By Nicky / Last Updated September 11, 2020


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User case: OneDrive is not syncing!

“I found my OneDrive was not syncing in Windows PC for unknown reasons! This morning, I launched the OneDrive desktop app and I tried to sync a zip file which is about 3GB to OneDrive on my Windows 10 PC. However, it doesn't upload the selected zip file. How do I fix it and sync all the files? Thanking you in advance for your assistance.”

Why OneDrive is not syncing?

Although Microsoft has done a remarkable job with OneDrive, there are times when it doesn’t work properly. For example, when you use OneDrive to sync files on your PC as usual, you may find you somehow cannot upload any file or folder. Actually, OneDrive not syncing issue is a common problem and there would be plenty of reasons if OneDrive is not syncing:

  • The app version that you are running is too old.

  • Insufficient cloud disk storage.

  • The uploaded data is too large and exceeds the maximum file size.

  • A bad update of your OS.

  • An unreliable connection.

  • A denial of permission.

How to fix “OneDrive not syncing” problem?

No matter what kind of sync problem you are facing with OneDrive, we can help you fix OneDrive sync problems with the following methods. Keep reading, you can learn various methods to fix OneDrive sync problems and find a OneDrive alternative - CBackupper.

Method 1. Restart OneDrive

You can simply exit the OneDrive desktop app from your system and sync it again in order to resolve an issue. You can exit Google drive from its system tray icon on the bottom right taskbar (If you can’t find its shortcut, then click on the option of “Show Hidden Icons”), then go to programs/applications in Start menu and open google drive again.

Restart Onedrive

Method 2. Check the file

  • Check the file size

Files larger than 10GB in size cannot be synced with OneDrive. So, if you get stuck in the sync process, you need to check the file size. If the size is more than 10GB and syncing the file is necessary, you can create a ZIP folder. To create a ZIP folder, right-click the file or group of files (after selecting them together) and select send to > compressed (zipped) folder.

Zip Files

  • Check if the file path is too long

The maximum allowed character limit for the file path is 400 characters. If it exceeds, it might create OneDrive not syncing file issue. In such a case, try to omit unnecessary sub-folders and try to bring the target locations as close as possible to the root directory. Simply visit your folders stored on the OneDrive directory and rename them to maintain a shorter file path.

  • Check if a duplicate file or folder with the same name is present there

If you use multiple PC’s to sync with the same cloud drive, and more than one is trying to share a path with the same address as the location, it will create a conflict. The pathname could be changed on any one device to counter the problem.

Method 3. Check storage space

  • Check cloud storage space

If the cloud storage is short of space, the files also won’t sync. Usually, to fix this problem, if you're using the free version of OneDrive, you can upgrade to the 1TB option getting an Office 365 subscription. Or you can delete files that you don't need to make room to resolve the syncing problem.

Check Cloud Storage

  • Check local storage space

Similarly, you should check the space of your local hard drive as well. Find the hard drive you want to check and right-click it and choose the option of “Properties”. Visit the “General” tab and click on “Disk cleanup” to manage your storage.

Disk Cleanup

Method 5. Check your Windows Firewall and antivirus software

  • Check Windows Firewall

In general, if you are running Windows system, Windows Firewall may block OneDrive from working properly. If Windows Firewall blocked OneDrive, you can add this application to the exception list to allow access with the following steps:

1. Go to Start > Settings > Update & Security > Windows Defender > Open Windows Defender Security Center > Firewall & network protection > Allow an app through firewall.

Allow App

2. In the pop-up dialog, click Change settings, scroll down the list of apps, find OneDrive and check the boxes of Private and Public. Then, click OK to save the change.

  • Check antivirus software

Your antivirus program like Windows Defender, Norton, AVG, etc. may regard the OneDrive application as a dangerous software and prevent it from running. So, you need to configure it to make sure it works with OneDrive.

Method 6. Check for Windows Updates

It has been observed by plenty of users that after updating their Windows, they are able to resolve the OneDrive sync issue. Check if the Windows is up to date. If not, update it. To do so, search for “check for updates” on the Windows search bar and open Windows Update. It will show the status whether updated or not.

Update Windows

Method 7. Unlink the PC from OneDrive and sync again

Unlinking OneDrive from your PC and later choose to selectively sync your folders manually is also a feasible way to fix sync issues. This can be done by visiting the Settings option on OneDrive and selecting the “Accounts” tab. From here, choose the option of “Unlink OneDrive” or “Unlink this PC” and apply changes.

Unlink OneDrive

Method 8. Connect the OneDrive account to Windows

Most of the time, Windows establishes an automatic connection between the OneDrive directory and your account. Nevertheless, if there is a problem in the connection, then you might experience OneDrive not syncing issue. To resolve this, you can follow the steps below:

1. Go to Start and click the gear-like symbol that would open the “Settings” page.

2. Click on “Accounts” and then select the option “Email and App accounts”.

3. You would find an option to “Add an account”. Keep clicking next through the prompts and add the account accordingly.

Connect OneDrive Account

Method 9. Complete setting up of OneDrive

Since OneDrive has limited storage, you can’t sync everything to it. Additionally, if you have just upgraded to Windows 10, then you need to manually select the folders you wish to sync with OneDrive to resolve OneDrive sync issues.

1. Right-click the OneDrive icon from the notification panel and visit its Settings. From here, visit the Account tab and click on the “Choose folders” button.

Choose Folders

2. You will get a pop-up window like this. Just check the folder you wish to sync with OneDrive and click on the “Ok” button when you are done to implement these changes.

Choose Folders

Method 10. Switch off the Office upload

Sometimes, the Office Upload cache system might be interfering with the OneDrive desktop client. If your OneDrive is not syncing, then visit its Settings and click on the “Office” tab. From here, you need to un-check the option of “Use Office to sync Office files that I open” and save your selection by clicking the “Ok” button. Restart the drive again to fix this issue.

Office Upload

Method 11. Reset OneDrive manually

If nothing else seems to work, then try to reset OneDrive manually to overcome this issue. However, it is a time-consuming process. The system needs to be connected to a high-speed internet connection.

1. Pressing the Windows key + R to open the Run prompt and entering the command:

%localappdata%\Microsoft\OneDrive\onedrive.exe /reset

Reset OneDrive

2. Ideally, OneDrive should sync all the files again. However, if the OneDrive setup fails to start again, copy and paste the following command and hit Enter in the Run box to start the client manually:


Method 12. Use the OneDrive Troubleshooter

Run the OneDrive troubleshooter and see if it helps you.

Bonus tip to fix OneDrive not syncing via CBackupper

If the above basic ways fail to fix OneDrive not syncing properly error, you can use a brand new cloud manager – CBackupper as an alternative to backup and sync your OneDrive files. Check the advantages that come with CBackupper:

  • It is a free web-based service, so you don’t need to download any app and can use it on multiple devices including PC, mobile phone, tablet and so on.

  • It can guarantee and keep your Google Drive account info and all files private and secure.

  • It allows you to move files between cloud storage directly and quickly.

  • Besides Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, FTP/SFTP and more are supported as well.



Methods to solve “OneDrive not syncing” error has been listed above, you can try this fixes one by one until your OneDrive sync problem get solved. If you fail to fix this error or you want to avoid these errors in the feature, you can use CBackupper to replace to OneDrive client safely and easily. And under the help of CBackupper, you can not only backup and sync but also move files between cloud storage at any time if needed.