Fix OneDrive sync problems with Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1

If you can’t sync files between your computer and OneDrive, it might be due to problems with the OneDrive desktop sync app.

This article is for the OneDrive sync client that syncs your OneDrive personal files in Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1. It's the white cloud icon in your taskbar notification area.

OneDrive Personal sync client

If you need to fix sync issues in another version: Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista | OneDrive for Business in Windows 8.1 | On a Mac

Things to check first

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

  • Verify that the size of your file doesn't exceed the OneDrive file size limit of 10GB. Possible error messages - "This file is too big to upload" or "Reduce the size of this file to upload it to…"

  • Verify you have the latest Windows updates installed. For more information, see 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 Run the OneDrive Troubleshooter.

  • Sync problems can sometimes be a problem with missing files. For more information, 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.

Restart a paused sync

  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.

Fix sync settings for a metered Internet connection

  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.

Make sure the file path isn't too long

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.

Make sure “Windows Search” is running

  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.

Make sure “SkyDrive.exe” is running

  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.

Use OneDrive in compatibility mode

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 withOneDrive files, then click OK.

Reset 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 + 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: 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 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

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.

Was this information helpful?

Great! Any other feedback?

How can we improve it?

Thank you for your feedback!

×