OneDrive is constantly syncing? Here are 13 solutions to fix it

By: Elsie Otachi
6 minute read
OneDrive continually syncing

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

1. Preliminary fixes

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. Restart OneDrive sync client app

  • 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 area
  • Click Exit
  • Click Close OneDrive
  • Click Start and search for OneDrive on the search box then open the app

— RELATED: How to fix OneDrive SharePoint sync issues in Windows 10

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

  • Click Start and select Settings
  • Select Accounts
  • Select Your email and accounts. If the account isn’t connected, click Sign in with a Microsoft account instead

sign in onedrive

  • 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.

4. Delete directories in the registry

  • Right click Start and select Run
  • Type regedit and press enter
  • 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
  • Delete %localappdata%\microsoft\office\spw and %localappdata%\microsoft\office\15.0\officefilecache

— RELATED: FIX: OneDrive on Android is not syncing

5. Select OneDrive to sync folders

Due to changes in OneDrive, many features like placeholders and automatic syncing are no longer there. Microsoft uses selective sync, so you have to manually select the files you want to sync before downloading and/or uploading anything.

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

Note: 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.

6. Verify your OneDrive configuration is complete

Sometimes you may have issues with OneDrive continually syncing due to configuration. To complete the OneDrive setup, do the following:

  • Click Start and select File Explorer
  • Click OneDrive folder from the left pane

select onedrive files

  • Select the files/folders you want to sync
  • Keep the file path short as this can cause syncing issues (not more than 255 characters).

— RELATED: How to fix OneDrive access issues on Windows

7. Check your computer’s storage

Your computer needs to have the same amount of storage as that which you’re using on OneDrive, so if it isn’t enough, then OneDrive syncing will have issues. Create more room on your hard drive by moving or deleting some files.

  • Click Start and search for OneDrive in the search box to open the app
  • Select the files you want to sync and choose the location to sync them to
  • Open File Explorer and click This PC

onedrive continually syncing

  • Right click the hard drive you want to sync files
  • Select Properties

onedrive continually syncing

  • Select Disk Cleanup and click Clean up system files
  • Select the files you want to remove and click OK
  • Click Delete Files

— RELATED: Fix: OneDrive is processing changes in Windows 10

8. 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:

  • Right click OneDrive icon on the notification area of your taskbar
  • Select Settings

onedrive continually syncing

  • Click Unlink OneDrive and follow the instructions to select files you want to sync and the desired location to sync them to

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

  • Click Start and select Settings

onedrive continually syncing

  • Click Account.

onedrive continually syncing

  • Under User name and User ID, click on Disconnect and follow the on-line instructions.
  • Click Start and select Settings
  • Click Account.
  • Click on Connect to Microsoft Account and follow the online instructions

10. Move the OneDrive folder

  • Create a new folder in your desired location and call it OneDrive
  • Right click on the OneDrive icon
  • Select Settings
  • Click Account

onedrive continually syncing

  • Select Unlink this PC

onedrive continually syncing

  • 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 means it will inherit folder permissions of the parent folder or drive if placed at the root directory. Update the permissions to the new OneDrive folder otherwise it will be viewable by anyone using the PC.

— RELATED: Fix ‘Your OneDrive folder can’t be created in the location you selected’

11. Change the location for syncing SharePoint libraries

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

12. Other solutions from OneDrive users:

  • 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:

  • Click Start and type CMD in the search box
  • Right click Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator

onedrive continually syncing

  • Type %localappdata%\Microsoft\OneDrive\onedrive.exe /resetand press Enter
  • Ensure OneDrive icon is not there in the notification area of your taskbar to check that the command worked
  • 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

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

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