How to fix the red X mark on folders in Windows 10/11

by Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about PCs ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as... read more
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red X mark on folders in Windows

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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.

How to remove red X on desktop icons on Windows 10?

This issue has been reported on all versions of Windows, and many reported red x on folders in Windows 11. When this problem occurs, it’s possible that you have corrupted desktop icons on your PC.

Other components are affected by this issue, and few users reported red x on the volume icon, but this is most likely a hardware or a driver issue.

Few users reported a variation of this problem in the form of blank desktop icons on Windows, but this issue can be easily resolved by following the instructions from this guide.

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.

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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