Slow OneDrive upload in Windows 10? Here’s how you can fix it

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
4 Comments
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  • OneDrive allows you to easily sync your data and upload files in your cloud.
  • If you are trying to upload files in your OneDrive and the speed is very slow, keep reading.
  • You can visit our OneDrive Troubleshooting Hub for more related articles.
  • We recommend that you bookmark our Windows Fix section for more detailed guides.

OneDrive is the online storage solution from Microsoft and a direct competitor to Dropbox and Google Drive.

And for people to want to switch from using other similar services, it has to perform better or offer more functions.

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.

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.

In this article, I’ll list some tips that can help increase your OneDrive upload speed on Windows 10.

How can I fix slow OneDrive upload speeds in Windows 10?


1. Use a third-party software

While OneDrive is a good tool, there is still room for improvement and if you are looking for a faster alternative, then we think you should take a closer look at Sync.

The app offers 5 free GB to start with and syncs the files from Cloud with those from your PC.

With OneDrive’s end-to-end encryption feature, you will have all your files secured and your personal information fully protected and confidential.

If you don’t have a sync account, don’t worry. You can still share your files with other people and give access to multiple users and work on the same folders

Sync has apps for Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, and the web which makes it easy to access your files. All your folders will be backed up automatically, in one centralized location.

Sync

Sync

With Sync you can store and access all your files in one place. You get 5 GB free space and amazing upload speed!

2. 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.

If you need more alternatives, check out this article with the best tools to test your internet speed on Windows 10.


2. Use a wired connection when possible

How to speed up OneDrive uploads

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 is the only step needed in most cases.


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.


You have limited internet connection? Take a look at this list with the best bandwidth monitors.


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.


5. Prevent your computer from going to sleep

Most users prefer to synchronize their online storage accounts when they’re not using the machine.

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 go to sleep on battery power or when the charger is connected.

Fix slow OneDrive upload in Windows 10


Your PC keeps on going into the sleeping mode? Fix it with this guide.


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.


Can’t use copy-paste on your Windows 10 PC? Don’t worry, we’ve got the right solution for you.


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.


8. Force OneDrive to resync your files

  1. Open your OneDrive directory.
  2. Locate files that are currently syncing, and move them to a different location on your PC.
  3. 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.


Having OneDrive sync issues in Windows 10? Fix it fast with this guide.


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.


1o. Make sure that your upload speed isn’t limitedSlow OneDrive sync

  1. Right-click the OneDrive icon in your Taskbar.
  2. Choose Settings from the menu.
  3. Go to Network tab.
  4. Set Upload rate to Don’t limit.
  5. Click OK to save changes.
    OneDrive slow to update

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.

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.


11. Check for updates

  1. Press Windows Key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Now navigate to the Updates & Security section.
    How to speed up OneDrive uploads
  3. Click Check for updates button.
    Slow upload OneDrive for business

By default, Windows will automatically install updates in the background, but sometimes you might miss an important update.

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.

If you can’t open the Setting app, take a look at this article to solve the problem.


Having trouble updating your Windows? Check out this guide that will help you solve the issue.


12. Use the browser client or consider using a different cloud storage

Alternatively, you can use the browser to access the web-based OneDrive client and try uploading files there.

Just navigate to the OneDrive client and try uploading files there.

We would also highly recommend the best alternative browser you never heard of called UR Browser. Supreme speeds, safety, and mostly privacy protection are just only some of the traits UR Browser has.

If you still have problems with OneDrive and slow upload, you might want to consider switching to 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.

If you have any other suggestions or questions, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2016 and has been since revamped and updated in July 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

  • This guide is terrible.
    I use several cloud services, and OneDrive is by far the slowest of the bunch.
    Some examples of other cloud services I use, which provide faster transfer speeds (much faster).:
    – Box
    – Mega
    – Google Drive
    – Dropbox
    – pcloud
    – Mediafire

    I also use Diigo, which is not quite the same as the cloud services mentioned above, as it is more of a cloud backup service, but they too have some fine transfer speeds

    I additionally use a few minor cloud services as well, but those I have mentioned, are the ones I use the most (multcloud is an amazing service for keeping an overview of your cloud accounts, and findo is awesome for locating a specific file across your cloud accounts, email accounts, computers etc.).

    • Too bad Multcloud is terrible for transferring files across services. My transfer speeds on the free account are in the neighborhood of 800kbps. Others have noted that the premium service seems to kak out at about 2 Mbps. That’s terrible. What if you want to transfer your video file collection in excess of 200GB? You can’t use Multcloud then…

  • People don’t read your above tips, they just compare OneDrive to Google and others. Google is fast, Facebook is fast,Swarm and Instagram are fast, but OneDrive sucks, apparently already since several years and no change! I invested a lot of time in arranging photo albums and uploaded 200+ GB of pics and mp4’s. But if I want to show something on iPad to friends then we have to spend time more on waiting than on viewing. Playing a video snippet is a nightmare. It’s NOT the internet, wired or not, NOT the iPad, NOT no other applications, Google and Facebook remain fast. And Microsoft’s promoting website equally fast. Not so for OneDrive.

    Either OneDrive is a marketing stunt, or Microsoft doesn’t understand the cloud and is not applying the right technologies (intentional or not).

    I like the OneDrive a lot, but the slow downloads just pisses me and many others off.

    • Trying to upload my photo and documents/books collections – –
      System 2GB ram, 2GHz cpu 2 core –
      EDGE fails if given a list of files to process using the app, or via drag-n-drop
      YES – I have 10GB pagefile limit – but EDGE still seems to be failing due to memory needs
      Running under IE 11 – and that will take a 6000 file drag-n-drop (4GB ) – but it then seems that the 2 IE components that are used by the app spend so much time arguing over which should have real RAM that the uploads just stop happening – and any attempt to switch views (actions to folder view) just hang with running a long sllllllooooooooooooooowwwww script.
      So – I cannot see what has been uploaded – cannot believe the incomplete reports of no authority to add files – as it has usually added the files to the folder.
      Cannot assume the files will have been processed in the order the uploads were passed to the app – and also cannot expect the app to show files that have been uploaded unless I slowwllllly scroll through the pages – NO DRAGGING THE SCROLL BAR – or it ignores intervening files and just selects the ones that showed during the panel viewing
      Why not just use a FTP protocol ??
      The coding for most of the existing ones is fast and well proven
      AND – ftp would also allow viewing of the files that are actually in the Onedrive store
      So – We do not need new features – what we do need is the current features to actually work properly – as in a fit-for-purpose interface!