8 Ways to Prevent OneDrive from Syncing All Files to Your Desktop

If you’re using OneDrive, Microsoft’s popular cloud storage service, you know that it automatically syncs all your files and photos to make them accessible across multiple devices. While this is a handy feature, you might sometimes want to prevent certain files or folders from syncing for various reasons.

For instance, you may find that OneDrive keeps syncing files without making any progress, or that it syncs files you don’t actually need. Alternatively, you might be running out of storage space or experiencing a slow PC performance. Whatever your situation, there are several ways to easily stop OneDrive from syncing folders without deleting any files.

How to Stop OneDrive from Syncing to Your Desktop

Pause OneDrive

If you want to temporarily pause the sync process, even if it’s actively syncing at the moment, you can use the pause feature. OneDrive offers three intervals – 2 hours, 8 hours, and 24 hours – so you can choose the duration that suits your needs.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Click on the OneDrive icon in your Taskbar (or search for OneDrive in the search box and launch the app)
  2. In the popup, click the gear icon (Help & Settings) and select Pause syncing
  3. Choose the desired pause duration – 2 hours, 8 hours, or 24 hours
  4. To resume syncing, simply click the Resume syncing button.

pause OneDrive in Windows 10

Quit OneDrive

If you want to permanently stop OneDrive from syncing everything, you can simply quit the app. This is a quick and effective method to prevent any further syncing.

READ  Does Microsoft Office Work on Macbook?

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Click the OneDrive icon in the top-right corner of your screen.
  2. Go to Help & Settings and select Quit OneDrive.
  3. Confirm the operation by clicking the Close OneDrive button.

close OneDrive in Windows 10

Stop Syncing Specific OneDrive Folders

By default, OneDrive automatically syncs all your folders and files on your PC. However, you have the option to choose only certain folders to sync and exclude the rest. Here’s how you can accomplish this:

  1. Click on the OneDrive icon and select Help & Settings > Settings.
  2. Under the Account tab, click Choose folders.
  3. In the pop-up window, uncheck the folders you don’t want to sync. Alternatively, you can stop OneDrive from syncing everything by checking and unchecking Make all files available.
  4. Click OK to save the changes.

uncheck folders in OneDrive

The folders you’ve unchecked will be hidden in File Explorer and won’t be available on your PC. Any items within these folders will be deleted from your machine.

Manage OneDrive Backup Folders

If you’re wondering how to stop OneDrive from syncing your Desktop, photos, or other folders, you can manage your OneDrive backup folders. By default, OneDrive backs up the folders named Photos, Desktop, and Documents.

  1. Click on the OneDrive icon and select Settings to open the Microsoft OneDrive window.
  2. Under the Backup tab, click Manage backup.
  3. Uncheck the folder you don’t want OneDrive to sync. For example, to prevent OneDrive from syncing your Desktop, uncheck the Desktop folder.

manage OneDrive backup folders

Permanently Disable OneDrive on Windows 10/11

If you no longer want OneDrive to sync any files or folders, you can unlink your account. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Microsoft OneDrive window.
  2. Go to the Account tab and select Unlink this PC.
  3. Confirm the operation by clicking Unlink account.
READ  How to Remove Windows 10 Updates to Resolve Issues

unlink this PC

Disable Office Applications from Syncing

If you want to prevent Microsoft Office applications from syncing files to OneDrive, follow these steps:

  1. Access the Microsoft OneDrive window.
  2. Go to the Office tab and uncheck the box for Use Office applications to sync Office files that I open.
  3. Save the changes.

Uninstall OneDrive

If you want to permanently stop OneDrive syncing, one direct approach is to uninstall the OneDrive app from your Windows 10/11 PC. Here’s how:

  1. Launch Control Panel and view all the items by Category.
  2. Click on the Uninstall a program link under the Programs section.
  3. In the Programs and features interface, right-click on Microsoft OneDrive and select Uninstall.
  4. Confirm the operation to remove the app.

uninstall OneDrive from Windows 10

Alternatively, you can also uninstall OneDrive via the Windows Settings by clicking on Apps > Apps & features, locating Microsoft OneDrive, and clicking the Uninstall button. There are also other ways to uninstall OneDrive, which you can explore in a related post titled “Four Perfect Ways – How to Uninstall Programs in Windows 10.”

Enable Battery Saver Mode to Stop OneDrive Syncing

For a simple solution to stop OneDrive from syncing, you can enable Battery Saver mode. This feature automatically halts the sync process when your PC battery is running low. Here’s how:

  1. Access the Windows 11/10 Settings.
  2. Go to System > Power & Battery (Windows 11) or Battery (Windows 10).
  3. Under the Battery saver section, turn on this feature.

These are some of the ways you can stop OneDrive from syncing files and folders. Choose one that suits your needs best. Additionally, to keep your PC data safe, you may consider using PC backup software such as MiniTool ShadowMaker for local backup, which syncs your files to another location for enhanced data protection.

READ  Windows 7: A Comprehensive Overview

Suggestion: Run MiniTool ShadowMaker for Local Backup

MiniTool ShadowMaker is an excellent tool designed to back up your files, folders, Windows operating system, disks, or partitions. It allows you to sync your files to another local location for reliable data protection.

You can follow these steps to use MiniTool ShadowMaker:

  1. Run MiniTool ShadowMaker Trial Edition in Windows 10/11 and click Keep Trial to continue.
  2. Move to the Sync tab, click the SOURCE tab, select all the items you want to back up, and click OK.
  3. Click the DESTINATION tab to specify another storage path.
  4. Click the Sync Now or Sync Later button to start the sync task immediately or at a later time. To find the data you’ve synced, go to the Restore tab, locate the sync task, and click Locate.

sync files with MiniTool ShadowMaker

By using local backup and sync with MiniTool ShadowMaker, you can ensure the safety of your PC data. This software is compatible with Windows 11/10/8/7, so click the download button to try out its trial edition.

If you encounter any issues while using MiniTool software or have alternative methods to stop OneDrive from syncing, feel free to let us know in the comments below. We appreciate your feedback!


No matter the reason you want to prevent OneDrive from syncing files to your desktop, there are multiple ways to achieve your goal. Whether it’s pausing OneDrive, quitting the app, selecting specific folders to sync, or permanently disabling OneDrive, you have options at your disposal. Additionally, consider using PC backup software like MiniTool ShadowMaker for local backup to ensure the safety of your files. Feel free to explore these methods and don’t hesitate to share any further insights or questions in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!

Related Posts