TECHNOLOGY

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

If you don’t want to use OneDrive on Windows 11 , you can disable it temporarily or permanently, stop OneDrive at Windows startup, or uninstall it completely.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

OneDrive is a cloud storage service developed and managed by Microsoft. This is a built-in file storage and synchronization service that you get when you set up your Windows 11 operating system. It helps you keep your photos, documents, and other data backed up, synchronized, and accessible across all devices connected to your OneDrive account.

But the problem is that it may constantly appear asking you to back up your data or it may eat up 10-15% of your Internet speed and PC name resources like CPU & Hard Drive. Also, sometimes OneDrive moves files to the cloud and just leaves you with thumbnails (not actual files) or shortcuts on your local hard drive and you won’t be able to access them unless you’re connected to Internet.

While OneDrive is a really good cloud service, you might be inclined to disable it if you already have another online storage service like Google, Dropbox, Mega, Amazon Drive or something similar. on one’s own. Fortunately, Windows gives you different options to temporarily disable OneDrive (re-enable when backup is needed), disable it permanently, prevent OneDrive from running at startup, or remove it entirely. And this guide will show you how to do all of that.

Pause OneDrive Sync in Windows 11 (temporarily)

Sometimes, you don’t want to turn off OneDrive completely but have to pause the syncing process for a while. OneDrive allows you to pause background syncing (including uploads and downloads) for 2, 8, and 24 hours. Follow these steps to do that:

To pause OneDrive, click the overflow icon ^ in the corner of the Taskbar (aka System tray) on the right side of the Taskbar and click the ‘OneDrive’ icon (cloud icon) in the Notifications/Spill area .

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

If you don’t see the OneDrive icon in the extras area, click the Windows (Start) icon and search for ‘OneDrive’. Then click ‘OneDrive’ in the search results.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

This will open the OneDrive folder. Close that folder and go to the overflow area in the corner of the Taskbar. Now you will see the OneDrive icon, click on it.

Next, click ‘Help & Settings’ in the OneDrive window.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

Then, click on the ‘Pause syncing’ menu and choose the timeframe for which you want to disable syncing.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

This will stop the synchronization of the selected time and it will automatically start the process once that time is over.

Pause OneDrive Sync for Specific / All Folders in Windows 11

Instead of turning off syncing for all files and folders stored on your computer, you can easily stop syncing just for specific folders.

First, click on the OneDrive icon in the Overflow (hidden) icon menu to open OneDrive. Next, click the ‘Help & Settings’ and ‘Settings’ buttons from the menu that appears.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

In the OneDrive settings window, go to the ‘Account’ tab and click the ‘Select folder’ button.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

This will bring up a list of all the folders that OneDrive is currently backing up (syncing) to the cloud.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

Now, uncheck the folders that you don’t want to sync and click ‘OK’. You can uncheck all folders to stop syncing across all folders.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

However, you cannot uncheck some of the default Windows folders like the ‘Desktop’ folder in Documents and the ‘Photo Library’ and ‘Screenshots’ folders in Photos.


Turn off OneDrive in Windows 11

If you want to stop using OneDrive, you don’t need to uninstall it completely. You can just turn off the service and leave the app on your computer, so you can use it if you need it later.

You can disable OneDrive by unregistering your PC (signing out) from OneDrive, stopping OneDrive during Windows startup, or by disabling it entirely through the Group Policy Editor or Registry editor. By turning off OneDrive, you will stop all of its services, including background services and the sync feature.

Turn off OneDrive from AutoStart

By default, OneDrive starts automatically every time you turn on your PC and sign in to Windows 11. You can prevent OneDrive from starting automatically during Windows 11 startup through OneDrive settings, Startup apps, or Task manager.

Stop OneDrive right from the start

First, click on the ‘OneDrive’ icon from the hidden icons of the Overflow menu.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

Then, click on the ‘Help & Settings’ option and select ‘Settings’ from the menu that appears.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

In the Microsoft OneDrive window, switch to the ‘Settings’ tab and uncheck the option Start OneDrive automatically when I sign in to Windows to disable Start OneDrive automatically when signing in to Windows. Then click ‘OK’.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

Turn off OneDrive from Startup with Windows Settings

You can easily prevent OneDrive from automatically starting during Windows 11 startup by disabling the app from the startup apps list in Windows 11 settings.

To do that, right-click on the Start button and select ‘Settings’ or press the keyboard shortcut Windows+ I.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

Next, select ‘Applications’ in the left panel and click on the ‘Startup’ setting on the right side.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

Then turn off the switch next to the ‘Microsoft OneDrive’ option in the startup apps list.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

Turn off OneDrive from Startup with Task manager

Another way you can disable OneDrive from startup applications is through the Task manager.

You can launch task manager by searching for and selecting ‘Task manager’ from the Windows search, by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc, or by right-clicking the Start Menu and selecting ‘Task manager’.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

Then click on the ‘Startup’ tab in the Task manager window. From the list of startup programs, right click on ‘Microsoft OneDrive’ then select ‘Disable’ or select the ‘Microsoft OneDrive’ app and click the ‘Disable’ button in the bottom right corner of the window to stop running when start Windows.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

Now, the next time you start your computer, OneDrive won’t start with it. Then OneDrive will only run if you start it manually.

Unlink OneDrive from a Windows 11 PC

Unlinking your OneDrive account from your PC will prevent your PC from updating and syncing data to the cloud. Unlinking OneDrive will sign you out of your OneDrive account on your PC and leave the app behind. By doing so, you won’t lose any synced files or data. You can always access your updated and synced files by signing back into the OneDrive app or OneDrive.com . This is how you unlink OneDrive from Windows 11:

First, click on the ‘Show hidden icons’ arrow in the corner of the Taskbar and click/tap on the ‘OneDrive’ icon.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

Then, click on the ‘Help & Settings’ option and select ‘Settings’ from the menu that appears.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

In the Microsoft OneDrive window, go to the Account tab and click the Unlink this PC link to unlink the PC with OneDrive as shown below.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

Then click the ‘Unlink account’ button in the confirmation dialog that pops up.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

This will sign you out of your OneDrive account on your PC and stop syncing files to the cloud. After unlinking your PC, you will still see the OneDrive icon on the Taskbar and when you hover over it, it will show you Not signed in which means ‘Not signed in’.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

OneDrive will still start at Windows startup and run in the background, but it won’t sync files or perform any other OneDrive functions until you sign back in to OneDrive.

Turn off OneDrive on Windows 11 via Group Policy Editor

You can also turn off OneDrive through the Group Policy Editor (GPE) which allows users to change many important settings on their computers. But Group Policy Editor is only available in Professional, Workstation and Enterprise editions of Windows 11 operating system. To disable OneDrive through GPE, follow these steps:

Click on the Start Menu and type gpedit or Group Policy Editor and launch the Group Policy Editor console from the results.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

In the Group Policy Editor, navigate to the following location from the left navigation bar.

Computer configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > OneDrive

Then either double click on ‘Prevent the usage of OneDrive for file storage’ from the right pane or right click on the setting and select ‘Edit’.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

Then select Enabled from the top left menu, click ‘Apply’, then ‘OK’.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

This will disable the OneDrive program including its sync and background processes.

Turn off OneDrive on Windows 11 via Registry Editor

Another way you can turn off OneDrive on Windows 11 is through the Windows Registry editing software . This is the way:

First, open the Registry Editor by searching for ‘Registry editor’ or ‘regedit’ on Windows search. Alternatively, open the Run command box via Windows+ R, type regedit and press Enter.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

When the Windows Registry Editing Software launches, navigate to the following location or copy-paste the location below into its address bar and press Enter:

Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\OneDrive

Then find the DWORD named ‘DisableFileSyncNGSC’ in the right pane then double click it and change its value to ‘1’.

If you cannot find the DWORD or ‘DisableFileSyncNGSC’ or ‘OneDrive’ folder in the location specified above, then you need to create a new one and change the Value data. Here’s how you do it:

Right click on the ‘Windows’ folder, select ‘New’ and then click on ‘Key’.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

Then rename the folder (Key) to ‘OneDrive’.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

Next, right-click the ‘OneDrive’ key, hover over ‘New’, and then select Value DWORD (32-bit)’.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

This will create a new DWORD value named ‘New Value #1’. Rename that value to ‘DisableFileSyncNGSC’.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

Then double click on the newly created ‘DisableFileSyncNGSC’ DWORD and change the value to 1 in the ‘Value data’ field. Then click ‘OK’.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

Once you’ve done that, reboot the system to apply the changes. If you want to re-enable OneDrive in case you change your mind, then just change the value of ‘DisableFileSyncNGSC’ to 0.

Uninstall OneDrive from Windows 11

If you decide you don’t want the OneDrive app anymore and want to completely remove OneDrive from your Windows 11, there are two ways to do it. However, when you uninstall OneDrive, it will only apply to the current user.

Uninstall OneDrive from Windows Settings

To permanently remove OneDrive from the system through settings, follow these steps:

To get started, open Windows 11 settings by pressing Windows+ I. Then, go to ‘Apps’ from the left menu bar and select the ‘Apps & features’ option from the right pane.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

On the next screen, scroll down to the ‘Microsoft OneDrive’ app and then click the three vertical dots next to it. Then click/tap on the ‘Uninstall’ option.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

On the confirmation box, click ‘Uninstall’ again to uninstall the program.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

This will completely remove the OneDrive app from your PC.

Uninstall OneDrive with Command Prompt

Another way you can uninstall OneDrive in Windows 11 is by doing some simple commands in Command Prompt.

But before you do that, you need to know if you’re running a 32 or 64 bit version of the Windows 11 operating system. If you don’t know which version you’re using, follow these steps to find out.

To get started, open Windows’ ‘Settings’ and select the ‘System’ tab on the left. Then scroll down to the ‘About’ option at the bottom in the ‘System’ section.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

On the About page you can see the version next to ‘System type’ as shown below.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

After knowing the Windows version, go to the Start menu, search for ‘CMD’ or ‘Command Prompt’ and then select ‘Run as administrator’.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

In the Command Prompt, type the following two commands in turn and press Enter:

For 64-bit systems:

taskkill /f /im OneDrive.exe

%SystemRoot%\SysWOW64\OneDriveSetup.exe /uninstall

For 32-bit systems: 

taskkill /f /im OneDrive.exe

%SystemRoot%\System32\OneDriveSetup.exe /uninstall

The first command stops OneDrive and the second one uninstalls it.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

On the User Account Control prompt box, click – ‘Yes’.

How to turn off, disable and remove OneDrive on Windows 11

This will permanently remove OneDrive from your Windows 11 system.

In case you change your mind and want OneDrive back, you can always search for the ‘OneDrive’ app in the Microsoft Store and install it from there.

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