OneDrive constantly syncing? Here are 14 solutions to fix it

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • We're getting if you're frustrated that OneDrive is constantly syncing.
  • Read below to find out how to get over this issue and hopefully fix it for good.
  • You'll find more useful material in our Cloud Software section on the website.
  • If you're interested in fixing other OneDrive problem, see our dedicated OneDrive Troubleshooting page.
onedrive constantly syncing

I have a user that is having issues with OneDrive, it’s always hung up on syncing files. The strangest part is when I got into the OneDrive folder, it shows as syncing but never finishes. It’s just not practical for me to continue syncing these files over and over because it wastes a whole day/day and a half. Any suggestions?

Microsoft’s OneDrive is used to store and sync documents and settings across Windows 10 users’ devices, but sometimes, the sync app doesn’t quite work as it should.

Cloud storage has been undergoing changes, so users have been reporting issues related to OneDrive syncing and these seem to be on the increase, from uploading files to the sync app not connecting, or even OneDrive continually syncing.

Sync errors can happen for different reasons, most of which can be fixed and/or repaired. As the tech giant continues to improve its cloud storage offering with each new update, we’ll take you through some suggested Microsoft solutions including those that work for other users to help you fix OneDrive continually syncing problems.

How to fix OneDrive continually syncing in Windows 10

  1. Preliminary fixes
  2. Change cloud storage
  3. Restart OneDrive sync client app
  4. Check if your OneDrive account is set up to connect to Windows 10
  5. Delete directories in the registry
  6. Select OneDrive to sync folders
  7. Verify your OneDrive configuration is complete
  8. Check your computer’s storage
  9. Unlink OneDrive
  10. Change your Microsoft account to Local Account, and back again to Microsoft
  11. Move the OneDrive folder
  12. Change the location for syncing SharePoint libraries
  13. Other solutions from OneDrive users:
  14. Reset OneDrive

1. Preliminary fixesonedrive keeps syncing

Before trying any of the solutions below, here are some preliminary troubleshooting steps to try:

  • Check that you have the latest update of Windows 10 and OneDrive by going to Settings > Update & Security >Windows Update
  • Ensure the file to sync isn’t larger than 10GB as this is the current size limit for OneDrive
  • Ensure you have a stable and reliable Internet connection

2. Change your cloud storage

Also, before going further, perhaps it’s time you try a different cloud storage option, especially since there are a lot of options available out there

Our recommendation in this case is, a very user-friendly cloud storage and file-sharing tool. What recommends Sync is the end-to-end encrypted technology and the ease of use.

With Sync, your files are uploaded in cloud in real-time, unless you’re using the selective sync option, which allows you to load only certain documents. The tool integrates directly with File Explorer, and there’s no need for further permissions or logins, since, by default, you are the only one to access this space.

What’s more, using the Sync Vault, you can archive your files only in cloud to free up space on your PC or other devices. Don’t worry if something happens to your cloud documents – you get a one-year file history and recovery if necessary.

With Sync you keep all your important files safely stored in the cloud and accessible just to you, anytime, anywhere.

3. Restart OneDrive sync client app

  1. Go to your taskbar notification area and right-click the OneDrive icon (cloud). If it isn’t displayed, click Show hidden icons arrow on the left side of the notification areaonedrive icon
  2. Click Exit
  3. Click Close OneDrive
  4. Click Start and search for OneDrive on the search box then open the app.

If you’re having trouble accessing OneDrive on your PC, see the recommendations in this article

4. Check if your OneDrive account is set up to connect to Windows 10

  1. Click Start and select Settings
  2. Select Accounts
  3. Select Your email and accounts. If the account isn’t connected, click Sign in with a Microsoft account insteadsign in onedrive
  4. Follow the instructions to switch to your Microsoft account. If the account you’re using isn’t the one associated with your OneDrive account, create a new one with the same credentials as those of OneDrive.

5. Delete directories in the registry

  1. Right-click Start and select Run
  2. Type regedit and press OKopen regedit
  3. Delete these registry keys: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\Identity\Identities and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\Identity\Profiles
  4. Also delete localappdata%\microsoft\office\spw and %localappdata%\microsoft\office\15.0\office\filecache

6. Select OneDrive to sync folders

  1. On the notification area of your taskbar, click OneDrive icon, or click Show hidden icons if you don’t see the cloud icon
  2. Select Settingsonedrive settings
  3. Click Account tab
  4. Click Choose folders
  5. Select Sync all files and folders in my OneDrive or select which files you want to sync and click OK.sync all onedrive files folders

Note: Due to changes in OneDrive, many features like placeholders and automatic syncing are no longer there. So if you don’t sync all OneDrive folders when another person shares a new file/folder, this won’t be synced until it is manually selected to do so.

7. Verify your OneDrive configuration is complete

  1. Click Start and select File Explorer
  2. Click OneDrive folder from the left paneselect onedrive files
  3. Select the files/folders you want to sync
  4. Keep the file path short as this can cause syncing issues (not more than 255 characters).

8. Check your computer’s storage

  1. Click Start and search for OneDrive in the search box to open the app
  2. Select the files you want to sync and choose the location to sync them to
  3. Open File Explorer and click This PConedrive continually syncing
  4. Right click the hard drive you want to sync files
  5. Select Propertiesonedrive continually syncing
  6. Select Disk Cleanup and click Clean up system files
  7. Select the files you want to remove and click OK
  8. Click Delete Files.

Keep in mind that your computer needs to have the same amount of storage that you’re using on OneDrive, so if it isn’t enough, then OneDrive syncing will have issues.

9. Unlink OneDrive

Your computer account settings can cause OneDrive to continually sync, so in this case, unlink your account and start over the setup wizard again. To do this:

  1. Right-click OneDrive icon on the notification area of your taskbar
  2. Select Settingsonedrive continually syncing
  3. Click Unlink OneDrive and follow the instructions to select files you want to sync and the desired location to sync them to.

10. Change your Microsoft account to Local Account, and back again to Microsoft

  1. Click Start and select Settingsonedrive continually syncing
  2. Click Accountonedrive continually syncing
  3. Under User name and User ID, click on Disconnect and follow the on-line instructions
  4. Click Start and select Settings
  5. Click Account.
  6. Click on Connect to Microsoft Account and follow the online instructions.

11. Move the OneDrive folder

  1. Create a new folder in your desired location and call it OneDrive
  2. Right click on the OneDrive icon
  3. Select Settings
  4. Click Accountonedrive continually syncing
  5. Select Unlink this PConedrive continually syncing
  6. Follow the setup process again and ensure you select the new location you want OneDrive to sync to. Wait for your files to download to the new location

Note: Moving the OneDrive folder to a new location, and if placed at the root directory, it means it will inherit the folder permissions of the parent folder or drive. Update the permissions to the new OneDrive folder otherwise, it will be viewable by anyone using the PC.

Use this guide if OneDrive won’t create the folder in your selected location

12. Change the location for syncing SharePoint librarieschange location for sharepoint libraries

  1. Right-click OneDrive icon in the notification area on your taskbar
  2. Select Stop syncing a folder…
  3. Select the folder you want to stop syncing, select Stop syncing
  4. Click Yes to agree
  5. Click OK
  6. Go to OneDrive library you want to sync and click Sync
  7. Click Change in the dialog box
  8. Select a new location on your local drive (as a root path, not a network drive). Don’t use the same location you use with OneDrive for Windows to sync for OneDrive for Business
  9. If there’s not Change link, then you’re currently syncing one or more libraries so go back and stop syncing all drives.

13. Other solutions from OneDrive usersfixing onedrive syncing issues

  • Uncheck Use Office 2016 to sync office files that I open and Use Office to sync Office files on the Office tab on OneDrive client settings
  • Check for any pending actions in the Microsoft Office Upload Center (system tray) as there may be an error that needs to be dismissed
  • Copy and paste the offending folder and remove the original, then remove the copy. It may be that the file it is trying to sync is inexistent so this allows for a fresh rebuild
  • Go to %userprofile% and rename the OneDrive folder to OneDriveOld then restart OneDrive and re-sync from the Internet. Once it is done, robocopy the contents of the old file to the new one.

13. Reset OneDrive

If all else fails, reset OneDrive sync app. Before you reset, backup your data, then do this:

  1. Click Start and type CMD in the search box
  2. Right-click Command Prompt and select Run as Administratoronedrive continually syncing
  3. Type %localappdata%\Microsoft\OneDrive\onedrive.exe /resetand press Enter
  4. Ensure OneDrive icon is not there in the notification area of your taskbar to check that the command worked
  5. In two minutes, check that the icon has re-appeared. If not, click Start and search for OneDrive on the search box then press Enter to restart the app

Note: Make sure to backup your data before resetting.

Were you able to fix OneDrive continually syncing issues on your PC using any of these solutions? Let us know in the comments section below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2018 and was updated and revamped in July 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.