How to fix the red X mark on folders in Windows 10

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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If you’re getting folders marked with a red X in Windows 10, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will show you how to solve this issue in a few easy steps.

Also, you’re not the only one with this problem. Many people encountered this issue.

Usually, you’ll see red circles marked with an X on the left side of some very important folders in File Explorer, such as the Documents folder. Also, restarting File Explorer and rebooting the computer didn’t help.

Fortunately, there is a simple answer to this issue: OneDrive is out of sync.

Steps to fix the red X mark on folders in Windows 10

1. Sync OneDrive with your Microsoft account

  1. Click the OneDrive button in the bottom-right corner.
  2. Select the More option.
  3. Click on Settings.onedrive settings
  4. Select the Account tab.
  5. Click the Unlink this PC option.onedrive unlink
  6. Click on the Unlink account button.
  7. Write your email account for your OneDrive account in the wizard.
  8. Click the Sign-in button.
  9. Type your account password.
  10. Click the Sign-in button and click Next.
  11. Continue with the on-screen directions or close the window.

Learn everything there is to know about changing OneDrive sync settings in Windows 10.

2. Check your OneDrive storage

If everything is ok with syncing your Microsoft account to OneDrive, it is possible that the culprit is the lack of space in the cloud.

This usually happens if users upload automatically all files and folders in OneDrive.

If OneDrive is almost full, you will see an exclamation mark on the OneDrive icon.

So, free up some space, update your OneDrive to get a greater storage space and select which folders do you want to be uploaded in the cloud.

  1. Go to the OneDrive menu, and select More and Settings like in the method above.
  2. Select the Account tab.
  3. Click on Choose folders.
  4. Uncheck the folders that you don’t want to upload on OneDrive.onedrive choose folders

Moreover, this solution might work for other similar cloud tools, such as Google Drive.


So, the red X mark could mean that OneDrive is out of sync. Still, you can solve this annoying issue by changing sync settings in the cloud tool with the methods described above.

Did you find our solutions helpful? Let us know in the comments section below!


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I agree with all these posters. I have 2 PhD degrees and cannot figure out how to use this “easy to use” program. If you already know all the answers, the answers make sense. If not, it’s a bunch of geek-speak. 1) I have red x’s. I followed all the suggestions. unlinked, relinked. . . still have them. 2) I am using 35 GB of 1000 GB — so there is plenty of space. 3) when I try to uncheck an overdive folder, it tells me that it will no longer display in file explorer. well, that’s not good. 4) finally, i have senstivie files on my desktop that i do not want on onedrive to upload — but onedrive uploads them anyway. I think unlinking is the best option and fa’ged’a’boutit. but when I do that, my 35 gb is still in the cloud, ready to be mined by anyone who can.

No, no not at all. Thank you for trying but it missed a ton of details. What if your were already synced for a long time? What about the msg that pops up that says “your online files will be removed” – that can’t be good. Even what the last commenter, David wrote about finding where OneDrive is. I wasted a good hour and a half looking for it. I know this sounds ridiculous to you, but you wouldn’t need to google the question beecause your not a computer novice. Try answering like you can remember what it feels like when you didn’t understand something. Then write the answer that way. Details, details and specific instructions and answers for if it doesn’t work the way you explained it. Thanks.

Your directions remedied much of the problem but I continue to have “3 Sync Issues” and all three are stating that I don’t have access permission to the item, and to ensure I have the right permissions to allow them to sync. What the heck does that mean and how am I supposed to do that? I’ve saved them so…….

Click the OneDrive button in the bottom-right corner. Bottom right corner of what? Its terrible to fall over the first fense.