Disable OneDrive integration in Windows 10/8.1

If you have installed Windows 10/8.1, you will notice that the upgrade comes with deep SkyDrive or OneDrive integration. The upgrade includes seamless File Explorer, Document Save, and Camera Roll integration, just to give users a fairly quick way to save files to the cloud. Having said that, SkyDrive integration lacks configuration options. There appears no option in sight to uninstall the service, should you wish to do so.

While you can always turn off & remove OneDrive Sync Data in Windows 10/8.1, if you do not use SkyDrive at all, you can disable its integration with Windows 8.1.

Follow this tutorial to learn how you can do it.

Disable OneDrive integration in Windows 10/8.1

Using Group Policy Editor

Disabling the service requires access to Group Policy editor. If your version of Windows has the Group Policy Editor, press Win+R in combination to bring up the ‘Run’ dialog box. In it, type gpedit.msc, and hit Enter.

run dialog

From the Local Group Policy Editor that shows up, navigate to the following path:

Local Computer Policy\Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\SkyDrive

Local Group Policy editor

Then double-click on Prevent the usage of SkyDrive for file storage policy setting. Select Enabled and click Apply/OK.

enable option

Do note that when you enable this policy setting, you won’t be able to access your SkyDrive files from the SkyDrive app. The SkyDrive node will go away from the Explorer left navigation pane. File syncing will stop!

Furthermore, the changes applied will prevent apps and features from interacting with the Microsoft’s cloud storage service including:

  1. Inability to upload photos and videos from the camera roll folder.
  2. Users inability to access SkyDrive from the SkyDrive app and file picker.
  3. Inability of Windows Store apps to access SkyDrive using the WinRT API.

Should you wish to reverse the changes, simply select Not Configured. After its done, all your apps and features will start functioning again, and the SkyDrive folder will appear once again in File Explorer.

Using Registry Editor

If your version of Windows does not have the Group Policy Editor, you can use the Registry Editor to disable SkyDrive integration in Windows 8.1  Type regedit in Start Search, right-click on the result and select Run as Administrator. Now create the following key, if it does not already exist:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Skydrive

Create a new DWORD and name it DisableFileSync. Give it value 1 to disable OneDrive. To enable OneDrive, delete or give it value data 0.

Hope this helps!

See this post if you want to completely uninstall OneDrive from Windows 10 and this one if you receive This device has been removed from OneDrive message.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.

37 Comments

  1. mattbiondi

    Thanks. I had to disable, because there are not configurations like folder, Microsoft account, etc.

  2. UzUrBrain

    gpedit,msc is NOT on my version of Windows 8, now what?

  3. If your version of Windows does not include GPEDIT, you may use the Registry tweak. The post has been updated. 🙂

  4. Joe

    Cant find this location in my windows 8.1 home??

  5. You will have to create a new one.

  6. Darrell Duane

    Thanks Anand, it’d be helpful if you put those notes about using regedit.exe right after the sentence: Press Win+R in combination to bring up the ‘Run’ dialog box. In it, type gpedit.msc, and hit Enter.
    Also, I found that it didn’t work to use Win+R ‘cos it doesn’t allow me to run regedit.exe as an administrator, which is needed to edit the registry. Instead, I had to use file explorer to search for regedit.exe, then right click on regedit.exe and select “Run as Administrator” so that I could add the new key.

  7. Ok Darrell – making a few changes in the post. Thanks. 🙂

  8. 48Bill

    Excellent thread.
    Why is MS forcing cloud use now? This should be a user choice/option. They’re risking big customer loss, for very little to gain.
    There should be an App to toggle skydive on and off.

  9. 48Bill

    So all your files are backed up, but no organization structure to help find things? WOW!!

  10. Dominic Watson

    Thanks for the post – SkyDrive disabled in one quick regedit 🙂

  11. TheBastard

    Now it’s been renamed to OneDrive.

  12. Willie Sutton

    MicroSoft is risking civil and criminal liability should this level of integration cause a data breech. Any decent lawyer can shred their license and terms of service if the damage is severe enough. Especially if National Security is breached; they face the Patriot Act.

  13. Mark Smith

    LOL Tin Foil Hat !!

  14. microsoft=Greedy

    for me HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindowsSkydrive did not exist. everything up to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindows was there.

  15. Create the key. It is mentioned in the post. 🙂

  16. Vallex Koten

    My laptop does not have Group Policies Editor, so I am trying the Registry, but there is no folder for Skydrive.

  17. Me

    No it’s now.

  18. bernici

    Yes this was amazing. Skydrive Onedrive is useless to me. Awesome guide.

  19. Fastsloth69

    There was no group editor went with the rgedit method but there is no folder for skydrive. ……Policies/Microsoft/Windows/Skydrive?

  20. robtf

    Same problem i don’t have a skydrive folder but Onedrive sync engine still active and solwing down my system. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindows????????? no option here. I have windows home premium 8.1. Help please i hate this onedrive app. Sync is off, everything related off but every time sync engine is active my internet connection is very very slow and i have to cancel the task constantly. Thanks.

  21. Kuhmo

    Thanks Anand.

  22. Walter

    What a useless thread. Lost hours yesterday and today again trying to remove the One Note from my Win 8.1 laptop, following all the “expert” advice on this forum and I am still stuck with the same shit. I’ve worked in IT companies for 11 years, so I’m not really a novice …

  23. Too bad you could not make sense of a thread many found useful. 🙂

  24. This thread is only for disabling it, far as I can tell. Pretty useless if you want rid of it completely, and there’s no way to get rid of it on anything but pro. I have 20 years computer experience. I started using computers with 5.25 inch floppies and no hard drive in the early 90’s and onedrive is without a doubt the biggest piece of s- I’ve ran across.

  25. Raven2099

    no gpedit.msc so now what?

  26. Nicholas Sweeten

    I dont seem to have a gpedit.msc

  27. Clint Norwood

    Thanks! The regedit worked! Why not just create a reg file to import? I made one to disable and one to enable.

  28. Cburg

    Can you share those with us?
    Thanks!
    (along with detailed instructions on how to use, please!)

  29. Clint Norwood

    It’s pretty easy. Just open up notepad and enter the following:

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindowsskydrive]
    “DisableFileSync”=dword:00000001

    save it as onedrive_disable.reg

    then open notepad again and enter:

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindowsskydrive]
    “DisableFileSync”=dword:00000000

    and save it as onedrive_enable.reg

    The only difference is the last 0 or 1

    Make sure the notepad save-as type is all files, and not txt

    Now when you want onedrive to sit down and shut up just double-click the disable reg file. If you want to upload or download some files turn it back on with the enable reg file.

  30. enJay

    Thank you for your helpful site, and great information.
    Question: can I disable One Drive on just one of my devices (tablet) while not affecting in on my computer, that is on the same Microsoft Windows sign-in account? Or, if I do it in one, does it affect all my devices. I have One Drive sync turned off.
    THank you for any adive you can give me.
    Nj

  31. Andrew Ball

    Top work thanks – been trying to kill this damn process off for months and finally found your registry hack. Simple, quick and effective. Cheers

  32. Shahriyar

    Thanks mate! You helped me a lot.

  33. Biff

    For others who may find this useful in the future:

    to disable onedrive

    run regedit as administrator

    go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindowsSkydrive

    to create missing Skydrive key

    rightclick Windows & select New>Key>Skydrive

    rightclick Skydrive & select New>DWORD (32-bit) Value>DisableFileSync

    set DisableFileSync’s Value data from 0 to 1

    DisableFileSync>Modify…>Value data>1

  34. ironargonaut

    Unless you are the State Dept or Hillary Clinton.

  35. mpgood

    Hi Anand. I was very dismayed that OneDrive is emptying out my hard drive files. So I have no docs left on the hard drive. And I assume it will do that to the pictures also. If it does that to my pics, then my migration of Lightroom will be screwed up because the LR catalogue won’t find the files. I am just an ordinary MS user, and not a geek – and I get nervous when editing the registry (and the directions on doing that in this string are not clear for the value of “0 to 1”). I could set the value to “1” but not “0-1”. I assume it meant set the value to “1”. But what happens after that? Reboot??? And if I disable the upload, how can I restore the files to the hard drive to the configuration that I had??? MS should be user friendly – and this experience is not. I’ve never had an operating system mess with what I have saved on my hard drive before. I should have been warned that OneDrive would upload everything (I want very little in the cloud) and remove them from the hard drive. It would be nice to have some user friendly option up front and during the process on what is uploaded and what is deleted from my hard drive without having to edit the registry.

  36. How are files being deleted from Hard Disk? OneDrive should not delete from HDD after uploading. It keeps two copies, one in cloud and one on HDD. If you prefer not to upload your files in any folder inside OneDrive, you can uncheck that folder from OneDrive properties. To get there, right click on the OneDrive icon in System Tray and select Settings and then Select Folders. Let me know if files are disappearing because OneDrive doesn’t do that.

  37. MaxPowar

    So people with Win 10 Home just can’t disable it, apparently? Great.

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