No matter how great their internet connection is or how important it is to maintain offsite backups, there will always be people who dislike Microsoft’s idea of OneDrive syncing in Windows 8.1. These people are probably looking for a way to turn off OneDrive sync in Windows 8.1.
With Windows 8, you had to install OneDrive by downloading a separate app. After downloading the installation package and customizing a few settings, Microsoft will automatically start installing everything in a specific folder. Make changes to a file or add another file to this folder; OneDrive silently syncs it with Microsoft servers and other computers. This has worked great for detail-oriented and well-informed users. Absolutely wrong move for everyone, the best cloud backup and storage solution you have is the one you can easily access. By giving Windows users access to OneDrive, they made it more complicated and guaranteed that many users would not take advantage of the service.
OneDrive is built into Windows 8.1. Users are asked during the installation process whether they want to turn it on or off. If they choose to turn it off, nothing else happens. If they choose to open it, it will start uploading document changes, new images when you have a stable internet connection. Files are synced across the OneDrive folder on the user’s computers. There are also some sync settings that happen behind the scenes in Windows 8.1.
Turn Off OneDrive Settings Sync
First, let’s start with the OneDrive sync settings. Press the Windows key on your keyboard or the Windows button next to your touchscreen device. This will take you back to the Start Screen.
If you have a touchscreen device, place your finger on the right edge of the screen and swipe left to open the Charms Bar. If you have a mouse and keyboard, move your mouse cursor to the upper-right corner or corner of your screen to open the Charms Bar.
Tap or click .
tap or click
Welcome to the Settings app. Tap or click OneDrive in the menu on the left side of your screen. It’s the third option from the top of your menu.
The first screen you’ll notice in the OneDrive settings area is OneDrive storage. This is where you need to make your first toggle to turn off OneDrive syncing. Tap or click the option below the Buy More Storage button.
Then tap or click the option in the menu on the left side of your screen. It’s the third option from the top of your screen.
Here you can stop Windows 8.1 and OneDrive from syncing individual settings. For example, many times people stop syncing in the background for privacy reasons. Click or tap the toggle button to turn off all OneDrive settings sync completely.
Empty OneDrive Folder and Stop Syncing
That’s just one part of the equation. Windows 8.1 is an operating system that consists of two parts. You may have stopped the settings syncing, but there is another component on the Desktop that you need to stop as well.
Press the Windows key on your keyboard or the Windows button next to the device screen. Look for a Live Tile named Desktop. It’s the Desktop that acts and works like the versions of Windows you’ve come across for years.
Inside the Desktop, look for a white cloud button on the right side of your Taskbar. If you don’t access OneDrive settings often, you may need to click or tap the arrow. Do not click the logo to open it. Instead, it’s over to open a menu. The touch user should place their finger on the icon and hold it there until a box appears around their finger.
Tap or click . Tap or click from the menu.
Click to free space files from OneDrive.
You have the option to delete all the files in the OneDrive folder if you want, but I wouldn’t recommend it. If OneDrive sync is turned back on, doing so will also delete anything you’ve stored in Microsoft services. Tap or click on it after you finish making changes.
To be honest, I would recommend at least leaving syncing on OneDrive settings. Even if you have a backup of your files, changing your settings after a fresh install of Windows is cumbersome. Syncing settings also allows you to get started with a new Windows 8.1 device fairly quickly. Turning OneDrive sync off can ruin your experience with other apps like Microsoft’s Xbox Music client that streams music from your OneDrive Music folder.
Unfortunately OneDrive is built into Windows 8.1. You can certainly choose not to sync any files and settings or avoid the OneDrive folder altogether, but there is no way to remove the feature wholesale.