Fix OneDrive sync issues & problems on Windows 10

While Microsoft OneDrive service is among the best cloud service in the market, users at times may face problems when syncing their files. If you are facing OneDrive sync problems & issues, then this post shows some ways you could go about troubleshooting issues like – OneDrive cannot connect to the server, OneDrive not syncing, unable to sync files between the desktop client and cloud drive, the client not connecting, uploading photographs, etc.

OneDrive sync issues & problems

Let us see how to troubleshoot and fix sync issues with the new OneDrive personal client on Windows 10.

1] Ensure that the size of the file is less than 10GB

Files larger than 10GB in size cannot be synced with OneDrive. If the size is more than 10GB and syncing the file is necessary, a ZIP folder could be created for the same. To create a ZIP folder, right-click the file or group of files (after selecting them together) and select send to > compressed (zipped) folder.

2] Check for Windows Updates

Check if the Windows is up to date. If not, update it. To do so, search for “check for updates” on the Windows search bar and open Windows Update. It will show the status whether updated or not. If not, do the needful.OneDrive sync problems & issues

3] Restart the sync process if it paused

1] Right click on the white icon for OneDrive cloud in the notification area at the right bottom corner of the screen. If the icon doesn’t appear there, you might need to click the upward pointing arrow after which the icon could appear. If it still doesn’t appear, then the OneDrive client might not be running. Click on ‘Exit’.Exit

Search for OneDrive using Windows search and open it. Enter your cloud credentials and connect to OneDrive for Cloud. It will re-sync all the files.

4] Connect the OneDrive account to Windows

  1. Go to Start and click the gear-like symbol that would open the ‘Settings’ page.
  2. Click on ‘Accounts’ and then select the option ‘Email and App accounts’.
  3. You would find an option to ‘Add an account’. Keep clicking next through the prompts and add the account accordingly.Add an Account

5] Complete setting up of OneDrive

In case you have more than 500MB of data in your OneDrive folder, and the setup has not finished yet, it might not show all your files despite the status being ‘signed in’.

To resolve this, open File Explorer. Click the OneDrive folder and initiate the setup again. Make sure all folders you wish to sync are checked.OneDrive sync problems

6] Verify that all folders you wanted to sync are selected

Chosse Folder

To do this, right-click on the white OneDrive for cloud icon and click settings. Select the accounts tab and click ‘Chose Folders’. In case you wish to sync selected folders, choose them accordingly. Click OK.

7] An Office file needs your attention error message

Sometimes, the Office Upload cache system might be interfering with the OneDrive desktop client. Turn OFF the Office upload! It could be turned OFF to isolate the issue.

Office Upload

To do this, right-click on the white OneDrive for cloud icon in the notifications area as in previous steps. Click Settings and select the Office tab.

Uncheck the ‘Use Office 2016 to sync Office files that I open’ checkbox.

8] Check if the file path is too long

The maximum allowed character limit for the file path is 400 characters. If it exceeds, it might create issues with syncing. In such a case, try to omit unnecessary sub-folders and try to bring the target locations as close as possible to the root directory.

9] Check if a duplicate file or folder with the same name is present there

If you use multiple PC’s to sync with the same cloud drive, and more than one is trying to share a path with the same address as the location, it will create a conflict. The path name could be changed on any one device to counter the problem.

10] Check available disk space on the system

Check the available disk space on your system and compare it with the utilized disk space on the OneDrive online site. If the system is short of space, the files won’t sync. If you are short of space, try the following steps:

  1. Delete temporary files. Click on Start and then on the gear like symbol which will open the settings page. Select the storage tab and double click on ‘This PC’. Open the option for temporary files and check all the boxes except the one which says ‘previous version of windows’ and deletes them.
  2. Delete downloaded files. In the file explorer, open Downloads. Check if any file is necessary and delete the rest.
  3. Empty the recycle bin. Delete the unnecessary files permanently.
  4. Uninstall applications that are not in use anymore.
  5. Move files to an external hard drive to make space on the system.

After easing the space on the system, the OneDrive client could be re-initiated. But in case deleting and mitigating files does not make enough space on the system, you could sync files with OneDrive selectively.

11] Unlink the PC from OneDrive and sync again

Unlink the PC

Right click on the white OneDrive icon in the notifications area and click on settings. Click on ‘Unlink this PC’ in the Accounts tab..

12] Reset OneDrive manually

If everything else fails, the OneDrive client could be reset manually. However, it is a time-consuming process. The system needs to be connected to a high-speed internet connection.

Manual Sync

To reset OneDrive type the following command in a Run window and hit Enter:

%localappdata%\Microsoft\OneDrive\onedrive.exe /reset

Ideally, it should sync all the files again. However, if the OneDrive setup fails to start again, proceed to the next step.

In the Run box, copy-paste the following command and hit Enter:


This should start the client manually.

13] Use the OneDrive Troubleshooter

Run the OneDrive troubleshooter and see if it helps you.

14] OneDrive needs your attention error message

Probably your OneDrive space is full. Either delete some files, buy space or use an alternative cloud storage service.

15] OneDrive Items Can’t Be Synced or Cant Sync Now

Restart the OneDrive app and see. If it doesn’t help, you need to reset OneDrive and see if that helps. Else shorten the File Path and see; that is don’t locate your files within a deep folder structure – place them closer to the root OneDrive folder.

16] File experiencing delays while syncing

Pause and then restart the syncing and see.

Else, open OneDrive > Settings > Network tab > and select Dont limit Upload and download rates.

The steps mentioned above are exhaustive and should resolve any issues with syncing OneDrive.

These posts will help you if:

  1. You cannot save files in OneDrive folder
  2. OneDrive has high CPU usage problems.
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Karan Khanna is a passionate Windows 10 user who loves troubleshooting Windows problems in specific and writing about Microsoft technologies in general.