Microsoft, like its competitors, strives to connect you as much as possible to the Microsoft ecosystem with services such as Microsoft Office, Xbox, and OneDrive integrated into Windows. OneDrive is specifically designed to be used as a cloud service for your Windows files and documents.
If you’re a Windows 10 user, you’ve probably noticed that OneDrive is in the notification area on the taskbar. Disabling OneDrive is tricky, but there are ways to hide and disable it if the service isn’t for you, especially if you’re using a service like Dropbox instead.
Why should you disable OneDrive
There are several reasons why you might want to consider disabling OneDrive. Let’s start with the simplest thing – control. Each time you install Windows 10, OneDrive is installed and ready to sync your document, picture, and desktop folders.
Many users may not realize that OneDrive is doing this. Disabling OneDrive gives you control of your files again, rather than storing them on Microsoft’s server.
If this sounds unattractive, you can use other cloud storage like Google Drive or Dropbox, or you can create your own cloud storage to store your files.
If you’re not concerned about this, OneDrive might be affecting your system and network resources. It might sound obvious, but OneDrive uses your internet connection to upload files to Microsoft’s servers. If you have a slow connection, syncing your OneDrive files can affect your network performance or use up your data limit.
You should also be aware that the OneDrive app starts automatically and will run in the background unless you disable it. This will have a more noticeable impact on low-resource PCs, so disabling OneDrive can be a good way to cut down on CPU and RAM usage.
How to disable OneDrive file sync
If you only want to temporarily disable OneDrive, the best option is to pause file syncing. This will stop the OneDrive app from uploading any changes to your local files to the OneDrive servers, or from receiving any changes from your online OneDrive.
- To pause OneDrive syncing, click the OneDrive icon in the notification area on the Windows taskbar. You can also launch the OneDrive app from the Start menu.
- On the OneDrive pop-up menu, click the More button, then choose the Pause Syncing option. You can turn it off for 2 hours, 8 hours or 24 hours – click on one of the options to continue.
To pause file syncing for more than 24 hours, you will need to repeat the steps above to turn it off again after the initial 24 hour period ends. Alternatively, you can prevent OneDrive from syncing files from your computer by deleting any folders it monitors.
- To turn off OneDrive file syncing this way, click the OneDrive icon> More> Options. On the Account tab, click Select Folders.
- Uncheck all the boxes in the Select Folders menu, including Make All Files Available, then click OK to save.
This will keep OneDrive signed in, but prevent it from automatically syncing files from your PC to OneDrive. Then you can prevent OneDrive from showing on the taskbar by turning it off automatically when you log in to Windows.
- To prevent OneDrive from showing on the taskbar, click the OneDrive icon> More> Options, then click the Settings tab. From there, click to disable the “Start OneDrive automatically when I sign in to Windows” option, then click OK to save.
Once disabled, OneDrive will not boot the next time you restart your computer. If file sync and autoplay are turned off, OneDrive is nearly disabled, but you can go even further by unlinking your account.
How to unlink OneDrive on Windows 10
If you want to quickly disable OneDrive, you can disable it. This will remove your Microsoft account from OneDrive, you will be logged out, and it will prevent files from your OneDrive account from syncing to your PC (and vice versa).
- First, click the OneDrive icon in the notification area of ??the Windows taskbar. Select the Advanced option from the pop-up menu, then select the Settings option.
- On the Account tab in the Microsoft OneDrive settings window, click Unlink this computer.
- OneDrive will ask you to confirm that you want to disconnect your PC from OneDrive. If you’re ready to proceed, click the Unlink Account button.
Once confirmed, OneDrive will be signed out on your computer. Any files that are currently syncing with your computer will remain, but no changes will be uploaded to your OneDrive – you will need to sign in again for this to resume.
How to disable OneDrive on Windows 10
OneDrive usually comes with Windows 10 preinstalled, and some versions of Windows won’t let you uninstall it. However, if this option is available to you, you can turn off OneDrive completely by removing it from your computer.
- To do this, right-click the Windows Start Menu icon and click Settings. In Settings, tap Apps> Apps & Features to open a list of installed software.
- On the Apps & Features tab, find or search for Microsoft OneDrive, then click it. To remove OneDrive, click the Remove button.
- Windows will ask you to confirm if you want to proceed with the uninstallation. Click the Remove button to remove OneDrive from your computer.
Using Windows 10 Cloud Storage
Now that you know how to disable OneDrive on Windows, you might consider switching to another free cloud storage platform like Google Drive. If you choose to keep OneDrive running, you can back up important folders to OneDrive as a built-in solution for storing your most important files.
If you’re having problems with this built-in Microsoft cloud storage, you may need to fix some common OneDrive sync issues that occur from time to time. Whether you like OneDrive or not, share your thoughts and recommendations on Windows 10 cloud storage with us in the comments below.