Fix slow OneDrive upload in Windows 10
OneDrive is the online storage solution from Microsoft. It is a direct competitor to Dropbox and Google Drive so it has to perform better or offer more functions in order for people to want to switch from using other similar services.
Instead, the OneDrive client for Windows actually has a lot of problems, especially with upload speeds becoming so slow that files stop syncing. This is a problem that started happening a couple of years ago and a lot of users are still facing it.
In this article, I’ll list some tips that can help increase your OneDrive upload speed under Windows 10. These tips may also apply to other versions of Windows like 7, 8 or and 8.1.
Slow OneDrive upload, how to fix it?
OneDrive is a great feature, but sometimes issues with it can occur. Many users reported upload speed issues, and speaking of issues, these are some of the problems that users reported:
- How to speed up OneDrive uploads – If your OneDrive upload is slow, you might want to try disabling any background applications that you have running. Once you disable them, check if the problem is resolved.
- Slow upload OneDrive for business – This issue can occur in Business version of OneDrive as well. If you encounter this problem, be sure to try any of our solutions.
- Slow OneDrive sync – If your OneDrive is slow to sync, you might be able to fix the problem by uploading your files in batches. Simply try to upload several files at the time and check if that works.
- OneDrive slow to update – Sometimes you can fix this problem simply by forcing the OneDrive to upload your files. Simply remove the files from OneDrive and add them back again to fix the problem.
Solution 1 – Check your Internet speed
Sometimes the problem may not be with the service you’re using but with your internet connection. To check if your connection is slow or if your Internet Service Provider is throttling it you can use a service like www.speedtest.net.
Solution 2 – Use a wired connection when possible
A wireless connection is the most comfortable way to go when you want to access the internet or network services but the speed can drop significantly when it is being used by multiple devices. It is also prone to interference from other wireless computer networks that use the same channels to operate on or from other devices running on the same frequency, like those using Bluetooth.
If speed is what you’re looking for then a wired connection is your best alternative. It is also simple to set up, connecting a cable directly from the router to your machine being the only step needed in most cases.
Solution 3 – Avoid using other applications
I know this step sounds somewhat ridiculous considering that modern computers are actually designed for multitasking but it is something that Microsoft recommends to do.
Other applications, even when you’re not using them online, can use your bandwidth to look for updates or to send diagnostic logs to their developers. Big applications or those that aren’t well optimized can also use a lot of your machine’s processing power that is needed to transfer large files at big speeds over network connections.
This step is mostly for uploading or downloading large files that need higher speeds to get it done in a reasonable amount of time.
Solution 4 – Avoid using your internet connection
This step is kind of obvious but a lot of users ignore it in a lot of situations. Your internet connection is split between the applications that use it and can lead to slow speeds for all of them when used at the same time.
This includes audio and video streaming services like YouTube and Spotify. Torrent applications can also consume your internet speed even when you’re not downloading anything as they’re still uploading your already downloaded torrent files.
Solution 5 – Prevent your computer from going to sleep
Most users prefer to synchronize their online storage accounts when they’re not using the machine, but modern operating systems are set by default to go to sleep when they’re not used for a certain amount of time to avoid useless power usage. This can also stop your synchronization process.
To check if your Windows 10 machine is set to automatically go to sleep open Settings from the Start menu. Head over to System and select Power & sleep from the left side menu. In the right pane, under Sleep, you have options to set an amount of time before your computers goes to sleep on battery power or when the charger is connected.
Solution 6 – Copy your files to a different PC
According to users, you might be able to fix slow OneDrive upload simply by moving your OneDrive files to a different PC. It’s worth mentioning that this is just a crude workaround, but it might help you with this problem.
Just copy your OneDrive files to a different PC, set up OneDrive and the PC will update your metadata. This process will take a lot less than the upload on your main PC, and the files should be synced once the metadata is updated.
Keep in mind that you need to keep the same folder structure in order for this solution to work. This is just a workaround, but several users reported that it works, so feel free to try it out.
Solution 7 – Sync files in batches
According to users, sometimes you might experience slow OneDrive upload speeds because you’re trying to upload all your files. This can be a problem and it can drastically reduce your upload speed.
However, users found a simple workaround that can help you out. According to them, in order to speed up the upload process, it’s advised to sync about 1000 files at a time. If you don’t have that many files, you can even sync 100 or fewer files at a time and check if that helps.
To do that, simply drag and drop the desired files to the OneDrive directory on your PC and they should be uploaded automatically. Alternatively, you can also try uploading these files using your web browser.
We know that this isn’t the best solution, but it’s a decent workaround, and several users reported that this method worked for them, so we advise you to try it out.
Solution 8 – Force OneDrive to resync your files
If you’re having problems with slow OneDrive upload, you might be able to fix the problem simply by forcing OneDrive to resync your files. This is rather simple and you can do it by following these steps:
- Open your OneDrive directory.
- Locate files that are currently syncing, and move them to a different location on your PC.
- Now wait for a few moments and move them back to the OneDrive directory.
After doing that, the files should start syncing again and the problem with upload speed will be resolved.
Solution 9 – Remove small files
According to users, OneDrive syncs larger files without issues, but the problem with slow upload occurs with smaller files that are about 50Kb in size. As a workaround, users are suggesting to remove those files from OneDrive and check if that solves the problem.
According to them, this improved their upload speed, so you might want to try that. This is just a crude workaround, and if you need to upload your files faster, you might want to try it. If you want to back up those smaller files, you’ll just have to deal with the upload speed until Microsoft addresses this issue.
Solution 10 – Make sure that your upload speed isn’t limited
If you’re experiencing slow OneDrive upload on Windows 10, the problem might be your OneDrive settings. OneDrive has a useful feature that allows you to limit both download and upload speed. Thanks to this feature, you’ll ensure that OneDrive doesn’t interfere with other applications that require a network connection.
However, this can also lead to slow upload speeds on your PC, and in order to fix that problem, you need to change these settings by doing the following:
- Right click the OneDrive icon in your Taskbar and choose Settings from the menu.
- When the Properties window opens, go to Network tab and set Upload rate to Don’t limit. Now click OK to save changes.
After removing the upload limit, the problem with upload speed should be resolved. If upload limit was already disabled, you might want to try a different solution.
Solution 11 – Check for updates
OneDrive is a core component of Windows 10, and if you’re having issues with upload speeds, you might be able to solve them simply by updating your Windows 10 PC. It’s rather likely that Microsoft is aware of this issue, and if you want to fix it, it’s advised to download the latest updates.
By default, Windows will automatically install updates in the background, but sometimes you might miss an important update. However, you can always check for updates manually by doing the following:
- Press Windows Key + I to open the Settings app.
- Now navigate to Updates & Security section.
- Click Check for updates button.
Windows will now check for available updates. If any updates are available, they will be downloaded automatically in the background. Once the updates are downloaded, Windows will install them as soon as you restart your PC.
Once your PC is up to date, check if the problem still persists.
Solution 13 – Consider using a different cloud storage
If you still have problems with OneDrive and slow upload, you might want to consider switching to a different cloud storage. There are many great cloud storage services available such as Dropbox and Google Drive, and they both offer the same features as OneDrive.
OneDrive has one major advantage, and that’s its integration with Windows 10, but if you keep having problems with upload speed, you might want to consider switching to a different cloud storage service.
Problems with OneDrive can be annoying, but we hope that you managed to fix the slow upload issue by using one of our solutions.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2016 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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