5 Best Ways to Fix Can't Open Files in OneDrive Error in Windows

5 Best Ways to Fix Can't Open Files in OneDrive Error in Windows

Fixed error of not opening files in a drive

A lot will depend on where you use the OneDrive app, as it supports all popular desktop and mobile platforms. You must first troubleshoot your Internet connectivity to make sure the network is in order. Let’s start.

1. Files on demand

OneDrive’s Files On Demand feature saves storage space on your device, whether it’s desktop or mobile. The files will appear on your computer or mobile, but will not download until you open them. The problem with this approach is that it requires an active internet connection to work which you may or may not have when you need to open the file. The solution is to make important files / folders available offline at any time.

How do you tell the difference? The file is “locally available” on your hard drive if you show a green check mark on the white background next to it and not if you show a cloud icon next to it.

Fixed error 2 of not opening files in a drive

Right click on the file you want to make available offline or download it and select the “Always keep on this device” option. Now you will see the green circle with a white check mark on the file.

Fixed error 3 of not being able to open files in a drive

You can delete the file from your hard drive by selecting the “Free up space” option from the context menu.

Fixed error unable to open files in drive 4

The time taken to download the file will depend on your internet connection and the size of the file itself.

2. Direction of storage

This is a Windows feature. However, the objective remains the same. Microsoft wants to save storage space on your computer by using a feature called Windows Storage Sense. This is where things get a little confusing for some people. Here’s how Microsoft says it:

Fixed error unable to open files in drive 5

So there are two check marks. One is green and the other is white. You want the blank because Storage Sense will automatically delete files with the green check mark after a while to save space. Again, right click on the file and select the “Always keep on this device” option to save it offline.

Confused? Turn off Storage Sense and manage the space yourself. You can do this under Settings> System> Storage.

Fixed error 6 of not opening files in a drive

Storage Sense runs periodically, and when your computer is low on storage space. Most importantly, OneDrive will set an online view only for all files that you haven’t accessed in the last 30 days will be set to online only until you have enough space.

3. Clear cache and data

Windows and Android platform users should be familiar with any cache issues and old data files can result. The same goes for Chrome / Chromium or other browsers. We have already covered how to clear cache and data for Chrome, Windows and Android at GT. Usually we don’t talk about clearing cache files on iOS because there is no way to do it, and Apple devices are efficient with their app management system. However, OneDrive decided to offer a clear cache inside the app, which is pretty cool.

Fixed error 7 of not being able to open files in a drive

It won’t take more than a few moments, but will sign you out of your OneDrive account. Make sure you have the login information before you continue.

4. Authorization revoked

Do you have access to the file? The creator may have revoked access to the file, but the file still shows up in your OneDrive folders, causing this issue. Send a message to the owner to confirm it. See the point above to clear the cache and other data responsible for showing the revoked file in your folder.

5. Reset OneDrive on Windows

This will not delete any files saved or shared in your OneDrive. It will fix some common OneDrive errors including the one where you can’t open files saved in it.

Step 1: Press Windows key + R to open the Run command and type the command below.

%localappdata%MicrosoftOneDriveonedrive.exe /reset

Fix files that cannot open in an Error 1 drive

This will take a few moments, but note that you will need to sign back into your OneDrive account after the reset. The OneDrive cloud icon will temporarily disappear from the system tray, but will reappear after the command is executed.

You can manually run OneDrive from the Start menu if the icon does not reappear. A simple restart should fix this problem.

Also on Guiding Tech

A life, a love, a training

Microsoft really wants Windows users to go for OneDrive, which is why it’s so difficult, if not impossible, to uninstall the app. Longtime Office users will feel right at home, and I really like the Personal Vault feature.

Some of the most important things I care about are stored on both OneDrive and Google Drive. Likewise, you too can split or back up your files to multiple cloud storage services.


OneDrive still bothering you? Think it’s a timing issue? Click on the link below to find all the ways to fix all OneDrive sync errors.

Last updated on Dec 29, 2020

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