Fix OneDrive for Business sync problems

Fix OneDrive for Business sync problems

We're sorry that you're having trouble syncing your OneDrive. 

The following steps will ensure your OneDrive is running correctly, that you are able to access your files online, and that you have enough room for the right files to sync.

Notes: 

  • This article is for users who have an Office 365 work or school account, and refers to the latest version OneDrive for Business. If you don't sign in with an Office 365 account, read how to Fix OneDrive for Business sync problems. If you're not sure which version of OneDrive for Business you need, contact your Office 365 Administrator.

  • In the images below, "Contoso" is a fictional name used by Microsoft as an example company. You should see your own organization's name.

Use the Support and Recovery Assistant for Office 365

The Support and Recovery Assistant app can help you identify and fix several issues with OneDrive for Business sync. Read how to use the Office 365 Support and Recovery Assistant.

If your account or environment is not supported by the Support and Recovery Assistant, try these steps to get sync running on your PC.

  1. Sign in to Office 365 with your work or school account.

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

    OneDrive SyncClient with blue cloud and white cloud icons

    Note: You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon, or click Press the Windows key and start typing "select which icons" to display the notification area settings option, and then show Microsoft OneDrive. If the icon still doesn't appear in the notification area, OneDrive might not be running. Click  Press the Windows key , type OneDrive in the search box, and then click OneDrive (not "OneDrive for Business" as that may be an older version) in the search results.

  3. In the activity center, select More.

    Screenshot of getting to OneDrive Settings

  4. Select View online

If you cannot access your OneDrive for Business online, contact your Network Administrator.

OneDrive and Windows are frequently updated and keeping your PC up-to-date can help sync problems.

  1. Download the latest Windows updates to get the most out of OneDrive. The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update enables OneDrive Files On Demand which can help resolve sync problems. Learn more about OneDrive Files On-Demand.

  2. Download the latest version of OneDrive and install it. 

    Notes: 

    • If you already have the latest version, the installer setup will end automatically.

    • For more information on the latest version, read the release notes.

  3. Press  Press the Windows key , search for OneDrive and then open the OneDrive desktop app

    Note: If shown, do not select "OneDrive for Business" as that may be an older version still installed.

  4. When OneDrive Setup starts, enter your OneDrive work or school account, and then select Sign in to set up your account.

    OneDrive setup screen new UI

You won't lose files or data by disabling, uninstalling or unlinking OneDrive on your computer. You can always access your files by signing in to your OneDrive for Business account online.

  1. Select the white or blue OneDrive cloud icon in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar.

    OneDrive SyncClient with blue cloud and white cloud icons

    Note: You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon, or click Press the Windows key and start typing "select which icons" to display the notification area settings option, and then show Microsoft OneDrive. If the icon still doesn't appear in the notification area, OneDrive might not be running. Click  Press the Windows key , type OneDrive in the search box, and then click OneDrive (not "OneDrive for Business" as that may be an older version) in the search results.

  2. In the activity center, select More > Settings.

    Screenshot of getting to OneDrive Settings

  3. Click Unlink this PC.

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

For more information, read how to Sync files with the new OneDrive sync client in Windows.

If you are seeing the sync icon stuck for a long period of time, moving some files out of a sync folder can help clear any sync issues.

  1. Select the white or blue OneDrive cloud icon in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar.

    OneDrive SyncClient with blue cloud and white cloud icons

    Note: You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon, or click Press the Windows key and start typing "select which icons" to display the notification area settings option, and then show Microsoft OneDrive. If the icon still doesn't appear in the notification area, OneDrive might not be running. Click  Press the Windows key , type OneDrive in the search box, and then click OneDrive (not "OneDrive for Business" as that may be an older version) in the search results.

  2. In the activity center, select More.

    Screenshot of getting to OneDrive Settings

  3. Select Pause syncing... > 2 hours

  4. Select a file from one of your sync folders and move it to a folder that's not part of OneDrive, e.g., C:\users\

  5. In the activity center, select More again and select Resume syncing... 

  6. Once sync is complete, move the file back again.

There are three types of constraint with OneDrive files and filenames:

  1. Make sure that none of the files you want to sync are larger than 15GB. If you see an error message such as "This file is too big to upload" or "Reduce the size of this file to upload to..." try reducing the size of a file by zipping it. You may be able to reduce the file size of a picture.

  2. Make sure the entire file path, including the file name, contains fewer than 400 characters. An example of a file path is: 
    C:\Users\<UserName>\Pictures\Saved\2017\December\Holiday\NewYears\Family… 

    To resolve this, shorten the name of your file or the name of subfolders in OneDrive, or select a sub-folder that's closer to the top-level folder.

  3. Make sure that your file doesn't contain any illegal characters (such as <, >, :, ", |, ?, *, /, \) or that the folder includes any unsupported file types. Learn more about Restrictions and limitations when you sync files and folders.

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. Select the white or blue OneDrive cloud icon in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar.

    OneDrive SyncClient with blue cloud and white cloud icons

    Note: You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon, or click Press the Windows key and start typing "select which icons" to display the notification area settings option, and then show Microsoft OneDrive. If the icon still doesn't appear in the notification area, OneDrive might not be running. Click  Press the Windows key , type OneDrive in the search box, and then click OneDrive (not "OneDrive for Business" as that may be an older version) in the search results.

  2. In the activity center, select More > Settings.

    Screenshot of getting to OneDrive Settings

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

    Office Upload tab in OneDrive settings

    Note: 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.

  1. Sign in to Office 365 with your work or school account.

  2. 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.

Repairing or reinstalling Office can sometimes fix sync conflicts between Office and OneDrive. Read how to Download and install or reinstall Office 365 or Office 2016 on a PC or Mac.

Resetting OneDrive can sometimes resolve sync issues, and resets all OneDrive settings. OneDrive will perform a full sync after the reset.

Notes: 

  • Resetting OneDrive disconnects all your existing sync connections (including your personal OneDrive if set up).

  • You won't lose files or data by resetting OneDrive on your computer.

To reset OneDrive:

  1. Open a Run dialog by pressing Windows key  Press the Windows key  and R.

  2. Type %localappdata%\Microsoft\OneDrive\onedrive.exe /reset and press OK. A Command window may appear briefly.

  3. Manually launch OneDrive by going to Start  Press the Windows key , type OneDrive in the search box, and then click on the OneDrive desktop app.

    Notes: 

    • If you had chosen to sync only some folders before the reset, you will need to do that again once sync has completed. Read Choose which OneDrive folders to sync to your computer for more information.

    • You will need to complete this for your personal OneDrive and OneDrive for Business.

Hints and tips

Follow these hints and tips to get the most out of your OneDrive and to make sync as trouble-free as possible.

OneDrive Files On-Demand helps you access all your files in OneDrive without having to download all of them and use storage space on your device. Learn more about OneDrive Files On-Demand.

You can also download fewer files by choosing which OneDrive folders to sync to your computer.

Note: You won't lose files or data by disabling or uninstalling OneDrive on your computer.

If OneDrive sync seems to be stuck for a long time or the status shows "Processing 0KB of xMB" it could be because you have a lot of files in your OneDrive or a lot of new files to be uploaded. If you have more than 100,000 files, sync can take a long time.

Note: For transferring large files or lots of files, we recommend adding the files to the OneDrive desktop app rather than the using Upload button on the website.

To see how many files you have in your OneDrive:

  1. Open File Explorer.

  2. Right-click the OneDrive folder and select Properties.

    OneDrive properties

  3. If the Contains number is more than 100,000 you should consider which OneDrive folders to sync to your computer.

If the sync is already in process, you can Pause and Resume your sync to get things going again.

  1. Select the white or blue OneDrive cloud icon in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar.

    OneDrive SyncClient with blue cloud and white cloud icons

    Note: You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon, or click Press the Windows key and start typing "select which icons" to display the notification area settings option, and then show Microsoft OneDrive. If the icon still doesn't appear in the notification area, OneDrive might not be running. Click  Press the Windows key , type OneDrive in the search box, and then click OneDrive (not "OneDrive for Business" as that may be an older version) in the search results.

  2. In the activity center, select More.

    Screenshot of getting to OneDrive Settings

  3. Select Pause syncing... and select either 2, 8 or 24 hours.

  4. In the activity center, select More again and select Resume syncing

You may have sync 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. Sync issues can also occur if you edit files offline.

To reduce sync conflicts, rename the edited files or folders to something new or unique, and then save it again.

Need more help?

More fixes for recent OneDrive issues

Fix sync issues with personal OneDrive

Fix sync issues with SharePoint Online

Learn about OneDrive Files On-Demand

Help for OneDrive for Business Customers

If you're still having sync issues, open the activity center, select More and select Send feedback

Screenshot of getting to OneDrive Settings

OneDrive for Business Admins

OneDrive for Business Admins can also view Help for OneDrive for Business Admins or contact Office 365 for business support.

Expand your Office skills
Explore training
Get new features first
Join Office Insiders

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.

×