If you do not want to utilize OneDrive for Windows 11, you can temporarily or permanently deactivate it. You can also end OneDrive at Windows start-up, or completely remove it completely.
OneDrive is a cloud-based storage service developed and maintained by Microsoft. It’s a built-in file hosting and synchronization service you can avail when setting the Windows 11 operating system. It allows you to keep your documents, photos as well as other files stored in OneDrive, synchronized and accessible across every device that are connected to the OneDrive account.
However, the issue is that it could pop on occasion and ask you to back up your data, or slow down your internet connection and PC. Additionally, occasionally OneDrive transfers your files to the cloud , and leaves you with images (not the actual file) or shortcuts to your local drive. You will not be able to access them unless online.
Although OneDrive is an excellent cloud storage service, it is possible that you might consider disabling it if you have other online storage services like Google, Dropbox, Mega, Amazon Drive, or something similar. However, Windows offers a variety of alternatives to temporarily disable OneDrive or permanently deactivate it and stop OneDrive from running at start-up, or completely eliminate it completely. This guide will show you how to accomplish all of those.
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Pause OneDrive Sync in Windows 11 (Temporarily)
Sometimes, you may not need to completely disable OneDrive however, you want to stop the syncing process for a short duration. OneDrive allows you to stop the background sync procedure (including the upload as well as download) for a period of 2, 8 or 24 hours. The steps you need to follow accomplish this:
To pause the OneDrive, click the taskbar corner overflow ^ icon (also called System tray) on the right side of the taskbar and click on the ‘OneDrive’ icon (cloud icon) in the Notification/Overflow area.
If you are unable to find the OneDrive icon in the overflow section then click on the Windows (Start) icon and type in “OneDrive”. After that, select ‘OneDrive to display the results of your search.
This will open up your OneDrive folder. Close the folder and go towards the corner of the taskbar that is an overflow area. You will see the OneDrive icon. Click on it.
Then, click on Help and Settings tab in the OneDrive window.
After that, select the menu ‘Pause syncing’ and select a time period that you wish to turn off the sync.
This stops the synching process at the time selected and will automatically start the process once the time has expired.
Pause OneDrive Sync For Specific/All Folders in Windows 11
Instead of removing sync from all folders and files that are stored on your computer, you can stop syncing only for specific folders.
Then, click on the OneDrive icon located in the overflow (hidden) icon menu in order to launch OneDrive. Then, click on the ‘Help and Settings’ button, and then “Settings” from the menu that opens.
Within the OneDrive settings window, click on the tab ‘Account’ and then click the button ‘Choose Folders’.
This will display the listing of all the folders that OneDrive has been backup (syncing) all the way to cloud.
Then, uncheck the folders you don’t want to sync , and then select ‘OK’. It is possible to remove all folders from the list to stop the sync of every folder.
But, you can’t uncheck certain default Windows folders, such as the desktop folder, which is located in Documents, and the Camera Roll’ and the ‘Screenshots the folder for Pictures.
Disabling OneDrive in Windows 11
If you’d like to end your use of OneDrive service, there is no need to remove it completely. It is possible to remove the service and then leave the program on your computer and continue to use it in the event that you require it in the future.
It is possible to disable OneDrive by unliking your PC (signing out) from OneDrive and stopping OneDrive at Windows start-up, or completely disabling it using the Group Policy Editor or Registry Editor. When you disable OneDrive it will shut down all of its services, including background services and the sync feature.
1. Stop OneDrive from Automatically Beginning
As a default feature, OneDrive automatically starts up each time you power on your computer and sign into Windows 11. You can disable OneDrive from starting automatically at Windows 11 startup through OneDrive settings, Startup Apps, or Task Manager.
Stop OneDrive from starting by with OneDrive App Settings
Then, click on the icon ‘OneDrive’ from the hidden icons in the menu called Overflow.
Click on the ‘Help and Settings’ option, and then choose ‘Settings’ from the menu that opens.
Within the Microsoft OneDrive window, switch to the tab ‘Settings and uncheck the ‘Start OneDrive automatically whenever I log into Windows’ option. Then, click ‘OK’.
Remove OneDrive from Startup By using Windows Settings
You can stop OneDrive app from starting automatically at Windows 11 startup by disabling the application in the listing of start-up apps within settings in Windows 11 settings.
To do this, right-click the Start button and choose “Settings” or hit the shortcut Windows+I.
Then, click “Apps” in the left-hand panel, and then select the ‘Startup’ setting on the right side.
Turn off the toggle next Microsoft OneDrive on the list of start-up applications.
Remove OneDrive from Startup by using Task Manager
Another method to disable OneDrive from the start-up apps is to use the Task Manager.
It is possible to launch this task management tool by typing in and selecting the word ‘Task Manger in the Windows search results, or pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc or by right-clicking on the Start menu and choosing Task Manager’.
Click the tab ‘Startup’ in the Task Manager window. In the listing of start-up applications, right-click Microsoft OneDrive and choose ‘Disable’ or the Microsoft OneDrive app and then click the ‘Disable’ icon in the bottom-right edge of the screen to prevent it from running during Windows start-up.
The next time you boot your PC it will be able to access the OneDrive will not be running with it. Then it will be unable to start. OneDrive will only be running when you manually start it.
Remove OneDrive’s link from your Windows 11 PC
Disconnecting the OneDrive account on your computer will prevent your computer from updating and synchronizing data to the cloud. The process of unlinking OneDrive will simply remove you from the OneDrive Account on your computer and then leave the app behind. In doing this you won’t lose any data or files that have already been synced. You will be able to access your synced and updated files by logging back to OneDrive.com or the OneDrive application as well as OneDrive.com. Here’s how to unlink OneDrive to Windows 11:
Then, click on the “Show hidden icons” icon in the corner of the taskbar and then tap or click on the ‘OneDrive’ icon.
Click on the ‘Help and Settings’ option, and then choose ‘Settings’ from the menu that opens.
Within the Microsoft OneDrive window, go to the tab ‘Account and then click the Unlink this PC Link’ as shown below.
Then, click the ‘Unlink Account’ button on the confirmation dialog box that appears.
This will take the user out of their OneDrive accounts on your computer and will stop the syncing of your files to the cloud. When you have unlinked your computer however, you’ll still be able to see the OneDrive icon on the taskbar. When you hover over it the icon will say not signed in..
OneDrive will continue to start at Windows start-up and will it will run in the background, but it won’t transfer your files to OneDrive and perform additional OneDrive features until after you log into OneDrive once more.
Turn off OneDrive for Windows 11 through Group Policy Editor
You can also deactivate OneDrive by using Group Policy Editor (GPE) which lets users alter numerous crucial settings on their computer. However, Group Policy Editor is only accessible in the Professional, Workstation, and Enterprise versions that are part of Windows 11 operating systems. To deactivate OneDrive by using GPE Follow these instructions:
Go to the Start menu, and enter gpedit or ‘Group policy Editor’. Launch the Edit Policy Editor control panel by clicking the result.
Within the Editor for Group Policies, go to the next location using the navigation bar to the left.
Configuration of the computer Administration Templates, Windows Components and OneDrive
After that, double-click “Prevent the use of OneDrive to store files in the left pane or click on the setting and choose Edit.
Select “Enabled” from the top left menu, then click “Apply” and click select ‘OK’.
This will turn off the OneDrive program, including its background and syncing process.
Disable OneDrive on Windows 11 via Registry Editor
Another method to disable OneDrive On Windows 11 is through the registry editor. Here’s, how:
Then, you need to start the first the Registry Editor using the search term “Registry editor’ or’regedit in your Windows search. Alternately, start the Run command box using Windows+R key shortcuts, enter regedit and hit Enter.
Once the Registry Editor is launched you can go to the following address or copy-paste the location below into the address bar, and press Enter:
Then, look for the DWORD named ‘DisableFileSyncNGSC’ in the right pane and then, double-click on it and change its value to ‘1’.
If you can’t find the ‘DisableFileSyncNGSC’ DWORD or ‘OneDrive’ folder in the above-specified location, then you need to create a new one and change the Value data. This is how to do it:
Right-click the Windows folder, choose “New” and then select Key.
Then, change the name of the folder (Key) to “OneDrive”.
Then, right-click on the OneDrive key and then hover over the word the word ‘New’ and choose the ‘DWORD (32-bit) value’.
This will create a new DWORD value called ‘NewValue #1’. Rename that value to ‘DisableFileSyncNGSC’.
After that, double-click on the newly created DWORD ‘DisableFileSyncNGSC’ and change the value to 1 in the ‘Value Data’ field. Then, click ‘OK’.
After you’ve done this, reboot your system to take effect of the modifications. If you want to re-enable the OneDrive in case your change your mind, then just change the value of ‘DisableFileSyncNGSC’ to 0.
Remove OneDrive on Windows 11
If you decide that you do not want the OneDrive application anymore and wish to remove it completely on the system of Windows 11, there are two options to do it. When you do remove OneDrive it will only be available to the user currently using it.
Remove OneDrive in Windows Settings
To remove permanently OneDrive from your system using the settings Follow these steps:
To begin, you must start by opening Windows 11 settings by pressing Windows+I keyboard shortcuts. Go to “Apps” from the menu bar on the left and then choose the ‘Apps and Features’ option in the right-hand pane.
The next page will scroll down to the Microsoft OneDrive application and then tap on the vertical three dots that are next to it. After that, tap or click on the option to uninstall.
In the confirmation window Click ‘Uninstall’ a second time to remove the program.
This will completely eliminate the OneDrive application from your computer.
Uninstall OneDrive by using Command Prompt
Another method to uninstall OneDrive on Windows 11 is by executing the following commands using Command Prompt.
However, before you can do that it is important to determine which version you’re using, 32 – or 64 bit version of Windows 11 operating system. If you’re not sure what version you’re running, then follow these steps to determine which version you’re running.
To begin, go to Windows ‘ Settings, and then select the tab ‘System’ on the left. Scroll down until you find the ‘About’ tab, which is the bottom of the section ‘System.
In the page titled About, you will look at the option of the System type’, as illustrated below.
Once you know which version you have of Windows Go into the menu called Start, type in search for ‘CMD’ or Command Prompt’, and then click the option to run as administrator.
On the Command Prompt, type in the two commands below at a time then press Enter.
for 64-bit computers:
taskkill /f im OneDrive.exe
for 32 bit systems:
taskkill /f im OneDrive.exe
The first command shuts down OneDrive. The first command stops OneDrive while the subsequent command removes it.
In the User Account Control prompt box, select “Yes”.
This will permanently delete OneDrive completely from the Windows 11 system.
If you decide to decide to change your mind and would like to get OneDrive to return You can look up the “OneDrive” application in the Microsoft Store and install it from there.