Install the latest Windows 8.1 Update.

  • Make OneDrive check again for changes - In the OneDrive app, swipe up from the bottom or right-click, then tap or click Sync.

  • Run the OneDrive Troubleshooter.

  • Sync problems can sometimes be a problem with missing files. To find missing files, see Find lost or missing files in OneDrive.

    Note: If you get the following message, you don't need to do anything: "We’re checking all your files to make sure they are up to date on this PC. This might take a while if you have a lot of files." This means OneDrive has detected a possible problem and is automatically fixing it.

Then, try these steps (click to expand)

  1. Open the OneDrive app.

  2. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Settings.

    (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Settings.)

  3. Tap or click Options, and then turn on Sync files.

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings.

    (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.)

  2. Tap or click OneDrive.

  3. Tap or click Metered connections, and turn Upload and download files over metered connections and Sync and backup settings over metered connections settings to On.

Example of a file path:

C:\Users\<UserName>\Pictures\Saved\2014\January\Holiday\NewYears\Family…

The entire path, including the file name, must contain fewer than 255 characters. Shorten the name of your file or the name of subfolders in OneDrive, or select a subfolder that's closer to the top-level folder.

Once file path is shortened, start syncing again:

  • In File Explorer, right-click the OneDrive folder, and click Sync.

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys and select Task Manager from the menu.

  2. Tap or click the Services tab. You might need to select More Details to expand the Task Manager window.

  3. Look for WSearch under Name, and verify the Status shows Running.

If the status isn't running, you can turn it on again:

  • Right-click WSearch, and then click Restart.

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys and select Task Manager from the menu.

  2. Tap or click the Details tab. You might need to select More Details to expand the Task Manager window.

  3. Look for SkyDrive.exe under Name, and verify the Status shows Running.

If SkyDrive.exe isn't running, do the following:

  1. In the Task Manager window, select File from the top toolbar.

  2. Select New Run Task.

  3. In the Open box, enter: skydrive.exe

  4. Click OK.

Some programs maybe not be compatible with OneDrive smart files technology. You can use compatibility mode to help fix this:

  1. Open File Explorer and find the executable file for your program (example: iexplorer.exe).

  2. Right-click the program name and select Properties.

  3. Click the Compatibility tab and check Enable this program to work with OneDrive files, then click OK.

If OneDrive sync seems to be stuck for a long time and nothing else is working, try a reset. Be aware that resetting OneDrive re-syncs all your OneDrive files, which could take some time depending on how many files you’re syncing.

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run Window.

  2. In the Run Window, enter: skydrive.exe /reset

  3. Click OK.

  4. Make sure the OneDrive icon in the notification area of the taskbar disappears and then re-appears after a minute or two. Here’s how to check: Look for the white OneDrive cloud icon in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar.

    OneDrive app in System Tray

    (You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow The Show Hidden Icons arrow in Windows 8. next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon.)

  5. If the OneDrive icon doesn’t re-appear after a few minutes, open the Run window again and enter: skydrive.exe

Fix sync issues with the new OneDrive for Business sync client

Follow these steps to fix issues in OneDrive for Business as an Office 365 business subscriber.

First, try these common fixes

  1. Make sure that the file you want to sync isn't larger than 10GB. Try reducing the size of the file by zipping it.

    Note: The OneDrive file size limit is 10GB. If you're trying to sync a file that's too large, you might see an error message such as "This file is too big to upload" or "Reduce the size of this file to upload to..."

  2. Make sure you have the latest Windows updates. Download the latest Windows updates.

Then, try these steps (click to expand)

  1. Right-click the blue OneDrive cloud icon in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar.

    OneDrive app in System Tray

    (You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow The Show hidden icons button. next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon. If the icon doesn't appear in the notification area, OneDrive might not be running. Click Start, type OneDrive in the search box, and then click OneDrive in the search results.)

  2. Click Exit.

  3. In Windows 10, go to Start, type OneDrive in the search box, and then click OneDrive. In Windows 7 or Windows Vista, go to Start, type OneDrive in the search box, and then click Microsoft OneDrive.

    This opens your OneDrive folder and starts the OneDrive app.

  1. Go to Start, then select Settings > Accounts > Email & app accounts.

  2. Select Add a Microsoft account.

  3. Follow the prompts to switch to a Microsoft account. You may need to enter a confirmation code.

Note: If you’re signed into Windows with the Microsoft account you use for OneDrive and you still don’t see your files, your organization may have a corporate firewall or Group Policy that blocks OneDrive.

If you’re signed into Windows 10 with the Microsoft account you use for OneDrive and you still don’t see your files, you may have more than 500MB of content and setup didn't finish. To make sure you don’t fill up your PC with OneDrive content, you can select which files and folders you want to sync to this computer.

  1. Open File Explorer.

  2. Click the OneDrive folder. In the Finish setting up OneDrive wizard, select the files and folders you want to sync to this computer.

Unlike in Windows 8.1, OneDrive in Windows 10 doesn’t use placeholder files to indicate files that are online only. Instead, you see only the files you choose to sync to your computer. If you haven't synced the folder that contains files you want to sync, you won't see those files.

Here's how to sync your folders:

  1. Right-click the blue OneDrive cloud icon in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar.

    OneDrive app in System Tray

    (You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow The Show hidden icons button. next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon. If the icon doesn't appear in the notification area, OneDrive might not be running. Click Start, type OneDrive in the search box, and then click OneDrive in the search results.)

  2. Click Settings.

  3. On the Account tab, click Choose folders.

    Choose folders for OneDrive selective sync

  4. To make all your OneDrive files available on your computer, check the box at Sync all files and folders in my OneDrive.

    To have fewer files on your computer, under Sync only these folders, check the boxes for the folders you want to sync.

If you’re having trouble syncing Office files, the Office Upload cache system may be interfering with OneDrive sync. Try turning off the related setting in OneDrive settings.

  1. Right-click the blue OneDrive cloud icon in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar.

    OneDrive app in System Tray

    (You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow The Show hidden icons button. next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon. If the icon doesn't appear in the notification area, OneDrive might not be running. Click Start, type OneDrive in the search box, and then click OneDrive in the search results.)

  2. Click Settings.

  3. Select the Office tab, and uncheck the Use Office 2016 to sync Office files that I open check box.

Important: When you turn off the Use Office 2016 to sync Office files that I open setting, any changes that you and other people make to Office files in your OneDrive will no longer merge together automatically.

Example of a file path - C:\Users\<UserName>\Pictures\Saved\2014\January\Holiday\NewYears\Family…

The entire path, including the file name, must contain fewer than 255 characters. Shorten the name of your file or the name of subfolders in OneDrive, or select a subfolder that's closer to the top-level folder.

Try to open the file or folder and make sure that you have permission to save a copy of it. If you're having problems seeing a file on a network, contact your network administrator.

You may have conflicts if you're uploading multiple files on the OneDrive website at the same time, or if you made changes in your OneDrive folder on another PC that is syncing at the same time. Rename the file or folder, and then try to add it again.

Free up disk space by moving or deleting files. Here are some tips about how to free up disk space. Then, follow these steps to start syncing your OneDrive folder on the PC again:

  1. Check your Storage page on the OneDrive web site and compare the size of your OneDrive to the available disk space on your PC. If necessary, move or delete some files.

  2. Right-click the blue or white OneDrive cloud icon in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar.

    OneDrive app in System Tray

    (You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow The Show hidden icons button. next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon. If the icon doesn't appear in the notification area, OneDrive might not be running. Click Start, type OneDrive in the search box, and then click OneDrive in the search results.)

  3. Select Exit, and select Close OneDrive.

  4. Go to Start, enter OneDrive in the search box, and then click OneDrive.

  5. Follow the steps to select your OneDrive settings again, including picking the location of your OneDrive folder and choosing whether to turn on the Fetch files option.

  1. Right-click the blue OneDrive cloud icon in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar.

    OneDrive app in System Tray

    (You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow The Show hidden icons button. next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon. If the icon doesn't appear in the notification area, OneDrive might not be running. Click Start, type OneDrive in the search box, and then click OneDrive in the search results.)

  2. Click Settings, and then click Unlink this PC.

  3. Follow the steps in the Welcome to OneDrive wizard to set up OneDrive.

If OneDrive sync seems to be stuck for a long time and nothing else is working, try a reset. Be aware that resetting OneDrive re-syncs all your OneDrive files, which could take some time depending on how many files you’re syncing.

  1. Press the Windows key The Windows key icon. + R.

  2. In the Run window, enter: %localappdata%\Microsoft\OneDrive\onedrive.exe /reset

  3. Click OK.

  4. Make sure the OneDrive icon in the notification area of the taskbar disappears and then re-appears after a minute or two. Here’s how to check: Look for the blue OneDrive cloud icon in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar.

    OneDrive app in System Tray

    (You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow The Show hidden icons button. next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon.)

  5. If the OneDrive icon doesn’t re-appear after a few minutes, open the Run window again and enter: %localappdata%\Microsoft\OneDrive\onedrive.exe

Fix sync issues with the previous OneDrive for Business sync client

Try these solutions in order:

Still having sync issues?

If you're still having sync issues, try posting a question in the Office 365 community forums. They’re a great resource, and they're monitored by Microsoft support agents who can help if you’ve tried the steps here and are still stuck. You can also contact Office 365 for business support.

Notes: 

First, try these quick steps

It's worth a few minutes to check a few things, before trying the steps later in this article.

  • Check your Internet connection - Sometimes your Internet connection drops and OneDrive needs a connection to sync. Make sure that your Mac is able to connect to the Internet properly.

  • Reduce the size of any files that are over the limit - You might need to compress or resize a file so that it's less than 10 GB and try again. If you're adding a OneNote notebook, make sure each section is less than 1 GB.

  • Make sure you have permissions to the file or folder you tried to add - Try to open the file or folder and make sure that you have permission to save a copy of it. If you're having problems seeing a file on a network, contact your network administrator.

  • Check for files or folders with the same name in the same location - This can happen if you're uploading files on the OneDrive website at the same time, or if you made changes in your OneDrive folder on another PC that is syncing at the same time. Rename the file or folder, and then try to add it again.

Then, try these steps (click to expand)

  1. Click the OneDrive icon in the menu bar.

  2. Click Quit OneDrive.

  3. Use Spotlight to search for OneDrive and open it.

  1. Open the Mac App Store.

  2. Select the Update button in the toolbar.

  3. If an update is available for the OneDrive app, it will appear there.

Or, open the OneDrive app and check if there is an Update button showing in the app itself.

To verify that OneDrive is running, look for the OneDrive icon on the right side of the menu bar. Or, you can check from Activity Monitor:

  1. Launch Activity Monitor by pressing the Command and Spacebar keys and entering Activity Monitor.

  2. Choose the CPU tab, then look under the Process Column for OneDrive.

Example of a file path:

C:\Users\<UserName>\Pictures\Saved\2014\January\Holiday\NewYears\Family…

The entire path, including the file name, must contain fewer than 255 characters. Shorten the name of your file or the name of subfolders in OneDrive, or select a subfolder that's closer to the top-level folder.

Once the file path is shortened, start OneDrive again. (Use Spotlight to search for OneDrive and open it.)

Uninstalling the app will remove the app settings. For apps downloaded from the Mac App Store: Click the Launchpad icon in the Dock, hold down an app’s icon until all the icons begin to jiggle, then click the app’s delete button. If an icon doesn’t have a delete button, it can’t be uninstalled in Launchpad.

After you uninstall, you can reinstall the app from the Mac App Store.

Need more help?

If you’ve followed the steps in this article and still need help, email the OneDrive support team.

See more support pages for OneDrive.


A thumbnail image of the Get started with OneDrive eBook.

Want to learn more about OneDrive? Check out this eBook to get started!

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