One of the fundamental features of a cloud storage application is synchronization. All changes to your local files are synced to the cloud in real time. The process is in progress, but only when a change is detected. OneDrive users have faced an issue where the app keeps syncing in the background. Even if there is no change or nothing new to sync.
It makes you wonder what OneDrive is syncing. Is it malware? Is malicious code stealing your data? Scary thoughts but more often it is a mistake or a conflict that is responsible. Here are some troubleshooting solutions to fix the OneDrive won’t stop syncing error on Windows 10.
1. Common fixes
A simple restart will stop all processes running in the background, including OneDrive, and restart them. Maybe the OneDrive sync process is stuck? Another way is to right-click the OneDrive icon in the taskbar and select Close OneDrive.
You can then relaunch it from the Start menu by searching for it, just like any other app.
Another common solution is to update the OneDrive app and then update the Windows operating system itself. In fact, recent Windows updates have interrupted functionality for many users, you might want to start there.
You can check for app updates available in the Microsoft Store or download the latest version from the Microsoft site.
Press Windows key + I keyboard shortcut to open Settings and under Update & Security you can find and update Windows.
Hope you have enough storage space on your HDD / SSD to download and sync files from the cloud. Also check how much storage you have in your OneDrive account. Free users get 5 GB. You can check this under OneDrive Settings> Account.
Finally, visit the Microsoft service page to check if OneDrive is up and running or is having issues. If not, there is nothing you can do about it.
If a particular file or folder gets stuck during syncing, copy-paste the file / folder to another folder outside of OneDrive, and then check. If the sync process stops, copy and paste it again to see if it works / syncs correctly.
2. OneDrive limitations
There are some limitations on the type of files you can sync with OneDrive. Names with certain special characters are not allowed, proxies and mapped drive cannot be synchronized, and the file name cannot exceed 255 characters.
3. Bandwidth limit in OneDrive
The OneDrive app comes with a network limit option which can limit upload / download speed, thus affecting sync speed. Open the OneDrive settings again and under Network, select Don’t limit both upload and download.
You can choose a specific value depending on your ISP plan.
4. Microsoft account
OneDrive sync will only work when you’re signed in with a Microsoft account. Local account is not supported. Open Windows settings and under Accounts check if you can attend Manage my Microsoft account.
If that says a local account instead, you need to click the “ Sign in with a Microsoft account instead ” button.
5. Suspend synchronization
Step 1: Right-click the OneDrive icon in the taskbar and select Pause Sync.
2nd step: Repeat the same steps but this time select Resume Sync.
6. Check your OneDrive account on Windows
You can check your OneDrive account email ID under OneDrive Settings. Is it the same as the one under Windows Settings> Accounts> Email & Accounts?
Press Windows key + I to open Windows settings and check. Otherwise, click Add Account and follow the onscreen instructions to add the OneDrive account.
7. Select the folders to synchronize
You may have selected a particularly large folder that is taking a long time to sync in the background. You can choose which folders to sync with OneDrive.
Step 1: Right click on the OneDrive icon and select Settings.
2nd step: Select Choose Folders under the Account tab in the pop-up window that follows.
Step 3: You can select / deselect the folders you sync or not here. Each folder has the size or space it consumes noted next to it. Did you notice something out of place or a particularly large folder sync?
8. Windows troubleshooting
You can troubleshoot Windows applications using the built-in troubleshooter. It will work best if you’ve installed OneDrive from the Microsoft Store.
Step 1: Press Windows Key + I to open settings and search for and open “Find and fix problems with Windows Store apps.” Note that the store is now officially called Microsoft Store.
2nd step: Select Apply repairs automatically from the pop-up window that follows and click Next. Then follow the on-screen instructions to resolve any issues found by the troubleshooter.
9. Unlink OneDrive
Reassociating the OneDrive account can help fix common issues like OneDrive continuously syncing in the background error.
Step 1: Right click on the OneDrive icon and select Settings again.
2nd step: Click on Unlink this PC under the Account tab and confirm your decision in the pop-up window that follows.
OneDrive will immediately stop syncing. Restart your computer (not necessary but recommended) and relaunch OneDrive. Now you’ll set up OneDrive from scratch, which means entering your Microsoft account ID and password and choosing which folders you want to sync and where you want them to sync. The whole process shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.
10. Registry Editor
Step 1: Find and open Registry Editor from the Start menu.
2nd step: Make a backup of these two keys in a safe place, then delete them.
No need to worry if the path is not visible. Don’t enter the wrong folder like 16.0 instead of 15.
11. Move the location of the OneDrive folder
Sometimes moving the location of the OneDrive folder to a different drive or even a different folder can also help resolve sync issues. This also includes a OneDrive sync error.
Follow the steps mentioned in point 7 above to unpair OneDrive. Copy and paste the contents of the OneDrive folder to the new location, and then link OneDrive again. Choose the new folder location during the setup process. Since all the data is already in the new location, the synchronization process will only take a few minutes.
12. Reset and reinstall OneDrive
Step 1: Press Windows key + I to open Settings> Applications and find OneDrive.
2nd step: You can uninstall the app here. Some users will also see the Advanced Options button. Click on it to find settings like Reset, Cancel, etc. Try the reset option before uninstalling OneDrive.
Always make a backup before uninstalling or resetting an app.
One life, one reader
Microsoft OneDrive is a very good alternative to Google Drive. In fact, the personal safe feature is unique to OneDrive at the moment and is a must. Hope other cloud storage providers will follow soon. That said, OneDrive is not without its issues, as it is with other cloud storage apps.
Want to save photos to the cloud? Find out which app is better between OneDrive and Google Photos for Work and why in the link below.
Last updated Sep 30, 2020
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