OneDrive upload speed: What is the limit & how to speed up?

Radu Tyrsina
by Radu Tyrsina
Founder & Editor-in-Chief
11 Comments
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Affiliate Disclosure

  • There are so many reasons why OneDrive upload speeds aren’t as high as expected. The lines below may help you solve this.
  • In this post, we’ll also tell you more about a different cloud storage solution with better speeds.
  • Take a look at more file-sharing tools for Windows 10 if you’d like more options to pick from.
  • Lastly, you may bookmark our OneDrive Guides Hub for quick guidance at any hour.
OneDrive upload speed how to improve it

OneDrive is the redesigned and rebranded SkyDrive, available for all Windows users who want to upload and sync their folders and files to the cloud.

But, as it turns out, it comes with problems for some.

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OneDrive is very slow on uploading/Sync. Please try to find whether something is wrong on your servers in China rather than telling us check the PC, reading tips on Maximizing uploading speed, etc. Any changes Microsoft made on the servers in China can give you the hint.

So, by looking at the above-pasted excerpt, we can see that the affected OneDrive user is from China, where multiple users have been saying that their uploading speeds are incredibly slow.

This comes just a few days after we have reported that OneDrive uploading wasn’t working at all for Windows 10 users.

How can I improve OneDrive upload speeds?

1. Maximize OneDrive transfer speed

improve OneDrive transfer speed

If you too are experiencing similar problems, here are some things you could do in order to maximize the transfer speed.

You should avoid running other apps on your device when you’re uploading or downloading a large amount of data and don’t use your Internet connection for other activities while you’re transferring a large amount of data.

Also, of course, if your Internet speed isn’t quite fast and you’re also uploading big files, these might be the biggest reasons.

And here’s another user weighing in with his input and confirming the issue:

Same here. I can’t say whether I like OneDrive or not, now. I recommended outlook and onedrive to all my relatives. Suggest winphones and surface. And now I have to explain why they can’t send mail to others with only several photos or can’t sync photos from PC to pad. Maybe we know the reason, maybe not. It’s your responsibility to turn things around.

The affected users claimed that the problem occurs to both upload and download speed.

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The thread has been joined by more and more affected users, and it seems that China indeed is the most affected by slow OneDrive uploading speeds.

And, as of now, an official fix hasn’t been issued, here’s the latest reply of a Microsoft representative:

We apologize for the delayed response. As per our Support Escalation engineers, we haven’t gotten any other reports with this slow upload issue in China. For further investigation, please provide us the log files of your OneDrive application that came from the computer(s) where the issue is originated. Kindly refer to the private message that I provided for more information. Make sure that you are signed in to the Microsoft Community (this site) to be able to view it. The conversation in the private message area is secure. Only you and our moderators can view it.

However, the problem doesn’t seem to be impacting only those who’re using OneDrive in China only.

There have been multiple threads appearing on various forums in Europe, the United States, and various other parts of the world.

2. Try out Sync.com

enjoy Sync.com

There are various cloud storage solutions to pick from these days and most of them will offer you the right amount of online storage.

In spite of that, upload speeds aren’t always as high as expected. Since you’re no stranger to this issue, maybe it’s time to forget all about OneDrive and try out a different cloud storage platform.

Our top recommendation is Sync. No matter the files you’re trying to back up, they are all safeguarded from intrusive access.

On top of that, you can effortlessly send files of any size to all friends and family members even if they don’t use Sync just yet.

Sync.com

Sync.com

If the OneDrive upload speed drives you mad, try out Sync.com! Sharing and accessing your files is easier than ever.
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UPDATE: Since the writing of this report, we compiled a list of the best solutions that you can use to fix slow OneDrive upload problems. More specifically, they include:

  • Using a wired Internet connection
  • Closing background apps and programs
  • Avoiding uploading files in batches
  • Checking for updates, and more.

Do check out our troubleshooting guide and let us know which solution worked for you by leaving your comment below.

Finally, let us share a few more tips for those interested in finding more about:

  • OneDrive upload speed limit – OneDrive, by default, never limits the speed that your content is downloaded or uploaded. If the slow speed in an issue, use the above tips.
  • OneDrive throttling upload speed – Verify that your OneDrive speeds are not throttled by entering into Settings > Network tab. While here, make sure Don’t Limit isn’t ticked.
  • Speed up OneDrive uploads – If closing background apps/programs and other basic troubleshooting tips made no difference, think of some great cloud storage alternatives.

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

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  • I may have found something that is causing the slow upload speeds. My company is trying out OneDrive for Business and we are noticing the terrible upload speeds to Microsoft. My workstation has Gigabit upload and download speeds to the internet using our business connection. It turns out that scale factor size we are advertising to MS is 8 from my workstation, but their OneDrive servers are responding with a default scale factor window size of 2. This means that we cannot put as many bytes on the wire before waiting to hear a TCP ACK back from the MS server. I am able to send around 2.7 million bytes on the wire to Google Drive before waiting back for a TCP ACK, and around 2 million bytes for Amazon Cloud Drive before waiting for an ACK, but with Microsoft, I can only put around 65,000 bytes on the wire before I have to stop and wait for an ACK from the Microsoft OneDrive servers. I found this by looking at packet captures to all three cloud service providers. MS says they are working on a solution to this issue, but I thought maybe this could be why others are complaining of slow speeds. Our workstations have to constantly wait to hear back from MS servers that they got that part of our data before we can send more. This would mean, it doesn’t matter how fast your connection is, you would still see an issue. Hopefully this information helps people.

  • I purchased a new Dell with Windows 8.1 last year, and had used OneDrive a few times with text and some photos. Yes it has been very slow, and then recently I also noticed that a number of the larger photos and graphics I’ve been working with and trying to upload to OneDrive often end up unsync’d, and I often see the warning that the file name may be too long. The file I’m really having trouble with right now is at 31/109 MB after just about 1 hour. I’m going back to putting files onto flash drives or cards and mailing them to my clients. This is SO UNPROFESSIONAL!!!! HOW MUCH DO THE MS EXECS MAKE???

  • Just got a new Win 8.1 laptop and 1TB of OneDrive space. Have been working with this for about a week now. Today – booted up laptop 2 hours ago – OneDrive still is “starting up”! Unbelievable…

  • In Australia OneDrive is beyond slow. I have OverDrive and Dropbox, I put the same file in both and Dropbox is 3 times faster. I have to wait minutes for a simple file to sync. I like the windows environment, like outlook, Onenote, Office. But this one issue is killing them. I Hope they fix this or I will not migrate over.

  • Its just one of many reasons I try to avoid OneDrive. Not only is it slow, but its features are far less well integrated than DropBox. I get 70 GB of space on DropBox so its more than enough for me but the 1 TB of space I get on OneDrive virtually gets unused because of many design reasons.

  • OneDrive is just slow as molases compared to Dropbox. From day one. They know it, that is the reason they put 1/4 price of Dropbox, and now They gave Office + up to 5GB for lower pricethan Dropbox give only 1TB and no Office. They know it’s limitations.

    OneDrive needs 45 seconds to process 24kb created Word file and after in sync it needs 24 seconds to process if one letter is changed in document and saved. Slower than glacier. Regardless of optical uplink, ssd, 6-core, tons of ram. While Dropbox already drinking beer, OneDrive still processing changes…