OneDrive stuck on ”Looking for changes” screen? Here’s how to address this

Aleksandar Ognjanovic
by Aleksandar Ognjanovic
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onedrive stuck on looking for changes

Even though OneDrive is probably the best-suited cloud service for Windows 10, with explorer integration and feature-rich nature, issues like stuck on ”Looking for changes...” or ”Processing changes” can render it completely unusable.

Users reported that they’re unable to sync anything on their OneDrive desktop client due to this inexplicable issue. Luckily, we prepared 6 possible solutions for this problem. If you’re having a hard time with this issue, make sure to check the steps below.

Fix: OneDrive stuck on ”Looking for changes” screen

  1. Unlink account and link it again
  2. Delete 0-byte files
  3. Run OneDrive troubleshooter
  4. Change the sync folder
  5. Reset OneDrive
  6. Reinstall OneDrive

Solution 1 – Unlink account and link it again

First, let’s start with the obvious. Since OneDrive is, as the majority of other cloud-storage services are, a multiplatform application, there’s a chance that something went astray with the account. Namely, the user account that’s linked to multiple OneDrive applications, can run into a halt occasionally.

What you’ll need to do is to simply unlink account and link it again. This is analog to sign out/sign in troubleshooting, and it should help you resolve this or similar issues. Follow these instructions in order to do so:

  1. Right-click on the OneDrive icon in the notification area and open Settings.
  2. Open the Account tab.
  3. Click on the Unlink this PC.onedrive stuck on looking for changes
  4. Now, sign in again with your credentials.onedrive stuck on looking for changes
  5. Select the location of the OneDrive folder and what you want to sync.

That should help you resolve the issue at hand. On the other hand, if your OneDrive desktop client is still stuck ”Looking for changes” or ”Processing changes” even after you’ve taken these steps, make sure to continue with the additional solutions.

Solution 2 – Delete 0-byte files

Now, some users reported that the problem is in, believe it or not, 0-bytes ghost files. Many applications store files that are empty and of no use. Now, if there’s no size and the file is empty, OneDrive will have a hard time uploading it to online storage from your PC’s local storage. This will cause a never-ending loop of the file processing and you’ll be stuck for ages.

So, basically, your next task is to navigate to the OneDrive folder, locate and delete empty, 0-bytes files. Afterwards, you can restart your PC and give OneDrive another try.

  1. Open your OneDrive folder on local PC storage.
  2. Press F3 to instantly access the Search bar.
  3. Type the following line in the search bar:
    • size: 0onedrive stuck on looking for changes
  4. If you see any search results that are 0 bytes in size, make sure to delete them.
  5. Look for changes.

Furthermore, if you’re having issues with a lot of temporary files, make sure to check this article on how to deal with those by using solely Windows resources.

Solution 3 – Run OneDrive troubleshooter

Windows 10 issues can also be addressed with pre-installed or downloadable troubleshooting tools. Now, even though Windows 10 has a bundle of various troubleshooting tools, the best-suited troubleshooter for this kind of problem is downloadable. This troubleshooter should scan for possible errors, restart related services and, hopefully, resolve all issues.

Follow the instructions below to download and run this troubleshooter:

  1. Download the OneDrive Troubleshooting tool here.
  2. Run the tool and choose Next.onedrive stuck on looking for changes
  3. Wait until the process is finished and check for the error resolution.onedrive stuck on looking for changes

If this tool fell short, make sure to check additional steps.

Solution 4 – Change the sync folder location

Yes, surely, you’ll lose a lot of time by changing the sync folder location. If your bandwidth is slow and you have a lot of files, it can take some time for OneDrive to re-sync them again. For more information on how you can increase bandwidth on Windows 10, check out this guide.

However, changing the syn folder location is probably the most reliable solution for this peculiar OneDrive problem.

Namely, by changing the sync folder, you should be able to start the sync procedure again. That way, by adding file by file to the upload queue, you can confirm which exact file caused the OneDrive halt and remove it accordingly.

Follow the instructions below to change the sync folder location in OneDrive:

  1. Right-click on the OneDrive icon in the notification area and open Settings.
  2. Open the Account tab.
  3. Click on the Unlink this PC.onedrive stuck on looking for changes
  4. Now, once you log in with your credentials again, make sure to select the different location for the OneDrive local folder.
  5. Copy the unsynced files to newly selected OneDrive folder and let it sync. Make sure to do it one at a time.

For the majority of users, this proved as the most viable solution. On the contrary, if you’re still unable to get OneDrive to start with updating, there are still 2 possible solutions you should take into consideration.

Solution 5 – Reset OneDrive

Before you move to reinstallation, which is possible after the latest major Windows 10 update, you should try resetting. In order to do so, you’ll need to use the elevated Command Prompt line.

Follow the instructions below to run the command and reset OneDrive:

  1. Right-click the Start button and run Command Prompt (Admin).
  2. In the command line, paste or type the following line and press Enter:
    • %localappdata%MicrosoftOneDriveonedrive.exe /resetonedrive stuck on looking for changes
  3. Right-click on the OneDrive icon in taskbar’s notification area and open Settings.
  4. Sign in.

Hopefully, the uploading halt will be fixed and you’ll be able to upload your files just like before.

Solution 6 – Reinstall OneDrive

Finally, if none of the aforementioned steps make it work, the reinstallation is the only remaining solution that crosses our minds. Luckily, OneDrive isn’t any more a non-removable part of Windows 10 so it’s much easier to address possible errors and bugs.

In addition, the installation files are always there so you won’t need to download anything and can reinstall OneDrive from the AppData any given day. If you’re not sure how to do it, follow the instructions below:

  1. In the Windows Search bar, type Control and choose Control Panel.
  2. In Category view, open Uninstall a program.
  3. Uninstall OneDrive and restart your PC.
  4. Now, follow this path:
    • C:Users:Your Username:AppDataLocalMicrosoftOneDriveUpdate
  5. Double-click the OneDriveSetup.exe file and run the installer.
  6. After the procedure finishes, log in and check for improvements.

This should resolve your problem. In case you’re still unable to run OneDrive, you can always get rid of it and switch to an alternative. We enlisted some viable OneDrive alternatives in this article.

This should conclude it. We hope you were able to move from the ”Looking for changes” screen with the solutions we provided above.

In case you have any questions, suggestions or alternative solutions regarding OneDrive stuck we covered today, make sure to tell us in the comments below.